Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Review of the Month (3): the Show Was Over

Real work started in the afternoon. I was assigned to the lighting staff. Lighting was expected to be the biggest trouble spot and it was proved right.

I have no idea how many lights there were on and off stage. Each one of them should be adjusted or focused, or programmed by the computer. Several were connected to the wrong addresses, and others were changed to new ones. Those lights had to be checked individually. A few young guys climbed up to the trusses above the stage with no helmet. My work of 11th ended at 7:00 am of the following day.

On 12th, I reached the site at 2:00 pm. The same kind of work. Very strangely, the lights installed at the same locations were having problems, and an entire row went off. It seemed to me, almost totally ignorant about engineering, that there were some problems not with individual lights but possibly cables. It was up to the local engineers to investigate and find a solution, but they kept changing the lights.

The singer came for a late-afternoon rehearsal. Her voice was powerful. Some of the guys assigned to the floor spots disappeared during the rehearsal. Through a headset, I heard them say, “Go makan first. Go makan first.” It’s the midst of their Ramadan…

The Japanese lighting chief called it a day at 1:00 am leaving the local staff behind. When I was leaving, even Bitch said, “Thank you” to me.

On 13th, the day of the show. Work started at 9:00 am. Lighting kept having trouble. A few were connected wrongly and a few other were changed. One hour before the show time, people were still on stage. The Japanese chief declared, “No more change even if it is having problems.”

During the show, I was in the control box set up at the rear part of the venue. It was definitely some kind of experience.

After it was all over, the man from Taiwan organizer said to me, “Thank you for your help. You’re the best of all.” Later I had a high-five with him. “If you visit Taipei, I buy you drink” was what he told me. Not bad. And the local chief of production, who I believe had a tough time pressed so hard, said to me, “You’re a good translator and also an assistant.” The stage that consumed so much energy and hours from the people to set up quickly came down.

Some of the interpreters may object to the idea that they are part of the production team and they should be apart from the engineers. I disagree. The joyful moments when working on site are those when I can feel part of the whole team. We, the interpreters, sent off the Japanese production team. It was all over. Time for beer. It was 2:30 am.


No comments: