Working at Cirque is one of the most awesome jobs I have ever had in my entire life. It is interesting, fun, exciting although I still don’t know half of what I will eventually. Sometimes being the n00b can be funny…..to others…
Allow me to relate this story from last night.
Niki and I are Stage Right. The show is maybe halfway over. We have just finished a cue and returned to the podium where we are stationed. (I should mention Niki is with me because I am still new and am still learning the ropes….read: she handles all the major problems while I blithely run the track cues.)
We are quiet, but it is warm backstage and we turn on the fan at our station. A few moments later a voice comes over radio: “Hey Rovers (that’s us). One of you is sitting on the All Page button.”
This is a button that makes our voices travel all over the theater/greenroom/offices. We aren’t actually talking but the sound of the fan and the show are broadcasting in a This Is Spinal Tap way.
We look at each other. We look at our headsets. No lights are on. We are confused. I turn off my headset. Niki turns off her headset. (We discuss how the All Page button can get stuck sometimes)
“Stage Management, we can hear you over All Page. Turn it OFF”
We have eyes as big as saucers (at least I did) and we take our batteries out of our headsets. We discuss possessed headsets and what we can do. I giggle nervously.
Our boss appears next to us. We tell him we can’t figure it out. We show him our headsets and blink in confusion (at least I did – Niki is much more seasoned that me and is not that freaked out.)
“Stage Management, you have GOT to turn off the All Page” says our Calling Stage Manager. Our Admin Stage Manager reports we are still broadcasting.
Niki and Gruber (boss) walk off to talk to Sound and try to figure out what has happened. As they are leaving I hear them say “fan” and “All Page Button”. This makes me look at the fan. I suddenly notice there is a rack behind the fan. I look closer and I see one button is a brighter red than the others. It says ALL PAGE. I press the button, it goes back to regular red.
“I got it!” I hiss. Gruber and Niki come back over to me. “Oh yeah, there is an All Page button there” one of them remarks.
Gruber leaves. Niki and I blink at one another. We go off to do our next cue which brings us through the greenroom. Laughing artists tell us they could hear us trying to figure it all out. We blush and apologize. They tell us we are funny.
Things get back to normal and Niki says casually, “How many Stage Managers does it take to turn of an All Page?” We figure out the number is 5. More if you count the initial radio calls from non-Stage Managers.
I love my never-boring, sometimes-intimidating, crazy-silly-funny job. One day I will be good at it. One day….