Thursday, June 4, 2009

Romeo and Juliet and Berkeley

Hi all—this is Daniel Chavez, the Lighting Design intern, posting live from the intern house. I'm currently enjoying a night off and reviewing life out here in the Bay Area while I'm at it. I'm from Washington, D.C., and before this, I'd never been further west than Ohio, so it's been interesting adapting to life out here. I'm already in love with Berkeley, and I spend a lot of my free time going on long bike rides around the area, finding cafes, used bookstores, art supply stores, taking yoga classes, and all that.

We don't get into San Francisco much—it's a long train ride, and most things to see or do are worth a full day trip. Our first weekend here, my roommates and I went into the city for Bay to Breakers—which was unforgettable—stopping by Chinatown and riding a trolley on the way home. The fog in and around San Francisco and the hills of Berkeley is absolutely gorgeous, by the way. After that, it was time for orientation, and then we hit the ground running!

Tech week is always intense, and Cal Shakes is no exception. Working in electrics meant working an average of twelve to sixteen hours a day until all of the lights were hung and focused and the cues were built. I was lucky enough to be shadowing the assistant lighting designer during tech, so I got a great firsthand look at the process. The lighting designer, Russell H. Champa, is an incredible guy to work with, along with the assistant lighting designer and the master electrician—my boss, Heather. Still, it was a relief when we survived tech and transitioned into previews. After helping to set up the opening night party, work has consisted of operating the light board four days a week and general intern-y work.

With more free time since then, I've had more time to see the sights, like Muir Woods and the Golden Gate Bridge. Did I mention that I'm in love with this place? I don't have any pictures up from Golden Gate Park or Haight-Ashbury, but trust me, they're great, too. There are still more interns and more company-wide events to come, so I'm sure you'll be seeing more posts soon!

A few quotes from R&J tech:

Dir: We need Friar John's letter!
SM: What would you like?
Dir: Well, I'd like something that's not a piece of paper that says "Friar John's letter" on it in sharpie.

"The director's patting himself on the back. That means you guys did great."

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