Over the weekend, I worked through some final technical adjustments for the light design on a show I am directing, "It's a Wonderful Life - A Live Radio Play," a holiday favorite (I directed last year, as well.)
I sat with the light designer while he programmed the light board for each scene change. A spot here, a special light there, full stage lights, lightening flashes... The show only has twelve light cues but they are an important part of the show.
The cast arrived after a bit and we ran a cue-to-cue.
That is where we test the quality of the light and how each light cue plays from scene to scene. The actors walk through their entrance, check cue one.
Next scene, check cue two
..., Each subsequent scene, actors go to their positions as lighting cues are checked, making sure the light coverage is correct and that all actors/scenes are well lit. There is a rule in theater that you always treat your lighting guy the best
, the last thing an actor wants is to be poorly lit.
Some actors complain about doing a cue-to-cue and certainly most dread it. It is tedious and usually feels like a waste of time to the actor. But it is a very important step prior to a show opening. Failing to run a thorough cue-to-cue with a polished light designer/operator will result in a very rough final dress rehearsal. That is never good, no matter what any superstition might say about "bad dress rehearsal, great opening."
While I worked through the cue-to-cue, I thought about life and then work. It really is too bad that we can't have a cue-to-cue for life. "Can I just do a rough run through to see how this scene will look if I shed this kind of light on it?" Thank you.
The interesting thing about work is that we can
have that cue-to-cue. It comes in the form of proper preparation. But so often we fly by the seat of our pants, failing to review and then,
Take a moment and run your cue-to-cue, before your next presentation or team meeting. Just showing up is not nearly enough anymore. Check your sound, check your lights and then check your stance. When the spotlight is on you, so are many eyes.
Make sure they see a well-prepared professional that understands what they are presenting, that cares enough to deliver the right message, that represents himself and his company well. And then, make sure you step into your light.
© by rayannethorn