I am Left Soundboard Operator on the Stage Crew. Right Soundboard Operator is this guy Tommy. Tommy likes to say he could have been an actor except he gets too red in the face. It's true, he gets very red in the face.
Stage Crew hide behind the scenes and never go on stage. We don't like being onstage. We make fun of the actors. "What the fuck kind of line reading is that," we say.
Secretly we think some of the actors are good, but I don't know if we'll ever tell them to their faces. Maybe at the wrap party, after some drinks.
Am I even invited to the wrap party? It's probably going to suck ass but I'll be super pissed if I'm not invited. Fuck.
But yeah anyway, I'm on soundboard. (The author was on stage crew briefly in middle school but doesn't remember the technical details of the soundboard, so just imagine some specifics here about faders and shit.)
The part I wanted to talk about was how Stage Crew secretly stay in the theater after all the actors leave. Stage Crew turn out the lights and wave to the actors like we're leaving too, but actually we stay there, spread out around the theater in the dark.
Some of us stay in our positions from rehearsal, backstage or at the lightboard or soundboard. Some of the spotlight operators hang out above the stage in the rafters playing Truth or Dare and taking advantage of the secret spotlight operators' booze fridge. Rumor has it Todd did a triple-kiss with Sarah and Nate one night but none of them will say if it really happened.
Another thing to mention is all Stage Crew members have headsets and can talk to one another even if they're in different parts of the theater. Some people are in groups and only half-listening to their headsets and some guys and girls are alone in the dark doing nothing but listening and talking to the other voices.
One night I said hi and no one responded.
Sometimes I'm an alone-in-the-dark kind of guy, and this was one of those nights. I probably could have joined the spotlight operators up in the rafters or chilled with the backstage people in the prop room. It might have been fun.
I don't know why I sit by myself sometimes when I could go hang out with people. I don't know why.
I sat a while staring in the dark.
Finally someone responded.
"Oh hi Sarah."
"Nothing. Sup with you?"
"Why have we never talked before?"
"I don't know. Aren't you usually talking to Todd and Nate?"
"Yeah sometimes, but I mean I talk to a lot of people."
"Yeah. Yeah, I mean, yeah. Me too."
"Are you going to the wrap party?"
"The wrap party."
"Isn't there a wrap party?"
"I don't know, some of the actors have mentioned a wrap party, but I don't know. I don't think there is one."
"There's no wrap party? Jeez."
"Were you hoping to go to a wrap party?"
"I don't know. Can we have like a stage crew party?"
"People are kind of shy. I don't know if anyone would come."
"I think they would come. I would come. Would you come?"
"Yeah, I mean, I don't see why not. Sure yeah. I'd come."
"Cool. OK, I'm going to plan this. Next Friday."
"Oh yeah. Well fuck it. Let's do it anyway."
"Haha OK. I'm game."
"OK. Friday the thirteenth. Stage crew party. Why don't we do it in the orchestra pit. There's like couches down there, I don't know if you've been down there. It's actually pretty nice in the orchestra pit."
"Yeah, OK. That sounds good."
"Is it dorky that I'm kind of really excited about this?"
"Haha ummm...yes, but that's good."
"Dorky is good?"
"Cool. You seem nice."
"Haha. Well thanks."
(They said more things that night, but I'll stop there.)
(As of this writing, the existence of a wrap party is still unconfirmed. Plans for a stage crew party have circulated from headset to headset. There has been some positive feedback, although at least one lightboard operator is opposed to the orchestra pit as the location, citing lack of a fridge and "it smells like saliva and valve oil down there man, fuck.")