Monday, September 22, 2008

But, do you know my dad???

We have been having some sprinkler problems. So, a couple of weeks ago, I spent some time with them. I noted where each zone was located and then sat down to draw a map for future reference. This map was created with a pencil, ruler and colors. It included the street, sidewalks, driveway, house, patio, foliage and of coarse, the lawn. Each zone got assigned its own color. It is a very pretty map.

A couple of days ago, my landlord came to look the sprinklers over. He would turn a zone on and then go look to see where it had turned on. I finally went out and asked him if he would like to use my map? Sure. I was so happy to share my map! I handed it over to him and he was like, "Wow, that is quite the drawing." I was like, "Yeah, but do you know my dad?" You see, he is where I get my few obsessive-compulsive behaviors. Especially the one that inspire me to draw detailed maps of the sprinkler zones.

When I was young, as young as my youngest memories, my dad taught at Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho. It is now know as BYU-Idaho. But, we were there when it was a small, personal school. Anyways. He taught in the theatre department. Back then, he was still highly involved with each of his productions. Don't get me wrong. He is still pretty involved today, but he turns a lot of it over to others, since it is their job. Back then, he selected the shows he did, cast the players, helped design the lights and set and then helped pull everything together.

I loved watching all this happen. I especially loved "helping" him design the lights for the shows. He kept all these tools in his desk draw. He had cool rulers and pencils, graph paper and swatches of gel colors. He always had a swatch for me and a swatch for him. Together we would decide the feeling of the scene, warm or cool, etc., and then choose the gels needed. I loved it when he would ask me to choose between two gel colors. Granted, they were pretty much the same color, but it was awesome to choose the color anyways!!

After the lights were done on paper, it was time to set them. This part started in the gel room. This was my all-time favorite room on campus. It was a small room in the Snow Theatre Building that had ceiling to floor files full of gels. These came in large sheets. You see, there are many sizes of lights, so you just cut the gels to the size you need. I got to help pull the correct color of gel needed. When I got older, I even got to help cut them with the huge paper cutter. (Don't worry mom, we were careful!!!)

After that, we headed up to the cat walk to place the gels into the lights. I wonder why I wasn't scared of heights back then? I loved being up that high and watching the activities going on down on the stage.

By now, he had finished blocking the show and all that other good stuff. It would be time for technical run throughs. These are to make sure that the lights look good on the sets and to make sure they are set to shine in the correct places. These run throughs were great fun, too. My dad did lots of running around during those final run throughs. Up and down to the cat walk. And my all-time favorite of jumping through the (open) light booth window and running down the auditorium chairs on their arm rests. I kid you not. Why use stairs to get to the stage when you could just run on the arm rests?? I would give anything to go back in time and carry a camera around for the day.

But, I digress. All I wanted to do was blame my dad for the map I drew of the sprinkling system zones.

Note: I am not a technical theatre major and do not always use the correct terms! But, looking back, I wonder why I didn't go into the theatre world based solely on my love of gels. Now...if I could only get my own gel swatch and one of those lighting design stencils...