Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Pillow Posts -- Day 2

Most of the rest of the interns arrived today, and they all seem to be a really cool bunch. There are people from all over, and everyone is very friendly and willing to introduce themselves. I've made a special effort to try and remember names, and I think I've got about 50% by now, which is excellent for me, since I usually only get one or two on the first day at a new place. Luckily, we'll have nametags starting tomorrow.

We had our first extensive tour of the Pillow today, and I'm pretty happy with the facilities. They're much different than you might expect for a world-renowned festival; everything is consciously kept to a very rustic feel, and the construction is almost exclusively bare wood. It makes the place feel a little less sophisticated than say, the Power Center in Ann Arbor or the Edison in St. Louis, but the spaces themselves are clearly quite capable of putting on just about any performance.

The main thing that is different from what I expected is that because this is a summer festival, absolutely everything has to be loaded in from scratch to the theatres at the beginning of each season. This includes marley flooring, curtains, lights, sound, and even dimmer racks. There are eleven tech interns and nearly as many tech staff, but even so, with two major indoor performance spaces, one outdoor performance space, and two indoor dance studios, getting this place ready for festival time in two weeks is going to be a huge undertaking. Everyone tells us we'll be working around the clock for that time, which I completely believe.

We were informed on the campus tour today that bears are quite common. If I see a bear, I'll be sure to take a picture before I run screaming into the woods.

A group of us went jogging this evening, and we were nearly run over by a giant dump truck whose driver somehow thought that driving with his lights off on a winding mountain road would be a good idea.

My observation for the day is that theatre is a small world. One girl I met goes to Western Michigan and knows Matt Baker and David Curwen. I knew Matt in high school, and I designed lights for David's dance at WUDT this year. Another girl went to Webster in St. Louis and knows Pat Vacek and Cecil Slaughter. Pat is my former roommate's younger brother, and Cecil is an instructor at WashU.

My second observation for the day is that people repeat themselves. I met one guy who I swear is the twin brother of Scott, a guy I knew at WashU. They don't look much alike, but their speaking patterns and physical movements are almost identical. Another girl could be the twin sister of Ayesha; it's uncanny. I'm sure that this is my pattern-seeking brain forcing people into bins (read On Intelligence for more about that), but for now, the resemblances seem uncanny.

My reading for my trip yesterday was Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham--it's a pretty good book if you're someone who wants to learn more about the minds of computer geeks, or if you're a computer geek who wants to learn more about the minds of other computer geeks. I finished that this morning, but luckily, Cameron (operations coordinator) informed me that there was a box of books for a book exchange. Unluckily, they were all mystery novels. Not that I have anything in particular against mystery novels, but I like having variety. I picked The Third Truth by Michael Bar-Zohar and started reading. It's decent; nothing too original, but nothing outright bad, either.

Picture for the day: the view from the back of the house at the Inside Out stage. This is where we will be holding free outdoor concerts.

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