A Funny Little Thing in Whatever Will Be Will Be

  • Feb. 23, 2024, 12:50 a.m.
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When Hermia came back from rehearsal today, there was an interesting exchange that illuminated a few things.

She came back to her house and was telling me that tonight was their first Tech Rehearsal. So I asked if this was a Full Run Tech or a Hold Tech. To explain a difference- if the Tech Team has done a dry tech run without actors, sometimes the first Tech will be a “full run tech” where actors do the full show and tech runs their cues, taking notes on what doesn’t work or what needs to be adjusted. It certainly isn’t the recommended way of doing Tech, but hell- it is essentially what we did for The Book Club Play so worth asking.

Hermia laughed and said it was a Hold Tech, which gave her information she’d been struggling with since we first started dating. I was very confused by this and requested additional information. You see, I was unaware that I do this. BUT apparently, our entire relationship… I say hold instead of stop or pause. Again, an unconscious thing I was never aware of. And Hermia tells me how the experience went.

As they started the rehearsal, the director explained the process of a Hold Tech. Actors perform, tech runs their part, but if there is a tech issue or an actor notices a tech thing not working or endangering them or for any legitimate reason… a person shouts out HOLD and everyone stops what they are doing. Actors stop in their tracks waiting to be told what needs to be adjusted. Tech stops in their tracks waiting to coordinate what needs to be fixed. HOLD is the way to take the chaotic world of movement and performance and force it to FREEZE. Hermia said that upon hearing that explanation, she flashed back on the many times I’ve said it over these last 8 months and finally understood what I was meaning.

As she explains this to me, I laugh uproariously. Because I didn’t realize I’d been doing it. Nobody has ever called me out on it. And it is SO on brand for me! I mean… I’ve been in theater for half of my life and almost my entire formative years. I’m already a pretty obvious Theater Stereotype by my black clothes; using Theater Lingo as Every Day Language just seems like an expected concept.

But then of course I started thinking more. I met Hermia through theater. We’re dating because she’s a Theater Person. This is the first time she’s ever had that experience of a Tech Hold Rehearsal? I considered. I know she was in “WAIT UNTIL DARK” which had to have lighting, music, and sound cues. I know she was rehearsing “ELF” before her back injury. I know that our Shakespeare Troupe doesn’t have to worry about things like that as we do Shakespeare old school without lighting, sound, or music. But.... yeah. She didn’t know/realize I was using Theater Lingo until she encountered it tonight. Worth remembering.

But it is both very humorous and so on brand for me to just absent mindedly and unthinkingly “talk in theater” as my every day.

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