Jerry Rapier on Making Spaghetti Backstage

(Photo credit: Dixie Schwab who was a homo LDS missionary like me in Duluth, MN in 1991, where this photo was taken. This must have been my Asian Eliza Doolittle phase. Definitely different.) This morning I could not believe how much my feet hurt. But then I realized I had stood for 12 straight hours yesterday working in various capacities on DIFFERENT=AMAZING, the, well, amazing anti-bullying fundraising event that my partner Kirt conceived and directed last night to a sold-out crowd of more than 500. Why so many hours on my feet? I was working backstage. Randy Rasmussen was stage left and I was stage right and I think he spent most of the day trying not to laugh at my, well, lack of ability with mic cable. In my defense it is tricky to keep three lines of black mic cable separated when they all need to live in the same wing off-stage. But the truth is I’m not very good backstage – I worry I’m going to completely ruin the show with a single misstep. On the rare occasion I step into a backstage role I am reminded how much skill it takes to keep a production running smoothly on the technical end. At the high point (i.e. low point) during rehearsal yesterday afternoon, Randy said – laughed! – into the headset, ‘Look – he’s makin’ spaghetti. Oh dear.’ And I had to laugh. A lot. Because the mess I had made of all that cable did, indeed, look like a tangle of spaghetti. For the record, the performance itself was spaghetti-free. I felt privileged to participate...

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