Monday, August 13, 2007

Before The Storm Or Waiting For The Llama

Yes, it's that time again, Folklorama 2007! Every year I dread the days leading up to Folklorama week at the Japanese Pavilion. I am the co-coordinator (with Sumi) for the entertainment portion which means, deciding which groups will perform, making a schedule everyone can agree on and making sure there will be a stage and sound/light system. Two years ago the stage and lights were built into the venue at Tec Voc high school, here at Sisler we get an empty gym. Last year, Chris took care of the stage, lights and sound from start to finish and he was also there every show as our sound man. This year his friend Ryan is filling in, I believe Ryan assisted last year with the setup so he is familiar with the venue. The problem this year is that we had to pick up the stage from MTYP with our volunteers and a rented truck. The day the truck was available and the time someone would be at MTYP and the time the stage had to be at the school was more difficult to coordinate than expected. I felt somewhat guilty as I had to work that day and I couldn't skip out because we were short staffed that day, fortunately there were barely enough strong bodies to finally get the stage there. The morning of dress rehearsal (Saturday), I received some panicked phone calls at work, "how come there's no walls on the side of the stage? come there's no curtain on the side of the stage? we need a backdrop....etc.. I spend the next half hour calling stage companies and thinking of a temporary solution with my co-worker. Needless to say by the time I arrived at the rehearsal most of the problems were resolved or would be taken care of before the show. Ryan knew someone that could provide the stage cove-walls, we borrowed some shoji screens from the Culture Centre and he picked up a black backdrop. Really, let's no need to panic, yet!

Last year I posted a night to night review of the main stage show, this year I may format it a little differently. Every evening after the show, I'll write a quick review as well as some personal observations from my notes that I'll be writing during the breaks, kind of diary style. If someone impresses me or catches my attention in some way, I may tell you about it, but if someone is pissing me off or just annoys me, I won't be afraid to blow off a little steam on this blog. This could be a good behind the scenes report, so if you have any gossip or better yet, rants, let me know. Last year I came into the week feeling kind of negative, but as the week progressed everyone involved in the Pavilion relaxed their attitude which actually made the week quite enjoyable.

I know this year it's been stressful for Sumi, she takes things to heart and that's what I love about her, she really cares about how people perceive our community. She has worked hard in so many ways, apart from the entertainment, she is arranging the catering of the volunteer food, helping out in the food prep room and dancing four nights. Working alongside Sumi makes me realize I have no right to whine about long hours and extra work, we need more people in our community that has her passion and gumption.

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