best served cold. . .

later into the opera season, props hit both the electrics and stage crew with a prank. they took many of the glass rocks that had been falling off the ‘tea’ floor and glued them, decoratively to the crew’s lockers. i don’t have a picture yet, but i will try to get a hold of one. the crews found it and the props run crew reveled. they had woken up VERY early to set about the task. it was tedious i’m sure. the prank was cute. . . decorative. . . but not extremely clever by my measurement. there was also a batch of cookies made for a stage crew supervisor with salt substituted for sugar.

there was a desire to get back at the props run crew. the idea behind a great prank is that it’s a surprise, it’s clever, and ultimately- not destructive. it’s the non destructive part that often ends up being the most difficult to adhere to.

the idea:
we were setting up some of our strike in the basement while walking past pieces of the platee set. each chair, of the many, were tagged as the props department does to archive their items. it looks like a giant tag sale in the basement. everything is marked. i thought to myself. . . would be kind of fun to gain access to the props run crew office and tag every little thing. . . pens, tape, computer, and around all the storage. . . just the ridiculousness of it made me giggle a bit. so we started talking about it. it was already early afternoon of the last performance. not much time to act.

the set up:
i talked to the electrics crew, and the supervisors on the stage crew. it sounded like it could be fun, but there were a lot of obstacles. we didn’t have the tags. . . and we need to gain access to their office. actually getting into the office isn’t difficult, but it’s the last day, in the afternoon. we couldn’t wait till the next day because the props crew would be striking that night and most wouldn’t be in the next day. getting in there that day, when the props crew wouldn’t be there was going to be really hard. if we had enough people, it wouldn’t take long to accomplish the task, and we could do some prep work in our own shop.

after talking to a few more people, we had four or five people on standby to leave the opera on their break and buy the tags. the electrics crew was excited about the prospect, but i was getting worried we wouldn’t have the opportunity. . . then it hit me. before each show the entire props and stage crew meet at steps for ‘step chat.’ it’s the end of the season, so the meeting would be really short. . . but if we could figure a way to make it last longer, the electrics crew could run into the empty prop run office and get to work. . . . and then perhaps we could make a call on radio that we are in the basement and need help from stage crew to shift some scenery. . . . and step chat would wait till the stage crew came back before releasing everyone. we could have a ten minute window, with maybe sixteen people tagging everything in sight. . . .

the prank:
it went down basically as planned. one of the stage crew assistant sups. got the tags. a few of the electrics crew pre labeled the tags. step chat started and the electrics crew descended into the prop run office. we radioed for ‘help’ and eight more stage crew members came bounding in. we had crews assembled. as with everything, we were efficient. some people labeled, some people ripped tape, other ran around taping on the tags. in ten minutes we laid out around 425 tags.

it was great fun.

people left at step chat who weren’t in on it were a little curious. . . but they soon found out.

ok, not the greatest prank ever. . . .but kinda clever.

enjoy the pics.

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