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Week 2 : Making the Show - The Process of Creating a Show for the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019 - The Lights

The stage at the Pig N Whistle has three LED fake PAR lights and a disco ball with a spotlight (that has a red filter and very low wattage). Other than that there are a few rows of house lighting on a variety of dimmers behind the bar.

In the past when I've shot video on this stage the pars have effectively destroyed the performance, focusing entirely on my mid-section and in one case washing out an illuminated costume.

I wanted to take some time at this week's open mic to explore where the lights are focused, if we have any flexibility with their levels, and where the optimal location on the stage would be for the performers.

This wide-angle shot that I took this evening is somewhat deceptive as compared to the close up of my performance from a few months ago. Had the lights been adjusted in some way?

Also note the entrance on stage left. Mike (the event promoter) sits at the table and collects door money here. He insists on having his workspace fully illuminated. So if we cut the house lights his work area still floods the room and/or becomes more of a focal point than the stage itself.

Some options might be to bring our own lighting (but with an 8 minute set we are limited to extremely portable and quick fixes), or perhaps to perform on the bench behind Mike's workspace, drawing people away from the stage entirely.

As we discovered in this week's set the lights are focused towards the corner of the stage and there is only one spot where the artist is seen fully illuminated. After my piece, all of the performers who followed then tried cramming themselves into this corner. They looked much better but had painted themselves into a corner so to speak.

X marks the spot
I was lucky that open mic night was considerably under-attended this week and it gave me the flexibility to work this out so easily. The video is below if you'd like to see how it all happened.


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Making the Show - The Process of Creating a Show for the Hollywood Fringe Festival 2019

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A few weeks ago I took over the responsibilities of running (310) CUT-FOOT, a local hotline which has been running since at least the 1980's. (You can read some more about it here). I've been calling it regularly for about two years at the insistence of my friend Paul who is one of it's most vocal supporters.

The format basically revolves around a character who pretends to be so entrenched in a certain milieu of cultural events that they assume you understand all of the shorthanded codewords which they are presenting in under two minutes. It's the sort of scene that exists in all major cities, it revolves around cultural inbreeding and nothing from any of these scenes ever goes anywhere.

Some examples might be the punk band that sucks performing at the restaurant that's terrible, down the street from the University where the clientele will change every four years, or the art show in the gallery that's nothing more than a stockroom in the back of a shoe store.