So the mic pack horror story inspired me to share my story about the very first time I had to run the soundboard my freshman year
My school was doing Pirates of Penzance for our spring musical, my first musical I was going to work on. I was pumped, but my excitement would only result in endless amounts of disappointment. From being put on the crew I never wanted any contact with, to be taken on and off the stage, I hated every minute of working that show. Now, a problem had resulted in the dress rehearsal that made my director take the more experienced soundboard op off of his duty, and replace him with me, a kid who never wanted to be on sound crew and was afraid of the soundboard.
First three shows went smoothly, not a single problem or missed cue throughout opening night, matinee, and second night. So the third night was bound to be a success, right? WRONG!!! half of the mic’s just cut out. Disconnected from the gator box.
This doesn’t seem like a problem at first, since our first thought was “Hey, these are all skilled actors who can deal with this, they can speak up,” until we realized that the quietest, whispered voice kid playing major general was also disconnected. It became a frenzy of panic, we were rushing to get this kid some sort of mic so that way people could actually hear him. It was a shit show, to say the least, it was a soundboard op’s worst nightmare. I was reduced to a sobbing, sniveling mess, it was pathetic, really.
During intermission, I went into the makeup hall to apologize for something that was completely out of my control. I was prepared to get yelled at by my director, but instead I was only greeted with a hug and a “thank you” for all my hard work. The show continued somewhat smoothly, but it was definitely the worst experience I ever had to endure.
Image below is my director pep talking the cast and some of the crew. I’m the kid in the beanie hidden behind cast members. What you can’t see: a tear filled, snot dribbling 100 pound freshman boy shaking and all of the people in the room looking at me in remorse.