Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mike's Pacific Symphony Orchestra Gig

Once again, I blog about an event that is not mine. This event belongs to Mike Senna and his R2-D2, I just hung out and took pictures.

The Pacific Symphony Orchestra is in town, performing for three nights selected music by John Williams, with Richard Kaufman conducting. Mike was asked to have his R2 appear on stage for a surprise visit during the show, to help deliver the score to Star Wars. Mike and I both took the day off from our respective jobs to be at rehearsal around 2:30pm.

I can safely say I've never gotten my own dressing room, and probably won't in the future either.

Mike and I did some quite comical sneaking around the building to see what there was to see. Thousands of seats just waiting to be filled for the show.

Here is the prop score that Mike's R2 brings out to the conductor during the show.

It turns out that it is a real score, but for unrelated music. Unfortunately, it was very heavy for the wooden dowel that Mike's droid was going to carry it on, so several pages had to go. Yes, he was given permission to start tearing it up.

The sound technician placed a microphone in Mike's droid, and the sounds were played over the sound system used for the rest of the concert (instruments and conductor's microphone).

Time to rehearse! Mike's droid will appear stage right/audience left. Conductor Richard Kaufman went through the routine with Mike. Everyone is dressed casual for rehearsal, but for showtime it's all dresses and tuxedos for the orchestra and conductor.

As is always the case, everyone loves R2, including violinists.

As the show approached, we went to our stations backstage. Full video showed us what was happening on stage, but we couldn't see the stage directly for ourselves, because it was behind a closed door that the conductor enters and exits.

And finally, the gag itself: "We were going to play one of John Williams' most popular pieces as you see in your programs, but I cannot find my score."

Video was shot from backstage with my still camera, so the sound is not the best, nor is the video.

(Later, Mike's droid made a second appearance to deliver the upcoming season's schedule.)

Finally, proof that I was there. Mike and I with conductor Richard Kaufman.

Thanks to Mike and the crew at PSO for letting me tag along.

The full photoset is here.

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