It was a Wednesday. No, it was three days before Timeless.
Three days before the event, I sat in front of the computer as it rendered the video sequence. I knew that the rest of my co-teachers were done with their respective rehearsals and that they were just polishing up everything.
This year, I didn’t have to do all the video displays for the school’s musical. Instead, I pushed papers, signed them and perused documents that were necessary for the conduct of the event.
I was also aware that I would have a relatively easier time this year, thanks to teachers who decided to create their own video files: All I needed to do is to survive the big day.
However, I understood very well that if any technical difficulties arose during the date of the musical, I would be held accountable for everything. The stakes were higher this year; this was the first year that the school implemented a full-suite program for the visitors.
In short, I didn’t have any room for mistakes or screw-ups. I was no illusion that I would get big time consequences for bungling up the aspects of the event that I was responsible for.
Obviously, I showed a façade of calm and composure, even though I was scared deep inside.
That was the reason why I had to painstakingly watch every single second of the presentation for any glitches. I also had to back them up three times: one copy for Google Drive, one copy inside a USB and one copy inside an external hard drive. At least, I could have the consolation of having “tried my best” to do my part in the Timeless show!
I was also praying that my six-year old laptop would be able to handle the rendering. It did turn out quite well.
I finished everything by 10 in the evening. I was sure of one thing though: The back-end people at the high school department worked multiple shifts like this for their part of the musical.
When we had the final rehearsal on Thursday, I knew that the institution would be able to pull it off in style. Every presentation showed their best form; one could see that everyone was ready for the big showdown.
There were a couple of notes. I jotted them down on my “to-do” list.
I had class for my nerve-wracking MA in Creative Writing at UP on Thursday and I returned home late.
Friday. The final day before the musical.
I needed to fix tracks for the hand mime segment and the finale of Timeless.
That meant another round of rendering. Luckily, the salary arrived that day, which meant that I spent the evening taking out a quarter box of Peri-Peri Barbecue Chicken, along with java rice and mashed potatoes. I also brought a small bag of chips, a bottle of water and pineapple juice to satisfy all of my cravings while waiting for the rendering process to finish.
Once again, I finished everything by 10 in the evening.
Then came the big day. No room for error, I reminded myself.
I told everyone that I would arrive before 1 p.m.
Instead, I arrived at 1:05 p.m., with only one…two…three teachers on the ground. After setting up the necessary equipment and talking it through with the technical staff at the venue, I rested for a while and bought myself four bags of chips, two cans of lychee juice, one bottle of water and one 22-oz serving of fruit tea.
Students arrived before two o’clock in the afternoon. Between reminding students to stay in a single place and getting everything organized, my hands were full. However, I trusted that everyone in the team already did their part well and all I needed to do is to press the proverbial red button.
Then, we began the dry run. I looked around and just watched the stage, trying to create a picture of the light effects that I wanted to achieve.
Suddenly, I noticed flash photography. I got furious – no one, apart from teachers and students, was supposed to be inside the venue by this time (ushers were supposed to bar parents from entering, as far as I could remember).
I took the microphone and commanded – yes, commanded every damn soul who was inside the venue to pack their bodies and get out.
We will not continue the dry run unless you vacate the premises.
I didn’t want anyone to get a glimpse of the final parts of the elementary presentation.
By the end of the dry run, I was sure that the program would exceed way beyond anyone’s expectations.
Then, there were advanced congratulatory messages coming to my phone – Nicely done. I smiled and replied that it was everyone’s work.
At 4 o’ clock, we began the program for Timeless to the tune of Paolo Tuci’s Baby.
The rest was history.
DISCLAIMER: The opinions and views shared in this blog belong to the author alone and do not constitute an official position on the said matter.