Dismiss Notice
I hate the colors. What do I do?

At the far bottom of the page, on the left, is a menu or link that says, "Forum Default." Click on that and choose a different Style.

What is your least favorite part about being in a pit orchestra?

Discussion in 'Pit Orchestra Stories' started by snakeman5001, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    For some (like myself), pit orchestras is gold dust and rainbows. They love them. I love them and performing in them. But nothing's perfect. And pit orchestra's aren't perfect either. So what is everyone's least favorite part about being in them (that is if you do them)? I'd have to say the cramped space. Yeah, you get used to it but it can be a little claustrophobic at times. Then again, pit orchestras on Broadway have even smaller spaces than a pit for a community theater.
     
    Tags:
  2. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    Virtually every paid theater (or should that be "theatre"?) job that I've ever had has had a better physical layout than community stuff. I've not done Broadway, but I've played traveling Broadway shows up in Saint Louis, the Municipal Opera there, and similar work in Louisville back in the early 1970s, and all were better provided than the typical community operation.

    We have one community theater down to the south of here, in Lake Jackson TX, which has a spectacular older college theater, provided with one of the most magnificent orchestra pits that I've ever seen. And, they have just opened a new performance space in which (I have been assured) the pit is even better. I'm doing Bye, Bye Birdie! there next season, and will report if it comes with individual ventilation, built in snack bar, and a massage table at that time.

    For me, the least pleasant part of community theater is the inevitable technical rehearsal period, when the dramatic folks screw around, act giddy and in general waste time while the orchestra sits there and stews.
     
  3. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    Last night, our pit for 9 to 5 joined the cast for the first time last night. None of the cast really screwed around a lot. It went by MUCH BETTER than Legally Blonde did. I'm just happy to say there are people dedicated to their profession. But yes, onstage folks can get annoying; especially if you're doing a high school show...
     
  4. Gandalfe

    Gandalfe Administrator Staff Member Administrator

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Messages:
    5,615
    Likes Received:
    199
    Location:
    Seattle
    For me, besides long daze (10 - 11 work, 2 - 4 hrs pit x many, many days) it's schlepping all the instruments, geat, and such. I even end up bringing a sturdy, padded chair, usually for the wife and me. 6-7 instruments is the norm if you hets and mine. And I refuse to leave them at the theatre over night ... ever.
     
  5. Carl H.

    Carl H. Distinguished Member Distinguished Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    1,059
    Likes Received:
    19
    Location:
    Willmar, MN
    Packing up at the end of the night. Others have no problem with shoving the horn (1!) in a case and leaving - but I do. I clean everything and swab them before carefully packing everything away in it's proper place so I can set up quickly the following night.

    Then there is the constant complaint from the voice coach.
     
  6. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    Wow! Then again, I guess for you is a bunch of light instruments like a piccolo, flute, clarinet, or and alto sax. I on the other hand have to haul over a clarinet, tenor sax, and a bari sax. I keep them in the pit at theater because they lock the pit up. That's another thing: carrying instruments that can be half you size (like my bari sax)
     
  7. SOTSDO

    SOTSDO Old King Log Staff Member CE/Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2008
    Messages:
    2,494
    Likes Received:
    30
    Location:
    Beulah FL, a suburb of Pensacola
    When they're your horns, rather than school instruments, you become a lot more paranoid about the security at the theater. I've had lockers at commercial theaters that (in theory) allow you to lock up your equipment but (in fact) are exposed to any Tom, Dick or Harry with a bolt cutter. One instance of seeing someone else's horns lifted (they love them Selmer Paris saxophones, they do) is enough to make you very skittish about how well the theater protect stuff.

    I generally haul soprano clarinets, bass clarinet, baritone sax, sometimes an alto sax and occasionally an Eb clarinet, plus stand and my own lights. It's a cartful, but easy enough to manage as long as there are wheels.
     
  8. snakeman5001

    snakeman5001

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Dubuque, Iowa, USA
    I clean the mouthpieces after rehearsals, but I don't put away the instruments. I do this because of limited space, and the spot where I am right now in the pit for the show I'm doing is on a small platform with enough space for a music stand, chair, and instrument stand. This is just my spot. Not the whole pit.
     
Our staff's websites:


Loading...