Notes from the Black Hole

Greetings from the Black Hole! Not of Calcutta, nor the awesome coffee shop in Houston which I miss terribly, but backstage at the theater. I didn’t have much of a weekend this weekend with rehearsal yesterday from 10 – 5, and today from 11 until…whenever we finish, but it has been surprisingly painless. There are only three moments where I have to do anything; since there are no full costume changes, just the putting on and taking off of a few accessories, and we’ve been going pretty slowly, I’ve been spending most of the time sitting here alone in the dark in what I call the black hole, a small hallway stage right. Well, not too small…it’s large enough for me to lie down in, even though unless people are being especially loud in the theatre, it’s silent. Since there’s not enough light to read by, my choices are to either be on my iPhone or iPad to amuse myself, since I’m alone back here with no one to talk to.

Overall, the rehearsal process has not been as scary as I thought it would be. The tech part, that is, since I’m neither on the stage nor running a light board or sound board. We were called for what is known as 10/12s or 10 out of 10, which is basically committing twelve consecutive hours (whoops, almost typed days…but that’s not too inaccurate, considering) to physically being in the theatre. Of course, we have breaks of 5-15 minutes every 90 minutes or so, and yesterday we had a meal break from 2-3. (In fact, while I was writing this, we went through several breaks.) Naturally, the 10/12s, also otherwise known as “Hell Week,” intimidated me initially. I thought of being trapped in a tiny backstage cell-like area for hours and had a few moments of claustrophobia anxiety, but as I said, there’s plenty of room to stretch out, and in fact it’s not so bad being here alone.

I guess I have discovered that I have claustrophobia. You learn something new about yourself every day, huh?

I would take a selfie back here, but it’s dark and I’m wearing black so just close your eyes and you’ll see me perfectly.


11 thoughts on “Notes from the Black Hole

  1. I’m glad that you aren’t finding it quite as hellish as you may have anticipated, though it’s still some experience! You will just have to keep on chatting to us, for your own and our entertainment. 🙂

    • Adi: well thank you 🙂 and you’re welcome. Technically there is no such thing as the Black Hole of Kolkata, I guess in the same way it’s called Madras plaid and not Chennai plaid. Usually though when I refer to the city when talking about it in a 21st century context I use Kolkata; anything historical, I would use Calcutta.

  2. AdiC, Jacob continues to amaze me, too. I think he is such a reader and lover of places. He must come back and give us an answer. In the mean time, close your eyes and I will too. We will see him! 😉

  3. “Usually though when I refer to the city when talking about it in a 21st century context I use Kolkata; anything historical, I would use Calcutta.”

    That’s quite a wise thing to do. 🙂 Ever been to kolkata? Here we’ve some theatrical aficionados…Sambhu Mitra, Utpal Dutt…and many others… 🙂 Though they’re no more but Kolkata is still a place for classical as well as experimental plays…

    • Maniparna: Ironically, the next day in the class, my professor (who is Indian herself) said the same thing. I have never been to India, but would love to go. Last semester we did The Great Rebellion by Dutt in Postcolonial, and this semester (Modern Indian Theatre) we will do Rights of Man later on. For this week, we read Possession by Badal Sircar, and I am presenting in class on street theatre and The Third Theatre theory of Sircar. So excited!

      Sent from my iPad


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