Wednesday, October 03, 2007
My new long-time career in technical lighting is going very well. I was apprehensive today because they brought in another professional spotlight operator. I remained my engaging self and deftly avoided questions about my work experience and refrained from dropping any technical jargon since I wasn't always sure if I was using it correctly.
As I sat and did my job and earned money for being something I really wasn't, I had time to reflect on why I had leaped into this charade.
I'm generally not a dishonest person unless I think the outcomes would be amusing to all concerned. In fact, I recall a time in high school when I told everyone Andrew was a German exchange student and he played along for hours. Really, I'm just now returning the favor.
In the ten seconds I had to process what was happening, I was immediately worried that some harm might befall Andrew if I admitted I was new to all this. Also, and this may be the main thing, the guy was just so damn happy to see me. I didn't want to let him down. Why should I, I thought. He has no one else. Nowhere to go but up, I say. Worst that could happen is he thinks I'm just really crappy and fires me. But the best is happening, which is I'm doing the job and doing it great. Well, adequately. Which is great to me. But the professional spotlight operator complimented me, which was pleasant.
The hardest part has been learning without seeming like I'm learning. I've gotten much better than when we first ran the show, but so far the others think it was just a communication issue.
On my first day I was told they were still having trouble with the headsets the director uses to communicate directions to the crew, myself included. Thus, whenever I got an instruction that wasn't in my limited repertoire or not completely obvious, I went dead silent and pretended I hadn't heard it. Simple really, I just had to prevent myself from laughing as the director raged at the sound people. Sorry guys.
During some of the downtime, I lay in my dimly lit booth and returned to my book of Tolstoy short stories. For some reason I don't yet fathom, I felt I understood it much better than I had a few months before. Maybe I'm growing up.
Sunday, September 30, 2007
My day in two summarized exchanges:
"Hey everyone, this is Guillermo. He does theatrical lighting for a living and is here to help us. I'm glad you're here Guillermo!"
"Yes, I am Guillermo and everything you have heard is true; I am indeed an expert in this particular service or product."
Nine hours later:
"Great job today, Guillermo. Sorry about everything, it's just been crazy around here. It's so good to finally have someone who knows what they're doing."
"No problem. No problem at all."
So far. I have to play out this ruse for a few more weeks. In the meantime, I have a long list of terms and equipment I hastily scribbled down when no one was looking. I'm not too worried. Hell, by the end of the day I had already trained three people how to operate the equipment I was still learning myself.
This is why everyone should read Catch Me If You Can. Ethics of bank fraud aside, it's about doing your absolute best with whatever you have.
Now I must rest. It's another long day tomorrow, and I have found that being an expert is quite exhausting.