TERROR-RAMA DIARIES #5: Welcome to the Dead Zone

Howdy Creeps and Weirdos,

I owe you an update. I owe the Terror-Rama Kickstarter backers an update. I owe my own website three or four updates. I probably owe the NSA an update, and I don’t even work for them. See, this is what happens when you hit the Dead Zone.

Photo of an actual silver-nitrate dageurreotype on tin of me emulating post-mortem photography. In case you thought i was the normal member of the group.

Photo of an actual tintype of me emulating post-mortem photography. In case you thought I was the normal one on the crew.

Sorry, let me back up. Most of you probably don’t know who I am. I’m Alandra, and I’m the strange hybrid production manager/stage manager for TERROR-RAMA (and frequently the disembodied voice of the Facebook page). I got involved with this project less because I was qualified and more because I threw myself at Anthony and Nick after the staged reading last October and begged them to let me help, and in January they called me and asked me to join the team.

Yes, you read that right. I was hired in January.*

One thing we were all adamant about was making sure we had plenty of time to get TERROR-RAMA up and running, so we met and laid out our production calendar in January, giving us just about nine-and-a-half months from first production meeting to opening night. And even that seemed terrifyingly short when we looked over everything that we had to do. But we knew that after the initial flurry of auditions, fundraising, and the preview reading we’d get a little bit of a break before proper rehearsals started up.

And that’s where we are now. I’m calling it the Dead Zone. It’s that awkward in-between time on a production when you KNOW there’s a ton of stuff to do, but none of it is so pressingly urgent that you have to do it right now, so you end up on Netflix for seven hours instead.** And yes, it’s totally going to come back to bite me like a rabid werewolf when I realize that I’ve missed some sort of deadline and I have to scramble, but fortunately I’m used to scrambling. It is, in fact, my default start. That’s why when these longer stretches of down-time hit, it’s so easy to get too relaxed and forget to do anything, like sending out the long-overdue Kickstarter polls or getting the promo photo shoot on the calendar. (“But we don’t need those photos until August! Which is in…three days. Crap, when’d that happen?”)

To be fair, in this age of social media it’s a lot easier to not totally disappear in the down-time of a production. As some of you may have noticed, we’ve (mostly) kept up with regular postings on our Facebook page. And it’s not as though we haven’t been working on things behind the scenes too. Anthony and Nick are working on final script rewrites, Colin is plotting out rehearsals, I’m making to-do lists and tearing my hair out and Natalie is styling me a great wig.***

But what it really comes down to is that the last couple of months have been our giant collective exhale. We have a complete cast (finally!), a venue (we love you Exit Theatre!), two great scripts, and a solid team of designers who are about to start getting frenetic phone calls as we hit the next quick sprint of panicked deadlines in preparation for the beginning of rehearsals. So now that we’ve had our minute of relaxation, buckle up and join us as we hurtle out of the Dead Zone toward Hell Week at breakneck speed.

And if you really want the play-by-play, sign up for our spiffy new Awesome Newsletter!, which will bring you updates, behind-the-scenes photos and videos from rehearsals, and news about tickets and all that fun stuff, updated whenever we’re procrastinating on those to-do lists I mentioned earlier. (Like how I turned this update into a shameless plug? That’s why they hire me.)

Click here and sign up for our Awesome Newsletter! We promise it’ll be good!

So that’s my long-winded and rambling explanation of why we’ve been so quiet the last few weeks. But things are about to heat up in a big way. Like, an exploding boiler in the school basement while the kids are trapped in the science classroom by a horrifying Frankenstinian biology experiment come to life type heat. It’ll be, well, awesome.

-Alandra Hileman, Production Manager/Social Media Monkey

P.S.: I feel I owe you all a personal apology for the lack of terrible horror puns in the blog. I’m very sorry. This is a truly unacceptable state for any campy horror blog. I will try to make up for it in the Awesome Newsletter!, I promise.

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*“Hired” is a very loose term in this case. They gave me coffee and told me I was pretty. (Though everyone is getting paid too; thanks Kickstarter backers!)

**That’s a lie. I don’t have Netflix. I was playing Marvel Puzzle Quest on my phone.

***Natalie actually does a lot of production management and organization and is our fantastic fiscal controller, so she should get an extra footnote singing her praises. Yay, Natalie!

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