Well, we made it.  All the anticipation and planning and practice finally came to a date.  It was Saturday evening, and spouseinbox and I performed Snapshots of Samson for a small group at church.  This was the entire presentation with all the props, costumes, backgrounds, etc.  The equipment behaved and all the music and lighting operated without problem.  There were distractions, however.  We spent 2 hours loading the car and truck with all the stuff from the house and driving to church.  Towards the end of the trip, I noted a peculiar smell that led me to open the hood and stem my curiosity.  The air conditioner clutch was smoking.  Not a little puff.  This fellow had picked up a bad habit.  So while trying to get the other items forgotten on the first trip, we stopped at a car parts place to see if they would have a belt I could use to go under the compressor and still use the truck.  They did not.  They did have a dummy pulley which could be used in place of the compressor with the current belt.  I said, “OK,” and picked up the pulley.  There was no more time left prior to the performance to get the truck fixed, so I chucked the stuff on the seat and concentrated on the items in the church.  One of the projectors had decided to show dark images.  This was one in which I had placed a new bulb.  Stink.  There was a power point made which was to show like the advertisements in front of a movie.  We had pictures from the making of Samson as well as questions concerning the story to provide a little education prior to the show.  We finally took down the projector and left the laptop running on the table at the entrance door.  I don’t know if anyone paid it any attention at all.  Oh well, just another idea attempted.

Our sound guy apparently forgot about the date and Casper manned the controls.  That being the case, I told the crew there that we would do the first number and ask for their evaluation of the sound.  That is actually what is done.  The first number is utilized to allow stragglers to get into the performance, singers to warm their voices, and the sound guy a chance to get the settings where they need to be.  I had tweaked the settings earlier, and with discussion of the group, they decided that it was fine post the first number, so – on with the show.  The story of Samson was made into 14 songs with lighting and backgrounds to provide more details.  For example, if you look at Judges 13, Samson’s mother and father meet with an angel and are told that a boy is coming.  This angel goes back up to heaven in the smoke off the alter.  I had to figure out how to make this happen on stage.  To start with, there were only two of us.  Next, how would we get someone to fly up into the air?  That problem was solved with a back projection screen and video we shot at a town about 90 miles from here.  We had to go there as there were burn bans at all the closer counties at the time.  We set up a 14 foot 2×4 and had the costume from the pantomime character placed on a blow-up doll connected to fishing chord and pulled up the blow-up doll.  On video, with a chop edit from the pantomime to the doll, it actually looked fairly decent.

We did a similar video with the water coming from the donkey’s jawbone.  This was another I had to figure out how to do, as the church would not be happy to have a stream coming down their platform.  With the video there, I timed the video and turned on water to the hose buried under the model jawbone.  All that had to be done from that point was match the emergence of the water to that point in the song.  The appearance worked well, and the stage stayed dry.  Win. Win.

All liked the show and one mentioned receiving a message from the story, so it was received well.  We are on tap to perform to an open show in a couple of months and have at least three areas that need some attention.  One was the abrupt change between the interim song and start of the next number, and there were a couple of spots where the memory burped, so a bit more practice is needed.  All in all, I would give a praise the Lord for the evening.

As for the truck, I went to another parts place and found a belt which would fit the engine bypassing the air-conditioner compressor, so can use the truck until that compressor is fixed.