After working on a show that I absolutely cannot write about (super-secret paparazzi bait) – and working 14 hour days so there was no way to do anything worth writing about besides work, I got a call to work on a cable show in Santa Clarita.
Good news: I was going against the traffic, and working with a crew of wonderful people. Bad news: It was 104 degrees, with ‘monsoon conditions’, which feels like one moved to Florida, but without the awesome Cuban food.
Lucky for us, we were on stage all day – the other unit were out in the parking lot, finishing up the previous day’s work that had to be cut short because several people had succumbed to heat-related illnesses (including one of the actors).
These stages have really powerful air-conditioning units, as they have to combat not only the external heat, but the inferno created by pumping enough electricity through large lights to power a city block.
But the air-conditioning only works when it’s turned on (insert joke here).
For some reason, this production has decided that they can’t chill the air while they rehearse. Which would be fine, except that when it’s that hot outside and we have lights burning, it takes a few minutes for the temperature in the stage to climb past 100 degrees, and the air-conditioning, when turned off for the hour or so it takes to rehearse a three page scene, just can’t catch up.
Although I don’t know the exact temperature, by lunchtime it was very, very hot on set.
Our actor was begging for them to turn on the air during rehearsals, but no dice. Gotta keep it quiet.
At lunch, when we turned the lights off, the stage cooled off, but heated back up right afterwards.
You know the smell that wood saunas make? I can’t describe it as other than really superheated wood. That’s how the set smelled – so it was about as hot as a sauna.
Lucky for us, the director got us out of there in about 10 hours (super impressive for a 7 page day!), and I was able to crank the air in my car on the way home to my apartment.
Which is not air-conditioned, of course. But at least there are no 10ks.