People who don’t work in production don’t know how long it takes to prep for the production.
Every year (not counting a short 2 year break) we present the Sing Christmas Trees. These two massive structures hole 400 choir members while tens of thousands of lights flash in sync to the music. The over all cast includes hundreds. Everyone knows that the first two weeks of December are Trees weeks, and we do multiple presentations, seeing thousands upon thousands (27,000+ last year) come through.
What they don’t know is that Trees weeks really run from the last week in October through the third week of December. It literally takes 5 weeks to build and rig the Trees. Even people who know that the first week of November we load in the primary structure don’t always realize that we have to complete all of the rigging above the Trees before we can build them. That means we have to shut down the worship center a week early.
If we don’t, we get behind. If we get behind on the construction we get behind on rehearsals, and the presentations suffer. If they suffer, and are not as effective, we jeopardize our whole reason for doing the Trees at all.
So, we try to block out the worship center for five weeks. And I get to have those hard conversations about the limitations we must accept to what events we can do for a month. We can do some limited things, but basically we do church and we do Trees construction, and nothing else.
This year we suddenly found a major event just days before load in, right in the middle of the primary rigging week. The event was set, and there was no going back. We had to find a way to get the work done and not be late. This meant that we had to push the rigging work ahead one week. That means an extra week of over time and an extra week of gear rental.
And a much more tired crew.
Three weeks from now we will be into the main part of Trees construction and prep, and things will ease off a bit. We will get through it. The crew will put in a lot of hours, and be tired. But when it’s all over the presentations will be amazing and hundreds of people will come to Christ.