One of the great things about doing theater is getting to do things you have never done before. Today was one of those days.
One of brand new plays, part of the Bill and Peggy Hunt Playwrights Festival, is “17-B.” As the name suggests, it takes place on an airplane. The director thought is would be fun to get a few gate announcements as pre-show “music.” Sounds easy enough.
I thought I would just go out to the airport and record a few gate announcements. Ah, but what about TSA? No boarding pass, no trip out to the gates. So I called SeaTac. Low and behold, I got a letter that let me pass through TSA.
Being a good citizen, I took a bus to the airport, so I would not have to pay for parking. I am not a big bus rider, but this was not bad.
Showed up at the airport and picked up my letter. Then out to TSA. The gatekeeper had to call a supervisor to let me through. She had never seen a letter to get out to the gates instead of a boarding pass. After the superviser made a phone call, on to the scanner. I watched as my bag with my mic and waaaay too many cables was scanned, scanned and re-scanned and then another supervisor was called over. After watching that, I decided to go through the x-ray scanner rather then get a pat down.
I am not a big fan of excess x-rays, but this scanner was one of the “new” low dose machines and I had already had two supervisors deal with me. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get out to the gates if I “took a stand.” Art over honor, I thought.
After getting though TSA it was smooth sailing. During my over 4 hours recording, no one asked about my over-sized mic and laptop. I really thought someone would ask, or worse turn me into security. But no. I saw plenty of signs that said, “If you see something, say something.” (Whatever that means.) Lucky no one was taking that admonition very seriously.
On the way out of the secured part of the airport, stopped by the only Dilettante coffee shop in the area (behind the TSA check point, lucky) and picked up a wonderful mocha. (The second best mocha I have had, the best is at Armoire Chocolat in Burien.) Took my coffee out to catch the bus, walked up, bus pulled up and my trip to the airport was over.
Learned a few things: not even TSA can stop theater folk from getting what they need, especially if someone kind at SeaTac greases the skids for you; no one seems to notice a big mic and a somewhat questionable looking guy recording sounds at the airport; and the occasional mocha is good for you.
If you want to hear how the sound recording came out (all 15 minutes of it once it is mixed down) you will have to come see “17-B” and the show playing with it, “Parsing Race” on either Friday or Saturday at 7:30 pm or Sunday at 2 pm from May 17-26th. Tickets are just $10.00.