The Druid of Funk

“Funk originated in the mid-1960s, with James Brown’s development of a signature groove that emphasized the downbeat—with heavy emphasis on the first beat of every measure, funky bass lines, drum patterns, and syncopated guitar riffs.”
Funk – Wikipedia

The Druid of Funk

I was the Stage Manager for a Ballet Company for two years. Full orchestra in the pit, wearing tuxedos; lead dancers hired in from the Boston Ballet or San Francisco; a cast of 40 local dancers, a crew of 20 and an audience of 2000. It was their show and it was my show.

I am a Druid healer and my job is the same; to put it together so “my guys” can perform. My tank is a prima ballerina (aren’t they all?). My job is to hit those lighting cues “on the ones” like James Brown. I am the Druid of Funk. I need to lead my dancer to give her energy, not chase her and drag her down. Because she is a star and I think I love her.

She enters the stage (on my cue, on the “ones”) and wins that audience over. She smiles, she flirts, she dances. She is also coldly counting each ticket in the house and counting her box office receipt at the end of the show.

My tank gets my mushroom on the 3 of the DBM pull timer; every time. My tanks knows that I am with her, I might cast Stampeding Roar and Iron Bark; gotta get things hopping! It is funk night at the ballet. My heals come just as the damage comes rolling in; my tank is going to perform. My tank is a star.

My DPS is my crew. I set my standard on the follow spots for each entrance and exit. I want those lights to snap! on for that leaping entrance and a gentle fade on the exit. I want them to lead the dancer with 2/3s of the circle to give them momentum when they are dancing; let them move! I want a soft edge on that light to blend. And I want that spot op to watch. Watch her perform, be invested, make her beautiful as only you can do. You guys are awesome. Twelve-pack of beer after the show if we get three curtain calls. Dang, y’all are bad-ass.

By the time Act II rolls around, everyone knows my expectations. I’m not watching my prima ballerina now (that’s my secret), I’m watching my crew perform; watching them embrace the job and become artists rather than stagehands-for-hire. I tell them stories about my ballerina so they’ll watch, stay focused and perform.

My dungeon runs, I set the pace. I keep us moving. I’ll leave you behind too. It’s my show; I’m the healer. Like a stage manager, you don’t notice me unless you are really really good at the craft. On the “ones”, baby. I want you to perform.

I think that you are a star.

Some poor plebe of a designer at Blizzard sometimes tries to push me out on stage. Fucker, I don’t even want to take a bow; it’s not my job. I don’t want to be the focus or the center-piece; I don’t want my “time to shine” with a special job as a healer — it goes against the definition. Let the DPS take a bow, they can do the “specials”; they love to shine!

It’s “places for the top of Act I” and I call the crew to their positions. I call the House Manager to get the audience in and settled. I swing by the Stage Moms and say “five minutes” to get the dancers ready. Then I go to the star dressing rooms and make sure that that the dancers are ready and I will wait right there until they are ready to go. I go down to the orchestra pit and check with the First Chair, they will tune at House to Half. Finally, I escort the conductor to the doorway of the pit.

I call House to Half and the orchestra tunes up. And I hold. I hold everyone on my cue for three minutes (it’s always on the 3 for the pull timer). Anticipation builds in the house and back-stage. Then I call House Lights Out, cue the conductor’s entrance and we are off to the races. As the overture comes to a close, I jump the curtain flying out “on the one” to give energy to the space. It’s show time, baby.

Everything is well-rehearsed. I have my buff foods, my raid markers are on macro (F1 is skull), I am ready. And then I simply turn it over to the tank. She’s the star; it is her turn in the lights. But, I’m right on top of it, setting the pace, the rhythm so we can all do more than a job; we can perform!

Mister, I am the Druid of Funk!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s