My trip to Ottawa to go backstage at the National Arts Centre was amazing! I managed to talk to a few of the staff members, including stage managers, prop builders, and lighting staff, I ate lunch in the green room, and took loads of photos.
There are four stages there; the seating for the largest is above.
I found out some handy tidbits of info. It is indeed possible to get horses on stage (in my novel, my character uses horses in his magic act). I was told they’ve had an elephant on this stage.
My novel also has a ladder as a prop. I discovered yesterday how tall it can be – and also how they would set it up so it won’t fall.
The backstage corridors are like a maze. I got lost.
(No, that’s not me.)
Apparently, a vomitory in a theatre isn’t somewhere you go to upchuck your lunch. It’s a quick exit from the stage. I learned something new!
I actually learned a lot of things–details–I will use in my novel. Even if the whole ten hour trip results in the fact that I know how to get a large animal on stage, that I know how many rungs my magician’s assistant will have to climb and whether they enter and exit stage left or right–and all this results in a couple of sentences or a paragraph–I will have accurate details! An essential part of any novel worth its weight, in my estimation.