By Frankie Mesec ‘20
Another day playing trombone in the “pit of doom.” Let’s hope no more kids fall in.
I am in the pit orchestra for the McAuley musical, “Grease.” As the time of writing this article, we are in tech week, getting ready for the show on Nov. 21-24, 2019.
For the role of the pit, we play all the music for the musical. Sometimes we fire confetti cannons, but mostly just music.
Some days in the pit are easy and fun. Other days, there are actors falling off the stage into the pit. When I say in the pit, I actually mean in a pit. We are stationed in a pit right in front of the stage, hidden from the public.
When I started the pit life, we weren’t actually in the “pit of doom” yet. We started practicing the music above ground in the music room. Then slowly, we moved to the pit.
Ironically, we call it the pit of hell, and some sort of fire or something did spawn in the pit. I have no idea what or how, but it smelled like smoke.
During tech week, we have to rehearse with the crew and cast, and something always goes wrong. We’ve had people fall into the pit, along with props, music, and a guitar.
There are also two Franks in the pit, and it can quickly turn into the war of the Franks. We are friends but can fight a lot; mostly about nothing important.
Mostly everyone in the pit is super nice and really funny. Before every show, we all will sing “Sandy,” a song from the show. Why? Just because we can; we really have no reason.
About his thoughts of being in the pit, Frank Biesiada, a freshman bari-saxophone player in the pit, said, “Well at first I thought it was fun. As I knew how to play the songs, it got really boring, and I just had no fun.”
Julian Zubrzycki, a junior tenor saxophone player in the pit, said, “I think the pit is a lot of fun. It is time-consuming, and sometimes can get overwhelming, but the songs are fun, and it is a great experience.”
The other actors seem to enjoy our presence and music, too.
Seamus Quinn, a junior actor in “Grease,” said, “The orchestra is focused and sounds very good.”
Dina Murray, an actor and singer in the female ensemble said, “I think you guys (the pit) are amazing. Wouldn’t be a show without y’all.”
Overall, being in the pit can be stressful and hard, but is really fun and a great experience. It seems like everyone enjoys our work, and I am very happy to be in the pit for it.