Picture This

In Great Company for Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof was a movie that Jenni loved and wanted me to watch it with her. It was years ago and I don’t remember any of the storyline or songs. Perhaps I fell asleep during the movie.

But Jenni continues to make references to it, mainly the iconic songs like “If I Was A Rich Man” and “Do You Love Me?” So it came as no surprise that she wanted to be part of a local theater’s production.

When she found a community theater auditioning for Fiddler on the Roof, she was very excited. She missed the stage after On Pointe Ballet closed last fall. This was a great opportunity for her and Violet, who was interested in crew (the people who helped with props and scene transitions) after being involved with tech crew twice for Lovegood Company.

Like the 5K run she wanted to do ten years ago, somehow, her endeavors roped me in with photography duties to lower the tuition costs.

Despite my initial reservations, I’m grateful to have been their photographer and videographer as their performance surprised me and I enjoyed working with the cast and crew.

On the first dress rehearsal, while I focused on capturing photos of the entire three-hour play, the story and the songs moved me unexpectedly. The live performance gave me an appreciation of a Jewish family struggling to hold on to traditions in a changing world. The story had parallels to my family’s pilgrimage to America.

Jenni is almost unrecognizable with her beard and mustache, both as a tavern dancer and a bottle dancer.

If you can’t tell, Jenni is the one in the middle.

I took photos for two days and followed with two days of videography. It was a treasure to go through the story four times in four days, despite its three-hour runtime each.

For the videography, I used three cameras, so I enlisted Kadie and Bruce to be my camera crew. The whole family had a part to play and the offstage crew were troopers. I had some experience recording Violet’s choir performances, but the long runtime posed challenges I hadn’t encountered—specifically around storage and power.

After a practice recording on Wednesday, I borrowed a portable power station from the audio-video technician to power the Canon T6s DSLR and attempted to power my Canon R8 mirrorless camera with USB-C. It mostly worked, except that I filled my memory card after a third of the show because I forgot to empty it from the previous night and recorded some clips in 4K resolution.

Thankfully, a quick trip to Best Buy got me back to recording within 20 minutes.

I find myself humming the songs like Jenni now and consider myself a rich man after participating in Lovegood’s Fiddler on the Roof. I’ve watched other performances on YouTube to see what others have done and I believe Lovegood’s production did the best combination of acting and singing that I have seen.