The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

Behind the Curtain

City College theater technician Scott Bailey Builds setsfor an upcoming production. Photo by || Allison Valenzuela ||
City College theater technician Scott Bailey Builds setsfor an upcoming production. Photo by || Allison Valenzuela || [email protected]
City College theater technician Scott Bailey Builds sets for an upcoming production. Photo by || Allison Valenzuela || [email protected]

The sound of saws and electric screwdrivers fills the otherwise quiet theater, punctuating the air. The large, freshly built tower looms over the onlooker, menacing in its stature and appearance. Standing atop the beast is a man with a short haircut and a pointed goatee, bits of sawdust and wood mixed in with its salt and pepper.

Scott Bailey, a Sacramento City Theatre employee, stands over the room, observing the work of his underlings, making adjustments to the set of the latest production, “From Berlin to Broadway”, a musical review based on the music of German composer Kurt Weill.

Bailey, 38, has been in the business of theater for 10 years now, but that doesn’t deter him from being a man who absorbs all facets of life, listens intently to anyone who speaks and whose passion in life is to pass on that information to others. With two plays under his belt, a history of working behind the scenes of the theater, and a complex collection of music from Adam Ant to esoteric baroque quintets, Bailey, as he prefers to be called, isn’t exactly run-of-the-mill.

Co-workers of Bailey’s speak about him in kind terms, and comment on his innate ability to listen carefully and absorb dialogue like a sponge to water.

“He’s experienced a lot,” co-worker Owen Lenox says. “He likes helping people and passing on what he’s learned.”

Not only do his peers acknowledge his ability behind the scenes, his immediate superior, in relation to the theater hierarchy, commented on Bailey’s abilities.

“He’s attentive to the needs of what’s going on,” says Shawn Weinsheink, head of the technical Theater Department. “He’s always willing to put in the time to get it done.”

Bailey says theater has had an amazing impact on his life, speaking fondly about his first experience in stage craft working at the Sacramento Theater Company.

“I loved the world that I entered when I took that job,” Bailey says. “I was hooked immediately.”

After getting his B.A. in anthropology at Sacramento State University in 2000, Bailey was “immediately unemployed.” After working the STC gig, he continued to roam, taking crew jobs on a per-run basis, working at locations such as the B Street Theater and City College.
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“The work was very spotty,” Bailey says. “There were periods of unemployment that just destroyed me. There is no such thing as job security in this field. This position is as close as it gets.”

After B Street, Bailey wrote his first play, “Mime Shame”, and co-wrote his second, “MK Ultra”, with Alan Tollefson, local playwright and Bailey’s personal hero.

Bailey admits –openly that he doesn’t exactly have any aim, but in doing so he also makes a statement about how he’s decided to live his life.

“I don’t know that I have any goals. It’s more like I continue to live a life I enjoy, filled with pleasure.”

Bailey’s approach to life’s difficulties comes partly from two close-calls he had four years ago. On an adventure outing, he almost broke all the bones in his ankle and lower leg and, a year later, had an incident with a nasty undercurrent that nearly claimed his life. Bailey’s description of the night after the event brings a chill to the spine.

“As I tried to sleep on the guy’s carpet later that night, I just… sleep was not coming,” Bailey says, caught in the memory of the horror that might have taken place. “I was obsessing about what a close call I had just had.”

Bailey is also known in the shop for his immense collection of music and has at present more than 400 GBs of music on his hard drive. Many of the tracks are untitled, and some are presented in languages that even his computer doesn’t understand. Bailey’s first love of music came from a little Detroit surf band.

“It started with my father’s 45 of ‘Crossfire’ by Johnny and the Hurricanes,” Bailey says. “It had this nasty sounding, loose reed saxophone line that I just found hypnotic in its grungy dissonance and just raw raunch.”

Bailey says his musical tastes set him apart from his peers while growing up in Woodland. The first two cassettes he owned were Twisted Sister’s “Stay Hungry” and Adam and the Ants’ “Prince Charming.”

“The polarity was primarily rocker or new wave, and that landed me squarely in the middle of the two major poles,” says Bailey, speaking of rural Woodland. “Since then I’ve constantly surfed back and forth between those two poles, which I think is, of course, a false polarity to propose to begin with.”

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