Getting Free Tickets Is Hard Work

It is that time of year again when the residence I am in puts on a musical. The production they chose was Fame and this year they did something different... they had this contest:


A poster with sheet music saying that you can win tickets by guessing the song.

There are easier ways to see a musical for free if you want to. Show up very early when the cast and band members arrive and bring a book. Usually you can go in because ticket checkers will not have arrived yet. And everyone will just assume that someone in the production gave you a ride. However, I wanted to win this contest, not because it meant free tickets, but because it meant winning a contest.

The first step was figuring out the song. Saying that I can read music is a bit of a stretch. However, I thought that the task would be made easy to encourage people to participate; it must be either a song from Fame or a song everybody knows. I wrote down the music, stared at it for awhile and eventually figured out what it sounds like. It didn't sound like anything familiar so I started listening to songs from Fame in order to place it.

After I started doing this, I realized that there was a faster way. I downloaded the score and started scanning it for sequences of notes looking like the ones on the poster. When I got to "Bring On Tomorrow" I saw something very similar. The only problem is, it didn't have repeated notes like the poster had. The simple reason for this is that the person drawing the poster forgot to put ties between the notes. It should really look like this:


The same poster with ties added so that the song makes sense.

The second step was getting a Twitter user to help me. I don't have a Twitter account and I didn't want to get one just for this but I figured that getting help would not be difficult. After all, the prize was two tickets allowing me to split it with anyone who helps. Shows were set to begin on Thursday, March 21. I figured out the "Bring On Tomorrow" title on Monday and proceeded to contact a friend whom I discovered to be a Twitter user last year. I got annoyed because he basically did this to me:

A rage comic detailing my frustration when a friend says he will make a tweet for me and then changes his mind.

Now that the plan has worked out, I must confess that what he did was not unreasonable. Even if something is easy to post, you shouldn't post it on your site if that would make it look too out of place. But at the time I was freaking out. It was Wednesday and I had one day left until the first show. I basically asked random people to see if they had Twitter accounts. The first person who said "yes" to having a Twitter account was unreasonably helpful. She made the tweet and then gave me her Twitter email and password so that I could check for follow-up emails myself and keep both tickets.

Even though I was the first one to tweet "Bring On Tomorrow" two days went by without anyone checking. While I was walking to the bus stop on Friday, I just happened to see someone walking around with a Fame T-shirt. I asked if he was in charge of the Twitter contest and then he apologized for not checking and verified on the spot that I had made the winning tweet. Thanks to that lucky coincidence I got two tickets for the final performance on Sunday. I just watched it yesterday and found the innuendo and body-language of the actors to be excellent.

The other time I triumphantly got into a show for free was almost exactly three years ago in 2010 when Blue Canoe Productions in Kingston put on a production of Guys And Dolls. My friend was conducting and I promised him that I would go to the show on Wednesday, March 24. The theatre was in Gananoque which meant that I could not easily get to it. The producers had thought of this and they chartered buses to transport people. I bought one of the muscial / bus tickets and saw this message on the back:


The text on the underside of a ticket for Guys And Dolls.

7pm? That's easy enough to remember but for some reason I thought it was 7:30 on the day of. I showed up a couple of minutes after 7:30 and when I saw no sign of any buses I checked the ticket again and had another "FFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUU" moment. Missing the bus was completely my fault so I really was willing to buy another ticket. But when I went to the ticket office, they told me I was out of luck because all of the shows were sold out. To keep my promise, I had to make my own ticket and get it to look like the tickets they were selling. This was my final result:

My successful forgery of the ticket.

I browsed through hundreds of fonts to find out that the tickets were written in the "Algerian" font. I then used that to type new text saying Friday, March 26. I scanned in the ticket, pasted my text overtop and did a double sided print job on stiff card paper. After showing up with that ticket and getting in, my only worry was that people would outnumber seats by one. However, thanks to the disorganized way in which they sold tickets (or the very unlikely event that other people did the same thing as me), people outnumbered seats by 10 or 20. They rushed in extra seats at the last minute so that we all got to sit down and see the show.

For shits and giggles, I thought up some lyrics describing my ticket forgery. They should be sung to the tune of "Zydrate Anatomy" from Repo! The Genetic Opera.

The Guys And Dolls bus left at seven pm. At seven pm? At seven pm.
But I couldn't read so I got there at seven thirty-three. Thirty-three.
The show sold out and they wouldn't give any money back to me.
But I still saw it because of my skill at forgery. Forgery.

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