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Theater stage crew/tech people?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by WickedPissah, Feb 27, 2008.


  1. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston
    Hi, I was wondering, is/was anyone involved in drama productions as a stage crew tech? I'm going to be involved with my school's next production, and this will be my first experience with stage productions. If anyone wants to share stories or advice or anything, please do. Thanks a million, chicks and dudes.
     
  2. SuperDuck

    SuperDuck

    Sep 26, 2000
    Wisconsin
    I wasn't part of the crew, but was playing bass for a musical production when something relatively funny happened. On the night of the performance in question, pretty much all of the singers had a terrible time - they were missing cues, singing off-key, and generally stinking it up. (They were all very good at what they did; it was just an off night.)

    They knew that it was going poorly, too. After taking their bows and adjourning to the dressing room offstage, they started discussing amongst themselves about how much the performance sucked and how awful everything went.

    That wouldn't have been so bad except that the sound guy must have stepped out for a smoke and forgotten to turn off their wireless mics. Imagine our surprise as we played through the closing song while the cast was broadcasting their self-criticism to the audience. I was closest to the edge of the stage so the band director waved me off the stage.

    The look on their faces when I burst into the dressing room to tell them that their mics were still on was pretty classic.

    That's all I've got. Have fun and good luck. Make sure the mics are off when they're supposed to be. ;)
     
  3. Bob Lee (QSC)

    Bob Lee (QSC) In case you missed it, I work for QSC Audio! Commercial User

    Jul 3, 2001
    Costa Mesa, Calif.
    Technical Communications Developer, QSC Audio
    I've done sound design and run sound for a lot of live theater. It was a blast, not only with the live performances but also all the cast parties. Women in theater--actresses, dancers, etc.,--are really fun to party with. And I'll put it this way, the competition for them is a lot lower than usual. ;)
     
  4. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston
    I'm in it for a smokin' hot girl. That's why I'm doing it.
     
  5. msquared

    msquared

    Sep 19, 2004
    Kansas City
    I did lighting, sound, and set building for my high school's theater for much of my high school years. It was a blast every time.
     
  6. tplyons

    tplyons

    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    That's how I got involved in musical theater too.

    I played pit orchestras for my high school musicals, ended up dating our lead for two years. Great times were had by all.
     
  7. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston
    Diving into an important job i know nothing about, just for the most gorgeous girl i ever saw...thats just typical me.
     
  8. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    I spent three years in theater - mostly as an actor, but I've had my fair share of tech work:

    • Lead Actor
    • Supporting Actor
    • Head of Props Crew
    • Set Construction Crew

    Yep, I've seen and done a lot of it, both in California and in Scotland (for the Fringe - the biggest theater festival in the world). Good times. :)

    Some advice:
    • There is a low sanity/beauty ratio in theater. Expect hot but quasi-psychotic drama queens.
    • Rumors spread like wildfires in high school theater cliques. Try not to get too upset about that. Embrace the rumors about you if need be - theater junkies in high school have very little to say about the truth. :D
    • You'll be working longer hours than you think, so be prepared to lose sleep for the show.
    • Be sure to make the most of those nights, too - it's not all labor and anguish. I have very fond memories of those long nights - lots to do, lots to laugh about.
    • Get used to wearing all black, all the time. If you're not wearing black as you're typing your reply to me, start wearing it now. ;)
    • Be on time. Perhaps even a little early. Many a show have been saved by the techs who showed up early enough to fix the problems before the curtain was raised.
    • Encourage teamwork and support your crew. The work of a good tech crew may go unappreciated, but the work of a bad tech crew will be noticed.
    • Remember that the theater directors and teachers are your real bosses. It's their vision, after all.
    • Lend emotional support to those who need it, and you'll make great friends.
    • Tech crews are the unappreciated people of the shadows. There is no limelight backstage. But if the audience loves the show, feel free to be proud - you contributed to that, and it'll look good on your college application either way. ;)
    • DO NOT, AND I REPEAT, DO NOT UTTER THE NAME "MACBETH" IN THE THEATER. If you must refer to it, refer to it as "The Play" or come up with some other reference that doesn't use the name. Your show is doomed if someone dares to say it. :ninja:

    That last one is a silly superstition that too many high school theater junkies take seriously. :D
     
  9. Isn't that why all (straight) guys are in the theatre?

    I don't have many crew stories because I'm more of an onstage person. But I've got the biggest respect for the people backstage, especially the Stage Manager. SM is god (It was my highest mark last semester too :D ).

    Just remember to have fun! Break a leg! And party hard at the cast and crew after parties!
     
  10. scrove

    scrove

    Mar 7, 2005
    Played in the pit for three years in high school. Managed to fall asleep during Fiddler on the Roof, while playing! Didn't miss a thing.
     
  11. Gumby4

    Gumby4

    Dec 18, 2007
    New Jersey
    +100
     
  12. kevteop

    kevteop

    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    My girlfriend is head of drama at a local school, putting on Little Shop of Horrors next weekend - what do you want to know? :D Most of my friends work in the two theatres here too, from casual crew all the way up to production managers and every job inbetween.
     
  13. Stu L.

    Stu L.

    Nov 27, 2001
    Corsicana, Texas
    After doing most every job there was for tech, I found the most fun could be had by being the extra hand for shows. I got to travel with the school, party, and do no work. That was a fun time :D
     
  14. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston

    So crew/tech are the bassists of the theat(er/re)?
     
  15. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    One could say that. :oops:

    No, you know what... it's blasphemy! :spit:

    :D
     
  16. I did a bit of stage work, mainly lights and acting. Had a few lead roles. I also wrote a play that won a few awards after it was adapted by someone else. If you are in the production crew, PAY ATTENTION and don't miss your cues. That will be noticed and hot girl will hate you over it.

    lowsound
     
  17. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston
    I know a small bit because I do some studio work in TV production class so I have a grip on operating some equipment.
     
  18. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston
    I see that's in jest, but i mean with the whole "providing invaluable support whilst virtually unnoticed in the background" idea that's familiar to crew and bass. :ninja::bassist:
     
  19. WickedPissah

    WickedPissah

    Jan 22, 2008
    Boston
    Oh, and M*cB**h is the one they call "The Scottish Play" right?
     
  20. SpankyPants

    SpankyPants That's Mr. SpankyPants to you.

    Aug 24, 2006
    Brooklyn, NY
    Dude, I loved building sets.

    Power tools, paint, rigging lights and the such. And this is what i was doing instead of school work. ****in-A, man.
     

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