Forum: Adults / Theatre Production

Theatre Production
Love your crew for what they do! (karma: 1)
By DeStijlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7023, member since Sat Jul 17, 2004
On Sun Aug 15, 2010 10:38 AM

This is coming from a very tired place.

I am currently stage managing a 3 hour dance show with 15 different pieces in it. It is a semi professional-show, we've not even opened yet and box office reports that we're very close to selling out.

I've not been stage managing for as long as I've been performing - but I have been on both sides of the stage enough to say this: LOVE. YOUR. CREW!

I know as performers (particularly dancers) that our days can be very long, and often in technical or dress rehersals, it seems like you're doing a lot of waiting around and its very easy to get frustrated with the nearest LX operator, or Fly man, or ASM ... but chances are, they arrived at the theatre 2 hours before you, and they'll probably leave god knows how many hours after you've left - and they do it so YOU look the best you can on stage.

My LX crew work through your lunch and dinner breaks to fix and focus.

I am up at dawn every morning to make sure your dressing rooms are clean and your stage is clear.

My ASM is on thier hands and knees scrubbing your bathrooms, lugging around scenery, making sure everything is logistical or standing still on stage for 15 hours to plot your lighting.

Their job is no easier than yours, and usually takes twice as long.

So please, this is just a friendly reminder to all the performers out there who are LUCKY enough to have a good crew behind their show:
Thank them.
Smile at them.
Be patient with them.

:)

4 Replies to Love your crew for what they do!

re: Love your crew for what they do!
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Mon Aug 16, 2010 09:06 PM
I was on both sides of the stage during high school, but behind the scenes far more than on stage. This was one of the two major activities I did in high school (the other was a radio program and the people on the radio program were also the core of the stage crew.)

I loved doing this. I think I learned more about problem solving on stage crew than I did in class. We were fortunate to have a terrific and knowledgable advisor who had studied stagecraft in college and a fully equipped stage with a fly gallery twice as high as the procenium, and a state of the art (for the era) lighting board which was as good if not better than many professional stages or universities.

We even took one of our shows on the road.

I had a few minor roles in various plays and in one production, "Annie Get Your Gun"...one of the first "Broadway" musicals released for school production I had three parts (and three lines) and also did the lighting, fly gallery, and had a major part in building the sets. [Before this play was released, high schools were pretty much relegated to Gilbert and Sullivan type operettas or schmaltzy things such as "Sweethearts" or "The Student Prince" if they wanted to do any sort of musical. "Oklahoma!" was released the next year, but I was out of high school by then.]

Indirectly, I also met my high school girlfriend who became my wife via the stage connection. One of the girls on the stage crew was a friend of Joyce (wife) and I met her through this connection. Yeah for stage crew!

Jon
re: Love your crew for what they do!
By DeStijlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 7023, member since Sat Jul 17, 2004
On Mon Aug 16, 2010 09:37 PM
Ah, touring is a lot of fun and hard work isn't it!?

We usually do shows on campus at the academy that has state of the art theaters, fly systems, LX boards etc.

This dance show I am currently on in touring to an external venue, which, in my opinion should have been knocked down years ago. We were told during our bump in by the duty tech, to treat the entire theatre as if 'it is trying to kill us' - LOL.

I swear there is a dead rat in the wall cavity on prompt side, and it stinks. None of the cast will go near that area. The fly system was built in the 1950's, and the production manager who worked in this theatre 10 years ago says the ropes have not been changed for 10 years.
Yesterday during my call, the board lots itself and every cue was suddenly flooded with light.
There is so much taping, rigging, fixing, warning sign writing and policing that goes into making this place OSH compliant.
re: Love your crew for what they do!
By Chaconnemember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member Comments: 6359, member since Thu Jul 12, 2007
On Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:21 PM
Our stage was spic and span. Our advisor, a very wise man who was also our speech arts teacher, always told us that if we ever felt down...or too high and mighty, sweep and mop the stage floor including the corners. He did the same thing.
More than half of the really useful things I learned in high school were from this man...a legendary teacher. A few years after I had him, he became the Vice-Principal of our high school and was being groomed to be the Principal. Sadly he died suddenly of a heart attack while in his late 40's. He was one of the two greatest teachers I ever had. The other one (who in my era was named one of the Top 10 Teachers in America) is amazingly still alive at age 108! She was a teacher to both me - I'm now 68 - AND to my father who would have been 95 this next November had he lived!

Jon
re: Love your crew for what they do!
By TamarinPremium member Comments: 1342, member since Tue Nov 09, 2004
On Wed Aug 18, 2010 07:12 AM
Definitely! I could never understand the performers who don't have time for the crew. It's selfish, arrogant and short sighted. Techies are awesome people. One of my favourite things about teching a piece is just having the opportunity to chat to the techies (when they're not busy of course). Having that bond between the performers and the crew makes the whole production that much better.

I'd also add that performers should not only appreciate the hard work the crew puts in, but also their talents. It's definitely not something anyone can do. The stress of stage managing a complex show is incredible and if you've been lucky enough to watch a really talented lighting designer at work...wow. The way they paint the space is incredible. It's hard to see sometimes when you're the one on stage, exhausted and not allowed to move around.

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