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Theatre people are in a constant state of "Challenge Accepted"
We need this expensive thing to happen and we only have this much money
So this really intricate set piece needs to be completed in an hour
Do it like that but better
I need you to draw this figure but it’s going to be really complicated
You can’t use every light the theatre owns, it’s impossible
We have to get this giant set piece through this tiny door
It has to sound smooth and distorted, but also catchy and dangerous and it can only last 5 seconds
Have all your lines memorized by the end of the week
I need you to get light through this set piece to light up and area blocked by everything
Day before opening night, completely new blocking
Never welded before, here make this steel flat
Opening night is the first night with all your set pieces
Top Ten Rules For a Technician
1) Always carry a knife
2) Always carry a flashlight
3) We are technicians not “Techies”
4) Actors will always find a way to break your shit. get used to it.
5) if you think something is safe for an actor to use and have checked three or four times. check again
6) Gaff tape will fix just about anything
7) You will use non lubricated condoms more than you had ever planned
8) you don’t sleep. you nap
9) coffee is your best friend
10) ALWAYS CARRY A KNIFE
Techies deserve your respect.
I’m not going to spew the regular stuff, like they could leave you in the dark or “accidentally” turn your mic off in the middle of your big song. They can, and they totally do, but that’s not my point.
I love doing tech work just as much as I love being onstage. And, having been on both sides numerous times, I would like to say, that both sides do a similar amount of work.
And techies get no recognition.
It’s not that we want glory. A simple “thank you” or “good job” would be fabulous. I’ve worked on shows so many times when the cast barely spares me a glance when I’m handing out their mics. once one malfunctioned, I had to run them down, get their mic, fix it with nothing but duct tape, and return it to them in a matter of minutes.
I didn’t rate a single word or look from Mr. HighAndMighty.
It’s gotten to the point that I’m surprised and shocked when an actor does thank me for the work I’m doing. I don’t think I like that.
I know there are plenty of actors out there who are perfectly wonderful, nice people who treat the techies well. I just wish there were more.
Because, dammit, I am a human being. And I deserve to be treated like one.
Stage blacks don’t mean we’re really invisible.