Monday, March 29, 2010

I survived

Made it through the massive load-in, now drinking a beer, trying to catch up on life.

In other news, I was recently asked to give an example of a time that a show tech went horribly awry. I explained to the asker that once, I worked on a show where not only did we break a neon light sculpture, but also all the transformers for the neon were busted (that week I learned more about transformers than I ever wanted to know), and there were motorized wheels whose motors couldn't handle the weight of the wheels, which pulled downward at a 45-degree angle. While we tried to fix these motors (for hours), a super-dramatic soundtrack played over the PA at full blast. There were also walls that were built to meet our 22-foot grid, and we had to chain up our fly pipes (which are just sandbag-to-ac cable-to pulleys) to accommodate that, and never quite got them back in working order again.

So let's hear some of your tech stories- describe a time when everything went wrong, and what you learned from it!

1 comment:


November, 1992. I was running the light board and calling cues for Evita at my favorite community theater. We had 2 rear-screen projectors on stage, which were controlled from the stage. I would call the cues so the SM & ASM could operate the projectors at the same time. I would say that about 2/3 of my cues happen simultaneously with the projectors.

About 5 minutes into the second act, our headset system crashed. This posed quite a challenge for getting the timing correct. As a back up, we had cheap Radio Shack battery operated headsets. When there was no music (which is almost never) we could hear each other well. Otherwise, the only way the SM could hear me is if I screamed into the microphone so I could be louder than our very amplified orchestra.

This process seemed to work pretty well. The cast and orchestra didn't seem to notice we were having any troubles, except that by the end of the show my voice was gone, which never happens. Ever.

The following week we discovered that we'd been written up in the local paper. Yay! It was a fantastic review. Couldn't have asked for better. Until we got to the end. "...except for the lighting cues which were clearly audible to the audience." Signed, Mr. Reviewer.

I was horrified, tho at the same time thrilled. Hey, I made the paper! By the end of the week I had two new t-shirts; one made by the cast, the other by the crew. Both said "BLACKOUT! (shhhh...)" on them.

Thankfully I didn't win our group's coveted "Oh Sh*t" award, since it wasn't my fault. Tho I have won it 3 times.

Ok, so not as exciting as damaged neon...


Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share on Facebook Share Share

The Genie Police:

Max Weight 300 Lbs

Max Weight 300 Lbs

About Me

My photo
New York, New York, United States
Tired. Caffeinated. Quietly evil.

I'm a theatre technician, living and working in NYC. Also an aspiring costumer, makeup artist, playwright and dilettante.
I like to rant about things, I swear like a person who swears a lot, and I work too much. Other than that, my time is spent at home with the puppy or in Chelsea bars with friends and co-workers.