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books to get

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by ship, Aug 21, 2003.

  1. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    the Backstage Handbook has all the pictures and tools/parts defined very well. Good book to have and study for such things. Plus there is a few very useful things in there and workable definations. It's more or less the dictionary for the theater industry. Should work on trying to get one.

    Backstage Handbook, Third Ed., by Paul Carter; Broadway Press - Shelter Island, N.Y. 1994 ISBN: 0-911747-29-X
     
  2. teksalot

    teksalot Member

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    Re: Dictionary/Vocabulary list

    Backstage Handbook, thats my bible. But there is a site that started a definitions list already. http://www.theatrecrafts.com/glossary/resultscat.php

    Problem is, Its UK so some of the terms aren't the same here.

    Also, there's the obstacle of defining west coast and east coast terms. Everytime we get a designer from the East Coast, theres always miscommunications because there can be 2 terms for every 1 item. I wish I could think of an example right now, sorry.
     
  3. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    Re: Dictionary/Vocabulary list

    Wow they have a lot of good definitions in there. Thanks!
     
  4. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    You mean the various definations for "Westcoasting" "Holywood Flats" and "Sundays"? I get ya.
    Whan and if I get my scanner up and running properly without them lines in it for some reason, (Guess I shouldn't have stored a bunch of books on it for months at a time;) I might be able to get some drawings up with definations in that perspective terms section. To help.
     
  5. MissD

    MissD Member

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    That's a very informative link. Thanks. And I do need to get the Backstage Handbook, and many other books- my wish list is expanding- but English language books are thin on the ground where I am right now. I need to order everything online, and I don't have so much money, so whatever is not an absolute neccessity just doesn't happen.
     
  6. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Keep your head down out there and be careful. Not my choice of places to go to and I have combat training. (Isriel right?) I would let you raid my library but it's a bit expensive in shipping and I have a hard enough time getting books back from "friends", much less people on the other side of the world. On the other hand, there certainly must be a lot of good theater going on out there, why don't you scratch your itch with a local company? I'm sure there would be lots of stuff to learn and develop with. On the books, hit up college bookstores. They are probably your cheapest bets, or used book stores in a college town.

    Look for books like "Furnature of the Oldentimes" that's published in the 1930s and thus antique by publishing date already. Not a lot of books have a better description of what a pierglass is. Even if props or scenery isn't your specialty, it's still good to cross fields and stock up on stuff that doesn't seem at the time like it's of use to your career but related. Need to install a sterieo speaker at home- books like "Stage Sound" explains how to wire up a RCA jack properly. Keep an eye out for books like "Architectural Lighting Graphics", or "18th Century Furnature, Wood Work and Decoration etc." they are "Books of the gods" and extreme in value no matter what your trade. Eventually when Dave gets around to configuring the system more for books I'll have a watch list for good and bad books that many can add to listing in the hundreds. (Had them installed at one point but there was a slight error necessitating their being deleted.) Also with "Backstage Handbook", look for "The Photometrics Handbook" as it's tremendious in value.

    Than my standard on buying books:
    Once you get these books, owning them is not the same as reading and studying them. You do not get the knowledge within them by osmosis, you must get thru even the most dry of these manuals to learn from them and gain expertise from them. ... . In many cases, what is said in these books will not stick in your memory until you need and are ready to know by practical experience in the field. If however you read the literature before hand, going back over it later and really learning it will be a lot easier. It should also pop details into your head about which you should know, and reinforce what you think you should know. .... On the whole, where idea and design books are concerned, ... a good eye for art and image, and a quick read thru of some of its pages will tell how good the book is. If it glosses over a lot of the info you already know, and does not go into much detail, the book is probably substandard to what you need. If the pictures do not inspire you they never will.

    Take a book like "The Seven Lamps of Architecture" for instance. Good read - an account by a if I remember right middle ages student of olden times visiting classic architecture as it decays and before it's lost to the world, and it forms it's own style of design in his descrition of lost neglected forms and architecture. Not a lot of pictures in the book, but his descriptions alone could fill a "Media" design concept.

    Final book I would recommend besides "Scenery for the Theater" would be "Scenographic Imagination" that's dated now but still very useful for all types of designers. Look to Dover as a publisher for a lot of good - extreme quality books also. If you have a budget buy want to invest, the Dover line of books is very useful and assured of usefulness.

    Them's about my favorite and most special books. The latter book on props would be one of them I would grab out of a fire in my house - unreplaceable.
     
  7. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    I am have a programmer in Holland currently developing a module for the site solely for books... I've seen the beta build of it and it rocks... delivery date is still sketchy... but I will keep people up to date on that project.
     
  8. MissD

    MissD Member

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    Yes, I'm in Israel. I totally know what you mean about not lending books. I will scout out some used bookstores and see what I find. In regular bookstores it is basically three mysteries and two romance novels. :roll: Not exactly a selection. I didn't even think about old books being valuable. That's a good point. Thanks.
     
  9. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    Ship:". You do not get the knowledge within them by osmosis, you must get thru even the most dry of these manuals to learn from them and gain expertise from them."

    While I agree in theory, some people's brains don't work that way. I know if I read something that I find really dry, it doesn't matter how many times I read it, by the third sentence I am in another world. What I like to do is skim the boring books first looking for whatever I am researching at the time. Read that section and take notes accordingly. Then I go back through and read the chapters that relate to either stuff I deal with on a regular basis. After that I look for the things that I know I will be needing in the near future. Lastly I look at the chapters that are left and take a couple notes about what is left in the book and leave it in the front cover.
    This way I at least learn what is in the book. Knowledge isn't just the memorization of facts. It is knowing how to find the answers in a timely manner.
     
  10. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I completely agree with how to start reading such books especially the NEC. Perhaps my saying you must read and memorize every page was a bit beyond reality.

    I attempted to get thru the NEC cover to cover once, and got board and side tracked around grounding. Just as you describe, I did read and re-read sections on Entertainment Lighting, Cable and other areas I'm often dealing with, as you probably have, but still have not completed reading even the 96' version yet and the clift notes versions just bypass important info to what we do but help some at least. Good point on such texts.

    On the other hand on shorter texts like The Wire Rope User's Manual that's about no larger than a average Dover book, while also dry is something with some work can be gotten thru. It's like with a history book. We all know about WWII, and other chapters are much more interesting. But the details in that missed section are many of the fraiming reasons for the rest of the text. Sometimes there just isn't foot notes and such as with the NEC referring to other chapters and there is not another way to skip around and get the whole thing. Even with the NEC, there is constantly text I'm learning from it in sections that I have not read yet.

    In that Wire Rope user's manual above, somewhere burried down deep in the text is a unique to this book only - description of what happens to a wire rope when it breaks - especially and specifically where it is most likely to break in relation to any clamping or anchor points causing the stress. Ever wonder why a XLR cable doesn't usually break right at the strain relief in a tension failure? The answer is burried in the Wire Rope User's Manual text amongst other details. Such things would not be learned by skipping around. They might be caught by skimming the text or half hartidly reading it, but than again might not be. Did I understand everything else I read in it about crains and such things, nope but I did read the sections at least long enough to hear what was presented than perhaps skim the rest.

    But you are right, that you do get board with reading cover to cover books and I can't say that I do much memorization in any text with one reading or many readings on some subjects. More it's perhaps better to skim or speed read such books that are important but boring and get familiar with what's in them plus read things of interest or that spark your attention. Even at that level of reading you do gain details more than not reading, and things that you don't realize at first reading will hold in your memory as something you read about at one time when you do need to know about it. The second reading of that section is much easier to learn from after the innitial reading or speed reading as it were especially after the reason for wanting to read it comes up in real life. Or at least when you need to re-read in depth something, you will know where about it is.

    So your reply was very right in many ways and I thank you for setting it straight or at least between the two of us helping to define a better way of getting thru such texts. But the point is that you and I are reading and to some degree at least studying from them. At least to the extent that it's of interest at the moment. The more we need from such things the closer we would be to having completely read such things as long as we don't buy them than put them on a shelf without reading into them. I have a Dover copy of "Basic Electricity" which is a re-print of a Navy training manual primarially on DC circuits. Havn't opened the covers beyond figuring out what was in it. That's the case I would refer to when talking about learning by osmosis. Perhaps "Must read every dry page" was a bit more to expect than more accurately saying that you should at least skim each page and as you imply read into stuff that catches your interest on the first readthru. Subsiquent readings expand your knowledge further.

    Every person has their own way to study such things, but the overall point is that unless you read, you don't learn the details beyond what you are tought on the job. A book a month even if possible a book a week on some subject relating to your career goal should be a goal for all starting off in this field if they really want to learn. Pick up a book on "The Evolution of Colonial Architecture if in a sale bin somewhere. Pictures are inspiring for design purposes. Read into the text with as much attention as it allows you to give it. Perhaps after board, skim the rest with a contious effort to get thru at least the rest of the book in that way. Good goal?

    Ten books related to theater turns into a hundred in a few years, after that you have a research library. While in college, you have research for a design for a show due the next day, it saves you a trip to a library at least for the initial research much less preliminary design work. Anyway just some goals and ideas to advance one's learning above just searching the net for the very short and basic info out there and expecting it to really teach you this trade. Internet tutorials and texts are for the most part a waste of time in my opinion. Too many details that are cut short.
     
  11. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    Holy Crap! Did anyone else see the four guys on horses. I am in total agreement with Ship. When I wrote my post I totally forgot about those little books, I was staring right at my Sound Reinforcement Handbook. Which is another great book if you want to get into sound, but trying to read it cover to cover just plain sucks. I agree that you should just belly up and read the little ones.
    I think Ship hinted at the history books, which are great especially if you are considering becoming a designer. Pretty much like every technician out there. But any books on Civilizations, societies, architecture, furniture constructions, music, electricity, art, phtotgraphy, arts & crafts, physics, geometry... the list can go on for days. I am a huge fan of the used book stores and buying old textbooks, and pretty much anything from the list above, sorry I can't really help with any names my library stays at home.
    Another thing that I will do with my books is write in them. I will take notes off to the sides of the page and highlite areas that I find really interesting or note on stuff that I want to look into further. That way if I only have a couple minutes I can just do a quick flip through and catch something that I might have forgotten.
     
  12. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    Who is this person masking himself as JoJo?

    No wait, something's wrong here. I must have made a mistake somewhere. Grr!
     
  13. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    LMAO
    Oh I needed that.
     
  14. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    ROTFL really hard.. literally... I am crying... oooh.. stop... my sides hurt!!!
     
  15. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    "LMAO"
    "ROTFL"

    and you guys want just a tech dictionary. I just used LOL for my first time so now you guys change the Greek on me. Hate ya!
     
  16. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    LMAO = Laughing My Arse Off
    ROTFL = Rolling On The Floor Laughing
     
  17. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    WOAH!!! Thats crazy face! lol.
     
  18. wemeck

    wemeck Active Member

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    I liked Richard Pillbrow's Book the Stage Lighting Design: The Art, the Craft, the Life! is a good intro to lighting design book. If you want to get on the heavy side of design work get Lighting Art, The: The Aesthetics of Stage Lighting Design.
     
  19. Crewguy7

    Crewguy7 Member

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    I recently purchased the Stage Rigging Handbook by Jay O. Glerum and i must say its was worth it. There is so much information that i actually read the entire book 3 times. Towards the front of the book there are many equations you can use to determine the loads an object creates in many situations. A MUST HAVE for anybody who employs a great deal of rigging in their theatre.
     
  20. miniwyo

    miniwyo Member

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    I have Designing with light for my lighting design class, I find it very informative. I also have the photometrics book which is handy to have

    RJ
    Rock Springs Wy.
     

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