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Building a prompt desk!

Discussion in 'Stage Management and Facility Operations' started by Oobleck1441, Jul 14, 2007.

  1. Oobleck1441

    Oobleck1441 Member

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    So I ahev decided..
    I will take on the daunting task of building a prompt desk,
    in lew of trying to make our theatre a little nicer, adn smoother running.
    Problem... I have no idea what to include in it..
    yeah the basics like a some lights, some locking cabinets. ect..
    So anyone have any ideas, or some cool things they know about?
    Or maybe a website with somthing about a prompt desk?
    Just somthing to ease teh process!
    thanks for anything!
    Oobleck1441
     
  2. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Location:
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    a good little light and a few built in monitors for stage views, cue light controls, house light panics, paging system, clearcom power supply.... what all do you want to control?
     
  3. Oobleck1441

    Oobleck1441 Member

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    Have any ideas about shape or construction.. I want to try to make this portable somehow.. if not thats okay.. just wondering since your my first reply!
     
  4. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
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    why is your text centred?
     
  5. Oobleck1441

    Oobleck1441 Member

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    Becuase I centered it.. should I not??
     
  6. Chaos is Born

    Chaos is Born Active Member

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    Location:
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    Well mobile is simple... put wheels on it... (obvious...) But all your connections if you can manage to get a snake that has a single connection to your board (yes a semi-large connection) that would work the best, our prompt station has clear-com control, some sound control if you need it, can also be used as a presentation podium. Microphone included (the mic can be used for presentaions or in clear com as well.)
     
  7. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    Occupation:
    Controls Technician - TAIT Towers
    Location:
    Lititz, PA
    For our SM, we have a small rack that carries Clear-Com Base, cue light control, and little lights, probably like an 8U rack or something. It connects to the system via Whirlwind snake, and we have drops for it in the booth, at the tech tables and on stage left.

    As for the table itself, in the booth we have a standard office type desk. Good work surface and plenty of storage. For tech, or tables are basically plywood laid over the seats in the house. I have been working on building them better... For the ASM's backstage, or if the SM calls a show from backstage we have two podiums (one SL and one SR). They have a monitor stand and place for a script, and inside we keep things like spike tape, first aid kit, etc.
     
  8. Oobleck1441

    Oobleck1441 Member

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    Best help so far! Thanks for the input. Yeah I think I'm just going to scrap the mobile and just get a nice office desk and add what we would like to it. Thanks again!
     
  9. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    My question to you, as an SM what info is important to you? Also, what equiptment do you currently have in your theatre, as in is it possible to get a FOH camera feed, a conductor cam, do you have cue lights, do you have a lighting console capable of outputing a video feed?
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Theater Manager & T.D.
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    I'm really excited about the night vision video monitor system I'm putting in my new theater for the stage manager. It's quite reasonably priced to do. Do a search and you'll find the thread where it was discussed.
     
  11. Jamie

    Jamie Member

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    we built a road-case where the front lid came off and attached to the side to make a table/workstation while the whole thing was on casters...made the SM's life easier, none of our ;-b
     
  12. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    I noticed mention of the Lights Panic Switch, is this something that's required in theaters by code? I'm no longer in High School so I don't do theater work anymore (maybe when I move to Boston) but in our theater which was just built last year we had no Panic Switch. However our system was tied into the fire system so in the event of an alarm all house lights would go to full. So maybe this covered it if it's required?
     
  13. avkid

    avkid Not a New User Fight Leukemia

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    Occupation:
    Stagehand/ Production Company Owner
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    Most commercial buildings are required to have some sort of lighting to illuminate egress routes. The fixtures usually look like this:
    [​IMG]
     
  14. Edrick

    Edrick Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    Actually, our building didn't have any emergency lighting like that. The way the system was designed was every other light was tied into a Emergency Breaker Panel(s). In the event of a power outage those would stay on.

    But when people talk about Panic Switches I wasn't sure if theaters required you to have those.
     
  15. Toffee

    Toffee Active Member

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    Location:
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    We have a panic button but it's been disabled for years, I think it used to turn on all the deck and house lights in our theatre if something went wrong. But over time it was disabled, same with the big red button behind the light board that sits on the wall and basically goes up into our catwalks and disappears.

    Funny thing is, so many things on our old lighting desk have been disabled it's not even worth trying to say all of them.

    We do have the lights that avkid posted about near all of our exits though, they come on if the building has a power outages.
     
  16. Reqel

    Reqel Member

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    Location:
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    In my school theatre we have a small desk Prompt with the house light control, curtain control, Cans setup, light, input for mics on stage and a couple of monitors. Sometimes theres a radio mike reciever if we hire in more for a production, and it tends to clutter up the desk. I find a roomy desk helps.

    For some shows the "real techs", ie the sound and light board operator, would bring everything out from the control booth and take it downstairs into the seating area, set up two tables and ran everything from there. the director would even don a headset and take notes on his laptop.

    there are also green "exit" lights that show above all the doors, even backstage. I find them really annoying as they are quite bright.

    Hope this helps Oobleck
     
  17. Chris15

    Chris15 CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    If you have the green exit signs in a theatre then you architect or electrical consultant or whoever ought to be shot. They specifically make aversion of the sign for theatres that has green text of a black background rather than the conventional white text on green background, but having said that, sign with the word EXIT are old standard anyway, the new standard I believe matches international standard and is a person running, just what everyone needs in an emergency...
     
  18. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I remember one prompt desk that dates back to the 1920's that I worked around at one point. Had a shunt system that made even its own work light go to half power in addition to other switches on the podium long lost in working but no doubt ran go/standby lighting about the stage. Ah' what an amazing thing this podium on multi-cable nobody dared look into it was. Magically one had the switch that controlled light output on it and other things about the stage in a time before Clear Com but on a stage that used a 1950's alternate phone company solution to it.

    Light on the propmpt desk that is controllable, communications with other locations and standby/go indicator lights would be first needs I could see for a prompt podium I could see. Beyond this, portability, say monitors for the light plot and or scenes or script - dual monitor without obstructing the view of the stage or preventing blackouts. A place for the script and other stuff plus shelves and a laptop computer, place for notes, sharpee, pen, pencil and flashlight. Place for lunch and or coffee / coke that is safe from spills etc. Place to mount or connect into miny controller switches so as to control stuff like foggers etc in powering up stuff at the prompt desk, that which is not as easy to control in the remote from the area location. Special place for the note pad and extra pens as if guitar pic to grab in the dark, and perhaps a clock and stop watch mounted to the podium.
     

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