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Can I do both?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by futurecm21, May 5, 2009.

  1. futurecm21

    futurecm21 Member

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    I have been a technician my whole life. I have been incredibly blessed to fill many different roles and work with some amazing people.

    For the past year and a half or so I have also been getting into acting. I have had leads in Of Mice and Men, and Someone Who'll Watch Over Me, so I consider myself to be fairly decent. However recently some of the people I work with have told me its wrong to do both tech and acting.

    I don't exactly know what their reasoning is so I wanted to find out of if anyone here has any ideas or thoughts on whether or not there is such a thing as both a technician and an actor?

    Thanks!

    futurecm21
     
  2. cprted

    cprted Active Member

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    I wouldn't do both at the same time ...

    But I wouldn't have any problem with someone who freelanced as a tech between acting gigs ... or acted between tech gigs.

    Someone who says "it's wrong" to be both a tech and an actor has some personal insecurity issues to work out.

    For the sake of my own curiosity. When you say you have been a technician "my whole life," how long has that been, roughly?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2009
  3. Nathaniel

    Nathaniel Member

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    It seems like a fine idea, but no, you wouldn't want to do them both at the same time :p

    although i have.

    I've filled in for a lead once (had somebody else run the lights i had cued)
    and filled in for a small part(ran lights from backstage when i wasn't onstage, walked on to do my part with a live headset(headset was also part of the costume for the character, so it fit))

    don't recommend doing both at once, but if you want to do both, go for it (if you're in high school, make sure you know BEFORE you start the show, which one you'll be doing)
     
  4. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I don't think there is anything wrong with doing both. I know plenty of actors, both union and not who do tech work on the side. I have even been know to be in shows. In fact a couple years ago I understudied and went on in a production of West Side Story at a theatre I was working at. I don't recommend trying to be a tech and actor at the same time, conflicting priorities and schedules and whatnot. It worked out OK for me because the theatre planned it so that it would.
     
  5. seanandkate

    seanandkate Well-Known Member Fight Leukemia

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    You can do both on occasion -- I have as well (I showed up to a summer acting gig, and the LD turned out to be someone who I had ALDed with before. He was short-handed and talked to the PSM and all of a sudden I had no free time . . .) I wouldn't recommend it as a full time thing. Either of the two really requires a full time commitment to do really well, but if it helps put food on the table in the short term, I say go it--it makes you twice as employable!
     
  6. beachcombah15

    beachcombah15 Member

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    I agree not to do both at the same time for sure! haha. I ended up getting pulled into the Jet gang for West Side Stroy at my school, which opens next week, as well as trying to work with the build team and keep my crew in check. All I can say is that I've had one of the most stressful experiences doing this show due to running back and forth between the shop and the stage all night long. Although, this show has finally pushed me to train a couple board ops. further so it's nice to have that now.
     
  7. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    They're called Techtors or Acticians (depending on primary trade) - I've worked with a good number of them, and many of them that I've worked with are very good at both.

    In other words, yeah, you can totally do it. You just have to make sure to not get yourself in over your head in terms of obligations.
     
  8. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    One of the chillest actors I ever had the pleasure of working with spend half his time as a union film and theatre actor doing some great work. I am not sure if it was his personality or his experience playing in both worlds that made him such a great person to work with but he was.
     
  9. futurecm21

    futurecm21 Member

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    Based on your advice here I guess I can say I'm proud to be a techtor.

    What started this is recently I signed on to a show as a sm and understudy and did actually end up taking over a part of a cm who had to step out suddenly.
    What confused me is some of the full time actors I began working with seemed very uncomfortable with this and got to the point of what I would call hostility.

    Like someone said, though I think its probably personal insecurity at its finest.

    I've been employed full time in technical roles for about ten years now, and I've been learning since middle school (in other words I'm out of high school right now, still learning, but know the field pretty well)

    Thank you guys for your support!:)

    futurecm21
     
  10. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I wouldn't pursue both as careers, it's hard enough to do one but I see no reason you can't have a hobby.

    I know several people who do both. Seems like I remember CB's [user]Van[/user] mentioned acting in a show now and then.
     
  11. misterm

    misterm Active Member

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    I worked a show at our local community theatre back in winter where I was actor, set designer, lighting designer, construction, and director. So yes it can be done. Especially if you teach high school or work in a very small community theatre, you learn to do it all at once. Now, to tech a show and act in it seems a bit of a stretch.
     
  12. photoatdv

    photoatdv Active Member

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    Hey I teched and performed in a show last night. Lightboard, flies, onstage, change costumes, flies, call LX op, set change, onstage... that was interesting :S.
     
  13. Drmafreek

    Drmafreek Active Member

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    I am in agreement with most of the statements in this thread and only wish to add that I prefer people who know a little of both sides of things. As a professor I constantly push my technicians to act at least once and have had many who have done both, but not at the same time.

    Which reminds me of a funny story, so bear with me. My first teaching gig directly out of grad school was at an all girls catholic college in South Bend, IN. I was the Designer/TD and the first show was Our Town. Now, most of the men came from the University of Notre Dame, faculty at our school, or community volunteers. Now remember, fresh out of grad school, so I want to make a good impression. Well, they hadn't found anyone to play George, and asked me if I'd like to give it a shot. I said yes, so for the show I was the scene designer, lighting designer, and one of the leads. Needless to say tech was crazy, with me running back and forth between the light board and the stage so I could see my lighting and so the SM could practice calling her cues. It was a learning experience, but it did make a good impression.
     
  14. spiwak2005

    spiwak2005 Member

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    As a TD at a high school, one of my students wrote a one-act play called "Attack of the Techies" where all our usual techs had parts in the play. She also wrote in parts for the usual actors to fly in the wrong backdrops and curtains or spot the wrong places on stage. She even wrote in a part for me...I had to storm on stage yelling "how many times have I told you not to kick the floor mics!" Funny that's how all the acting students remembered me. But everyone had a blast with the role reversal. And I'd like to think everyone gained a better understanding of each other's jobs.
     
  15. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    Is creating and mixing the sound effects live on stage as part of a 1940's Radio Show production acting or tech?
     
  16. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    I would call that FUN! I've always wanted to do a show like that but never had the oportunity.
     
  17. museav

    museav CBMod CB Mods Departed Member

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    It actually was quite fun, especially since they seemed to enjoy writing scenes that had me doing nothing for long periods then trying to do four things at once, things like footsteps running across the dock to break in the door immediately followed by gunshots and a body hitting the floor while sirens approach in the background. I did cheat a bit, the effects that would have likely been done using effects records were handled as a playlist on a computer.
     
  18. mixmaster

    mixmaster Active Member

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    I have a couple performer/techies on my crew. It's actually great to work with them in their performance roles because they know what to expect from me and they know how to communicate their needs to me. In their tech roles, I find they tend to grasp concepts quicker because they understand the effects of their actions better than the people who haven't been on that side of the lights.
     

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