Footwear

gafftaper

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Just hit a pre-Christmas "buy one get one half price" sale at the "Famous Footwear" store. Surprise they had about half a dozen styles of Steel toes to choose from. I picked up two sets of steel toed boots. Got a top of the line brown all leather Timberland Pro high top for work in the shop (They are also slip and shock resistant). And a set of black Sketcher mid ankles for running shows in. Only cost me a total of $135 including tax. Saved $50 over the price at the specialty clothing for work store. Safe, fashionable, comfortable, and saved cash, Sweet Deal!!

Oh and "Socks", you shouldn't have to run backstage. In fact you should always strive to move slowly and deliberately back stage. I always tell my students, If you don't have a reason to be moving then stay where you are. If you have a reason to move, then you need to get there as early as possible and wait. If you need to run, than that is a sign you need more and/or better people working on your crew.

On the flip side, I can tell you that I've had a platform roll over my foot in a black out, I've had heavy pieces of furniture placed on my foot, and I can't tell you how many times I've kicked something hard and heavy in the blackness. Get some steel toes while you still have the toes to appreciate them. It's like buying insurance, you may not need them for years and it will seem like a waste of time and money. However, when the accident happens you'll be so glad you have them... and trust me, it will happen eventually.
 
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SocksOnly

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Nov 22, 2006
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Central Pennsylvania
For A Doll's House and The Glass Menagerie, we only had four kids (no adults to help...) to run the tech. I had to run flyrail and the spotbooth, so...yeah, a bit of running was needed there. So yes, I suppose more people would be better. My case rests, though, on the need to move silently onstage. (I'd like to see you tiptoeing in steeltoed boots, lol)
 

gafftaper

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For A Doll's House and The Glass Menagerie, we only had four kids (no adults to help...) to run the tech. I had to run flyrail and the spotbooth, so...yeah, a bit of running was needed there. So yes, I suppose more people would be better. My case rests, though, on the need to move silently onstage. (I'd like to see you tiptoeing in steeltoed boots, lol)
Having been a High School Drama teacher I fully understand the struggle to get, train, and keep a good crew. At the same time, I bet there are a lot of pros around here who would agree with me that the situation you describe is unsafe for a lot of reasons. If things go wrong on the spotlight, scenes are a little dark. If things go wrong on the fly system people die.

Socks, You are doing what you have to do to get the show done so I'm not criticizing you. I always appreciate a hard working tech who is willing and capable of doing more than one job. However, your drama teacher/advisor needs a little talking to about theater safety.

As for tiptoeing in steel toed boots. I work backstage all the time and you won't hear me coming in my new Sketcher steel toes... and I won't loose a toe when a stage weight falls on me someday. In fact everyone who works on stage at my theater wears steel toes.
 

SocksOnly

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However, your drama teacher/advisor needs a little talking to about theater safety.
We don't have a drama advisor or a tech director. The drama club's run by five student-elected students each year, and the techies are taught/led by the eldest kids.

But back on topic, I may have to eventually invest in some steel toes then. You've convinced me. Now I just need enough money...(to the Salvation Army!)
 

Van

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We don't have a drama advisor or a tech director. The drama club's run by five student-elected students each year, and the techies are taught/led by the eldest kids.

But back on topic, I may have to eventually invest in some steel toes then. You've convinced me. Now I just need enough money...(to the Salvation Army!)

Never Buy Used Shoes !!!! Specially since your a kid, < realativily speaking of course> , It''l ruin your feet by making them conform to someone elses wear pattern. Save the money buy your own. Did you know that for actors who are memebers of Actors Equity Association an endowment was started years ago that will pay for one new pair of shoes per year ?
 

gafftaper

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We don't have a drama advisor or a tech director. The drama club's run by five student-elected students each year, and the techies are taught/led by the eldest kids.
But back on topic, I may have to eventually invest in some steel toes then. You've convinced me. Now I just need enough money...(to the Salvation Army!)
Well Socks you are definitely do the best with what you have. In our school district here that would never be allowed to happen. You must always have some sort of a certificated teacher acting as your advisor. There are too many chances for lawsuits.

A couple of notes on the fly system from my real world experience. I teach at a community college and I work as crew occasionally at a High School that has a big performing arts center rented out to the community 4 or 5 days a week. At the college we just rented a big theater near by for our fall show. We were forced to pay someone $20 an hour to babysit the flyrail the whole time we were there. I asked if one of my college students could be trained for that position and they said absolutely not. We were allowed to use our college students to run the lighting and sound, but not fly. The house rules say a trained employee from the theater must be there the whole time. As for the highschool I work crew at occasionally. Only a limited number of students is allowed to run the fly system. They have to prove themselves to be very responsible at other work and then they are hand chosen to take an hour long training course. Students are never allowed to add or remove weight. When it comes to show time, we allow these trained students to run the fly system, however one of the adult crew people always has to be within visual range of the fly rail.

Hang in the Socks and take the rail very seriously, that will keep you and your actors alive. My concern isn't you, it's the actors wandering around back stage who don't understand the potential danger. And might be tempted to play with the pretty handles. That's why I freaked out about you going off to run follow spot. You have no way of knowing what the the actors are doing back stage while you are gone.

You should be able to pick up a comfortable pair of steel toes for under $60. Check out Sears and your local "workwear stores" (every major city's got one of those places that sell Carhart and safety clothing)
 
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Andrewr

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Dec 15, 2006
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Englandshire
On moving quitely in boots:

one of my favorite quotes ever;
'Hello little dancer girl, clumping around the stage and the wings in your dance shoes making more noise that a herd of elephants.'
Look at my feet, see my big black boots? hear how I move without noise? Now learn!

Technician live in darkness, move in silence....Like Ninja!

My steellies cost £10, and are fine :)
 

SocksOnly

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Hee hee, nice quote...I'll have to save that one.

Luckily our stage manager was also hanging backstage (right next to the rails, actually), so he was able to keep the actors from playing with the shiny handles.

I'll see if I can nab a pair for Christmas, my toesies deserve a treat after all the crap I've put them through.
 

gafftaper

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One more reason to get steel toes.

The Mythbusters showed a test of the effect of dropping a frozen turkey on your foot from about 4 feet. It hit the foot in the middle and completely broke all the bones... and those are much larger than the bones in your toes. We are talking about a medium size turkey smaller than an 8 inch fresnel, a stage weight, or a sheet of plywood.
 

taylorjacobs

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Dec 19, 2006
call me a dummy if you wish but i wear mono black converse while teching a show. they are all black which is important to me...because im anal retentive like that and they are comfortable quite and inexpensie. I have yet to have any tragic experiences while wearing them, but im sure i will. i think boots are too heavy to be going up and down ladders and running backstage...
if i loose a toe then i might reconsider
 

SocksOnly

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The only danger my toes have onstage usually is the risk of dropping a weight on 'em. I've actually mashed a finger or two with them (long story about that one), but I've never come close to mushing a toe yet. I wouldn't want to risk dropping 50 lbs on my feet without steel-tips (hopefully Santa will bring a pair for me).
 

What Rigger?

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Lately I've been digging the "Impact High" shoe from 5.10 Climbing. Built as a high top/boot for downhill mountain biking, but with that sticky rubber common to climbing shoes. Yes, there is an actual tread on them too. If you have to climb/walk steel for an in, they're a real treat!
 

SocksOnly

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5.10 makes excellent shoes, my very first pair of climbing shoes were made by them. But they're more made for sticking feet into tiny cracks, not tech-work (the dust on the stage would ruin the rubber's uberstickiness, and they're uncomfortable to wear for a long time)
 

thebikingtechie

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Aug 25, 2006
Right now the only tech work I'm doing is in my schools auditorium. We only do msuic and dance performances with a lot of basic assemblies mixed in. Because of this we don't have a scene shop and because of the idiots who designed the place we don't have a fly system. Since there are no nails lying around I just wear sneakers. I can't imagine climbing in and out of the genie and up and down the stairs to the booth with big heavy boots on. With that said, once my feet stop growing I am planning to buy some good steel toes red wing boots for when I work in a real theatre over the summer. Though I haven't heard about steel toes crushing people's toes like some people have mentioned, if your steel toe protection is crushed, your toe would have faired much worse then that steel if the steel hadn't been there.

Also just to mention, in my theatre we have a strict rule that no one can work without closed toed shoes. Because we're located in Vermont and we are only there during the fall winter and spring, it hasn't been a problem.
 

celtictechie

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Apr 5, 2006
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Steel are the best for any stage work trust me you will get use to walking slient in them. I have got on stage and behide a soundguy in the dark with no sound on at all. it is called walk on your heels not on your toes and step with inside of your foot and bend your knees a bit the slient walk of Navy seals.

James
 

SocksOnly

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Maybe that should be part of the techie-training: moving silently. Like you attatch bells to a bunch of students and see who can get across an obstacle course the fastest and the quietest.

You could do the Navy Seal walk or just wear socks :rolleyes: Ok, I know I know, please don't attack me with "wear steel-toes you idiot"s or anything (again). I know about the hazards of being barefoot onstage. Still, socks are unparalleled when it comes to stealth.
 

Van

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Maybe that should be part of the techie-training: moving silently. Like you attatch bells to a bunch of students and see who can get across an obstacle course the fastest and the quietest.

You could do the Navy Seal walk or just wear socks :rolleyes: Ok, I know I know, please don't attack me with "wear steel-toes you idiot"s or anything (again). I know about the hazards of being barefoot onstage. Still, socks are unparalleled when it comes to stealth.
I actually used to do an exercise with some kids that I taught, it was all about how to "be quiet and move with a purpose". It was amazing watching these kids go from trudging onstage with a mic stand and spending 30 seconds looking for a spike mark to walking directly to the mark setting the stand and getting off the stage without running, rushing, or skulking.
Oh and BTW I wear steel toed redwings, they have Kevlar on the heels and toes, I call them my "bullet proof" shoes. Biggest problem is the kevlar wears through the stitching on a regular basis. Well that and people keep wanting to shoot me in the foot to see if they really are "bullet-proof" or maybe they just want to shoot me in the foot ? Hmmmmmm.
 

gafftaper

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I actually used to do an exercise with some kids that I taught, it was all about how to "be quiet and move with a purpose". It was amazing watching these kids go from trudging onstage with a mic stand and spending 30 seconds looking for a spike mark to walking directly to the mark setting the stand and getting off the stage without running, rushing, or skulking.
Go on... tell us about the exercise you did. Some of us might want to use it some day.
 

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