HEADS UP!

delnor

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Mar 3, 2003
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USA
I just thought I would make a little post about the misconception of this common saying. Its a great thing to use in everyday life when dealing with general stuff, like a frisbee being thrown toward your head. But in theater it is a dangerous thing to say. It is my belief that all techies should be aware, and not say "Heads Up" whenever possible and here is why. When you say heads up people have a general tendency to look strait up. Most things in theaters involving fly systems are above you. You have less chance of sustaining major injury if you are hit directly on the hard part of your skull with something then your face. If a fly line is coming in quickly with someone standing under it and someone yells "Heads Up" there is a much grater chance of their face being bashed in, as apposed to having a headache for a day. So next time yell get out of the way you Bleeeeeping Bleeep Bleeep in the grey sweater. And they should thank you later....


And that has been the Delnor saftey tip of the day...
 

TechDirector

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Feb 20, 2003
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South Florida, USA
That is an interesting concept, but before you lower ANY fly or anything down, you yell HEADS UP before it goes as far down as an inch. Most of the time, people don't think of it as anything. Kind of like fire drills. We have so many of them that people don't take them seriously. So when I'm saying "heads up", nobody thinks of it when they hear it. So thats when the "GET OUT THE WAY YOU BLEEPING BLEEP BLEEP" part comes in. lol!!!
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
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South Florida USA
Heads Up

Actually to really be safe when you hear "heads up!" or more often in my experience "Heads!" The best course of action is to cover the back of your skull with your hands and arms. The back of your skull is still pretty fragile, not to mention the top of the spine.
 

Chaulis

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Mar 9, 2003
Location
USA
The stagemanagers hand book suggest saying "Heads!" I have always gone with "Watch you heads, coming down, before I start to pull then just keep an eye on whats goin on as I'm doin it, seems to work well. Woot, I doin Peter Pan next, this should be fun.
 

ship

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I much prefer "Heads" when I'm on stage. "Heads up" will make those not used to ducking and covering look up. Besides by the time you say the second part of the word, it's one less instant someone has to get out of the way. I used to do a bit of mountain climbing and somehow got into using the "Rock" warning when stuff falls. Everyone knows what that means, kind of instinct but what ever thing you use, make sure anyone around the stage knows what you will be calling before hand so they dont' look up and say "Ha?" Also, definately say something even if just a nut you dropped. Don't hesitate or fear speaking it too loud because you will get in a lot worse trouble by not saying anything.

However, when you are working in the fly loft or above people's heads, there should not be anyone on stage. The dust alone that you kick off the fly floor can get into the eyes of the people below. When there is people on stage and you are doing work a spotter would be very useful to keep them out of the direct path of fire. Oshia would say anyone on stage needs a hard hat also during these times.

When I bring in a drop, in times other than when there is a show, I call "Line Coming In" or more specifically which lineset is coming in and wait in pulling it in until I see everyone is aware of it and looking for the drop. That's about a standard anywhere I have been. You don't pull a drop unless everyone on stage has stopped what they are doing and are watching for it. More importantly, you look and ensure nobody is in the way and watch the stage as the drop is coming in all the way down. You are not watching the lineset unless there is a spotter in direct contact with you.

Pedestrians, even actor cattle have the right of way even if it makes your cue late. Remember in most instances, the talent on stage is blinded by a few thousand watts of light plus are a bit nervice in concentrating on their lines and blocking. There are frequent mistakes. Just note it to the stage manager afterwards if during a show so the stage manager can handle the problem. Your job is to be a professional and since you are not encharged of enforcing disciplin of the actors - the stage manager is, it's not your place to jack up the talent much less hit them no matter how tempting it is.

Granted, I had a two week run of a show once (think it was the ballet Gizel) and this one certain lead dancer was always lingering about where the scrim cam in. Had to hold up the entire cue because of him and all he ever did was stand there waiting for the cue to change. Closing night, okay I did bounce the scrim off his head a little. But that was only with the permission of the stage manager.
 

Mattech

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Joined
May 2, 2003
tech unions

even though im not a union member I know that some union techies say "batton comming in up stage/down stage/mid stage" then eveyone on stage says "thank you." If you loading or unloading pigs in the loading galery yell "clear the rail" and everyone backs off and says "thank you." Thats what we always use.
 

TechDirector

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Feb 20, 2003
Location
South Florida, USA
Re: tech unions

Mattech said:
even though im not a union member I know that some union techies say "batton comming in up stage/down stage/mid stage" then eveyone on stage says "thank you." If you loading or unloading pigs in the loading galery yell "clear the rail" and everyone backs off and says "thank you." Thats what we always use.
PEOPLE SAY THANK YOU!?! wow i can't remember the last time i was thanked for being there everyday and being the first one there and the last one to leave. lol. good idea.
 

Jo-JotheSoundDog

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Mar 13, 2003
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South Florida USA
Mattech said""batton comming in up stage/down stage/mid stage" then eveyone on stage says "thank you."

That is fine and dandy when working with a particular. Yes if you are working with drops . You should yell drop coming in. and give a general location. If dealing with cable you should yell cable.


But if you are up on a ladder and something gets away from you i.e. crescent wrench, gel frame, cable, leatherman, nut, bolt... If you scream nutdriver coming in upstage center. Someone might be a little peeved when they come to.


And when working with good polite professionals you will hear thank yous a lot.
 

TechDirector

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South Florida, USA
Jo-JotheSoundDog said:
But if you are up on a ladder and something gets away from you i.e. crescent wrench, gel frame, cable, leatherman, nut, bolt... If you scream nutdriver coming in upstage center. Someone might be a little peeved when they come to.
haha!!! NUTDRIVER!!! man i can see that happening. that is a good method to use though. i should try putting it to use.
 

speechie7

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May 14, 2003
We've always used the "batton coming in"/ "clear" ,ect everyone responds with thank you and immediatly clears that area of the stage, down to the junior-high age actors we sometimes have around. I must admitt it has taken quite some time to train this habit, but it is quite effective.
As for falling objects, "Heads" tends to be most useful for us. Again, it took some "suggestion" to convince everyone the best course of action (dropped a bent gel frame from a 12 foot ladder, we simply wanted to demonstrate the thud-it stick into the stage...much better effect.)
 

dvsDave

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Isn't amazing how a demostration of a light piece of metal falling from only 12 feet up and still embedding itself in a wood stage can be so friggin effective when teaching people what to do when you you call out, "HEADS" or why it is mandatory that you call out when you fly in battons? :wink:
 

netforce2003

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Mar 3, 2003
Location
Central USA
The scout camp I worked at the last two summers (which is probably only 3-4 miles away) has I believe a 30 foot tall climbing/rappelling tower. If something gets knocked off the top you will hear "rock" yelled (which is usually a rope with a caribiner (sp?) on the end, if its just rope its just "rope"), mind you caribiners arent that heavy of an object.