Hello Guys 2

Charc

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2007
So as I'm not very original, I ripped off the idea of a "better-late-then-never" introduction. After review, it's not really an introduction, it's basically everything I've ever done. It's long and dense, be forewarned.

I'm a current Sophomore at a private highschool school in NW Philly. I tried to do tech. the first time in 6th grade, my first opportunity, unfortunately that whole aspect of the 6th grade show was scratched. Three or four years was the first time I actually did something technical. At a summer camp, during our production, I held the trumped up title of "Executive Lighting & Sound Coordinator". I flicked a couple light switches on and off, as well as a CD player. Last year was my first formal introduction to tech, when I took the tech class as an elective at school. I learned a fair amount during the year, culminating in stage managing the 9th grade show, "The Wiz". The show was less than spectacular, though given the amount of commitment of 95 kids (size of our grades) forced to put up a show, as well as two casts, it was pretty good. Since that time I've been allotted more freedom in the theater. I started "working" with lights around this time last year. This fall I was board op, and only electrician for Brian Friel's "Translations". Our musical this year was a pretty ambitious show, "The King and I". I acted in the capacities of ALD, ASM, ME, Board Op, and deckhand. This is of course not to mention building every set for 18 months. Since that time the amount of freedom I've had inside our program has grown exponentially. While I wouldn't call these people coaches or sponsors, I'm very close with the three people in charge. I've secretly been given the theatre key. Our school, probably like most others, keys each dept.'s stuff differently. So I have access to anything pertaining to theater. It's a nice gesture, and I really appreciate the trust. On the same note, I have all their cell numbers, and they don't mind me calling at any time pertaining to anything. It's a surprisingly close working relationship. I'm now the most experienced and knowledgeable "lighting guy" (as the actors say) in the school. Kinda nice to be more knowledgeable than the teacher that originally trained me. I've done a lot of research and studying things in the industry, especially lighting. At this point, lighting is my forte. So while I do everything, I especially do lights. Over the last couple months I've been compiling information for ease of access, as well as training those under me in lighting, and getting others interested in tech. I acted in the capacity of "Lighting Coordinator" during this years 9th grade show. I helped with many aspects of their show besides lighting, but did spend a good many hours in the catwalks over the last couple weeks. I share co-head techie status with a junior. She focuses and management and costume / scenic, so it's a really good fit, and we've formed a nice (2 person) team. Uh, that's about most of it. Some other odds and ends are better off omitted.
 
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bcfcst4

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2007
Look at that I started a mini-trend. Sophomore meaning high school or college?

sounds like a good thing you've got going. I'd love to have that kind of freedom at my school, but for now I'll stick with being "the reliable one".
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
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Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Hey Charc,
I just want to encourage you to keep it up. Out of all the young folks we have here I think you ask some of the best questions. It's clear you really want to learn and you've got a great attitude about learning. Keep it up and it will take you far.

Have you considered volunteering at a local community theater? They are always looking for help and it would be a great way for you to really expand your knowledge. One of my college students just got hired to run sound at a local community theater. He contacted them a while back and volunteered to help. He doesn't know anything about sound but he is a smart guy and he was willing to learn. They got desperate and gave him a call and trained him to run the system. Now he's building new skills and making important contacts in the industry. It really is that simple.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
Official Welcome Aboard!
I agree with Gafftaper, never be afraid to ask questions it's how we all learn on here.

'Course, when it comes to his story about his student, come on it's running sound we're talking about....... Not exactly Rocket surgery...........:twisted:
 

avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Lakewood, NJ
Tried. I got in contact with their human resources person. She seemed really ecstatic, and said she'd have the guy in charge of letting contact me. It has been over 2 months now.
We get busy, we are volunteers with day jobs after all.
I run the recruitment part of our program through our website, first contact is made within 2 business days. If an individual does not respond the first time I leave it alone until I get a break in the season.
 

avkid

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Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Lakewood, NJ
If want to have some fun this summer I can always use help.
 

avkid

Not a New User
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Location
Lakewood, NJ

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
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Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Tried. I got in contact with their human resources person. She seemed really ecstatic, and said she'd have the guy in charge of letting contact me. It has been over 2 months now.
This coming year (Junior year) I have my Junior project. We get the month of January of school, and we pursue something. I was thinking that a solid month during the Theatre Season might be just the time for such type of volunteer work.
Charc there's got to be more than one theater in Philly. And if they have an HR department it's probably a really cool theater but might be one that's too big for you to help. If it's a big theater and a union house they simply can't use you. You need to find a good community theater as they are mostly volunteer and will love you.
 

avkid

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Location
Lakewood, NJ
You need to find a good community theater as they are mostly volunteer and will love you.
Most of the time, if they don't scare you off on the first day. I've been having problems with that lately.
 

avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Lakewood, NJ
I did just realize a possible problem for my Junior Project. I have to work 30 hours a week. Community theatre is part time right? That sounds like it might not pan out
I just did the math, I put in 28 hours during a typical show week.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
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Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
You are going to have a hard time getting into a large union theater because they have strict contract obligations about who is allowed to do what (they can't let you do something that takes away from a union member's work, doing his job for free is a no no). So a non-union house is your best bet. In a big city like Philly there must be some large community theaters that are not union houses. We have a few here in Seattle that you could easily work 30 hours a week at.

Another approach would be to go through a custom sound/lighting rental place. When I was a high school teacher one of my students did her Senior Project by getting hooked up with a place that did raves, big private parties, sound for concerts, etc... She got to run sound and learned a lot about intelligent lighting gear for concert purposes. It's not typical theater but you still get to use a lot of the same skills and you are a little less likely to run into union issues.
 

dvlasak

Active Member
Joined
Nov 3, 2006
Location
Wisconsin
Welcome to Control Booth!

I work in a HS & it is rare indeed that a student gets keys to the "kingdom". You can take pride in the fact that they think that highly of you to trust you with keys! In fact, the only kid I gave keys to in 10 years is now in the business. He even makes more $ than I do!!

Keep up the enthusiasm, it will help you to go far. Your attitude of seeking out additional information and knowledge also will help you to go far, not only in this business, but in the rest of your life!

Dennis
 

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