Hi all, I'm at a bit of a crossroad...


Hey everyone,

I'm really glad to find this site, and hope to learn a lot here. The thing is, I USED to be active in tech theater - basically the only one interested in my entire school, so I got to do everything. But I was never totally sure, because the director was so relieved to have one person interested that she left so much up to me. I was constantly on the phone with people at the lighting warehouse (did I mention my school had no equipment, and no budget either :roll: ). Somehow I never blew anything up. :D

BUT now I am in a foreign country, and I don't know the ins and outs of things, I don't know where the theaters are, and I don't know how to say anything that has to do with theater in this language!

So, what do I do? I feel like my tech life is on hold, which is why I am so glad to find this site - maybe I can keep learning, without doing actual theater, until I get back to the US.

So that's me.

And a quick question: has anyone else tried to get math and physics credits for tech work? Lights, sound, making costumes and sets. That is serious math right there! My school didn't buy it, though. :cry: Oh, well.
I'm sort of in your position when you were in theater, I'm pretty much the only person that's trained to operate lights and sound and, well, everything I guess. Unless we have a really talented technical freshman class this year, I don't know what will happen in the years to come when I leave high school. Anywayz enough with the blah-blah. Your quick question seems like the school should give credits for that but since theater is an extra curricular activity, they won't buy it. Kind of like the school giving out gym credits for playing baseball or football etc.
Yeah, I hear you about the extra curricular activities. My school got lucky because I left very detailed notes behind me after our shows, and tried to get underclassmen interested in the tech side of things. But now the director left, so I don't know if they are even doing shows anymore. I hope they keep my notes. Come to think of it, I wish I had kept a copy myself :?

By the way, how do I get a picture under my name? Where do the pictures come from?
Unless your education of math is broad and sufficient, it's going to be hard to understand, remember much less do the more complex formulas that will be necessary later in your career much less in doing taxes or figuring out how many CFM's you need for a home air conditioner.

Just because you do VxA=W or A2 + B2 = C2 a lot doesn't mean that you have the rest of the formulas down that should be learned or at least understood how to do.

You might be able to figure out how to determine spherical candlepower from lumens but what do you do with the figure unless trig, etc are fully understood even if not used much?

V = voltage drop, I = current
R = resistance of conductor per 1000 feet
L = length of conductor in feet
R for 18awg = 6.51, 16awg = 4.09, 14awg = 2.58
12awg = 1.62, 10awg = 1.02, 8awg = 0.64
V = I * L * (R / 1000) * 1.004

The effect of voltage on a lamp will cause a significant change in lamp performance. For any particular lamp, light output varies by a factor of 3.6 times and life varies inversely by a factor of 12 times any percentage variation in supply. For every 1% change in supply voltage light output will rise by 3.6% and lamp life will be reduced by 12%. This applies to both DC and AC current. Most standard line voltage lamps are offered at 130v. Since most line voltage power is applied at 120volts, the result is a slight under voltaging of the filament. The effect of this is substantially enhanced lifehours, protection from voltage spikes and energy cost savings.
Voltage and Light Output: The effect of voltage on the light output of a lamp is ±1% voltage over the rated amount stamped on the lamp, gives 3.1/2% more light or Lumens output but decreases the life by 73% and vise a versa.
Do not operate quartz Projection lamps at over 110% of their design voltage as rupture might occur. GE Projection So what does this mean as to why a 115v HPL 575w lamp is going to be much brighter than that of a 120v HPL 575w lamp on a 117v service and what is going to be the difference given each at rated voltage has 300hrs of life and 16,520 lumens in output? What if each is dimmed to 80% for 3/4 of it's life?

Which is the proper way (most accurate way) of determining power requirements, A) figure out how many thousands of watts of watts is the total load on the system, and divide by 1,000 than times that figure by 8.3, multiply that figure by 1.2 for safety and divide that figure by 3 for the phases, or B) distribute the load, take total wattage of each leg, divide by 120 to get the amperage, multiply by 1.2 for a safety factor, and round up to the next size service available for the load?

A Sling lifting 1,000 pounds is attached so to its load so it forms a 60/30/90° triangle between its two hanging points and the hook, what is the approximate load on each diagonal leg of the sling?

On a double-purchase counterweight system, how many feet does the batten travel for every 1' of arbor travel, and how many pounds of counterweight are required for every pound of load given a 13% resistance factor?

Which is the proper formula for deadhang tension? (Length of member in tension) = L, (Vertical Length) = V, (Weight) = W, (Horizontal Distance) = H & (Tension) = T
H2/V2 (W2) = T; H/V (W) = T; L/V (W) = T; D2/L (W) = T

With rigging, figuring out structures or getting into the higher electrical problems the math gets harder yet. Take the math in school it will help make it easier to work with the formulas and understand what's going on later.
I definitely agree that understanding the formulas now will make it that much easier later. I just think high school math is a waste of time, the way they teach it, because the knowledge is not there solidly until we use it in real life. If the math class took place in the theater, and we could see the formulas applied as we use them, and test it out ourselves (with instruction, of course), we would grasp it that much faster.

As opposed to sitting behind a desk looking at a formula and wondering "what is this for, what does it do?" If we could experience it, with lamps, cable, degrees of angles, weight, counterweight, etc. all right before us- then it would be no problem understanding why we need to sit behind a desk and study the trig. I think experiencing it should come first, kind of like a lab for math class, not only for science.

Or even doing taxes as a lab for math, or figuring out how many CFMs we need for an air conditioner, with a working air conditioner before us, and a non-working one that we can take apart.

As you can see, teaching method is a bit of an issue for me. Don't mind my ranting.
Yea, good teachers help a lot, but somethimes you just have to insire yourself. In college, I never really had just a plain math class. Not when they offered ethics type classes that filled the requirement. Highest I got in high school was Trig. Now, I wish I got beyond that just to make my life easier. At some point, even if it doesn't seem reasonable, you will just have to inspire yourself if for nothing else but to have it keep you in a frame of mind that the more complex it gets with someone to check your math, the easier it will be later when you are liable and possibly could go to jail for a wrong mathimatical figure.

Buy books like "Handbook of Electrical Power Calculations", "Engineering Design Graphics", "Structures for Architects", "Mathematics for Carpenters, " "Practical Problems in Mathematics for Electricians," "Lighting Mathematics" or "Architects Handbook of Formulas, Tables and Mathematacial Calculations" much less many more books, and see if they as side reading help to inspire you into a bit more attention as to what the teacher is trying to teach you, if not about the specific formula but at least to keep you awake with the method that that formula came to become the way it is.

Such things might help inspire you, perhaps if you show the teacher the book you are reading they can give you extra credit to make up for the useless formulas you could care less about, or perhaps they can get the idea that you care about one specific part of what they teach and even help you understand it or teach you the more important stuff you want on the side. Nothing says that school necessiates you to follow the "program" and the crap shoveled out to accomidate the lowest common denomiter, make a friend in a teacher and learn what you can from them in addition to what they have to teach you. In the end it will all be on you. Might seem a lot but it's only four years and it goes by really quick. Make the most of it while you can even if stupid. O'h to repeat it, I hopefully would hot be sleeping thru some important stuff. Stuff like the reason you have to memorize the atomic table isn't because you need to know the atomic weight of Copper or brass, but you might just in this profession realize why copper is less of a conductor than gold by that memorization. Thus a XLR connector with gold contacts is going to have less signal loss than one that's only nickel coated brass. Copper/Brass, What's the difference?

10 or 20 years from now, you will forget all the anxt, and bad times and your good memories will be all that remains. Make those memories work for you. How many people really do home work during a rehearsal now? Too much fun to have with your friends. Keep a balance, you never know what you will miss later.
I think that inspiration to work through something complex comes more easily (for me at least, but I think for many people) when we see a direct connection between theory and practice. That understanding on the part of teachers can make classes such as math, where many students let’s face it are staring out the window, more user-friendly. The theater (under proper supervision) could be an ideal place to study math, even for non-techs. Or maybe especially for non-techs.

Thank you so much for the book recommendations! These books will be a good reference, and help to put everything into perspective. I am also interested in how the formulas came to be discovered, not just how to use them.

Maybe I can design my own math classes, and do it as an independent study.

Users who are viewing this thread