How do you pass knowledge to the next guy that'll fill your role?

Daniel Fowler

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Location
Georgia
When you leave your current post as the master of lighting, audio, set building, house operations, ticket sales, curtain folding, audition processes, safety guidelines, etc... who is going to take over? How will you pass on your knowledge? Or will you?

Do you have a Google Docs folder? A binder of knowledge that'll stay with the theatre? Is there a shared Dropbox?

I'm thinking mostly in a community theatre context where knowledge sharing is a way of life for sustainability, but answers from other walks of life are welcome.
 

Erik456

Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2010
Location
Life on the Road
I am always a fan of a shared online service. I prefer Dropbox, but google docs works as well. I always seem to find something I wanted to share after I left a show, and being able to just drop it in at my convenience is best for me. That way too if someone has a question, we can both reference the document vs being in a binder.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
When leaving a position or a job I try to leave things better than I found them, but mostly in a logical well organized manner. I update the inventory and space drawings to the last known state and leave a time stamp. I'll typically leave behind my contact information and as long as I'm leaving on good terms with a company I'm always happy to keep in touch.

Here in the city a lot of crews keep a drop box that has reference info on the various theaters so that whenever you go to a space with a new show even if we were there with the last show we can see... this worked for that and this was a terrible way to do that... the more you know the faster, easier and safer you can work and I don't think anyone will complain about that.
 

MRW Lights

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Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Where are those documents stored? Are they digital or hard copies?
Pretty much everything is shared digitally these days, even in the same venue we view and pass documents between offices digitally for review and edits.

I see you're finding threads to promote your software... try making one thread about your software, give us an overview of who you are and why your software is different and you'll find this community can give you loads of feedback and needs/wants. Get a handful of venues to beta test your software and you'll likely get a lot of the information you need to make a full on app. Happy to chat with you in a message too.
 

EdSavoie

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 19, 2016
Location
Windsor, ON, Canada
In a highschool setting, I guided my "successor" on the basics of patching a console, not blowing up an amplifier, keeping side rooms clean and tidy so as to not get dinged on a housekeeping fine, etc. Then let him figure out the more advanced features / configurations and answered questions when they arose.

In his case, I didn't really need to teach lighting because he was already the lead lighting technician, and is writing software to automate DMX effects. I'm thankful for his resourcefulness because I won't be there to guide him through the entirely new setup being installed over the summer.

EDIT: Before we knew we would be getting 'forcefully updated' we decided to actually code software extension on a PC and treat our Strand MX as mostly a fader wing. The promary idea was to pipe the DMX output to a computer and be able to strip the DMX values to create a cue list among other things, as well as the ability to edit a look onscreen.

The goal was to be able to improve what we could do in our productions, but be able to have techs from other schools be able to use the board in a dead-simple fashion when required for something like the Sears Drama Festival.
 
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Daniel Fowler

Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2017
Location
Georgia
try making one thread about your software, give us an overview of who you are and why your software is different and you'll find this community can give you loads of feedback and needs/wants.
Such a post already exists, my good sir. But I truly am also interested in just learning how theatres tick. I am only familiar with my local groups, and so I guess you could say I am trying to expand my knowledge of common practices.
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Such a post already exists, my good sir. But I truly am also interested in just learning how theatres tick. I am only familiar with my local groups, and so I guess you could say I am trying to expand my knowledge of common practices.
Ah yes, very good, hadn't seen that you had gotten that posted yet.

On to your point about common practices I think you touched on them already and also there really aren't any. It's what works best for you and the company to efficiently communicate. Dropbox and Google are really the top players in all the theaters I've worked at across the country at all levels. Some universities have a built in IT infrastructure for file sharing and project/class management that I've used in one particular road house, but that was convenience more than necessity.

Seeing as I can zip an entire show, including show files, drawings, console files and basically everything except media into one email, drop box and or google continue to the popular bridge to fill in any gaps. It's when you get to a position without these tools that really puts you behind the ball.
 

Harrison

Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2016
Location
Newtown CT
A) If possible, give a tour of the space and just share common information about how everything works.

B) While you're in a position, keep notes about weird quirks in everything (e.g. dimmer 21 only functions about 50% or whatever) - keep these in a notebook or a google doc. I like Google Docs because they're easy to share with a whole team, and hard to lose

C) Keep a binder or Google Drive folder with all the manuals and relevant information for systems or even building/organization protocools that are neatly typed up. Information is never a bad thing.