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Discussion in 'General Advice' started by wemeck, May 1, 2003.
I guess I am really missing the value of joining these organizations. Please advise.
USITT and LDI if you are in a position to make use of joining, i.e. being able to attend the conferences they are not bad for keeping up with the latest tech. All three of these organisations also offer lectures and the like, so a lot can be learned from them.
LDI is a convention. Not really much to join. You should attend the conventions - this like attending USITT is very important for knowing what’s going on and learning stuff in the lectures. If you are freelance, you have to pay, but if you work for a company, they might send you there and pick up the bill both for getting in and room and board. Better yet, if you work for a company that’s presenting or installing, you not only get in and get free housing, but are paid to be there plus get spending money. In my case, since I’m salery and management, I’m offered the option to go if I want - my boss or me if not both, and I don’t have to do any work while there. See you next year.
Subscribe to the magazine if you want to stay informed but it’s value is limited because from the last time I read it, it wasted more time covering stuff I didn’t see, care about, or attend than providing anything useful. Lack of subscribing is like living as a hermit where technology is concerned, but besides knowing what toys are out there, in my opinion, there is not much value. It’s not like any sort of Wood Magazine that does useful articles on how to do stuff and does Consumer Reports like tests on gear - given it’s home owner grade tests and not tested for industrial usefulness. PLSN is another good magazine for keeping informed. Used to be that Theater Crafts or Lighting Dimensions (and I mean Theater Crafts not TCI) would give how to articles but that’s long gone from my last reading. Articles you could use in writing term papers and gaining skills that you could use.
They gave me a free year’s subscription to each after I wrote a letter complaining about the quality. Stuck with them that extra year and never renewed either. Still one big advertisement in my opinion. Since than I hear Lighting Dimensions has improved lately. Perhaps. PLSN [email protected] <[email protected]> this week was offering free subscriptions to the magazine on Stagecraft List for anyone interested.
My company is even frequently mentioned or interviewed about in articles from the above magazines but that doesn’t help me do my job in fixing stuff or buying gear any better. Vendors of new gear come to see me, why should I bother to go to the convention.
Joining USITT is a good idea and something you can put on your resume both as being a member and in listing each conference you attend. I still remember my classes on Pyro and firearms. Just seeing my grey haired high school TD with a Thomson sub machine gun, and knowing she was aiming at me was pleasure enough. But while in school - college or high school, it’s something that your school/drama department should be paying for and something you in cookie sales or what ever, should be raising money for attending conferences at or going to. Much more fun in going to it as a group. Besides private memberships are expensive.
After you get out of school, it’s a question of your living. If you work at a small or regional theater, than keeping up in classes and tech is a good thing, but if you go to a production shop or go union, than it’s uses are more limited on a personal level. For lighting, especially entertainment lighting in conventions and rock, since it’s more of a stage and scenery oriented thing, such use as it offers is limited to you. I know how to make a GoFres, but it’s use in a multi-million dollar lighting company is limited to the extreme.
USITT offers tech notes and other things that are extremely valuable in learning how to do stuff that’s not offered elsewhere. You can go to the website http://www.nwmissouri.edu/~pimmel/usitt/source_guide/ and have free access to the info they offer, but if you frequently need it, it’s better to join. USITT is a very valuable thing to join, but wait a few years after you get on your own to see how much value joining it will be. Were I still a TD and designer of a store front theater, than heck yea it would be useful. But now for me at least, there is little use. Plus the company I work for is a member meaning thru them I would get the various discounts they offer including discounts to the convention.
As for joining SETI. That’s kind of a personal thing. If you want to search for intelligent life on other planets who am I to stop you. Yes I know it was a question about a different group and not SETI, but I have never heard of the club you ask about nor did I ever need it. My resume was done by me and sent to one of my local theater equipment suppliers (Design Lab) for a charge to advise on how it could be tightened up - not that I listened to the advice. Lots of theater oriented stores have such resume type services like in another instance being ACT I bookstore in Chicago that will help you. Plus there are a few books out there. Resumes are a personal thing, sure if there is a website or club that helps, it might be of value, but it’s nothing new. A search thru Stagecraft’s past topics on it from last year http://stagecraft.theprices.net/stagecraft/ will turn up an even more valuable wealth of info on the subject because replies to the question went into depth by those with a lot of experience in writing and reading them. Such info is extreme in importance. Of even more importance is the cover letter and the advice they gave about it.
In addition to the above Design Lab help with the resume, I as a TD was constantly getting other people sending me resumes which helped me in comparing what I liked about them and making it work with my own. Perhaps you might be able to look at some in the light of seeing what works in their presentation and format. Were I still in school I would grab the attention of the school’s TD or another teacher that is responsible for you and have them help you with it. Such people have a lot of experience with such things and would be a wealth of info on your own version, plus probably be able to offer you their name as a recommendation and source you out to places for a job in the first place. 90% Of your jobs will be out of who you know anyway so you might as well take advantage of the sources for work you know anyway. Just remember, if you screw up such jobs you are recommended for that you will also screw up your relationship with those who recommended you. It’s a small industry, getting a bad name for yourself gets around. Hope it helps.
Theatre Conference. I believe right now there are around 100 theatres in the South East that are members. They hold conventions twice a year where they do lectures workshops and an enormous(sp) job fair. Where all the member theatres from Small Professional, to entertainment parks (Busch Gardens), and even some supply houses list all the positions they have available, and you go around and sign up for interviews. You can do upwards of twenty interviews a day. And they are all face to face with the company. Not just mailing a resume' across state lines. You should show up with a completed resume' to distribute. I do believe they offer lectures and workshops on improving resume's and portfolios. But if you show up without a completed professional looking resume' ou are screwed.
LDI this year I can really appreciate the value of merchandise and information available at these conferences.
There is absolutely noooo point joining it, Im a member of their forums and email newsletter service thingo's, and I get all the stuff exactly the same as paied memebers.
We have a mob called Julius Media, and they release a magazine called CX every 2months which is GREAT!! the only magazine about this sorta stuff in australia, and they send it everywhere in the world apparently... www.juliusmedia.com.au
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