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Job Title Variations

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by thelightguy87, Aug 1, 2008.

  1. thelightguy87

    thelightguy87 Active Member

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    I've been given the Job title, Master Electrician from my Production Manager and my Technical Director. When a touring show comes in, they ask for their ME and sent to me. However, I was reading in the introduce yourself forum, and for high wattage, several people were having a hard time with high wattage calling himself a master electrician, and in pie's thread about what to call his job position, no one really likes the title master electrician. From my observations I almost feel bad calling myself an ME, but I am in charge of all lighting equipment operations, under our equipment specialist, but I hang, color, patch the plot, I draw up paperwork, whether touring or in house, I program and/or board op the show. I am not a certified electrician, and I won't pretend to be a good electrician for a second. But in my theater, thats why we have our equipment specialist. He handles most electrical duties, and if needed we call a college engineer.

    I understand that it takes years to become a Master Electrician, and that title shouldn't be used loosely, but In the the theater i work in, I assume the role of the Master Electrician. Does that not make me it?

    I'm curious of your opinions about this, I know I just work in a small community college roadhouse, but I went up the ranks like anyone else would.
     
  2. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    If you could rephrase the above into an understandable sentence, that would help. Avoid ambiguous pronouns. Since you design and program also, I'd think the term "House LD", (and in this case LD=Lighting Director), would be a better fit. As indicated in our wiki, regional theatres sometimes use the term Lighting Supervisor. Sometimes a member of the road crew will simply ask for the "Head Lighting Guy". That works too. Your house's position of "Equipment Specialist" is rather rare, I think. Which of you are qualified to tie-in power?

    I think there's a big difference in saying you were the Master Electrician for Our Town, vs. putting Master Electrician on a business card or signature. Outside of the theatre industry, "Master Electrician" denotes: usually a member of IBEW, ten-plus years of experience, and a state-certification. Even the ETCP category is "Entertainment Electrician", not Master Electrician.

    Hope this helps.
     
  3. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    Hey, if that is what the position is called, that's what it's called. No one is going to jump down your throat for using the title if you hold the job.

    My only real area of concern is when "titles" are used interchangeably with "qualifications". Heck, I was an ME at my High School but I'm still not a Master Electrician. Several of us "Old Farts" <most of whom really aren't that old> have had discussions in the past, and while none of us want to appear the Pompous Old Fart, many of us share the opinion that often times titles get held out as qualifications. The funny thing being, we've all been there, we were all that wunderkid who everyone thought was the best in the world, then we left for the big league.
    I've always found that there is nothing like this business to demonstrate the difference between a big pond and a lake. While one may be the best **** widget designer in all of West Central Northern B.F. District, there is always someone else, better, who lives in the next county.

    Sorry, didn't mean to go off on a tirade. Long story short, <too late> you're the M.E. at your facility, as long as you don't go passing yourself off as a Licensed IBEW member when you aren't, then I have no issues what so ever.

    Some of the other threads were really related more to Ideas in general. The whole "I don't like the term ME..." on my part is simply because the kind of confusion it often lends itself to.
    BTW, I'm speaking Honestly and Generally with neither Malice nor fingers pointed at anyone.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 1, 2008
  4. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I have worked at places where Master Electrician was on my contract, in the program next to my name, and on the door of my office. I went with it because thats what the theatre called my position. I now list myself as Production Electrician on my resume' for that job. For me personally, I don't care what they call me as long as they pay me. I would prefer to not be called a Master Electrician, mainly because my father yells at me for it (he is a legit IBEW Master Electrician).
     
  5. gafftaper

    gafftaper Senior Team Senior Team Fight Leukemia

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    Don't confuse two issues in those other threads. One involves a young student using a title that others feel it takes many years of professional work to achieve. That's at the least confusing and potentially insulting to others. The other thread involves more general confusion over so many different job titles within theater lighting. Far too many theaters hear a title and use it the wrong way which makes things worse.

    Hey Derek, ST, Ship, Van, Alex, Footer... and the rest of the more seasoned veterans (or to quote Van "old farts") around here. Why don't we put together a Wiki entry on standard job titles? It could include a description of what the jobs SHOULD mean you do and also what it should take in terms of skills and experience to get that job.
     
  6. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    Only if we can include old farts.
     
  7. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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    [user]gafftaper[/user], [user]Footer4321[/user], et al.: Perhaps SOMEONE (or many) should complete/expand the existing collaborative article: Technical Theatre Organization Best Practices. I'll correct the grammar once someone has a go at it.;)

    Also, a challenge to All: Try to add at least one term a week to the Glossary. Often, once I've read every new thread on CB, I try to think of new terms to add and define. A while ago I went on a tare to make sure there was at least one entry under every letter.
     
  8. thelightguy87

    thelightguy87 Active Member

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    that would be the equipment specialist. although even if i was qualified, because its a college and im still a student there they probably still wouldn't let me.

    When a touring show comes in, they ask my production manager who the ME is. He tells them my name and then introduces them to me.

    although I can do basic wiring, I am not an electrician other than my lighting abilities, although i tend to design more than general electrician work. But thats because I hold multiple jobs in my theater.

    I think I will keep the ME title for the shows I work on, because that is the title I am given from my supervisors. But I'm not trying to pass on that I am a real Master Electrician. Isn't there a line drawn somewhere as a "Theater" term? I do understand the experience needed to become a master electrician in the trade.
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  9. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    So, a couple things:

    ME is a relative term. My current job title is "Master Electrician." My resume says "Electrician." Just like being a painter: one can be a painter but not the "Charge" unless someone tells you that's your job. You might be a sound person, but you're not the department head unless you're hired to do that.

    You might be the ME for a show, or a venue, or a company....or all of the above. More and more Production Electrician is used for shows (especially Broadway).

    There = location. Their = ownership.

    What kind of touring shows are you talking about? Are they bringing in dimmers and doing tie-ins?


    --Sean
     
  10. Van

    Van CBMod CB Mods Premium Member

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    You forgot
    They're = they are.
    I think that's Plural Existential:mrgreen:
     
  11. thelightguy87

    thelightguy87 Active Member

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    we are a roadhouse that books in shows, but we provide the equipment most of the time, there have been a few shows that wasn't the case. But the talent comes in and I use a house plot, or sometimes my own plot for concerts, or they advance a plot and we have it ready for them to walk in with their lighting director. We get a lot of dances, touring plays, or acrobatic shows. Most of them don't come with a designer, they have a lighting director for the focus and to give me cues.
     

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