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my high school needs more student techs!

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Florple, May 24, 2009.

  1. Florple

    Florple Member

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    I am the td at my highschool and lately my biggest problem with my techs is lack of interest. Over 90% of our techies have just graduated. So now i am left scrounging the lower classes for interested people and finding few. So my question is, how can i make people interested? I need ideas to pull people into our techie group. Right now we have myself and two nerds for a 700 seat theatre. I am thinking getting out some equipment people will want to play with like cameras at our weekly meetings. Any other high school techs can post what got you interested. And other tds can post what they do to attract volunteers.
     
  2. PeytonJr

    PeytonJr Active Member

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    This is almost exactly what my situation is too. Currently I usually just have the actors pitch in when they're not rehearsing, and sometimes the directors/sm's.
    Our theatre program is often overshadowed by the jazz band (Garfield Jazz Rocks!), so people dont think of volunteering at the theatre.
    Perhaps you could have your school newspaper run an article or advertisement on the tech program.
     
  3. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    Get one, and chances are you will get more, as most people hang around with likeminded people, just keep asking, sooner or later, someone will turn up, advertise the "get out of class" aspect only if all else fails.
    Nick
     
  4. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Offer pizza. Seriously.
     
  5. scotty269

    scotty269 Member

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    I was interested in joining my school's "stage crew" the first time I walked into our auditorium. It in a 1940's era theatre with a crappy sound and old lighting system. I like a good challenge. I recruited some of my friends (asians, the only ones who had enough free time help out) and now it's a group of 5 or so Asians, and 4 White kids (myself included).

    But seriously, free food always does the trick. Getting out of class, too.
     
  6. NickJones

    NickJones Active Member

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    We used to do training days, just pizza, and rock music. We used to set up the speakers, that was the tech part, and then crank the music, kick back and eat pizza...
    Nick
     
  7. Avyner1

    Avyner1 Member

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    so this is how I did it...put on a worthy lighting display...get some special stage blacks with names on them and offer a day of training..."anything to get out of school" like what nick said but accually do some stuff including eatting pizza =]
     
  8. Nathaniel

    Nathaniel Member

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    I would say that the kids who just want pizza or want to get out of class aren't the people you want. My advice would be to talk to your school's orchestra, math team, and computer programming classes, and have your actors talk to their friends, to see if you can find anybody that's interested. (speaking as a high school student)
     
  9. Clifford

    Clifford Active Member

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    Sounds like nobody knows about tech production at your school. Is tech a class at your school? Is it listed on the Course Request Form?

    If it's not a class, talk to your director/teacher and see if it can become a class. It they can't make it its own period (hour), see if it can be combined with one of the drama classes. Our tech class is going to be combined with our 4th year drama class next year. For us, this was done because of budget and because the teacher wanted more control over who got into tech (most of the class sits and does nothing). I bet your administration could do something similar. This would at least get an official class started up. Then you make sure that it's on the CRF, so students can see it. Now anyone who might have been interested, but didn't know how to get into tech not only knows it exists, but can quite easily enroll.
     
  10. Dynydthewanderer

    Dynydthewanderer Member

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    pizza yes! Work, yes!

    I agree with one of the previous posts, that your class needs to be a class. At my school, GHS, the stage crew incorporates some of the best students, and every year about a week ago actually we look around for some of the "brighter" or rather more "dedicated" freshmen to fill our class. If you really want a good crew you have to get some motivation in so again I gotta go pizza... but not just pizza for showing up you gotta make them work! Have an application process just a simple form with a list of contacts or something make them say why they want to be in the class (or club if that doesn't quite work out). weed out the nimrods who join because of the pizza and take those people who want to work and have fun doing so.


    So advertise the pizza but make sure youre people work for it
     
  11. derekleffew

    derekleffew Resident Curmudgeon Senior Team Premium Member

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  12. Dionysus

    Dionysus Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    My former highschool has had a lot of problems getting techs. Unfortunately there aren't as many students to draw from like in the big city schools, which it sounds like most of you come from.
    The student population is currently at around 500 students.

    The drama club at this highschool is also very well known, for such a small school with little budget they really do well, with top honours for many years in the provincial highschool drama competition (the SEARS drama festival)...

    After I left there was a huge lack of technicians. Several of the people who were on my crew lost interest after I left, or graduated themselves. Since then there has been a regular lack of crew members, which is getting worse and worse. New crew members tend not to manifest themselves until after the previous TD has graduated, thus they haven't had training from him (we've never had a female TD, since well before my time anyways).

    The school also has a well known jazz band actually.

    I've gone back several times to train the new TD and help out with productions.

    What they really need is some new dedicated students in lower grades to get into the crew, enthused, so they can learn and become the TD themselves later.

    Tech is a small part of the drama class, throughout the years. Not much, the only people who end up getting a real understanding of tech is the crew.

    I don't know how they pull in the crew now, but I used to have a set of announcements at the beginning of the year, and had a 'sign up' in the drama room one day at lunch. Anyone could venture to the drama room, and as me questions and sign up at that lunch hour if they were interested. Made sure they knew that they'd be having to take time off of classes and once and a while we'd have pizza ordered when we were working late.

    Had good kids once and a while, but too many that just didn't care to stick to it.
     
  13. w3st0n21

    w3st0n21 Active Member

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    If I were you I wouldnt want people who came for free food and music. I would want people who really enjoy doing this and have a pasion to learn. nothing sucks more than teaching someone something that they have no interest in and dont pay attention too. but once you have your crew training days with music and free pizza sound amazing :p
     
  14. Mather2010

    Mather2010 Member

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    In my high school, a lot of the techies just left because they were seniors, but once of twice of every year we dedicate a assembly, to just showing people the wonders of tech. Also this past semester, our td made a tech class. It was a little class, but I think that we got a few people more interested in tech. It's a start.
     
  15. erico3456

    erico3456 Member

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    Occupation:
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    I wouldn't try to much incentives like Pizza and loud music because those recruits might be pretty short lived. What I can suggest though is to put on a fun, cool looking show, whether it's after school or as a assembly where the kids can see some of the really neat things tech kids get to do. i know the reason I got involved in technical theater was because I sort of fell into a production that was extremely technically advanced for my school, and thought it would be neat to be apart of, and that show has kept me going, searching for more. Another idea would be to create a short video of some of your techs doing some fun things around the theater, (not to specific, just them doing some fun jobs) put some fun music behind it and try to get it shown in a couple of classes where you think there might be interest.
     
  16. echosierra08

    echosierra08 Member

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    There is a lot to be done in theatre. Throw a pitch like, like to paint? Like to use power tools and build with wood? Hands on? Like sound and music? Like Lighting?

    Sadly, a lot of people don't realize what it takes to put on shows and there are more aspects to it than one might think.
     
  17. tech2000

    tech2000 Active Member

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    I used to think I needed more techs, but then some how our crew jumped to about 21 or 22 people.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  18. Grommet

    Grommet Member

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    it took a year or so for my highschool to get a good crew after everyone left.

    at first i had 3 or so kids. they went away the next year.

    my best recruit i snagged before he entered highschool as he was my friend's little brother.

    currently the crew is Chris and his friends. they are good but it took a bit to get there with the flakes coming in and out but you can usually pull some one for a set moving job or follow spot anytime. They might not enjoy it but will stick around for the show.
     
  19. Seeker160

    Seeker160 Member

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    Wow i almost wish for that right now. I'm a senior and td at my local highschool right now. For this years Play "Pirates of Penzance" we had 75 kids sign up for tech out of about a 400 person school. This is with another 50+ kids wanting to be actors. My most luck with grabbing people has to be talk to the some of the kids who are gone if you can and see if they have siblings or even younger students who look up for them.

    It horrible right now that were gonna have to turn 1 in 2 of the tech kids away. But our normal crew size is 20-30 and were probably will ended just north of 35 this year. When I say crew I include the running crew for the actually show, 3-4 light people,1-2 prop people.1-2 sound people me as Td, and my stage manager and her assistant stage manager. I don't want to try to steal this thread but how big are the crews at the high-school level performances you all have dealt with . And how all out do you guys go for your performances sets and effects and all that wise.

    If you can start the kids young and let them no it fun we got such a good turn out since the other students really love doing it and the new students realize how much fun it can be by the experienced kid excitement. It a good thing to start now so even with a down year this year it starts growing from here.
     
  20. mstaylor

    mstaylor Well-Known Member Departed Member

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    What we did was pick kids in eigth or ninth grade to start learning the tech in our school. We always got them from the band, which is how I got started. We built a core of techs, added one to three a year and then augmented with drama kids that weren't in the current cast.
    Another source would be your vocational school or shop classes. Concentrate on the carps, electricians, manufacturing and computor classes. If you have video or flys your search coould include other classes as well.
    Trying to interest the drama kids with helping when not acting will turn up the stray tech.
    Once you get interest you have to teach as much as possible, make it as fun as possible but make sure they understand how important it is to the production and how detrimental slacking at the last minute can be.
     

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