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Right way/ wrong way

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Jo-JotheSoundDog, Apr 1, 2003.

  1. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    I just want to put a little word of advice out there. There are many ways to do everything. And a good tech will learn more ways then one. It is a great skill to have an open mind. Just because someone tells you to do it a different way than how you were taught, is no reason to take an attitude with the person. If they totally explain it to you and it doesn't make sense. Nicely ask why it can't be done the way you know and for an explanation. Some people will go with the answer "because I said so". And I don't think that is an appropriate answer. But others will turn it into the learning situation that it should be. It also gives you the oppurtunity to teach that person something new. I will never close my ears to learning new ways, unless it is done with severe attitude.
    This profession is supposed to be fun and interesting. And everyone needs to keep it that way.
    There is more than one way to skin a cat.
     
  2. dvsDave

    dvsDave Benevolent Dictator Administrator Senior Team CB Mods Fight Leukemia

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    Why ControlBooth.com was created!

    You mentioned the word: "teaching".... You hit the nail on its head as to why this site was created. You see, JoJo, not everybody has the advantage of having someone at their theater who is/was a technician or just has been in the field a while. It's really sad.... in fact, it sucks...

    I was one of those guys who didn't have someone there to teach me about lighting, sound, or set-building in high school. I went to Stone Bridge High School in Ashburn, VA. It is a brand new school (I was in the first graduating class). We had a LOT of new toys to play with... all ETC lights... but we were cursed in the fact that all we have are ETC Source 4's, ETC fresels, and 4 cyc strips..... we have only have 3 pars...(we would kill for about 30 pars...)(I know that the reverse is true in many cases.... but its like using surgical tools to cut a steak... you try lighting a stage just using Source 4's...I am at college now and I love being able to create washes with all of the pars we have... and only having to use Source 4's when I need them...)

    Without using two-fers... i can focus 148 lights onto our stage (we don't have that many lights, however...) It's great.. but we don't have a fly system, we have four battons that are operated by LOUD hand cranks.

    Everything I learned about technical theater, I learned almost completely by myself and with the other techies.... We didn't have anyone to teach us the McCandless method (we only started using at the end of last year!)

    This is why I created ControlBooth.com, to give techies who don't have an older "mentor" figure, a chance to learn and grow and make their plays all they can be!

    So, my last message about this topic is to implore people not to crititize another persons techniques or lack or knowledge... unless their techniques or lack of knowledge poses a danger to themselves. Instead, gently offer an alternative means of doing whatever it is... and don't compare the methods... let the readers choose for themselves...

    Remember, that at one point in your life, you didn't know anything about theater either....
     
  3. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    Dave I'm sorry if you took my post the wrong way I had no negative implications whatsoever. I was just trying to pass on some of the better advice I had received earlier on that helped get me where I am today. And that was to keep an open mind. I know for a fact noone on the forum will be able to get that advice from my mentor since he has passed on, so I try to keep it alive. My apologies if it sounded insulting. I love trying to help out budding techs and that is why I like this site so much. And I know for a fact that I don't know everything and that there is much to learn from even the youngest technicians. So my apologies to all.
     
  4. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    That is very very true about skinning the cat. lol just playing but there are many ways to do the same task......like turning on a light on the lightboard.
     
  5. Jo-JotheSoundDog

    Jo-JotheSoundDog Active Member

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    Or turning on a light with a light board.

    Just kidding
     
  6. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    lol
     
  7. TechDirector

    TechDirector Active Member

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    Re: Why ControlBooth.com was created!

    I'd say that 75 percent of my stage is lit by Source 4's. 20 percent is lit by cyc strips, and the other 5 percent by fresels.

    When I saw RENT at the Nederlander Theatre on 41st street in NYC, all they had were Source 4's all pointed straight down onto the stage except the Souce 4's that were above the audience. There must have been 100 or 200 crammed above the stage and I think it was all on one fly so if one light was in the wrong position, they had to lower the entire setup. I feel bad for them.
     
  8. ship

    ship Senior Team Emeritus Premium Member

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    I'm one much not for PAR Cans myself unless for a specific barbaric wash of light or I run out of good lights. PAR cans are kind of a Fresnel and kind of a Leko but not really a substitute for either if you care or know what you are trying to do. Cyc lights are much more effective in washing anyway. That said, when I heard at one point the hopefully retired lighting designer at my old high school theater had plans of replacing all the Lekos in the inventory with PAR cans, I was seriously taken agast. If I remember right, they were the classic Century Strand units that were high in quality and supplimented by S-4 fixtures the the TD had bought to spite him for when she did the designs. The Lighting designer never inspired me to follow lighting by knowledge or fun.

    During high school, I was more carpenter crew, but knowing what such a change over would mean for future budding tech people would mean, and as a later lighting designer I was enraged. His rational was that since he never really moved or did anything more than a Repretory plot for any show, why did he need any aging Lekos that required maintinence. Hope he is well gone! That TD that knew what she was doing and was more qualified that the science teacher that by the way knew something about electrics opened my world to theater and inspired me to a career in it as opposed to the science teacher that made his crews do stuff but never really tought or opened up the world to them. That said, I kind of feel sorry for those that don't have qualified teachers out there to train and inspire them. I of course would have become an architect with a BMW had that real theater teacher not come along, but my life would never have been as inspired.

    "Everything I learned about technical theater, I learned almost completely by myself and with the other techies" So we get into your real motivation for this website. Had one similar for the store front theatere industry, but I burned out.

    When ever I hear about stuff like the kids running the tech program, big flashing warning lights go off in my brain. What the heck is going on here? Why is a student that has only been on this earth a few years and certainly does not know the big picture saddled with so much responsibility without direction? I remember the time between when we/I got that other science teacher that was TD to quit and the qualified person showed up and in the mean time I was left in charged. Funny, we had problems holding those foam colum tops onto the tubing with the nails, and Elmers glue wouldn't hold. Drywall screws were not even introduced to us yet much less proper adhesives. I never had any idea without instruction that there was any other method of mounting foam to a colum and assume other kids miss a few things out of lack of instruction.

    The show goes up, it's fun, but you miss so much more. Even at my first college - one that didn't really have a good tech program, I quickly found myself in charged. I was at the top of my world, but didn't really learn anything. Where would I be now had I only been hacking my way thru what I do?

    I hope this website fits the mission statement. I would love to see more kids talking amongst each other and given "what we do" advice rather than us "Experts" answering the question, but hope at least we help some.

    Finally, "because I said so". to me is the more funny theater commandment that I live by: "The TD is never wrong. If you think the TD is wrong you must have mis-heard him." It's really a shame if the TD doesn't know what he or she is doing and is wrong.
     

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