Rules for the catwalk/booth


Well-Known Member
I am making up a rule sheet for my schools booth and was wondering what I sould put on it. So far I have:

1. BE SAFE. Do not do anything if you know that it could get someone hurt.
a. Do not push or shove anyone on the catwalk, or when they are climbing up or down from the catwalk
b. Only one person on the ladder at a time
c. Only 5 people are allowed on the catwalk unless otherwise instructed by someone in charge
d. You are not allowed in the catwalk unless proper supervision is present

2. You may only touch equipment if instructed to you.
a. The equipment is very expensive, and difficult to replace. Only touch it if instructed to do so.

a. Food is allowed in the catwalk as long as it will not leave a mess
b. Drinks are only allowed in bottles or other re-sealable containers
c. All food/drink must be kept on the rear cross beam, away from all equipment
d. You must clean up after yourself. This is not your room, and I am not your mother.

I'm trying to think of what else I should put on this sheet.

Hey, something that we always need, is No throwing things off the catwalk, and no yelling down from catwalk, or booth to the audience. But you might not have those problems.

One more thing, don't bring any friends into the booth or on the catwalk unless they have a good reason to be there. Because sometimes actors decide to take all of their friends on a tour, even though they arn't even suppose to be there.

Smatticus said:
I need a catwalk too. :(

we just got it a few months ago!!! its my new toy!!!

And the actors aren't even allowed to be in the booth. We're making it so that only techies who are taking the proper class/who need to go up there can go up. No actors unless they have a reason to go up.
My life would be sooo much easier if we had one, I can't do anything with any of the FOH lights right now, not a thing and it's annoying! We can't even touch them without putting in a work order! :eek: :(
Is it just my school or does it take forever to get them to do a work order? We have had work orders in for broken doors our leaky roof as well as getting rid of our old murcury vapor lights and install flourecent lighting in our shop.

Rock Springs Wy.
Well, for me, its not really a catwalk, and its not really a booth, its sorta in the middle. It covers most of the back wall, and lights will be hung from right above it, so in that regard it is a catwalk, but it does not wrap around, so we can not access all of the FOH lights, only those hanging on the back wall.....

I'm not sure if you would call it a booth or a catwalk.... so I call it both...
Ya, work orders are a pain. We have had one in for the longest time for many things. We had a fire 2 years many things STILL need repair, but the school is concentratng on their beloved sports.


Only small crews at my company - only a small catwalk. Thus, only one rule.

If you are on the catwalk, you hang from it when the SM finds out.

Thats for actors.

Otherwise only three people are up there. The SM, Rigger and Tech. Director.

Keeps it Simple Stupid.
Re: Catwalks

I agree with one of the guys before, make sure whatever your holding is secure. when we go on our catwalk (yes we have one because our theater is fairly new!!) we have wire cables attached to our wrenches when we angle lights.

dont go up on the catwalk with a phone in hand or something spiffy you dont want to get stuck on the acoustics hanging down.
A few notes...

I think 1a can be simplified to, "No roughhousing, keep your hangs to yourself."
1c doesn't make sense to me. Why are you restricting the number of people in the cats? How about, "You are only permitted in the catwalks when working."

2a+b..."Respect all equipment. If you break it you buy it."

3b...why would anyone ever eat in the catwalks? Even if they you really need a rule for it?

3d..."Keep this place clean."

I'm not trying to rip but some of those "rules" just seemed oddly written. Take it or leave it. :]

I found that posting rules at my theatre doesn't work so I gave up on it a while ago....
Just a note that this is a very old thread. Although certainly always a great topic to discuss.

As was pointed out the most important rule is no loose articles in the catwalks/grid.

Do you all have a box or bin somewhere on the way up to your catwalks/grid to place loose articles on the way up?
Just a note that this is a very old thread. Although certainly always a great topic to discuss.

As was pointed out the most important rule is no loose articles in the catwalks/grid.

Do you all have a box or bin somewhere on the way up to your catwalks/grid to place loose articles on the way up?

Our cats are separate from the grid entirely, with that said, our pockets are empty if we are on the grid. There is absolutely no reason to have your phone when your working on the grid, there is also no reason to have your keys with you on the grid. We have a key to get up to the grid but that has a lanyard and is hooked onto the door handle when we go up. The cats on the other hand are more accommodating to have stuff in its about a 30 foot drop but its above the audience seating and generally during a load in or whenever we would be in the cats there won't be people sitting in the audience.
Catwalks:... Rules.

1. No food - ever!
2. Water. Generally, NO! Some situations might allow it but, remember, if you allow water, you have to allow some way to dispose of it. How far to the nearest restroom and what is the opportunity to take the necessary break?
3. all tools tied off, always.
4. Never make adjustments, gel change etc while audience, crew or other persons are below the work area.
5. A Catwalk is a work area. Non work activities may not be engaged in while on the catwalks.
My rules for catwalks, in the spaces I work in that have them, vary upon situation.

1. UnS**T your pockets.
2. Tie off/secure all tools.
3. Notify ground crew/those below of any loose equipment. If not possible do not make the equipment loose.
4. No food or drink.

Spot Op/projector op/whatever op:
1. Refer to rules, 1,2 and 3 above.
2. No food or drink except water.
3. Gel changes must be made via Boomerang or via a gel/gel frame/gel in a gel frame secured to the catwalk. My high schoolers thought I was crazy when I told them they had to change follow spot color. Then they saw me put tie line through the holes in the corners of their gel frames and hang them on the trestles.

Other activity.
1. Don't do it.
Do you guys really need all of those rules?

Seems a bit silly to me. I work with students and even for them common sense is a pretty good regulator. They know they'll have to work with loose hardware on the grid while setting up lift lines for dead-hung scenery pieces, and they also know to keep anything loose on the plywood work surfaces to prevent them falling to the ground through the grate.

I always tell them to maintain a "falcon grip" on anything they're working with.

Beyond their common sense, there's no list of a dozen rules that I could make that's going to make them up on the grid or anyone down on the floor any safer.

They need no more explanation of the gravity of the situation than telling them that a gel frame from forty feet up while tear through the upholstery of a seat like a surgeon slicing someone open with a scalpel, much less what it could do to someone's head.

Users who are viewing this thread