TDing

zac850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Location
New York
Ok, this is more of a TD thing then SM, but I'm going to be TDing my show. There is no teacher TD, and besides me there will only be the director. My crew will be around 11 kids or so, and i was looking for some helpful hints for TDing the group.
Any suggestions?

Thanks
Zac
 

nickpl

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Location
Eagle River, WI
Compared to the size of a crew I have, that's huge! My TD crew consist of 3 other people. One for each spot, and one to run errands, or help with scene changes. I run sound and the light board. I wish that I could find that many people willing to help out with my schools shows.….. but then I would have to buy more headsets :wink:

My tips obviously work better for a smaller group, but I would recommend that you try to get to know the kids, and be nice to them, as they will pay more attention to someone they like. If they are going to be running equipment, have a time when they can "play" with the equipment while you are watching them, and making sure they can work it correctly. Also, make sure that they know what is okay to do, and what isn't. Most importantly, make sure that the director is willing to support what you say, and you and the director agree on how to do things. There's nothing worse then telling a kid to do something one way, and have the director tell them to do it another way.

Well, I'm hope that those tips will help you out somewhat. If not, then I'm sure other people will have some other helpful tips and advise to give you.

-Nick
 

megf

Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2003
Location
CA
Figure out what they have done before - that way, if one member of the crew is able to train others, you can make it more of a collaborative effort than a hierarchical setup, and save yourself the trouble of training one more person.
 

zac850

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 21, 2003
Location
New York
OK, um.... well what do you think of this as a crew? The show is Into The Woods.

I am on lighting board
2 people on spot (2 different spots)
2 people on sound (this is a given, they've been doing sound for a long time)
1 person back stage for fly (its not a real fly, we made it ourself....)
1 person on props
2 people for set changes
1 person backstage for lav mic changes/lav mic problems
1 person assisting with costume changes (this job may be cut, im not sure yet)
1 ASM backstage who I can trust to help keep everyone doing there job

Do you guys think this is to big a crew? The show is Into The Woods, and it is quick, with lots of scene changes and things, so I am thinking that this is needed....

any opinions of the list?
 

nickpl

Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2004
Location
Eagle River, WI
I am on lighting board
2 people on spot (2 different spots)
2 people on sound (this is a given, they've been doing sound for a long time)
1 person back stage for fly (its not a real fly, we made it ourself....)
1 person on props
2 people for set changes
1 person backstage for lav mic changes/lav mic problems
1 person assisting with costume changes (this job may be cut, im not sure yet)
1 ASM backstage who I can trust to help keep everyone doing there job
Well...
We have always had the actors change props and the set (I have them well trained :) ), and we don't have a fly, or any wireless mics :( and I have always had a person I trust to help with things backstage. Our sound board is very simple, an on-off switch, a master volume control, and my laptop, so I can run it and the light board at the same time (I'll have to post a picture sometime)

So, our crews are about the same things, you just have enough people so you don't have to trust the actors, which is probably a good idea :wink: All actor jokes aside, they are so focused on their lines, and how they look, that they tend to forget things. I had one actor who forgot to bring the plank for the boat out, and he was going to walk the plank!

-Nick
 

plug_in_baby

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
yeah thats all good,

i have an 11 man crew aswell and i do the same:

2 followspots,
1 sound op,
1 lighting op,
1 stage manager,
2 ASM's
1 DSM
2 Fly ops
and me TD'ing the show.

seems to work well
 

Spamman

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Location
yes
Generally for a fast show i liked having

1 person on light board
1 person on spot
2 on fly-
1 on ASM
TD/SM- me
2 on Sound board-

hey it worked well- i tend to like smaller rather than larger crews
 

plug_in_baby

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2004
why do so many fo you include someone from wardrobe, usually the wardrobe people sort themselves out. i personally would never ask a stage crew member to do wardrobe, its a bit of an insult really.
 

Spamman

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2004
Location
yes
truly
 

Vanessa

Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2004
Location
Canada
Wow, you do have a nice sized crew! I did 'into the woods' with 4 set, 4 props, 1 light, 1 sound, including me. But the actors are horribly trained and treat us like slaves. That's why we needed so many props people- running around finding the props after the actors threw them in a corner! Plus, we did the scene changes ourselves, and we needed all the set and props people to do it.
I think nickpl gave good advice- get to know them, befriend them even. Don't be a pushover. They should know you have the final say, but let them give their opinion, even if it's a complaint. I delegate alot- it keeps my stress level down and gives a greater sense of responsibility (and therefore, hardwork) to even the youngest, least experienced members of my crew. Good luck!
 
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Location
Kelowna, BC. Canada
Ya, I've done Into the Woods as well. I was TD for the crew, but was gonna be gone for some of the performance week, so I had to trust everything to my crew (most of them completely new to theatre). I think we had 5,

2 sound (mics + music)
1 lights
1 Lav tech/stagehand
1 spot

For the shows that I was there for, I was a second stagehand and helped with mic changeovers.

I agree with the earlier posts about getting to know your crew and getting a repoire going. Knowing that they're allowed to joke around and have a little fun is always good for the concentration and self esteem. However, for this particular show, I didn't really have time to train or befriend any of the people working under me. I was in my senior year and didn't have time outside of the show to get to know these people. And I was kind of high strung which translates into "really harsh when it came to mistakes". In the end we all got along, but there was alot of hostility when we were just starting out.
=
 

OnWithTheShow

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Location
Philadelphia
Generally speaking if you are going to be TD, whether professional or as a student you should not have yourself assigned a crew position. Of course in smaller schools this may not work because of the lack of help. As TD your responsibility is to supervise all aspects of the production. You need to be able to respond if a set piece breaks, another crew member is hurt, there is a problem with a piece of equipment, or any other occurance that would require your superior knowledge and training. As I like to put it, you need to available to put out the fires.
 

OnWithTheShow

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Location
Philadelphia
Generally speaking if you are going to be TD, whether professional or as a student you should not have yourself assigned a crew position. Of course in smaller schools this may not work because of the lack of help. As TD your responsibility is to supervise all aspects of the production. You need to be able to respond if a set piece breaks, another crew member is hurt, there is a problem with a piece of equipment, or any other occurance that would require your superior knowledge and training. As I like to put it, you need to available to put out the fires.
 

SuperCow

Active Member
Joined
Apr 21, 2004
Location
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
My school usually has this for a crew:

1 T.D. (on the school's staff)
1 Lighting Op (me)
1 Sound Technician
1 Assistans S.T. (helps with collecting mic's, tells the S.T. what is sounds like in the house and does errands for the booth)
1 or 2 Follow spot Ops
1 S.M.
2 Crew Chiefs
1 Props Person
As many stage hands as we need.
 

SMTashi

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2004
Location
London, UK
I have to agree with OnWithTheShow. I've TD'ed a couple shows here at my high school and the most recent one I had to run the light board because I was short on crew. Well my ASM backstage (the only one backstage I might add. But we weren't using wireless mics and there was hardly set changes) got mildly injured during a scene change and he wasn't keen on the whole working the show either. Well he decided that he was going to just sort of rebel and started to refuse to continue working (he had gotten a lot of crap from the actors and is only 16 so I can't really blame him for starting to crack). Anyways, the point is that if I hadn't been on the board I could have gone backstage and helped him out and talked to him but I had to do it over the radios for the whole crew to hear which didn't make it easier.
Moral of the story. Is that TD's should always be able to be flexible and help out whenever something goes wrong.