Technician vs Techie

Is it better to be called a Techie or Technician?


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MaddMaxx

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Location
Washington, D.C. - Northern Va.
Actually, I would rather be addressed by my actual title: TD. Other "Technicians" by their titles, or by other crew members by their abbreviations: ME, etc..
If you are hired as a sound engineer you should be addressed as such. LD, SM, PM, Carp, Rig, etc., should only be used between production members. Actors, Management, and other non-production people should be encouraged to use a production team members' full title. They have earned and deserve repect.
 

TheSoundGod

Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2009
It depends on the setting, I (unfortunately) haven't done to much with technical stuff as of lately, but when i was doing it in school we were the Techies, thats just how it was. When I did/do something in a professional setting or when the HS would rent out the theater (when I was still there and the on-call student Tech) I went by Technician. So personally I have a soft spot for the title Techie just because thats were I got my start.
 

HollyRawls

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Joined
Mar 3, 2010
Location
Colorado
During our summer youth program we do our best to beat the term "techie" out of our students' minds. It is a diminutive and disrespectful term that allows the user to remain ignorant of what the technician actually does- ie dresser, light board operator, etc. Theater is a collaborative art form that relies on many different people doing specific tasks. Lumping all technicians under the cutsie term "techie" does not allow for understanding or appreciation of the specificity of that person's tasks- especially of the tasks involve years of training or experience. Besides, can you imagine the screams if we started calling actors "acties?"
 

ruinexplorer

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Thank you for your service to the students. It's amazing when I have told people that I am a professional stagehand and they jokingly reply that they were a techie in HS. Not quite the same thing. That's kind of like going to a Congressman and saying, "Oh, I know all about that, I was on student council."
 
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ratthepoodle

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Jan 29, 2013
Location
Minnesota
My thought is that the formal term is technician and techie is more of a slang term. ie Sound Technician in the program but Techie during rehearsal
 

Brayidur

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May 28, 2013
Location
Poughkeepsie, NY
I'll throw my 2 cents in for once... I have always hated the word techie. I prefer the tittle system, IE. Technical Director, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer/Engineer, also I've noticed that the performers seem to use the word "techie" alot. For me, if I am just a stagehand on a show, Tech, Hand, Technician are all fine. However when I'm more then just a stagehand Technician or my title is appropriate.
 

chieftfac

Active Member
Joined
Apr 26, 2004
Location
Western North Carolina Foothills
During our summer youth program we do our best to beat the term "techie" out of our students' minds. It is a diminutive and disrespectful term that allows the user to remain ignorant of what the technician actually does- ie dresser, light board operator, etc. Theater is a collaborative art form that relies on many different people doing specific tasks. Lumping all technicians under the cutsie term "techie" does not allow for understanding or appreciation of the specificity of that person's tasks- especially of the tasks involve years of training or experience. Besides, can you imagine the screams if we started calling actors "acties?"
I know I will catch some grief for this... But when they are unpaid actors in community theater I don't see any problem referring to them as "acties" if they insist on calling my crew techies. However, since we are doing less and less community theater here at our arts center (... and more and more bands/music). we have started using the term "entertainment production specialist". I have even seen a few tech riders as of late use some variant of the term, instead of "technical director".
 

BLPisani

Member
Joined
Feb 27, 2012
Location
Walland, TN, USA
I'm an electrician. I'm a tech. If you want to add -nician or -ie to that, fine. You can even call me a sparky. So long as you're doing it out of respect and possibly a little bit of fear (remember, I do know how to use electricity ;P), whatever.
 
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DarkFlipDog

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Feb 25, 2014
Location
Skokie, IL
I understand that some professionals prefer a specific title to delineate their job when around a new crew. But if you're working with a group of close friends/colleagues, I've never had any need to be that strict about titles. If you've got someone that is *that* obsessed with making sure every title is followed at all times, maybe they're in the wrong business.
 

AppollSauce

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Joined
Mar 10, 2014
Location
Albuquerque, NM
When it comes down to the two terms I would prefer technician, it just sounds more professional and important than techie. Techie sounds like someone who is into technology but not really a specialist or professional of any type. I also agree that, for the most part, you can call me what you like as long as I'm getting paid what I like. The only one that gets to me regularly is DJ. I often run lighting for local EDM clubs where there is a DJ, elevated on stage, with headphones on, rocking out over a couple of turntables and a DJ mixer, with club-style lighting all around him, and yet they see me hiding in a dark corner with my laptop staring at the lighting and think "Hey, let me ask him if he can play my song!"
 

chawalang

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Joined
Apr 10, 2012
Location
Texas
Stagehand in my opinion is the most accurate and professional term for a person working in a production role in an entertainment setting. This can then be divided into specific disciplines. Such as rigger, carpenter, scenic fabricator, electrician, Master or head electrician, fly man, automation, head audio, video engineer, follow spot operator and so on.

The term techie is a very high school term, again in my opinion it sounds very immature, one would not refer to an actor as an acte or performer as a performe. Technician in my opinion is a very college term and is also very ambiguous. Technician, do you mean your an X ray technican? Automotive technician? AC technician? The term technician can be applied to almost any kind of trade.

The term Stagehand is synonyms with the entertainment industry.

A stagehand is a person who works backstage or behind the scenes in theatres, film, television, or location performance. Their work include setting up the scenery, lights, sound, props, rigging, and special effects for a production.
 

dwardMICS

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Joined
Apr 1, 2016
Location
Mt. Holly, NC
As I am building a program at my new school, I'm trying to classify things different. They had a fun name for the GSD (Get Stuff Done) group of kids: Tech Commandos or Tech Ninjas. I'm fine with that in their own circles. It gives them something cool they can put on tee shirts and stuff.

When I make programs and assign jobs, I try to use more formal titles related to what they do. Like I will specify what kids do: Light Board Operator (they called them designers when there wasn't any design), or Sound Technician (student sets up the sound board, mics, and equipment), or the various crews like Deck, Strike, Load In, etc. Like this year was the first time they had actual jobs instead of just calling themselves Tech Ninjas. They actually really liked that.

I've also set up a mini-hierarchy. The Stage Manager is on top (I as the teacher am the Director, Set Designer, lighting designer (coming in Fall 2016!), Technical Director, basically the rest of the advisory/supervisory positions), then there are the kids who are the student experts: Sound, Set Up....yeah, we're growing up. Then I have my ASMs, then the rest are Crew until they learn, train and kind of student apprentice with my Seniors (first class this year!). It's slightly convoluted, but the more titles I create, the more they own it. I'll take it!
 

ihitwithstix

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Joined
Apr 15, 2016
Location
Severance, Colorado
Having recently touched off a discussion about this very subject, (quite by accident, mind you) I have discovered that emotional response to being called "techie" runs the gamut from "Meh" to "How dare you?" I fall into the former category. I've been called worse. The bands I work for know my abilities, and since they are paying for my services, they can call me whatever they want. In my mind, it's a term of endearment, like calling your doctor "Doc".
 

Dionysus

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Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Location
London, Ontario, Canada
Having recently touched off a discussion about this very subject, (quite by accident, mind you) I have discovered that emotional response to being called "techie" runs the gamut from "Meh" to "How dare you?" I fall into the former category. I've been called worse. The bands I work for know my abilities, and since they are paying for my services, they can call me whatever they want. In my mind, it's a term of endearment, like calling your doctor "Doc".
Im of the mind that there are far worse things than IMAGINING offense and being offended by being called "techie" when no ill will or offense was intended. GET OVER YOURSELF is what I think. I dont know about you but I have better things to worry about.
 

RonHebbard

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Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Dude! You need to learn some of the basics of grammar, spelling, and sentence structure. Your post is barely literate.
I've heard a rumor that keyboards may have a shift key making upper and lower case characters not only possible but easily achievable. Only a rumor, not necessarily true. Further, I've even heard some Canadians knowingly omit the character 'u' when spelling some words to make comprehension easier for some of our U.S. associates.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.

Im of the mind that there are far worse things than IMAGINING offense and being offended by being called "techie" when no ill will or offense was intended. GET OVER YOURSELF is what I think. I dont know about you but I have better things to worry about.
Like will an employer's cheque clear the bank.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 
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RonHebbard

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Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Thank you for your service to the students. It's amazing when I have told people that I am a professional stagehand and they jokingly reply that they were a techie in HS. Not quite the same thing. That's kind of like going to a Congressman and saying, "Oh, I know all about that, I was on student council."
Agreed! Right up there with someone who helped their family move once with a rented truck asking you about how some arena shows travel with a dozen, or more, 53' trailers then, when you begin to answer their questions they start telling you how it's really done. Personally, I've always learned more with my ears open and my mouth closed and I'm still learning. I have a phrase I like for some of the 'youngsters'. "So young. So little left to learn." (In their own minds that is.)
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard.
 

JohnD

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Jan 11, 2012
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north central OK
Since some Star Trek fans do not like being called trekkies, but prefer trekkers, how about techer.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I use official titles when speaking to rental clients, performers, etc., mostly because it helps them understand who they need to talk to about what. "Hey Techie, can you fix my costume?" doesn't happen when I introduce my crew as deckhand, sound engineer, LBO, etc. We can be pretty lax about it with each other, but I've never heard any of my guys use that term. Sparky, Squint, Squeak, sure, but never techie.
 

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