Thanks for the Advice!

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Location
Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
This is more general thanks than general advice, but I can't not thank the CB community for helping a real neophyte make a successful contribution to a production. We just wrapped my son's middle school production of "Aladdin Jr," and it was a big hit. While I know something about electronics and programming, my only prior theater experience was in college, in the late 1970s. The tech we used then was, well... somewhat different than what we use today. But folks here did a truly supportive job of helping me cope.

Examples:

1. Lights hung on the #1 electric were actually touching the curtain.

FIX: "Yoke up" the fixtures to extend away from the bar, not under it.


2. Audio Technica model 310 body packs were making a (stunningly loud) "banging" noise when the performers became active.

FIX: Use gaffer's tape to force the notoriously loose connector to hold to a single, successful orientation against the pack.


3. I never called cues before.

FIX: Read the thread here on CB that explains how (and how not) to call cues.


4. Actors caused a lot of feedback when downstage.

FIX: Take the wireless mikes off the stage monitors (you fool :)), and enjoy the kids singing louder as a result along with curing your feedback problem.


5. Our aging Innovator 24/48 was flickering the cues as we loaded each one for the next manual cross-fade.

FIX: Add fade times to each cue and cross-fade automatically, not manually.


6. Cycling among cues created cool lighting FX, but forced a manual load to go to the next cue after the FX loop.

FIX: Program the FX as an Effect and add it to a single cue.


I never would have known any of these things if CB gurus hadn't been willing to share their experience with me. The show was a great success, with several folks personally telling me they thought the tech side was a step up from previous shows at the same middle school. A couple of local community companies are already talking to me about being part of their tech crews.

So, to those of you who helped me cope with some cranky, sometimes baffling, equipment, on behalf of myself, my son, and his cast-mates and crew: THANKS! We couldn't have done it without you.
 

Dionysus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 9, 2009
Location
London, Ontario, Canada
It really is great to hear that you've managed to make such leaps in making productions there so much slicker and better. CB really is a fantastic resource that I see under-used. It really is the first place to look when looking for help with tech-theatre related help.

This is a field of CONTINUAL LEARNING, we all have gaps in our knowledge and experience and we can do some truly amazing things when we collaborate!

Cheers!
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 11, 2012
Location
north central OK
One of the signature lines I've run across is this one I really like:
"None of us are as smart as all of us."
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Location
Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
This site sure has been a big help. Hoping I can give something back.

One of the things I am finding I like a lot about working on plays is that it is a real positive experience compared to what I've been putting most of my free time into for the last nine years (which was politics). In politics, there is very little sense of "let's work together to make something good happen." It tends more to be, "let's argue with each other about how to stop something bad from happening." I'm not so naïve as to think it's always peaches and cream in a production, but the experiences I am having so far have been in the company of people working well together, enjoying what they are doing.

A fellow could get used to that.
 

Stevens R. Miller

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Location
Loudoun County, Virginia, USA
One of the signature lines I've run across is this one I really like:
"None of us are as smart as all of us."
Good one. Reminds me of one I used to use, albeit not quite so uplifting: You can fool all of the people some of the time, or some of the people all of the time, but you can make a fool of yourself anytime.

Certainly applies to me, anyway.
 

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