The thanks you get as a designer a one sentance rant and GO

What would you do

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At my high school in Toronto we just did waiting for Godot I created the designs and concepts for the show I ran the show i programed it and i called the cues there were only 4 of them we did it with out a stage manager and the size of the crew was two me and a sound guy we had a cast of 5 and they all got along they managed them selves and i learnd a important lesson never do shows with more then 6 people any more is a pain in the ass our past shows include the laramie project the crucible and can you see me yet we are a regular high school but the drama teacher and i decided to say fark it were doing shows we want to do and none of this buracratic bull crap and we are planing on death in the maiden for the up coming show our godot we set it at the end of world war 2 and vlad and est are two soldiers who are shell shocked don’t know the wars over potso is a Nazi and lucky the Jewish slave they were in full period army fatigue the music for the show was all Joy Division (the name of a Nazi camp for prostitutes) the stage was completely covered in poly snow up to about 3 feet was the highest mound the tree was a 16 foot piece of truss filled with truss warmers it represented in our them a radio tower the mound was made of arm cases for lighting I use only 11 lights even though I have access to a inventory of 40 I use 3 source fours and 2 par 64 plus the 6 truss warmers there were huge dark spots onstage intentionally I used the 2 par 64 for a wash in general areas where the action never really took place but it washed the stage and never brought it above 30% the S4 were used to high light the mound and the tree and up stage left where lucky stayed most of the show no light was brighter then 60% at any given time we received huge complaints from the haze from our neutron xs and lack of light on our actors faces the father of one of our actors a acclaimed acting teacher (his claim to fame is teaching the matrix guy neo forget his name speaks allot for his talent how to act ) yelled at me for 20 minutes my response to him was "do you always see things perfectly in the real world" he sent me a letter of apology and a gift certificate to one of his courses I got a lot of flack for making it dark but it was a choice I made to bring realism to my show how can u argue with a artistic choice.

Jon Hirsh
Black Horse Proudctions Ltd.
[email protected]
people dont always understand that that kind of thing actually helps the show. they think it hurts it, but if you were to do what they wanted, it would suck. thats why as a designer ive just learned to ignore people completely for those kinds of things.
Right on. We once had our "artistic" (read: Control Freak) director tell our lighting tech to tone down a sunrise he designed because it was "upstaging the actors." Haha. Awesome compliment, in a way. Stupid director. She used to catalog shop for set pieces...argh. She'd flip through picture-books and cool calendars of scenic photos and literally just point and say "that's what I want....ooh, or that....or that...." It didn't help that she'd change her mind about EVERYTHING halfway through the show. Argh., i would refuse to work with a director like that. though that was a really cool compliment that the lighting designer.
but yea, i mean. just want to make sure everyone knows that i didnt say ignore everyone, just sometimes you need you.
that's a pet-peeve of mine. Everyone feels justified in criticizing the work of the designer to their face, however no one would ever make a comment like that to an actor. Imagine if some well known lighting designer confronted an actor after a show and berated him or her for nto standing in the light and for delivering their lines poorly.

can I argue with an artistic choice? certainly, if the artistic choice is a poor one. And it is possible to make a poor artistic choice, especially in a world such as theatre where your artistic choices have to coincide with multiple other people's artistic choices. in the words of a well-known designer who i once heard speak: beware of concepts that lead to poor lighting.

of course I would have to say that no audience member ever has the right to confront a designer about their work, thats simply a risk the audience member takes by buying a ticket. its seems like this character was a little too caught up in being a "well known acting teacher"
I also agree that no audience member has the right to confront any designer. Having said that, I look at any criticism as a learning experience. The more information about what others like or dislike helps me make decisions about how to make my shows appeal to the most people (you are never going to please everyone).

A show that no one likes except the designer or a show that every one like except the designer is no fun. Take the criticism and use it.

I know that after many years, I do thing differently (not better or worse, just different).

Again having said that be true to the show. (Adjust, modify, but don't alter) em Our in house director is nuts, and his daughter that does the middle school. For some reason, everything seems to be the sound techs cludiong rigging, lights, the pages of dropped lines, and the like. Any reason he has to stand over ur sholder yelling all rehersal, then walk out half way through? Or the other one, now how is it my fault that the actors are talking so loud in the wings that they get picked up in the house mics and end up being sent through the system?! And i get in truble for yelling at them?! O well..shows tomorrow, and no ones got a clue on stage....glory be
Hey just to clarify it was a father of an actor who happend to be a famous director not the director of the show. The director of the show is great and i now work with him profesionaly were good buddies and colleagues.

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