Hi, all, and thanks for what I've already learned by skulking for a while! I'm the lighting half of a volunteer sound and lighting duo (i.e., parents - I'm a tech writer/editor by trade who also dabbles with photography, and the other half is a working, hands-on ChEng at a local TV station) roped into helping out our school district after their A/V guru moved out. We were "challenged" to provide sound and lighting for a middle school production of "Oklahoma!" and did well enough to be asked back for "Les Mis" at the high school, "Bugsy Malone" back at the middle school, and most recently "Seussical, the Musical" at the high school (see a pattern there?). We essentially walked in, learned the equipment and layout on-the-fly, and trained and oversaw the students who actually ran the rigs and made the shows happen (not everyone wants to sing and/or dance, and since they've got the equipment it'd be a crime not to provide the opportunity to the techie crowd). The middle school runs a simple 14-channel dimmer board controlling 4-color borders, 6 wall-mounted cans, and the house lights (thrilling, no?), while the high school runs with three banks of 4-color borders, a dozen ceiling-mounted fixed fixtures, and four Martin E500 moving spots, all controlled via a 96-address Strand rack hooked (for "Les Mis") to a Strand 300 console that's been "updated" (for "Seussical" - read that as "replaced" without a word of warning... and NO training) with an ETC ION console. The yearly musicals are the only times the systems are used to anywhere near their potential - house lights and minimal stage lighting are used for the schools' "normal" concerts and recitals (IMHO, mainly because they've no one trained up to run them, and won't pay to staff to do so - our tax $$$, not being used to advantage). Oh, and two Comet followspots that bounce from venue to venue. I like to (semi-)joke that I'll do anything twice: once to see if I can do it at all, and a second time to see if I can do it better. Stumbled onto the site while trying to find answers for "Les Mis" issues, and bookmarked it immediately! I'm hoping I can add a little humor and the occasional mechanical tip to the forums (I also do some camera repair for fun - mostly mechanical, not electronic), but am afraid I'm mostly going to be mining for nuggets from the masters. Anyways, thanks again for all you've already (unknowingly) given, and all that's yet to come! Joe P.