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Wearing Blacks in Non-Backstage?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by DarSax, Feb 23, 2008.

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Should non-backstage technicians wear blacks?

  1. Yes

    79 vote(s)
    78.2%
  2. No

    22 vote(s)
    21.8%
  1. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    This is something I've been wondering for a while. Do you think that techs that aren't backstage (FOH ops, light board ops, spot ops, etc. etc.) should be in blacks during the show?
     
  2. cutlunch

    cutlunch Active Member

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    It depends where they are and if the audience can see them.
    If they are in the line of sight of the audience then they should be in black so they are least noticeable when they move even if they are sitting. As an audience member would you like to see a spot operator with a white shirt moving in your peripheral vision. But it also looks tidier if they all in neat black clothes.
     
  3. icewolf08

    icewolf08 CBMod CB Mods

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    I don't think that you have enough options in your poll. I think that different situations require different apparel.

    Anyone who has to interact with patrons or be in the house needs to not look like a slob. Also, every theatre has different thoughts on the matter. An FOH mixer may not have to wear blacks, but you don't want to be hanging out in the house in ripped jeans and a stained t-shirt. You should look professional.

    If you work in the booth, you may also not be required to wear blacks. I have worked in some theatres where I was asked to wear a black shirt, but it didn't matter what pants as generally patrons can only see your upper body through the booth windows.

    On the other hand, even if you are an FOH person, if there is ever a time that you have to go on stage, you should be in all black. So, if you have to preset a light or a speaker for act 2 during intermission and you are going to be in view of the audience then yes, you should wear blacks.
     
  4. Sean

    Sean Active Member

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    I think it's too general of a question.

    So long as someone in the rear of the house (in a booth, etc) isn't wearing bright clothing, or looks like a slob, I don't think it matters much. Jeans and a dark polo work just fine, etc.

    It really depends though on the venue. In some houses the audience can't see the spot ops. In others they're in full view.

    I think it's _easier_ to say they should be in blacks, though.

    --Sean
     
  5. len

    len Well-Known Member

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    I'd vote "depends on the show." Corporate events I wear a suit, rock shows, I wear whatever the f*** I want. Theater, probably would if I were visible.
     
  6. PadawanGeek

    PadawanGeek Active Member

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    I too think that if you can be seen, you should be in blacks. if not, wear whatever you want.
     
  7. Footer

    Footer Senior Team Senior Team Premium Member

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    I hate seeing people FOH in blacks. My opinion is, if you have to walk through he audience you should dress like the audience, to a degree at least. You should not stand out walking through the house.
     
  8. soundlight

    soundlight Well-Known Member

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    I'm in the jeans and a dark polo/look kinda like the audience camp. I usually do end up wearing a black button-down work shirt, but that is usually accompanied by jeans or khakis, depending on the show.
     
  9. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
    Freelance Lighting Programmer/grandMA Trainer
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    We have an unwritten FOH clothing policy

    on opening and closing night

    Collared shirt with black or red tie
    full length black pants and black shoes

    Normal Nights

    Collared shirt without tie
    full length black pants and black shoes

    we maybe students but we like to look professional
     
  10. soundman

    soundman Well-Known Member

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    When do you strike? Closing night is our stirke and theres no way I would wear anything remotely nice, sure you can change but in those few minutes there are other things to be doing.
     
  11. Hughesie

    Hughesie Well-Known Member

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    Occupation:
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    well after out shows, we have a stupid party when we sit and listen to how great the cast was. we normally use this time to get changed and start bumping out, before the pearents arrive and try and do things......
     
  12. DHSLXOP

    DHSLXOP Active Member

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    I say it depends on the show. We just did two shows in our blackbox, where we had to set up our own "booth" towards the rear of the house. For the play we did in there, anyone FOH wore black, but for the musical review where the cast was all wearing tuxedos, we all wore fancier clothes.

    In our main theatre though, we only run sound FOH in the like 7th row, so they generally wear nice clothes, while we pretty much say anyone upstairs in the light booth and catwalks running spots should be in black (or like a black shirt and dark blue jeans) to not stand out in the event that someone looks up in the booth.

    So I say it kinda depends on venue, the type of show you are putting on, and where exactly FOH you are located.
     
  13. DarSax

    DarSax Active Member

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    To all those saying the poll was too cut and dry, well if I put in a "depends" button most everyone would use it (too easy!). I was just wondering as far as techs who are not backstage and are likely to be seen by the audience. Didn't think of the corporate/theater/concert part, though.
     
  14. LD4Life

    LD4Life Active Member

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    If I am at a show, I usually venture to the side of blacks. I am an LD who stays throughout the show and continues to run the board myself and do my own troubleshooting. (I also happen to be house ME, so that helps) Because of this, I never really know when I may have to troubleshoot something backstage. Take the other night for example. The hazer malfunctioned and I was laying on the stage just out of sight fixing it while the show was going. I could have moved about 6" and been seen by a good portion of the audience. That is why I wear blacks even FOH.
     
  15. Clark

    Clark Member

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    I've worked in alot of spaces where even the board ops, SM, or anyone else in the booth is still visible to the audience. Even in a standard, unidirectional proscenium during intermission or preshow an audience member may still turn around, or look up on the way out of the house, and see the booth crew. For this reason, I ask all of my techs to be in black. The only possible exception is non-theatre students taking Stagecraft or Intro to Theatre who need to be in a show for class, if they are board ops and don't have black pants, they can wear jeans. If you need to be in house, or seen by the audience directly, wear nicer blacks. If I am running a show in house, or from a setup in a non-theatre space, I generally wear nice black pants and a black dress shirt - or working for the University sometimes my formal "University Tech Crew" polo, which is also black.
    If I need to go fix something in house, or run a show from in house, I would rather look like a well-dressed professional tech than some random audience member fiddling with equipment.

    Clark
     
  16. thebikingtechie

    thebikingtechie Active Member

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    Personally I always wear blacks when working on a performance with an audience. Sometimes at school I'll just wear blue jeans and a black shirt. But in general it's all black.

    I feel that though you might not need to wear black, it's an easy way to look a little more professional. Then again the TD/LD at the community theatre wears whatever he wants, but he kind of can have any job in the province he's so experienced.

    In general though, I think you should wear blacks, or at least something dark and nice looking. Blacks make you identifiable to the audience in case of a problem, also with the nightly rotation of ushers blacks usually help to signify that I'm a tech.
     
  17. SerraAva

    SerraAva Active Member

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    I say yes because you never know when a front of house person might become a back stage person. Point and case, during on of the nights of Ragtime, someone pulled the power on two of my movers, ruining the opening number a little bit. So I had to run backstage to see what was wrong with them. The best part was the power was ran off stage into another room in which no actor was allowed in. That means one of my techs did it :evil:.
     
  18. Eboy87

    Eboy87 Well-Known Member

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    Suit for coporate definitely. I used to tell my crew that I'd prefer them in all black, but if it meant having to make a stop at Hot Topic for something, then just wear the darkest colors you have. For the booths, they thought they could wear whatever they wanted. I would have preferred if they at least wore a black shirt.

    Personally, I wear a black T-shirt/long sleeve T-shirt (depending on the weather in and out of the theater) and dark colored jeans most of the time when I'm doing a show. During summer, if the sound booth is in the back of the theater, I just wear my cargo shorts. If I'm on the deck, black shirt, usually black cargos, unless it's umpteen degrees, then black cargo shorts.
     
  19. Schniapereli

    Schniapereli Active Member

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    When I work sound FOH, I usually wear some nice-ish dark-ish normal clothes. I make an effort to look presentable, but since the reason for wearing black is to not be seen, in our particular situation since I occasionally walk through the audience, black would make me stand out, so I don't wear the kind of black dress shirt and dress pants that I would in another situation.

    I heard once of this theatre in some other state, (don't know which one, but I know it wasn't mine) that had their crew go off the deep end with that idea. They were like Blue Man Group, but with black faces, and tight black clothing. You could not see a trace of them in the blackouts.
     
  20. Logos

    Logos Well-Known Member

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    I've kept out of this before but I have a strong prejudice against FOH operators LX sound or Follow spot wearing shorts. I also prefer them to be in black all over dress shirt or neat long sleeved polo shirt or equivalent. Black jeans or camo style trousers are OK if clean and tidy. Back stage long sleeved black top and long black trousers. Once again no shorts no short sleeved shirts if likely to go on stage in view and no printed T shirts. (Unless company shirts)
     

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