What inspired you to get into technical theatre?

Les

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2004
Location
DFW, Tx.
We also talk to the systems we work with when no one is listening."Why are you so unhappy?" (things that are broken are unhappy. also cable that was wrapped poorly.) I'll say to the recently shorted frensel, or the mic pack that refuses to transmit/pickup...
Oh yes - I have met lots of unhappy and temperamental gear. Some was unhappy due to improper care and feeding, others were born that way.
 

wanderer

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2015
Location
Southern California
...I've always loved theatre. But I was never advised to go into it, or any related field. I've always loved playing with tools and technology, but nothing along those lines were advised either.

Let's just say that going straight from high school to a UC without any real plans and with a growing case of burnout was a bad idea. But hey, it sounded like a great idea at the time! Everyone was doing it!

A few years of retail hell later, I decided to give community college a go to find a professon -- any profession! -- that I wouldn't hate myself to get up in the morning for. Theatre wasn't even on my initial idea list, but the first semester I went, my sign-up date was so late that I had to troll around on waitlists to even get a single class. The only class that would take me, though it was the one I was most wary of picking, was theatre costuming. I tried a few other things, but theatre stuck. Now I've got a local certificate, I'm a good few musicals wiser thanks to a followspot job at a small professional theatre, and I'm crunching my way through general ed for my transfer degree... surrounded by classmates a decade younger.

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I want to specialize in, though -- the classes here are great but (naturally) limited in scope. Leaning toward lighting/electrical but not really sure what steps to take in that direction. So, joined up here to look for further ideas and inspiration!
 

robartsd

Active Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Location
Sacramento, CA
But hey, it sounded like a great idea at the time! Everyone was doing it!
I think I've come to realize that what everyone is doing is what often needs the most scrutiny as to whether or not it is a great idea - but I'm not sure I could convince my HS age self of that.

I recommend community college to any student that feels like they need to explore options; and nobody should borrow money for education until they have a clear idea of how it will be applied to career development.
 

cmp914

Member
Joined
Mar 26, 2015
Location
Connecticut
I'm curious. What inspired you to get into technical theatre?
Honestly, boobs. I was hanging out with a girl I had a crush on asked me to tie her into a corset before a rehearsal, then a few of the other actresses asked me to do theirs too. I spent my first production doing nothing except make boobs look sexy in corsets.
 

TheaterEd

Renaissance Man
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 21, 2013
Location
Near Milwaukee
For me it was that there were no roles for little kids in the HS production of Oklahoma and the director new how much I loved theater. I was in eighth grade and my sister was in the show, so they recruited me to run the sound board. I was in charge of the area mics, while an adult ran the wireless. From there I started running the sound board for church bands on Sunday (way better than sitting in with the rest of the congregation, no one could see my gameboy in the booth). After that I went to college and found my way into the theater education program. Due to a scheduling error I needed an extra semester, so I filled it with every theater elective I could fit.

My original plan was to graduate and become an acting teacher, however the people that have those jobs don't seem to retire. Fortunately, I had enough tech experience and an education degree to land my first job as a part-time Performing Arts Center Manager for a large school district. Was able to use that experience to land a full time job at a smaller theater and have been loving every minute of it.

TL;DR Obnoxious Eighth Grade actor did tech on the side until he became an adult Tech that does Acting on the side.
 

SayanteeSC

Member
Joined
Mar 31, 2015
Location
Kolkata, India
Curiosity about the back stage antics, driven by the invisible magic that brings to life that which is visible to the public. We slowly transform the intangible idea into the tangible performance.

And yes - Boys. A girl in the backstage is always amongst Boys. :grin:
 

MoreThanSet

Member
Joined
Oct 8, 2015
Location
Lewiston, Maine
I watched someone running lights for an open mic night I was doing audio recording for. He had a small DMX controller and some LED moving head lights. He could tell I was interested. At set break, he asked me, "Do you want to try it?" I said, "Sure!" I ran lights for the whole second set. After the show, the owner of the lights, a musician playing on stage, said "lights looked good!" The guy pointed to me and said, "he ran the lights that set." I then did sound and lights for the band for the next 2 years. Now I am getting my B.S in Entertainment Production and thinking of going for M.F.A in Lighting Design.
 

bobgaggle

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2007
Location
Philadelphia, PA
I like acting in high school, but like building stuff more. I swore when I was a kid that I'd never have a desk job so theater seemed like the way to go. I have a desk now, but its in a scene shop so I'm ok with that.
 

The Gray Lady

Member
Joined
Oct 15, 2015
Location
Pewaukee
When I was in 8th grade, I was in the drama class, and since I have stage fright, I decided to go with the technical aspect. I started out with just making the posters and doing publicity for the school, but then I was put on the soundboard. I didn't have to do much, mostly just cue the music. I didn't really overly like it, but I stuck with it and I continued to be a part of the theater department when I went into high school. It was there that I started working with the power tools. :grin:
Anyways, that's what really got me into the technical aspects. I now work more with the actual building of the sets, but I also tend to work on some of the publicity.
 

Offdaheezy

Member
Joined
Oct 27, 2015
Years of passion for the industry. I've performed musically in the past and recently decided to take my passion and make it a career. I'm a first year in Cambrian Colleges Theatre Arts Technical Production. Thanks for creating this site, it's awesome!
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
I started backstage in 7th grade, pestering the sound guy at church to teach me the ancient Mackie because the board looked cool and he got to hang out with the musicians while everyone else sipped "fellowship coffee". After a few years, the sound guy moved away and I took over. I played in a few bands in high school and was volunteered to be the one to set up and break down all the equipment. My Drama teacher found out that I sort of knew what I was doing and threw me on Footloose my sophomore year. I learned lighting for the straight plays and stage management for Thespian competitions and then became the school's "tech guy" when they rented out the auditorium for dance recitals and talent shows. Nobody ever mentioned that being a technician is a real career choice. I thought I wanted to be a Communications Officer or an MP in the Marine Corps. My siblings are military and that was my expected trajectory, too. My step-dad told me about the theatre program at his alma mater and I applied to make my parents happy. After my recruiting office's Staff Sergeant told me "you don't want to be an officer," presumably because I'd outrank him right out of school, I took the theater scholarship and got a B.F.A. in Stage Management. After internships, apprenticing and freelancing, I made my way up to Production Manager and here I am.

TL;DR : I'd rather wear black than camo.
 

NateJanota

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
Orlando, FL
Simple: World of Color.

Prior to meeting my now-fiancee, I hated Disney and theme parks in general. I loved the idea of touring but with my lack of experience, I wasn't confident in picking up work that was stable.

Then she dragged me to Disneyland and California Adventure, where I saw World of Color. My jaw dropped, and I was forever transformed. I don't remember moving at all during that show. I do remember dragging my then-girlfriend by the hand, however, shouting about getting a job doing "that" (whatever "that" was).

I eventually ended up joining the Entertainment Tech team at Disney, but was heartbreakingly laid off only 5 months after starting work. I since then have taken up work at Universal Orlando with a sentimental and loving tear in my eye.
 

NateJanota

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2016
Location
Orlando, FL
I started backstage in 7th grade, pestering the sound guy at church to teach me the ancient Mackie because the board looked cool and he got to hang out with the musicians while everyone else sipped "fellowship coffee".
Wow, you totally just nailed how I got into lighting. I can't even count the number of entertainment interviews I've had where "I like buttons and encoder wheels and flashing lights" was my official reply to why I want a job. Needless to say that doesn't always work, but in some weird way it's what got me started!
 
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Joined
Feb 18, 2016
Location
Nebraska
I've been a musician all my life. After starting my own band in the 80's, I started building a sound system out of necessity. Shortly after, a high school music director friend ask me to help with a musical she was putting on. I started out buying a couple wireless lapel mics for her show and haven't stopped adding and upgrading since. We're now up to 24 Sennheiser wireless units, a new 32 channel A&H digital mixer and are always expanding the business. Over the years we've done school musical/drama, holiday programs, community theatre, county fairs. I've worked with local, regional and national touring acts. Bars to large outdoor shows. One offs and festivals where we've had as many as 5 bands in one day. On the bigger gigs, I rent and/or subcontract with larger production businesses that I know. Saves me from having to own so much gear. Most of my gigs are theatrical/school related now.
 
Joined
Feb 28, 2016
Location
Wichita, KS
I grew up in a poor community in a poor state in the south. When we wanted or needed something my father made from what we had access to before spending money. I learned complex problem solving skills from thos "Making" experiences. As time went by I looked for places and ways to share my skills and knowledge... I love Acting and had a fair little career in it... but I have found that the really serious creators and inventors are back stage and in the production shops.

So that is where I spend my time, now.
 
Joined
Apr 26, 2016
Location
Portland OR
It started last year in health class when my good friend slammed the tech application sheet for our schools production of you're a good man charlie brown. They then made me fill it out and dragged me to the first meeting. Ever since then I've loved the work on building sets, hang and focusing lights, designing the sounds, props, and costumes, along with managing everything as a stage manager. Oh and the community, I love the community and I feel like I belong here
 
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PapaJJ

Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2017
Location
Albany, NY
I'm curious. What inspired you to get into technical theatre?
When we started our theater company, there was no money for Lights, Sound or Set Construction resources - so out of sheer necessity, I've had to step in, suck it up, and "git 'er done". 5 years and 20 shows later - still doing it (love it though).