In the Fall of 2005, I made my first steps into technical theatre with THE 220.

This led into working on electrics and carpentry on Wintertime, as well as a place on the run crew. Quite honestly, this experience led to my work in theatre this semester. It can be divided fairly neatly into three parts: MCA, Bat Boy and Betty's Summer Vacation. Bat Boy was easily the largest and most complex production I've worked on to date and some of the most important things I learned on this show were very simple and basic. Things like hanging, cabling and circuiting were done for the most part by the time I began working on Wintertime. For Bat Boy, I did a large portion of the hang myself and this repetition gave me good habits for hanging in the MCA and Betty's. Something as simple as making sure that everything is tight (pan bolt, yoke bolt, tight to pipe), unshuttered and tilted towards its final destination takes a good amount of stress off of whoever is doing the focus. In my case, there was a good chance that if this stuff didn't get done, I'd only be screwing myself over. There was also hanging lights in “special” spots, such as the booth bar and the wall slots. Learning and figuring out techniques to deal with the uncomfortable spots helped a lot. For example, supporting a light on your shoulder while hanging it on a vertical pipe frees up your wrench hand to tighten the c-clamp. For this show, I also did quite a bit of work gelling. While most of it was done by others, I had a lot of replacements to pull and cut. I also did gels for the spotlights. This was pretty new to me, because everything but the ground rows was done by others. This led to my now pathological annoyance at people who don't label or file gels correctly, because cutting gel is a much bigger pain in the butt than just finding one. I've also found that, for some reason, the ground row cyc lights are the most prone to error. In every production I've worked on in Hauck Auditorium, there were major problems with the gelling of these lights, which required someone (me) to go through and check all of them, sometimes right before house opening. Beyond that, most of my experience during Bat Boy was with the space. I became aquainted with the location of circuits in the gallery, how to drop pendants from the grid, and the location of wing

and deck light switches. I also learned how to rewire plugs on practicals. I did considerably less work on Betty's Summer Vacation than on Bat Boy. This was mostly because there was considerably less work to do in general. For this show, I did a good part of the focus. I learned how to use the Genie Lift as well as the fall arrest system in the catwalks. This show also marked the largest portion of my RFU and Light Board usage. I learned how to patch dimmers into channels using the RFU. Work at the MCA was sporadic this semester, but I learned some invaluable things there. The up-tempo pace of work there means that there is very little room for screwing up. There, I was also able to work with some of the most complex and expensive lighting and sound rigs in my short theatre career. I also learned basic things like mopping and sweeping a very large stage. Overall, I've grown a lot this semester, both in comfort and knowledge. However, there are some obvious glaring weaknesses. Mainly, they center around design and light board operation. On the design front, I know basically nothing, other than how to create a wash. As for the light board, I know how to patch dimmers into channels and that's pretty much it, which is simply unacceptable. I'd like to learn how to write cues and effects as well as learn some basic moving light programming. In this business, versatility is important. It might not be possible to learn the basics of board operation or design while I'm out in the workforce, so now would be the best time for me to develop at least rudimentary skills in those departments. I'd like to increase my involvement in local community theatre over the summer for the experience and in the fall, work on SPA shows again.

I think my weakest point when it comes to lighting is anything to do with design and the light board.

(5:48:40 PM) Ana: Overall, your weakest point when it comes to lighting is anything to do with design and the light board. While you've taken excellent steps throughout the course of this semester to further the possibility of being a theatrical master electrician again on larger and more complicated shows in the future, you do have an

interest in learning the principles of lighting design and how to operate the lightboard. (5:49:00 PM) Aaron (5:49:04 PM) Aaron

Noble: heh Noble: sweet

(5:49:32 PM) Ana: Your interest in learning to operate the lightboard stems primarily from a desire to someday do XYZ within the theatre, and because you feel that knowing how to use a lightboard will make you a more effective theatre technician. (5:50:15 PM) Ana: As far as learning more about lighting design, the only lighting design trick you know is how to produce an even wash. You're interested in learning more about how the design choices are made and possibly working more closely with lighting designers in the future because XYZ. (5:50:38 PM) Ana: and then set some "challenges" for yourself. they love that kind of stuff. it makes you look all self-motivated c.c; (5:51:26 PM) Ana: for example, the lighting designer/department head here finds that he often challenges himself to work one-on-one with the costume designers especially, working TOGETHER with the costume designer so that you can both be happy with the light and the way it plays with the fabric

Bat Boy  Hanging lights  Though it may sound simple and stupid, hanging lights for Bat Boy basically gave me good habits for hanging in the MCA and for Betty's.  Something as simple as making sure that everything is tight (pan bolt, yoke bolt, tight to pipe), unshuttered and tilted towards it's final destination takes a good amount of stress off of whoever is doing the focus. In my case, there was a good chance that if this stuff didn't get done, I'd only be screwing myself over.  There was also hanging lights in “special” spots, such as the booth bar and the wall slots. Uncomfortable positions, but I learned various techniques to cope.  Gels  For whatever reason, I didn't do much gelling for Wintertime or at the MCA. Maybe it's because I don't like to, maybe it's because I have skills in other areas. Who knows. For Bat Boy, I spent quite a bit of time pulling and cutting various gels. ■ Locations  Cutting gel sucks, it's easier to just find it. This is where they're located on the Hauck lighting deck.  Black Shelves: Sky cyc light cuts  Brown Cabinet: 7 in cuts, groundrow cuts  Beige Cabinet: 6 ¼ in cuts (Source 4)  Manila Envelopes: Spotlight cuts  Dimmer Room: New Sheets  Circuiting  Mark dead dimmers.

 

Tuck tails up. Cabling  Tie or gaff cable up, coil excess. Grid work  I had only been on the grid once before Bat Boy, on the stagecraft grand tour.  This was sort of a baptism by fire: I had to drop three drop boxes, by myself.  Having never done this, or been out on the grid before, it was nerve wracking but I was one of three people who would/could do it, so it got done. Spotlight operation  Before this show, I had run a spotlight before; for a high school production of Peter Pan. However, iris for that show was enormous and the pickups were just short of idiot-proof.
 

The Space  I'm learning more and more that each space has it's own nuances and peculiarities. ■ Location of deck/wing light switches. ■ Front of house work light switches Patching into channels  Maybe, probably, definitely learned this in stagecraft class, but it never sunk in because there was no practical reinforcement.  Kurt had me patch a number of lights by myself with the RFU. Very exciting. Practicals  This is the first show I've rewired a practical for. Hell, this is the first show I've rewired ANYTHING for. Dimmers  Our dimmers can't handle more than 1 kw. ■ Two ground rows are daisy chained into four dimmers. ■ Three Fresnels cannot go into one dimmer. Training  This was the first show I ever used the Genie lift for.  This was also the first show for which I was trained in fall arrest harness usage. The Space  More nuanced stuff. ■ In particular, the numerous house light controls and overrides. I don't know what order to shut them off in, but I do know which are overrides. Slightly different....  My work at the MCA is slightly different from work in Hauck. At the MCA, work tends to be simpler and more repetitive, but has a much higher tempo. Stupid stuff...  It feels stupid to even mention this, but I learned how to quickly and efficiently sweep and mop a stage. The Space  The MCA is nuanced as much at Hauck is.  One of the big things is learning to deal with dead

Betty's

MCA

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