Amateur Theater: Notes from the Tech Ppl

Please Note:    This blog post was the result of conversations I’ve had with other amateur theater techies from all over….Ontario,  Idaho,  Alberta, and Nova Scotia.

So literally “TECH PEOPLE EVERYWHERE”

I reached out to find out if I was out of line with letting a particular incident bother me.
The consensus was that I wasn’t.
The other techies didn’t want to raise issues out of fear of not being invited back.
I decided to post this publically after one girl said, “I go into every production hoping they won’t forget about me…again.”
I don’t have any issues with my group as a whole.  The incident that irritated me is an isolated one.

Hi there amateur theater performers!

Let me start by saying that we think you’re fantastic!  We’re in awe of your acting and singing abilities.  We love watching you perfect your craft during rehearsals,  then dazzle audiences during the actual run!

But, at the same time, we have to be honest.

Do you people actually know we exist?  If you do,  are you aware of what we contribute to the production?

A lot of us suspect that you don’t….

We’re the “behind the scenes” tech crew that you rarely have to interact with.  You know sound and lighting…you do know who we’re talking about right?

Let me amplify:

We’re the people you see coming in as your show gets closer to open.  You may see us taking pictures, and/or furiously jotting down notes as we watch you rehearse.

It might surprise you to hear that these notes and pictures aren’t precious keepsakes,  but rather to help us in our design work between rehearsals.  (We sometimes show them to our friends to convince them to buy tickets)

When you’re belting out your amazing solo during cue to cue’s–we’re the ones stopping you mid-aria so we can fix a light or sound issue—then asking you to start over…several times.  It might sound like the stage manager…but no….its us!

We’re the ones you see hard at work fixing things while you socialize before and after dress rehearsals.  We do this so we don’t have to interrupt your rehearsals.

Once opening night comes, we’re also the ones you might notice slipping out quietly through the after show crowds gathered to tell you how fantastic your performance was.

We just want to take a moment to point out some things….

  • We are volunteers,  which means we don’t get paid for showing up and helping you look and sound fantastic
  • We suspect that no one really knows we exist unless something goes horribly wrong
  • If, after a rehearsal, we ask that you give us the theater so we can get stuff done,  please move along…we want to go home too!
  • If we ask you to (not) do something,  there’s a reason,  and believe it or not,  that reason has nothing to do with wanting to make you look bad
  • Remember that we care about the show just as much as you do, also
  • We are as much a part of the production as you are
  • You receive accolades at the end of each performance,  ours come on closing night–from you,  so take a moment and acknowledge our hard work (and existence)  and say thank you.

We do what we do because we love theater,  we love being part of it,  we love watching you shine.

We know you perform because you love these things too…but would you keep performing if the audiences didn’t show their appreciation?

Thanks,

Tech People Everywhere

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