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The Techi Bible: The New Testament


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Some things i put together when i was in high school and college.

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The Techi Bible: The New Testament

  1. 1. The Techies 1 Bible (Section II, The New Testament) We the willing Lead by the unknowing Will do the impossible For the ungrateful In fack we have done so much For so long with so little That we are now qualified To do anything With absolutely nothing. 2 ____________________________________________________________ ::Warning:: Things said within these texts may be harmful to actors feelings!
  2. 2. PEO PLE! Here are some useful descriptions of people you may have worked with or still work with in theatre. Not the sharpest knife in the drawer. Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn't watching. Got a full 6-pack, but lacks the plastic thingy to hold them together. A photographic memory, but the lens cover is glued on. Bright as Alaska in December. One celled organisms outscore him in IQ tests. Donated his body to scientists... Before he was done using it. During evolution his ancestors were in the control group. Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming. Has two brains; one is lost and the other is out looking for it. He's so dense, light bends around him. If brains were taxed, he'd get a rebate. If he were any more stupid, he'd have to be watered twice a week. If you give him a penny for his thoughts, you get change back. It's hard to believe that he beat 3,000,000 other sperm. Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, but he just gargled. Takes him 1.5 hours to watch "60 Minutes". Was left on the Tilt-A-Whirl a bit too long as a baby. A gross ignoramus -- 144 times worse than an ordinary ignoramus. Room temperature IQ. A prime candidate for natural deselection. Fell out of the family tree. One neuron short of a synapse. If you stand close enough to him, you can hear the ocean. Wheel is turning, but the hamster is dead. 2
  3. 3. Guidelines For Theat re Elect ricians The following is a set of guidelines for theatre electricians. They are only guidelines and are not governed laws to be strictly followed. This set of guidelines has been developed for the theatre electrician so that they may have a written guideline to follow in everyday practices. PREPARED BY: THE COMMITTE FOR GUIDELINES OF ELECTRICIANS 1. Green is ground 2. White is neutral 3. Black is Hot!!! 4. Murphy's Law is the dominating force that rules our lives. 5. "You are responsible (liable) for everything that you do" - R Epp 6. Playmate is a nasty word. 7. Playmate control is even worse. 8. The technical director always knows more then they pretend. 9. However, this doesn't apply to the production manager 10. To ere is Human 11. 4 is the source! 12. Scrollers versus changing gel - pros and cons for all 13. If you can hear yourself - the audience can hear you 5x worse. 14. A c-clamp never should get more than a quarter turn! 15. Gel is not something that you put in your hair! 16. Always set traps for the nasty lightboard leprechauns. 17. Never doubt the power of the pickle light! 18. Sholem is king 19. A safety chain is only good for so many shock loads. 20. Ghosts are lamps which find external sources of power. 21. Footcandles are the electricians way of saying " this lamp don't do shit!" 22. Step lenses really, really suck big goats! 23. Always trust your lighting designer.. he's here for the ride too 24. Never throw out tie line .... you can save a whole $0.02 !!! 25. A twofer is only rated for the cable and connector capacity! 26. A threefer is a bad idea! 27. The Phantom of the Ohms Law is here to haunt you!!! 28. Its always expensive to get good protocol. 29. It only takes one electrician to change a lamp - God damn-it! 30. A fall-arrest system is only good when tied into something solid THE COMMITTEE: The committee meets once a month in a small church basement gymnasium. They get together to revue all of the guidelines, and make suggestions or amendments to the list. If you have any concerns or would like to suggest a new guideline, please do not he hesitate to send to any one of the committee members. We are here to serve and protect all of the electricians. 3
  4. 4. Just Kidding Q: What's the difference between the lighting tech and the sound tech? A: The lighting tech washes his hands BEFORE he goes to the bathroom. "You know.. I worked in the theatre for {insert relevant time perid} before I learned that F***ingElectricians was really TWO words!" Q: What do you call an electrician with a hammer? A: Thief! Q: What do you call a carpenter working in a panel? A: Dead! Q: Why don't you run over an electrician on a bicycle? A: Might be your bike. Q: What do you get when you make an electrician a carpenter? A: A bad carpenter. Q: What do you get when you make a carpenter an electrician? A: A dead carpenter. Q: How tall is the average union electrician? A: Don't know. Never seen one stand up. Q: How do you know when a union electrician is dead? A: The doughnut rolls out of his hand. Q: What's the most dangerous thing in a community theatre? A: An actor with a power tool `Next to the stars,'' says one veteran observer, ``sound people are the biggest prima donnas in the business.'' Q: What's the difference between a sound guy and God? A: God doesn't think he's a sound guy. Q: Why do sound guy's say "check, one, two?" A: If they could count any higher, they'd be a lighting tech. 4
  5. 5. Metric Conversion Chart 1. 1012 microphones = 1 megaphone 2. 106 bicycles = 2 megacycles 3. 500 millinaries = 1 seminary 4. 2000 mockingbirds = 2 kilomockingbirds 5. 10 cards = 1 decacards 6. 1/2 lavatory = 1 demijohn 7. 10¯6 fish = 1 microfiche 8. 454 graham crackers = 1 pound cake 9. 1012 pins = 1 terrapin 10. 1021 picolos = 109 los = 1 gigolo 11. 10 rations = 1 decoration 12. 100 rations = 1 C-ration 13. 10 millipedes = 1 centipede 14. 3 1/3 tridents = 1 decadent 15. 10 monologs = 5 dialogues 16. 5 dialogues = 1 decalogue 17. 2 monograms = 1 diagram 18. 8 nickels = 2 paradigms 19. 2 snake eyes = 1 paradise 20. 2 wharves = 1 paradox 21. 10¯6 phones = 1 microphone 22. 106 phones = 1 megaphone 23. 10¯2 mental = 1 centimental 24. 10¯1 mate = 1 decimate 25. 1012 bulls = 1 terabull 26. 10¯12 boos = 1 picoboo 27. 10¯15 bismol = 1 femtobismol 5
  6. 6. A Cautionary Tale Well-meaning but deluded people occasionally invade a Theatre with buzzwords, team- building exercises, and assorted feel-good baggage from the outside world of accountants & middle-managers (otherwise known to creatives as "them" "the intellectually bankrupt" or "the damned") It is not for we of the theatre to despise or fear these poor wretches. Rather we should try to educate them. Now don't bother trying to explain that the designer standing on the stage manager's throat is a sort of ritual during tech week, or that the costumer chasing the actor with a scissors is "part of the process" or that the director always turns that shade of purple when the left temple vein starts to throb, because they simply do not understand such plain-speaking. If it looks like English and it sounds like English, you're going to have to translate. Thus the following tale, designed to speak to them where they live. For the dangerous and deluded have been marked with a sign, a kind of verbal tick, that ye may know them: the most common warning sign is when the intruder asks someone to rephrase something "in a more positive manner" For these occasions, memorize the following story First came the writer and script, and the director and the vision and then came the assumptions and the assumptions were without form and the show was without substance and darkness fell over the faces of the technicians and they spoke among themselves, saying "it's shit and it stinks!" and the technicians went to the stage manager and said it's a crock of shit, and it stinks and the stage manager went to the technical director and said it's a pail of dung, and none may abide the odor thereof and the TD went to the Lighting Designer and said it's a wheelbarrel of manure, and it is very strong and the Lighting Designer went to the Director and said it's a vessel of fertilizer and it packs quite a wallop and the Director went to the Producer and said it contains that which aids plant growth and it's very potent and the Producer went to the General Manager and said it promotes growth and is very powerful and the show opened, and it was terrible and the General Manager was sacked for greenlighting a crock of shit 6
  7. 7. The Life of the Technician The life of a technician is a thankless, committed, difficult life. Always having to deal with Dancers saying "You missed a screw" Mary Helen asking "Does she know what to do?" Guitarist yelling "Where's my spot?" Bill saying "Could someone please bring the power out?" People falling off the stage, Someone forgetting to lock the cage, Yelling at people to move their sh*t, Moving stuff out of the pit, Listening to dance mothers shout, Flying pipes in and out, Running around to find the keys, Suddenly finding there's a screw in your knee, Loading in for a small pittily show, Having to wait for your ride in the snow, Loosing a shoe to that really big vent, Realizing that some nail is bent, Painting the rock in the dark, Stalking dancers at Laural Park, Finding TP on your lawn, Doing light 'till the break of dawn, Breandan scaring a little boy, Making lots and lots of noise, Watching Pat and Ani kiss, Going outside to toss the disc, Making stars for Masters of Dance, Using gaff on the holes in your pants, Building Babes' horse stables, Fixing all those headsets and cables, Sitting on the roof flying kites, Always loosing the clips to the mics, Wondering if you would or should... help Emily move the hood, But no matter what happens in the life of a Technician, Though it may be committed, thankless, and hard.. It is still far from a hated, unenjoyed, and unpleasant time. Though it may pay not a dime it is quite fine for that life is mine and I love it. 7
  8. 8. Ra n d o m Q u o t es O’Toole’s Commentary on Murphy’s Law: Murphy was an incurable optimist. The Unspeakable Law: As soon as you mention something... if it’s good, it goes away; if it’s bad, it happens. The First Law of Theatre: Everything will take longer than it really should. The Second Law of Theatre: If it weren’t for the last minute, nothing would get done. The Third Law of Theatre: Glory may be fleeting but obscurity lasts forever. Law of Selective Gravity: An object will fall so as to do the most damage. The Golden Rule: Whosoever has the gold makes the rules. The Law of Learning: Experience is something you don’t get until after you needed it. There is no job so simple that it can’t be done wrong. Nothing is as inevitable as a mistake whose time has come. There is no limit to how bad things can get. A crisis develops when you can no longer say, Let’s forget the whole thing. ? He who pays the piper calls the tune. Person 1: "What happened?" Person 2: "Things went from bad to worse" Person 1: "Then what?" Person 2: "History repeated itself" "Actors are props with dialogue." "Beat to fit, paint to match." "If force doesn't work, you're not using enough." "An actor without the techies is a naked person standing in the dark trying to emote; A techie without actors is a person with marketable skills." "Umm, 'scuze me, your techies are showing..." "If we could read minds, we wouldn't need headsets." "We are here to offer Creative Solutions to Difficult Problems", which for you new guys its a fancy way to say we are going lie cheat and steal to get this lead ballon of the gound. "What is this speaker wire rated at? No, I mean for weight. " "Do what the director tells you to do, than do it the right way" "If all the world's a stage...I want better lighting!" "If it's lose, an actor will trip over it, if you say not to touch it, they'll touch it, actors are like kids growing up, no real regards for the rules and just want to do their own thing." "Be kind to your techies, or they will turn out the lights and go home!" "O Lord, it's hard to be humble, when you are perfect in every way" "Lord grant me the Serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to hide the bodies of those actors I had to kill because they pissed me off." 8
  9. 9. Directors aren't very direct are they? One of the best retorts I've heard for those occasions when artistic endeavor collides with economic reality: "That's why they call it Show Biz and not Show Artz." "What would a smart guy do?" -What every techie needs to ask himself 79 times a day. "I don't do Mondays." "Those who would alter reality must first escape it." "And on the first day the lord said... ...Lx1, Go! and there was light!" "Gaffers tape is like the Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together..." "In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice this is just not true." "Living in Hollywood is like living in a bowl of granola. What ain't fruits and nuts is flakes." "One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and Gaffers tape to make them stop." "PPPPPP" -Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Productions "PPPPPPP" -Proper Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance! (USMC) "PPaPPPPP" -Proper Preparation and Planning Prevents Pitiful Preventable Problems! (GVSC) Seen on lapel pins worn by the light crew at a nowdefunct theatre: "Fuck with me and you dance in the dark." The classic struggle in Theatre: "The Show must go on" vs "This is stupid, I'm going home." "The more of a reason you have, the more important it is to beat something senseless with your crescent wrench." "We are agreed that your ideas are crazy. What we have yet to determine is whether your ideas are crazy enough to be true." 9
  10. 10. Fu n Ra n d o m St u f f I worked at a summer stock theatre this past summer, as many techs do. Our particular season called for a raked stage to be built for all 4 shows. Fun! However, it did take some time to get used to, since it was steeper than generally acceptable, nearly 2" / ft. Anyway, after the crew had gained the 'rake legs', so to speak, I had a truly evil idea. "Hmmm, I wonder how the actors'll do?" So, naturally, we made a game out of it. The rake was divided into 4 nearly equal sections, which were assigned randomly to the four of us who had built it. The actors and other staff were then assigned point values based on how much of an asshole they were, or on the likelihood that they would fall. We also added in such neat bonuses as 10 points for a fall during a performance, 10 points for actually falling *off* the stage, 10 points for taking someone else down with you... you get the idea. It soon proved to be a huge let-down. A total of possibly 20 points was gained from the actors, director, and musos. Quite boring. Fortunately, the TD and PM from a local road house were in one day to work on electrics. FIELD DAY!! I believe that nearly 200 points were given up by those two alone! I even managed to snag an off-the-stage bonus! The winner, of course, ended up buying drinks that night. So, if you're ever bored after getting that rake in... A Stagehand and a Lighting Designer stood under the same falling truss, and both were killed. They arrived heaven together (all techies go to heaven...), and at the doorstep, St.Peter shaked their hands and asked for their last wishes. The LD was the quickest of the two, and said: " In all my life, I've always dreamt of the complete darkness. Could you please turn off all the lights for just one second?" St.Peter said that it might be difficult, but he turned on his headset and asked God if he could take down the grandmaster for a second. Fortunately, God was in the mood that day, due to enough coffee at the light-console, so he tapped the BO key. It went far beyond dark for a second, but when the light turned back on, heaven was gone as the stagehand had changed the scenery... We recently did a production of GUYS & DOLLS. And our stage manager called a wrong cue and the entire cast was leveled by the main curtain. I was running rail at the time. SWEET JUSTICE Light Guy: Let's get our priorities straight around here: God said "Let there be light." Sound Guy: You want God to be heard? 1/3 of the way through the opening show, very softly, no emotion, no sarcasm, not sure which headset it came from. This comment is sure to put the Stage Manager in panic. "uh-oh" 10
  11. 11. Stage Manager 1.0 - the Help Desk Last year I upgraded from Community Theatre 5.0 to Small Professional Theatre 1.0 and noticed that the new program began making unexpected changes. It installed something called Microsoft Stagemanager (TM) which it launches whenever rehearsal software is powered up, severely limiting access to munchies, praise, and practical joke applications that operated flawlessly under rehearsal software with Community Theatre 5.0. No mention of this phenomenon was included in the product brochure. In addition, Stage Manager 1.0 uninstalls many other valuable programs such as Hamming 2.0, Smoking in costume 7.5, Coming and Going at will 5.6, Unlimited Comps 8.3 and Borrowing Theatre's Equipment 2.3 and installs new, undesirable programs such as Schedule 3.1, Discipline 1.3, Expectations 5.0, and Accountability 2.4. Divafit 4.1 no longer runs, and invariably crashes the system. Under no circumstances will it run Whining 14.1. I've tried running Attitude 5.3 to fix Stage Manager 1.0, but this all purpose utility is of limited effectiveness. Can you help please ?!!!! ---Jane Dear Jane: This is a very common problem many actors complain about, but is mostly due to a primary misconception. Many people upgrade from Community Theatre 5.0 to Small Professional Theatre 1.0 with no idea that Community Theatre 5.0 is merely an ENTERTAINMENT package for actors. However, Small Professional Theatre 1.0 and is an OPERATING SYSTEM and was designed by its creator to run as few applications as possible, eliminating unnecessary routines and delegating as many tasks as it can to the end-user to conserve all system resources for its own use. It is impossible to uninstall, delete, or purge the Stage Manager files from the system, once installed, as Stage Manager 1.0 rewrites your other software so that it rejects Community Theatre routines once exposed to SM's superior methods. Having Stage Manager 1.0 installed myself, I would suggest you read the entire section of the owners manual regarding General Director Faults (GDFs). This is a wonderful feature of Stage Manager 1.0, secretly installed by the parent company as an integral part of the operating system. Stage Manager 1.0 will take on ALL responsibility for ALL faults and problems, regardless of root cause, and will somehow solve EVERYTHING. To activate this great feature enter the command C: DIRECTORSCATTERED DREAMERCAN'T FUNCTION WITHOUT YOU Sometimes ActorsRIdiots 6.2 must be run simultaneously while entering the command. Stage Manager 1.0 should then run the applications Organize 12.3 and Miracles 7.8. TECH TIP! Avoid excessive use of this feature. Overuse can create additional and more serious GDFs, and ultimately you may have to give a C:APOLOGIZERAISEPERSONAL DAY command before the system will return to normal operations. Overuse can also cause Stage Manager 1.0 to default to GrumpySilence 2.5, or worse yet, ArtSearch 6.0 . GrumpySilence 2.5 is a very bad program that can create Disfunctional.act files that clog all rehearsal and performance programs and are very hard to delete. Save yourself some trouble by following this tech tip! Just remember, The system will run smoothly and take the blame for all GDFs, but because of this fine feature it can only intermittently run all the entertainment applications Community Theatre 5.0 ran. 11
  12. 12. After several years of use, Stage Manager 1.0 will become familiar and you will find many valuable embedded features such as FixesBrokenThings 2.1, Ensemble Loyalty 4.2. A final word of caution! Do NOT, under any circumstances, install MeddlesomAdministrator 1.0. This is not a supported application, and will cause selective shut down of the operating system. StageManager 1.0 will run only CurtGoingThrutheMotions 9.4 and CovertArtSearch 5.2 until MeddlesomeAdministrator 1.0 is uninstalled. I hope these notes have helped. Thank you for choosing to install Small Professional Theatre 1.0 and we here at Tech Support wish you the best of luck in coming years. "We trust you will learn to fully enjoy this product!" 12
  13. 13. Question: What's playin' at the Roxy? Frank Loesser: I'll tell ya what's playin at the Roxy... Plato: whatever play will serve the greater good, unless the greater good is best served by no play being performed, in which case the Roxy will be dark Aristotle: it is the nature of plays to be performed at the Roxy Timothy Leary: Labels, man, Labels. Whatever it's called, it's the only play the establishment would allow. What's it matter what those WORDS on your TICKET say? RONALD REAGAN: I forget. SADDAM HUSSEIN: The play at the Roxy was an unprovoked act of rebellion and we were quite justified in dropping 50 tons of nerve gas on it. Dan Quail: Actually, that's spelled Roxee ANDERSEN CONSULTING: Deregulation of the airspace above the Roxie was threatening the show's dominant market position. The show was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. Andersen Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Greasepaint Integration Model (GIM), Andersen helped the Roxie Group use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align their people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework. Andersen Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of show analysts in a two-day itinerary of meetings in order to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of singing, dancing, acting and other performance related activities. The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry- focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the show's mission,vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. FREUD: The fact that you are at all concerned about what's playing at the Roxie reveals your underlying sexual insecurity. RICHARD M. NIXON: There is nothing playing at the Roxie. I repeat, there is NO SHOW AT ALL at the Roxie. BILL GATES: I have just released the new MS Roxie Theatre 2000 (TM). Of course, you also have to purchase Microsoft Stage. OLIVER STONE: The question is not, "What's playin' at the Roxie?" Rather, it is, "What is playing elsewhere which we overlooked in our haste to observe whatever was playing at the Roxie?" DARWIN: Over great periods of time, plays which possessed particular traits making them suitable to play at the Roxie, reached wider audiences, which would have included more playwrights inspiring them to write new plays in a similar vein. Plays have been naturally selected in such a way that they are now genetically disposed to play at the Roxie. ERNEST HEMINGWAY: It is Death. In the rain. 13
  14. 14. Question: Why did the show close at the Roxie ? KARL MARX: It was a historical inevitability. Capt. Jean-Luc Picard: We have a desire to seek out what is unknown, the *unfamiliar* MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.: I envision a world where all shows will be free to close without having their motives called into question. LOUIS FARRAKHAN: A show closes you say it's "dark". The show, you see, represents the black man. The show 'is closed' in order to trample him down and keep him quiet. FOX MULDER: You saw it close with your own eyes. How many more shows have to close before you believe it? JERRY SEINFELD: Why does anyone or anything close? I mean, you're there, you 're open, you don't like it. You think to yourself, "This isn't doing it for me. How can I change this "open" situation to something I will find more meaningful." RONALD REAGAN: What was the question? MACHIAVELLI: The point is that the show is closed now. Who cares why? The end result, il closanzo, justifies whatever has gone before to bring us to this point. EINSTEIN: Whether the show is yet to open, is running now, or has closed depends upon your frame of reference in the time-space continuum. RALPH WALDO EMERSON: The show did not close .. it transcended the Roxie. HOMER SIMPSON: Mmmmmm.....donuts.... 14
  15. 15. Va r i o u s So n g s TECHNICIAN'S RHAPSODY ("Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen) by SpaceGirl Huh? Is it call time? It is? Oh, Scottish play. You woke me up, fool. Well, back to reality. Open your eyes, look up to the grid and see, I'm just a techie, I need no sympathy, Because I'm easy come, easy go, lights to high, lights to low, Any way the show goes doesn't matter right now to me, to me. TD, just killed the star, Dropped a fresnel to the deck, didn't scream "Heads!", now she's dead. TD, it was op'ning night, But now I've gone and shot the show to hell. TD, ooh, didn't mean to make you mad, If I'm not back again this time tomorrow, Carry on, carry on, as if nothing really matters. Too soon, the house lights dim, What's the audience gonna say since the lead has passed away? Goodbye, ev'rybody, I've got to go. Gotta leave you all behind and face the cast. TD, ooh, I don't want to die Right now I wish I'd never been hired at all. I see a little silhouetto of a tech, Scottish Play, Scottish Play, hook me up with some gaff tape, (Pyrotechnics.) Pyrotechnics. (Pyrotechnics.) Pyrotechnics, pyrotechnics gonna blow Magnifico. I'm just a techie, nobody loves me. He's just a techie, pity his resume. Spare him his job from this manslaughter charge. Easy come, easy go, will you let me go? Cue 12 go! No, we will not let you go. (Let him go!) Cue 12 go! We will not let you go. (Let him go!) Cue 12 go! We will not let you go. (Let me go!) Will not let you go. (Let me go!) Will not let you go. (Let me go.) Ah. No, no, no, no, no, no, no. (Oh, heads up! Right now! Heads up! Right now!) Heads up! Right now! Let me go. That dumb director has a pink slip put aside for me, for me. So you think you can fire me and kick me outside. 15
  16. 16. So you think you can beat me and trample my pride. Oh, TD, can't do this to me, TD, Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here. Nothing really matters, Anyone can see, Nothing really matters, Nothing really matters to me. Any way the show goes. 16
  17. 17. Techie with the C-Wrench ("Devil With a Blue Dress" by ???????) by Eustacio (chorus) (do twice in the beginning) Techie with the c-wrench, C-wrench, c-wrench Techie wit the C-wrench on Fe, fe, fi, fi, fo, fo, fum Look down there now, here she come Wearin' all black, has the tools to match Got high powered tools and a hammer on her back Wearin' her scars and her techie badge Got gaff in her hand and all full of courage (chorus) (chorus) Hey, workin' the board, Channel #5 Got to be the smartest tech alive You move the set, lettin' the actors die They got to be nervous, they won't say why She's not the T.D, she's no doormat She's a real tech goddess and I like it like that (chorus) (chorus) 17
  18. 18. The Techie Connection ("The Rainbow Connection" by the Muppets) by Eustacio Why aren't there any songs about techies And what goes on in their minds? Techies are people, almost superhumen And techies have nothing to hide Few have been told, and less choose to believe it I know they're wrong; wait and see Someday we'll find it, the Techie Connection The bandsaws, the gel frames, and me Who said that ev'ry show would be done flawlessly When done with a brand new E.R? Nobody thought of that, and no one repaired it Look what it's wrecked so far. What's so amazing that keeps us all teching And when will techies ever learn? Someday we'll find it, the Techie Connection The bandsaws, the gel frames, and me All of us under the stage; We know that it's probably load-in Have you been half asleep and heard voices? I've heard them calling my name Is it my cue now that I am asleep? The voice of Bob our new T.D. I've heard I can ignore it everyday It's unrelated to the way Someday we'll find it, the Techie Connection The bandsaws, the gel frames, and me 18
  19. 19. Techin' Tonight ("Stayin' Alive" by the Bee Gees) by Eustacio You can tell by the way I hammer a nail, I'm a techie man; no time to fail Bandsaws and scene shops gray, I've been techie man, ev'ry ol' day. chorus: And now the show starts it's okay And you may look the other way We can try to understand The Gaffer Tape's effect on man Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother You're techin' tonight, techin' tonight Feel the set breakin' and everybody fakin' And we're techin' tonight, techin' tonight Ah ha ha ha techin' tonight, techin' tonight Ah ha ha ha techin' tonight Well now I get low and I get high And if I can't get either, I really try Got the wings of cardboard on the rail I'm a techin' man, and I never fail chorus: You know it's all right, it's okay I'll live to tech another day .. Flat's goin' nowhere Somebody kick it Somebody kick it, yeah Flat's goin' nowhere Somebody kick it, yeah techin' tonight 19
  20. 20. We are the Techies ("We Are The Champions" by Queen) by Eustacio I've struck the set - Time after time - I've punched the actors But committed no crime - And bad mistakes I've made a few I've had many chances to lose my face - But I've come through We are the techies - my friends And we'll keep on teching- till the end - We are the techies - We are the techies No one can cuss us 'Cause we are the techies - of the play I've taken no bows And no curtain calls - I don't need fame or fortune but just a rachet and rivet- I thank you all - But we're more than shadows And we ain't fools - I consider it a challenge for you not to see my face - And I ain't gonna lose - We are the techies - my friends And we'll keep on teching- till the end - We are the techies - We are the techies No one can cuss us 'Cause we are the techies - of the play 20
  21. 21. The Twelve Days Of Tech Week (The Twelve Days of Christmas) by --On the first day of tech week my TD gave to me, A par can on a lighting tree. --On the second day of tech week my TD gave to me, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the third day of tech week my TD gave to me, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the fourth day of tech week my TD gave to me, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods, and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the fifth day of tech week my TD gave to me 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the sixth day of tech week my TD gave to me 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the seventh day of tech week my TD gave to me 7 headsets soaring, 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the eigth day of tech week my TD gave to me 8 spotters spotting, 7 headsets soaring, 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the ninth day of tech Week my TD gave to me 9 lights alighting, 8 spotters spotting, 7 headsets soaring, 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the tenth day of tech week my TD gave to me 10 techies teching, 9 lights alighting, 8 spotters spotting, 7 headsets soaring, 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and apar can on alighting tree. --On the eleventh day of tech week my TD gave to me 11 flylines flying, 10 techies teching, 9 lights alighting, 8 spotters spotting, 7 headsets soaring, 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. --On the twelveth day of tech week my TD gave to me 12 gaffers gafffing, 11 flylines flying, 10 techies teching, 9 lights alighting, 8 spotters spotting, 7 headsets soaring, 6 arbors falling, 5 6x9's, 4 monitors, 3 dimmer packs, 2 flash pods and a par can on a lighting tree. 21
  22. 22. Walking Through A Techies Christmas Hell (Walking through a winter wonder land) Floor mics ring, you aren't listenin', The monitors they are a hissin', We're happy to say, that we're underway, Working on another christmas show. First Chorus In the shadows you can see no man, 'cause he is wearing head to toe black, Light cue ready? So you say yes Ma'am right before they give the flyrail a go. As we sit round the flyrail givin' cues so we know where, To bring in a line or push up a slide, Workin' on another christmas show. Second Chorus In the scene shop you can build a big set, Using all the compressors to the max The lights are ready so you press GO man, And the whole stage fades down to black. Later on when we're at Denny's, Thinkin' of all the funnies, That happened today, 'cause we did O.K. Working on another christmas show. 22
  23. 23. When You're A Tech (“When You're A Jet" from "West Side Story") by Dane Schuckman When you're a tech you're a tech all the way From your first cue-to-cue to your last load-in day. When you're a tech you can do anything You can work miracles but you can't friggin' sing CHORUS; But that doesn't matter - that's why we've got actors We're the techs. The TD's and the gaffers When you're a tech you can fly in the drops, Call all the cues, gather the props When you're a tech, as a matter of fact, you're also quite stylin' 'Cause you're all dressed in black CHORUS 23
  24. 24. Techs Bizarre ("How Bizarre" by OMC) by Eustacio Mister Techie's in the shop, sweet actress' in the front Cruisin' from the catwalk in the hot, hot light Suddenly red-blue lights flash us from behind Loud voice booming, "Please step into my sight line" Techie preaches words of comfort, Actress just hides her eyes Director taps his shades, "Is that a Maglite '69?" Techs bizarre Techs bizarre, techs bizarre Audience size unknown, as we are ready at last Newly wired fresnel reveals a set from the past Broken flats and actor's hats, crescent wrench flunky Techie speaks "righteous," Stupid Actress says "junky" Techs bizarre Techs bizarre, techs bizarre Ooh, techie (Ooh, techie) It's making me crazy (It's making me crazy) Everytime I look around Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around) Everytime I look around Techs in my face Props master steps out and says "the wagon just broke down" Techies jump and jive, but the actors have stuck around Audience won't know that, there's something wrong this try Women, children, ex-husbands don't see it, who knows why Techie yells, "We're going on," Actress says, "Right on" Techs making moves and sizing hooves before they knew we were gone Powered down the Maglite and hooked up the ghost lights Wanna know the rest? Hey, buy the rights... Techs bizarre Techs bizarre, techs bizarre Ooh, techie (Ooh, techie) It's making me crazy (It's making me crazy) Everytime I look around Everytime I look around (Everytime I look around) Everytime I look around Techs in my face 24
  25. 25. This Techie's Work ("This Woman's Work" by Kate Bush) by "SpaceGirl" Oh we go... I stand outside this techie's work This techie's world Ooh, it's hard on the crew Now their part is over Now starts the craft of the actor I know you have a little light in you yet I know you have a lot of juice left I know you have a little light in you yet I know you have a lot of juice left This should be working but I just can't make it go I should be helping but I can't stop thinking Of all the things I should've fixed But I never fixed All the things we should've checked That we never checked All the nights I should've worked late But I didn't Oh, TD, make it go I'll just slip away Give me a little time Pass the gaffers' tape Give me that crescent wrench Give me a hand I know you have a little light in you yet I know you have a lot of juice left I know you have a little light in you yet I know you have a lot of juice left This should be working but I just can't make it go I should be helping but I can't stop thinking Of all the things I should've fixed That I never fixed All the things I should've checked That I never checked All the time that I wasted, TD All the ways that I could've stopped it All the nights I should've worked late But I didn't Oh, TD, make it go I'll just slip away now. 25
  26. 26. Tech Crew Killed the Musical Star (Video Killed the Radio Star) I heard you on my headset in Act I Scene II, Lying in the light booth tuning in on you The heavy static didn't stop you coming through Oh oh They took the credit for our lovely scenery, Lit by Source-Fours with our new technology And now I wonder if the hero looked too green, Oh oh I met the actors Oh oh What did you tell them? Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star In my mind, while in a bar We can't go back, we've gone too far So now we meet in the old dancer's studio The curtain closed and it all seems so long ago And you remember The singers used to go Oh oh It was her first show Oh oh It was her last show Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star In my mind, while in a bar We can't go back, we've gone too far… too far Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star In my mind, while in a bar We can't go back, we've gone too far Reviews came, and broke her heart So put all the blame on modern art… We are the real stars… We are the real stars… Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star 26
  27. 27. Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed the musical star Tech crew killed that musical star, yes we did 27
  28. 28. 6 INCH C-WRENCH ("Four Leaf Clover" by Abra Moore) by SpaceGirl See I've been thinking it over It's all just a little too much You see I've got this 6 inch C-wrench I know it's gonna do the job Yeah, uh huh Yeah, uh huh So I tighten down all of the fresnels I check the lamps, I weld the seams You see the instruments on the catwalk Well they're never what they really seem Yeah, uh huh Yeah, uh huh The gels are always melting And the dimmer's on overload It stopped the show in the middle of the third act We've got no place to go Yeah, uh huh See I've been thinking it over It's all just a little too much You see I've got this 6 inch C-wrench I know it's gonna do the job It's broken, we've got no idea why But we're all right It's working, no one knows for how long But it's all right See I've been thinking it over It's all just a little too much You see I've got this 6 inch C-wrench I know it's gonna do the job 28
  29. 29. CARPS ("Lump" by the Presidents of the United States of America) by SpaceGirl ***Note to the uninitiated: Carps = stage carpenters*** Carps stand alone in the scenic shop Waiting for accidents bad enough to make them stop Carps hurt themselves with repetition That totally amused all the smug electricians They're carps, they're carps They hit their heads They're carps, they're carps, they're carps Are they brain dead? Carps lingered last in line for brains And the ones they got were sorta rotten and insane Now they tech for local companies Building sets and saying stupidities They're carps, they're carps They hit their heads They're carps, they're carps, they're carps Are they brain dead? Carps were young and stupid and needed jobs Carps trip over things and fall from high above Carps spend their nights drinking cheap tech beer Waiting for the day when their paychecks will appear They're carps, they're carps They hit their heads They're carps, they're carps, they're carps Are they brain dead? Are these carps necessary? I think so. Are these carps necessary? I think so. Are these carps necessary? I think so. Are these carps necessary? 29
  30. 30. THE SOUND OF FEEDBACK ("The Sound Of Silence" by Simon & Garfunkel) by SpaceGirl Hello, darkness, my old friend I've come to tech in you again Because a vision softly creeping Left its seeds while I was sleeping And the vision that was planted in my brain Still remains Within the sound of feedback. In restless dreams I teched alone In ancient theatres of stone Beneath a gelled and focused fresnel I put on black clothes for the Week of Hell When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of a followspot Bright and hot And awful sounds of feedback. And out there in the house I saw Ten thousand actors, maybe more Actors building sets so crappy Actors hanging lights so badly Actors calling cues that no one ever took Out of the book And constant sounds of feedback. "Fools!" said I, "get back on stage. Feedback drives audiences away. Hear my words and get back on stage, Leave tech work to techies this day." But my words like silent fly cues fell... Lost in the sound of feedback. And the actors bowed and prayed To the horrid set they made Waiting for the director's advice Thinking what they'd done was very nice The director said, "The names of the techies are written on the prop room walls And catwalk halls And whispered under sounds of feedback." 30
  31. 31. Th e Ax i o m o f a Cr ew M em ber I am me. I am human. I am as special and unique as any other. I am greater than no one, but no one is greater than me. Though my life and work and function are shrouded in darkness, the show can't go on without me. I am as intricate a cog as any other. Though it may be the actors on stage who receive the recognition, let I and my fellow crew not forget who's spotlights shine upon them, and let us never forget who's stage they are acting on. For it is Our foundation that they walk upon, and Our three walls they dwell within. We crave no outside recognition. We have ourselves, and we have each other. And that is all we truly need, To create the beauty of the set. By: John Weitzel 31
  32. 32. What NOT to do when you are a Lighting Tech Use unbent hangers in place of safety cables (one theatre space I worked in actually did that!!!) Jenn run in the catwalk Jenn sleep in the catwalk Jenn throw wrenches, wires, and other potentially harmful objects at fellow techies working on stage (however doing this to actors is perfectly acceptable) Jenn Aim a Par 64 with a 1Kw bulb in directly at the carpet from about 6" off the ground...... it tends to leave a very black mark with brown edges especailly on cream carpet! Tony Osborne mixes the camlock (feeder) boot colors Involving 15 year old brothers try taking a SuperTrouper up a flite of stairs in a stadium with a pitch of 68% Merrill Smith Having the balls to let a community theater dir. try to run the show without light ques writen down. Merrill Smith Tell a new person to wash the gels (only works if you have old gels made out of real gelitane) Troy Ward You should never wear platforms while teching in the catwalks (Ericson) Position the light on the curtain thus burning a whole through it. ( Take the director's threats seriously Let an intern gel all the lights Leave a cigar near the strobe Make any sudden, jarring movements in the catwalk Let a pyrotechnic work anywhere near you Still be using 1962 equipment Spill any liquid on the board Gel all the lights Pea Green Forget your C-Wrench on top of a ladder Wear black in the catwalk *The one exception to the all black rule* Program the lighting cues backwards Forget to tighten the clamps Use fishing line instead of a saftey wire Flood the stage in pink and black light Let a carpenter wire a base Jump rope with ground wires Wash wires with soapy water Smoke in the catwalk/grid 32
  33. 33. An Actor's Guide (With Techie Translations) Hold for all laughs---real, expected, or imagined. If you don't get one, face front and repeat the line louder. Failing this, laugh at it yourself. Yeah, that's funny. So much that the entire company will be laughing about it as you are handed your pink slip. A good performance, like concrete, should be molded quickly, then set forever. And that's why techies are expected to build entire sets in 2 weeks. Your first responsibility as an actor is to find your light. How often does this happen?? Don't listen to your fellow actors on stage. It will only throw you. Yes...Cue lines are evil.... Don't look at them either. You may not like what you see. Other actors other than yourself are ugly. Hmm, a bit self-concious? Or is getting into character too stressful? Always be specific: point to what you're talking about. Who WANTS to know what they're talking about? If a line isn't working for you, change it. Why do they always change the cue lines? Stage Managers are NOT actors---ignore them. But help keep them alert by never arriving on time or signing in. DEATH UPON EXECUTION!!!! Never be afraid to ad-lib to get attention, especially if you feel the leads aren't very interesting. When did actors become playwrites? Mistakes are never your fault. Suurrreee Always find something to complain about, no matter how small or insignificant. Your fellow actors will respect your professional attention to detail. And techies will create voodoo dolls in your likeness Never carry make-up---someone will always have what you need. Translation: Don't take responsibility for yourself. If you can't be heard, it's not your fault. Any decent theatre should have body mikes. We've never heard of PROJECTION before, have we? Never---NEVER---help understudies. They secretly hate you and want your job. Understudies....the one thing worse than an actor... Do help your fellow actors by giving them notes whenever you feel necessary. Distractions 33
  34. 34. Giving them notes just before they go on keep things even fresher. Hell for techies Speak your lines as if the audience had difficulty understanding the language. Don't you mean "because the actors can't understand"? Keep other performers on their toes by never let them know what you're going to do next. Do actors ever know what they're doing? Play the reality: always be aware of the audience, whether you think they like the show, then gauge your performance accordingly. Why knock yourself out for ungrateful idiots? Techies knock themselves out for ungrateful idiots, known as actors, daily! Even if a piece of shtick doesn't work, keep using it. The important thing is for you to have fun. Fun is important, but who do you think broke it? To avoid tension, have sex in your dressing room before a show. Janitor's hell. Here, understudies are extremely useful---always being around, and eager. What does go through an actor's mind?? Never change anything that's working, no matter how wrong or phony it may seem. Should be modified to "Don't touch anything, period!" When in doubt about an ad-lib, go "Whoo!" WHY??? Go up on a line? Clap twice, look at the audience, and giggle. Uhh, what is this?? The only difference between an amateur and a pro is a pro does the same thing for money. Money is involved in theatre?? Need a character? Get a costume. No, never try to actually act, use costumes. Always cultivate an attitude of hostility. Tension gets results---on stage and off. Remember who builds those chairs and platforms.... 34
  35. 35. Th e O r g i n o f Sa w N a m es We all know that different types of saws have different names. But, why are they named the way they are? Most experts believe that it is determined by what that particular type of saw is used for. However, we here at TECHS propose a different theory. Below are the true orgins of saw names. Enjoy! Back Saw: This type of saw served two purposes in the past. One was to scratch your back and the other was to shave off back hair, earning it the name of "Back Saw". Bow Saw: This saw earned its name back in the medieval times when archery was still widely used. When soldiers bows broke, they needed a quick replacement. So, armed with this type of saw, a quiver of arrows, and metal gauntlets, they fired upon the enemy. Plus, when they were on a mission, they could use it as both a weapon and a saw, cutting down wooden doors with the saw. Compass Saw: This type of saw was patterned after the pointer on a compass. Since it used to spin around on a compass, it's excellent for cutting radius holes. Coping Saw: The name "coping saw" came from the fact that people used this saw to cope with everyday stress. Cross Cut Saw: The Cross Cut Saw gained its name because it was the type of saw used in ancient times to cut wood for the crosses that were used in crusifiction. Hack Saw: The hack saw's name comes from the fact that Hack Saws is used to "hack" off anything that can't be sawed off any other way. It's the brute of saws, able to cut through metal, plastic, and even bone. So, when in doubt, "Take a Hack at it". Jigsaw: This saw was concieved when a man saw a knight slice a watermelon while holding his sword straight up and down. He realized this could be applied to saws and quickly went home and came up with a similar invention that became known as the jigsaw. Pruning Saw: Pruning saws come in all sorts of designs, including straight, curved, double or single edges, and some even fold. It was originally used for dueling, like a sword, which accounts for its many designs. However, it was soon discovered that this saw allowed a man to take on the roughest of woods, pruning them to perfection. Thus, the "Pruning Saw" was born. Sabre Saw: People knew that the sabre was a formibable weapon, one of the better swords. Thus, its blade was wrapped and can now be found in the sabre saw. Table Saw: This saw was discovered when someone threw a shuriken at a target set on a table, practicing their skills. It stuck in the table and spun, giving the man the idea to make a saw that sat on a table, the Table Saw. 35
  36. 36. Tec h i e Ter m s (Amendments and additions) Actor Proofing: Making your set, props, costumes, or ? able to survive the blaitend disrespect and misuse that an actor will give it. An actor will break it if it can be broken, lose it if it can't, trip on it if it is minding it's own business. (Thanks go to Woody from Canada) Actors: Mindless, zombile like people who blindly follow the director's commands. Their success is 99% determined by the Techies. Bandsaw: 1) A really big machine that can cut big pieces of wood and actors body parts 2) What the pit musicians see during a musical. Black: Every techie's favorite color. Carpenter: A techie who constructs the set and some props. Cherry Coke: The nectar of the gods and the savior of the techies. Deck Running Crew: The techies who work backstage during the play changing the scenes. The Dewalt Reciprocating Saw ( aka, Sawzall which is a trademark of Milwaukee Electric Tool ) : Handy electric saw that allows alteration of set construction ( oh, you wanted the door 18" THAT way ) without the annoying need to remove nails, screws, metal strapping, etc from the wood framing. Also VERY handy during strike. Director: 1) Wise, powerful person who is also caring and understanding 2) Rasinfrackinlil'..... Duck: 1) The thing hanging on the wall in the basement of the State. 2) When yelled, all true techies freeze and cover their heads while actors look up and get hit by falling objects. Duct Tape: A type of tape that can fix almost anything Electron Hose : Any electric / sound cable of a significant size/diameter. Fish: An animal which never appeared at the State, no matter what Eustacio says. Flat: A combination of wood and muslin. They are used to give the illusion of a house or other scene when a full scale model cannot be built. Float In : As in "to float in the flat down to the deck" Mostly used in Set Strike when all of the braces for the flats have been removed and the flats are simply dropped onto the deck with the canvas / styrofoam acting as a air brake. Less effective on heavy set pieces. They just tend to go BOOM when the floating is attempted. Fly Crew: The techies who control the objects/people who must "fly" in and out during the play. Foam Adhesive: Similar to glue only it is used to hold stuff to foam. It is stickier than glue and dries faster. *TIP* Acetone takes it off your skin pretty well. Followspot: 1) A spotlight that is used to illuminate on particular actor who has to move around the stage 2) What people shout when chasing their dog named Spot 36
  37. 37. Freshmen: 1) Inexperienced, naive techie wanna-bes who must be molded into true tech gods or goddesses. 2) The polite term for slaves. (See also INTERNS) Frosh Wash: See NHS TECHIE RULES Glue: 1) A sticky substance that is used to help hold stuff in place while being hammered or screwed. Example: Liquid Nails 2) What actors use for facemasks. Hammer: 1) Device used to secure nails into things like wood and actor's eyes or 2) What techie imposters use to secure screws. Handsaw: The most common type of saw, used for most cutting jobs. Headset: 1) A piece of equipment used by techies to communicate about the play during the performance. 2) A free phone line to friends available to techies during performances 3) A very tempting tool to use in lewd, inappropriate pranks during shows. Interns: 1) Professional theatre's term for freshmen. (See also FRESHMEN) Light Board Operator: A techie who operates the lights during the play Make-up: What actors use during a play to enhance their features Masonite: A thin solid that is commonly used for detailed shapes on the set. It is often used for curved shapes. Mistake: 1) Anything the audience can see during the performance that shouldn't be seen. 2) Anything the director notices "wrong" with a techie's work Muslin: What is put over the frame of a flat to be painted Nails: Sharp, metal objects that are used to hold wood and other solids together Neak : To neak is to move quickly in the dark without making sounds. Usually during a performance. i.e. "Let's neak over to stage left and check the props for the next scene." also "Hey, that chair is out of place, neak out there quick and fix it during the blackout". NHS Techie Rules 1) Frosh wash. 2) Don't mention Vinnie! Paint: 1) A substance that is applied to various things to change the color 2) What actors use for face paint Paint Brush: 1) A tool used to apply paint. It comes in many different sizes 2) What actors use to apply paint to their faces Pit Musician: 1) A musician who plays during a musical, usually found down in front of the stage. A step above actors in social classification yet cheaper to replace. 2) A musician who plays music with their pit hair. Property: Something that an actor uses during the play, usually found by a techie. Props Master/Mistress: A techie who is in charge of the properties Rip Saw: A saw used to cut curvy shapes. Set: The world the techies build for actors to live in during the run of a show Screw: A little metal object that holds things together better than nails in some cases. They are twisted, or screwed, into solids. 37
  38. 38. Screw Driver: A tool that is used to put screws into place Screw Gun: A machine that eases the task of putting in screws. Scottish Play, The: 1) A Shakespearean tragedy involving a Scottish nobleman, a murder or two, and a whole bunch of witches and ghosts. 2) Something you should never mention within a theatre. Seduction: Something better left forgotten! Sound Board Operator: A techie who operates the Sound Board during the play. Stage: Where the actors act and the techies work during a performance Stage Brace: Two long pieces of wood that are attached together that slides with the twist of a pin. They are used to hold flats up. Stage Directions: The way that an actor goes, for example, when an audience member sees an actor exit to the left, that's stage right. Stage Manager: A techie who controls the action during the play. They give everyone their cues and make sure the play comes together. Techie: The under-appreciated, behind-the-scenes workers of the play. Technical Director: The head techie who has control over all the other techies. Techtor: A person who posesses both the skills of an actor and a techie. Few exist. Theatre Curse: Saying the true name of "The Scottish Play" by Shakespeare in a theatre. 38
  39. 39. Fi n d Yo u r Tec h i e N i c h e Hello, and welcome to Beth Kinderman's infamous Find Your Techie Niche test (formerly known as the Techiness Test). You may be wondering what has become of the techiness test. Well, I got so much feedback (much of it negative) on the original test that I decided it needed a serious overhaul. Of course, if you don't like theatre or know what a techie is, you'd better turn back right now because you're not going to enjoy this page. Now, let's move on to the directions for this test. DIRECTIONS FOR THE TECHINESS TEST A simple test consisting of 20 multiple-choice questions will follow this message. This test is given with the intent of finding your Techie Niche--the place in the theatre where, based on the answers you are about to give, you will best fit. (Of course, this test isn't 100 percent accurate, and I make no claims that it will be entirely accurate all of the time.) Here's what you do. Simply read each question and mark the answer--A, B, C, D, or E--which you think best applies to you. When you've finished, count the number of times you marked each letter and check out the answer key. Whichever letter you picked most often is the key to finding your Techie Niche. Please mark all answers with a sharpened #2 pencil, filling in all spaces completely and erasing mistakes cleanly. You may 1. The best kind of tape to use in the theatre is (a) glo-tape. It's very useful for spike marks and props--those stupid actors would never find anything without it. (b) duct tape. It holds anything together. (c) gaffer's tape. It holds things down, dresses cable, and marks sliders--all without leaving a sticky residue! (d) multi-colored PVC tape. It's so versatile. (e) video tape, so that the whole world can have a record of the company's greatest performances. 2. Your favorite techie tool is (a) the wireless headset. It keeps you in touch with the crew. (b) the hammer. If it won't get that set to stay together, nothing will. (c) the crescent wrench. It's great for tightening and loosening things. (d) the pulley. It changes scenes faster than you can say "Heads!" (e) the complete and thorough theatrical makeup kit. 3. How many actors does it take to screw in a light bulb? (a) I don't care, just get it done! (b) I dunno...I'm still trying to figure out how anyone can do it. (c) Only one--he just holds it, and the world revolves around him. (d) *too drunk to answer properly* (e) One star, three supporting players, or twenty chorus members. 4. How many techies does it take to screw in a light bulb? (a) THIS IS BEGINNING TO GET ON MY LAST REMAINING NERVE! (b) I still don't get it. (c) Only one, provided that s/he has the proper training. (d) *has now passed out on the deck* (e) Too many, and they're all overpaid. 39
  40. 40. 5. You bring food to the techies (a) sometimes, when you think they've done a particularly good job. (b) never. For some reason, any food you attempt to bake bursts into flames. (c) always. (d) hardly ever, but you're always willing to share what you've brought for yourself. (e) Techies need to eat? 6. Your secret nickname for the artistic director is (a) "The Turd Upstairs." (b) "El Cheapo." (c) "The First Against The Wall When The Revolution Comes." (d) "That Guy Who Occasionally Buys Us Beer." (e) "The Genius." 7. Your secret nickname for the technical director is (a) That's not even funny. Respect your technical superiors. (b) "The Genius." (c) "The Pseudo-Genius." (d) "That Guy Who Usually, But Not Always, Buys Us Beer." (e) "The Great Peon." 8. Your favorite theatrical joke is (a) You know, an actor will trip on a line of tape, and a dancer will trip on a line of tape that's been pulled up. (b) What do you get when you make an electrician a carpenter? A bad carpenter. (c) What do you get when you make a carpenter an electrician? A dead carpenter. (d) What's black, crispy, and hangs from the ceiling? An actor trying to change a light bulb. (e) Why are actor jokes so short? So techies can understand them. 9. The best theatrical prank you ever pulled was (a) I don't pull theatrical pranks. They're dumb, immature, and they endanger everyone on staff. (b) locking the actors out of the theatre at intermission. (c) recording the actors' nasty gossip on the wireless and using it for self-serving purposes. (d) replacing the water in the whiskey bottles with real whiskey and watching the actors get slowly drunk on stage. (e) locking the techies out of the theatre at intermission. 10. You accidentally injure yourself during final dress. Your reaction is to (a) shrug and continue working. (b) not even notice until the assistant director points out that you're leaving little puddles of blood everywhere you go. (c) carefully clean and bandage the wound, then go back to work. (d) laugh very loudly (thereby disrupting the rehearsal) and begin to exchange stories of hellish accidents with your crewmates. (e) scream, cry, and go into hysterics as the running crew carries you away to your dressing room. 40
  41. 41. 11. In the theatre, the director can usually find you (a) in the wings, going over a copy of the script. (b) in the scene shop, fixing that nasty set problem that cropped up last night. (c) in the booth, running cues and having strange headset discussions. (d) on the rail, amusing yourself by drunkenly flying things in and out. (e) in the green room, gossiping about anyone and everyone. 12. It's three hours before call on opening night, and you are (a) talking with the director on the phone, attempting to convince her that it is simply not possible to have a live cow on stage in scene 14-A. (b) attempting to catch a quick nap in order to stay alert during the show. (c) already at the theatre, running all the light cues over...and over...and over... (d) drunk. (e) surrounded by adoring fans who inflate your ego to dangerous proportions. 13. The house opens in five minutes, and you are (a) backstage and on headset, focused on the show and ready to roll. (b) attempting to pound in that one protruding nail that's been bothering you for weeks. (c) praying that you can get through the show without screwing up this time. (d) sleeping at center stage despite the SM's repeated entreaties to get into the wings. (e) barricaded in your dressing room, refusing to perform without a substantial raise in salary. 14. You've just finished the best show of your career. The first words out of your mouth are (a) "I love you all, let me buy you a friendly beer or five!" (b) "Huh-huh, COOL!" (c) "We didn't mess it up? WE DIDN'T MESS IT UP!!!!!!" (d) "Party at the TD's house!" (e) "You couldn't have done it without me, you know..." 15. You've just made a complete botch of the show. The first words out of your mouth are (a) "You guys suck, I don't know why I didn't kill you all long ago." (b) "The lighting/sound op did it." (c) "Hey guys, would you mind getting here a few hours early tomorrow to run cues 15 through 580?" (d) "Let's go egg the TD's house!" (e) "Those stupid techies, they screwed it up again." 16. It's an hour after the final show, and you are (a) on stage and on task, directing the strike efforts. (b) helping with strike--you want to get out of the theatre and go party. (c) on the catwalk taking the gels down, while trying to figure out how you can make things even better for the next show. (d) drunk. (e) hiding out in the dressing room in an attempt to avoid having to strike. 17. Twelve hours after the final show, you are (a) at home, sleeping. (b) partying with the costume crew and explaining to them why building stairs is the worst job a techie can possibly have. (c) back at the theatre planning the next show (although you're probably getting more partying than working done...) (d) drunk. (e) so incredibly stinking drunk that even the stage crew is avoiding you. 41
  42. 42. 18. Your worst theatrical nightmare is (a) simultaneous actor and techie union disputes. (b) having the set fall apart. (c) spilling Coke into the lighting desk and having to pay for it. (d) being run over by your fellow techies, who are all too drunk to realize that they are about to crush you under a wagon. (e) being relegated to the role of chorus member. 19. In your wildest theatrical fantasies, you imagine (a) a raise. A big one. (b) lots of new tools for the scene shop. (c) running an absolutely perfect show. (d) beer. And lots of it. (e) thunderous applause, bouquets of roses, Tony awards, and huge movie deals. 20. In your opinion, this test has been (a) a waste of time. (b) mildly amusing. (c) very funny. (d) hysterical, especially to a bunch of drunk people. (e) unfair to actors. 42
  43. 43. Now that you've answered all 20 questions, let's find your Techie Niche. If you answered mostly "a," you're a Stage Manager through and through. You're the no-nonsense type--you don't take crap from anyone, because the show must go on. You make every minute count both on and off the job, and no one could accuse you of taking your work lightly. But your need to lead can sometimes make you come across as domineering and unforgiving. Relax and take care not to be too bossy. If you answered mostly "b," you can find your Techie Niche as a Carpenter. You're not terribly creative, but you're a hard worker whom the TD can always count on to get the job done. You're a good team player who has an unreasoning hatred of electricians. For some reason you seem to have more accidents than the rest of the techies, particularly when electricity and/or power tools are involved. Be careful. If you answered mostly "c," you're an Electrician. Whether you work in lighting, sound, or even pyrotechnics, you do it alone or with techies you trust. Your many eccentricities make you a frequent subject of green-room discussion. You enjoy heights and dark places and have a tendency to abuse your headset privileges. You're also a perfectionist--some could even accuse you of being anal--and this quirk is both a blessing and a curse. If you answered mostly "d," congratulations--you're a Tech-Of-All-Trades. When people think of techies, they think of you--a laid-back, versatile party animal who'll do just about anything to make the show a success. But the same versatility that lets you do anything you want can also leave you without direction in the technical world. And you might want to save the binge drinking for special occasions--it's bad for your liver. If you answered mostly "e," we're dreadfully sorry. You seem to be an Actor with an ego the size of Southeast Asia. What you need is a good swift kick in the pants--or for someone to teach you to appreciate all the work that techies do. The Techiness Test and all information contained in it is (c) 1998 by Beth Kinderman. If you have any suggestions for potential questions or know of ways to improve the Techiness Test, please e-mail them to and put "Techiness Test" somewhere in the subject line. All submissions become the property of Beth Kinderman, and suggestions may be summarily accepted, rejected, or edited without the permission of their originator. Thank you for taking the Techiness Test. Have a nice day. 43
  44. 44. What NOT to do While Building Flats Wrap yourself and a fellow techie up tight in muslin Test how long you can hold some muslin up to a lighting instrument that's turn up to full Smoke Nail the flat face-down to the stage Step on the muslin Wrap yourself in wet muslin Basecoat the TD Shoot the staple gun at random techies Practice your knife throwing skills with the mat knife and finished flats Sing "This is the Song That Never Ends" Throw hammers at the followspots Screw 2 Flats that have just been painted together with the fronts facing each other Put glue in the TD's shoes Hang half-cleaned Paintbrushes from the catwalk Paint the stage a nice shade of red saying "I thought it needed a new look" Come to tech crew wearing an "I Love Actors" T-shirt Screw the TD's foot to a 2-by-4 Stand the door in its frame and paint hinges on the flat instead of putting real ones on. Leave the flats anywhere near the actors Bring your Christmas presents and wrap them in the "extra" muslin Walk up to a female techie and say "This flat reminds me of you" Set up a obstacle course and run through a flat at the finish Play baseball with a 2-by-4 and tape balls Put glue on the portable microphone stand Test Newton's Law of Gravity by dropping a flat from the catwalk Use the "extra" muslin for a dropcloth Bring a flat tire to tech crew and say "Can we fix my flat?" Use masonite to build the frame of a flat 44
  45. 45. Buy 10 gallons of pink paint when the TD asks for blue because "It'll show up better" Completly wrap an actor in duct tape and attempt to cut him or her free with a dull mat knife When building a window or prison bar flat, leave small tacks point up along the top of the bars Make a doorknob out of styrofoam and paint it instead of installing a real one. Glue the doorknob on instead of installing it Put wheels on the bottom of one flat, remove the crank that lowers the lights attach it to the flat, and pretend to jump your "car" off the stage like the Dukes of Hazard Ask a techie of the opposite sex for a screw Write deep thoughts on the back of flats that the actors will see during the show. They'll be so confused that the show will be ruined! Wallpaper the theatre with muslin Wrap yourself in muslin and duct tape and tell everyone that you have become the Incredible Undead Techie Mummy. Terrorize techies of the opposite sex Invite some of the actors along to help with the building Climb the tallest ladder you can find and start dropping tools on the actor's heads while screaming "Bombs away!" Spray-Paint "Techies Rule" on the front of all the flats Make a tecie mascot out of leftover materials and dress it using expensive costume pieces. Take it everywhere, give it a name, and insist that it be included in every scene. Repeatedly scream the name of the Scottish Play Sign the front of every flat you make in black paint Debate the name "flat" with the director or TD, saying, "It's 3-dimensional, how can it be flat? There's bumps on the muslin, so it isn't a flat!" 45
  46. 46. The Top 10 Reasons to become a Techie • 10 Get to make big messes • 9 Power Tools • 8 Does anyone else let you write on walls? • 7 Learn to play Mao • 6 Four words: Cast Parties. Techie Parties • 5 Gussie the Liquid Nails Model said so • 4 Duct Tape • 3 Get a cool nickname like "Golden Drill Girl" or "Glue Guy of Glory" • 2 Guaranteed job security because no one else will do it. • 1 You'll never understand the phrase "Scottish Play" unless you do Another List, submitted by John Kelly Cuthbertson • 10 Confusing your parents with the career choice. • 9 Craft services when the film company rents the theater. • 8 The booth is closer than the liquor store. • 7 The fridge in the Green Room for a Nobel prize in Chemistry. • 6 What day is this ? Must be Toronto. • 5 Knowing the actors just reflect the excellent lighting job. • 4 Doing an Industrial on your day off. • 3 You can do banking on your Day off. • 2 Everything fits in one load of laundry, colours ? Whites ? • 1 Wardrobe machines don't require quarters. 46
  47. 47. What NOT to do when you are the Stage Manager Burn yourself while using the dry ice machine Jenn Misplace the keys to the box containing the stage pistol Jenn Fall asleep during the show Jenn NEVER EVER forget to preset important set peices and realize their not there till after house is open and have to have an actor take them out. i've done this twice and both times were opening nights. Shannon Let members of the cast read our script to read over their lines for the next scene, they will never return it to where it is supposed to be. Andy Be to good so the director thinks you can do anything. Andy Burn yourself on a running light Chris Beyries Pass out during a show Chris Beyries Turn off your headset, and forget to turn it back on Chris Beyries Come to work hung over Chris Beyries Misplace your cueing script Chris Beyries Forget your glasses Chris Beyries Start the overture before calling places Chris Beyries Call places for top of the show during intermission Chris Beyries Miss cues because todays gossip is really juicy Chris Beyries Tell the cast that there is a killer wandering around the theatre right before they go on-stage. (I have had an experience.) Spill soapy water at the stage entrance and tell the actor "break a leg" before he enters. (Thanks to Jim S. Villanueva) Tie two actor's long hair together Call out random light and sound cues during rehersal Start calling the cues in Pig Latin Give the actors encouraging advice like "Don't worry, its only all of our careers at stake here" Play with the curtain Put on your walkman instead of your headset Say "Really!? I didn't know the director was mad at him/her!" with a bunch of actors around and deny saying anything if they ask. Bring a cellular phone to rehersal Hang a cloth of some sort over the area that you work in, saying that you've suddenly developed anthropophobia. Start a chart of theatre usage and cite the fact that you are the Stage Manager as the reason you have the authority to do so. Give false directions to the fly crew Fall asleep during a crucial part of the play Call out a cue 5 minutes early and then say "This was a test. This was only a test. If it had been an actual command, the applause would have been heard." Bring a desklamp and do your homework during the performance Have the Deck Running Crew change the scene 5 minutes early Get together with all of the techies 15 minutes before opening night and say "There have been a few changes..." Ask the lighting operator to re-adjust the lights during intermission Record your voice calling cues during dress rehersal and play the tape into the headset so you don't have to work. 47
  48. 48. Rally the other techies and form a Techie Mafia. Talk with a slurred italian accent and leave burnt-out light bulbs in the pockets of the actor's costumes. Watch "The Godfather" trilogy for inspiration. Quietly sing "Wanna Be" over your headset during the play. Wrap yourself completely in glo-tape so the deck crew can recognize the Stage Manager in the dark. Replace your headset with a wireless mic. If the TD complains, babble about the importance of techiness as a factor in the play's power until (s)he goes away. Suggest that the deck crew be replaced with scene-changing interpretive dancers. Gossip loudly over your headset about a particular actor's mediocre love life while (s)he is standing behind you. If you have control over the houselights, turn them off 5 minutes before the end of intermission. Have the sound operator change the outlets for each mic. Suggest to the director that pyrotechnics would help the show 48
  49. 49. 101 Ways to Hurt Yourself or Others While Teching 101: Leave gum or tobacco in the Followspot or ER 100: Tell the crew that there will be no beer during the production 99: "Surfing" down the stairs on the light or sound board 98: Shove a maglite up somebody's posterior 97: Grab another techie's, actor's, or the director's genitals with your Crescent Wrench and pull..... 96: Curse Cherry Coke 95: Give the director power tools 94: Hang a live turkey from the ceiling by it's feet, letting it fly around in circles 93: Let an actor try being a pyrotechnic 92: Let Pyrotechnic's improve during the tech rehersals 91: Not securing that stage brace 90: *Forget* to fix that chair 89: Ask an actor to change a lightbulb 88: Waterfight in the catwalk 87: Ask the director for better equipment and working conditions 86: Ask the director for a raise (Thanks to Missy for numbers 76-85) 85: Bungee jumping from the cat walk... ( it's been done) 84: Using too much glow tape and blinding yourself 83: Seeing how many 9 volt batteries you can stick on your toung before you convulse 82: Not writing the directors cues in pencil 81: Buffing your directors bald head 80: Tell an actor the have an ego problem 79: Date an actor 78: Be distracted by an actor 77: Backstage Shit stream contest ( NIN Techs) 76: Give into PMS 75: C-Clamp someone's foot and a screw together. 74: Ask the TD for longer breaks 73: Hold the Castor 500. First person around the stage 500 times is the winner, no methods of control such as poles, brooms, walls, etc.. can be used. No penalty for pushing off of the stage. 72: Ride the flyrail around the stage 71: Sharpening knives on the Table Saw 70: Use tie line for flying flats 69: Try hang gliding from the catwalk with sheets of muslin 68: Jarring a fresnel loose with a crowbar 67: Attempt to have a duel with the compass saws 66: Play horseshoes with the TD's neck as the pole 49
  50. 50. 65: Order salad and diet soda pop for break 64: Cover yourself with pink paint and run around hugging everyone 63: Long hair near the table saw 62: Let an actor run the pinrail. (Jay Wright 61: Test sound patch cables with your tongue. (especially if you have braces) (Jay Wright 60: Forget to weight a flat on stage. (Jay Wright 59: Bowling with wood blocks and paint cans 58: Tape someone to the dimmer pack 57: Using wire cutters as scissors 56: Using the chalkline a normal rope 55: Sleeping during load-in/load-out 54: Shaking ladders 53: Burning incense in the catwalk 52: Using a Quiji board to talk to the ghost in the theatre right before a performance. (Thanks to Psychedelic Urchin) 51 Putting a patch cable in your mouth while you think about where to put the end that isn't already in the board. (while the power is on) (Thanks to Psychedelic Urchin) 50: Use rusty nails to pierce your nose 49: Link safety chains together and see if you can climb down from the catwalk. 48: Glue in hair 47: Show up drunk 46: Glass nails 45: A wooden crescent wrench 44: Paint can lids as cymbals 43: Duct tape as a hair removal product 42: Let an electrician build the stairs 41: Let a carpenter rewire a Fresnel 40: Nitroglycerine in the Fog Machine 39: Put a live duck in a Fresnel and plug it in. 38: Grease the ladder 37: Shaving with the Hack Saw 36: Pretend to be a cowboy with the microphone wires 35: Dip a wire in a full sink 34: Use firecrackers to pry flats apart. 33: Clean the dimmer pack with warm, soapy water 32: Drop a gel frame on someone's head. 31: Ride the bucket down from the catwalk. 30: Drop a hammer on your foot 29: Nail your finger to a 2X4 28: Hold the Spraypaint cannister backwards 27: Loosen the blade on the table saw 26: Fly flats with fishing line 50
  51. 51. 25: Smoke in the catwalk 24: Randomly shoot staples out of the staple gun 23: Cover the stage in oil 22: Screw a flat into your finger 21: Drop a sandbag on top of an actor pretending to be dead 20: Drop random objects from the catwalk 19: Hold the lighting fixtures right after a show without gloves 18: Yell into the headset 17: Fly a flat into the director 16: Release the hanging mic so it drops on an actor's head 15: Place a cactus leaf on top of the drummer's pedel. 14: Cut the wire holding up the stage lights 13: Fall off a ladder 12: Let an actor climb the ladder 11: Bring your 10 year old sibling to tech crew 10: Let loose cord hang from the lights 9: Leave rusty nails scattered about the stage 8: Play frisbee with saw blades 7: Chew nails 6: Pole vault with the braces 5: Loosen the bolts holding the trap door together 4: Jump around the catwalk 3: Give an actor power tools 2: Listen to the director 1: Say the name of the Scottish Play 51
  52. 52. I something that can go wrong, it will. From: KENDRICKFAM <> I am the set designer at the Army Community Theatre. We built a set for Showboat. It was so damn big you wouldn't believe. At the first few production meetings, the set designer kept repeating to the director "no <people of mass> on the second level!!!!" Did she listen? No... First dress rehearsal, the floor flexed and almost gave way. Another incident, same show. I was backstage, during a scene change, the "Face" of the boat moved offstage, half stage left and half stage right. Then the auditorium was "supposed" to move forward. Well, you must understand, our sets are designed by one man, then built by rapists, murderers and wife beaters. Not my first choice when I think of crew. Anyway, the castors broke, about 5 if I remember right, just snapped off, under the 1000 lb platform. Well the entire crew went gung ho and we pushed it right to it's spike mark. We shaved a few layers of wood off of the stage, but who cares, the show must go on right. Needless to say, after this show backstage I went to my true passion, lights. Elan Ruskin <> offered me the following story: This is a description of an actual event that occurred during a dress rehearsal of "Twelfth Night" about six years ago. Back then, our theatre used a real relic of a dimmer board, this enourmous multilevered thing that required about four contortionists to operate. About halfway through the first act... Production Electrician: Ok, I'll do dimmers 1-20. You <points> do 21-40, you <points> get 41-60, and we'll sort of fudge 61-80, depending on where we are. Asst. Electrician #3: What do I do? ME: If the stage catches fire, turn off the circuit breakers. (forty minutes later) PE (into headset): Ok, standing by. uh... Jenn [the SM]... there's this really strange sort of buzzing-humming noise coming from the board. Wait, it just stopped. All right, I suppose, never mind. AE 1: Wonder what it was. AE 2: Probably just a dirty contact or something. PE: Guys, I told you, _no smoking backstage_. AE 2: Who's smoking? PE: I thought I smelled... oh, sh--! (into headset) JENN! The board is producing smoke! Kill the power and let's get out of here. (AE 1 & 2 evacuate.) AE 3 (waking from a doze): That's odd. It smells like Chanukah back here. From: Nick Munro <> The following stories are second hand, but are confirmed as true, and he has admitted to these crimes. No names have been changed, because we're never going to let him forget this. A couple of years ago, the Mercury Theatre in Colchester took on a YT (youth trainee, or intern, if you want.) This blonde individual, by the name of Andy, was keen and learned many things. Sadly, he fouled up all too frequently. But Jim, the head of LX was patient, recalling his own training, and made Andy do all the colour calls, and rig the festoons round the roof at Christmas, as he had done himself all those years ago. This made our poor Andy very tired, especially as he still had some blood in his caffeine stream. One night, he was caught putting a par bulb in *backwards*. From then on, the riggers asked for "a piece of 180 for a backward parcan," congratulating Andy on his gel-saving idea, and asking if they put the batteries in their Maglite 52
  53. 53. backwards, would the light come out the other end. Eventually, Andy tired of this, telling everybody to f*** off. The head of LX, in his wisdom, asked everyone to lay off the poor lad, then turned to him, and said; "Never mind Andy, I think the sun shines out of your *mouth*." The same Andy, seconded to Stage Damagement to fly a chair in and out on a crank handle, got his cans lead tangled round the handle, suspending the actor in the chair 10 or so feet above the stage. The reason? He had gotten bored, and had made the handle pretty by winding several colours of PVC tape round it and his lead. Andy has since qualified as an electrician, and doesn't do that sort of thing any more. He does however, break follow spots by "adjusting" the height of the stand while the spot is on. For "adjust", read "drop". 53