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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 6:31 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 4753
Location: Montreal, QC, Canada
A little while ago a friend of mine, who is a retired dancer (he's in his 60's now) and quite a character, was telling me about being flown across the stage in a theatre in Brussels in a glorious arabesque. Unfortunately the man flying him was plastered and smacked him into a leg which he clung to until he was lowered, completely bruised. The audience loved it though and gave him rousing applause. <BR>In another one of his more auspicious moments on stage he came running out and slid into the splits--someone thought the stage looked dull before the show and generously waxed it between the dress rehearsal and the performance--and flew into the conductors box. No alcohol was involved until after the incident which resulted in a broken foot.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sat Mar 03, 2001 9:50 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 971
Location: Pennsylvania
So, a question I would have is, why can't this change. What can be done to change it? Will it truly take an artist or some other innocent backstage being killed?


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 1:56 pm 
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Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 39
I wonder if having more people working in theater who have also worked as performers would help?


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 3:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Elaine, I think it would be more helpful to have more performers who've worked as technicians.<P>It's been my experience that often, designers and technicians have a greater appreciation of the performers' needs than vice versa.<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR>

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Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 06, 2001 3:33 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Babs, to answer your question:<P>You know that I believe that unions play an important role in protecting workers, but when the workers are protected from the consequences of their own irresponsible actions, then the unions have gone too far.<P>Any IA local (The IATSE -- International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees is the stagehands' union, folks) that tolerates its members being inebriated on the job should be decertified.<P>Period.<p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited August 06, 2001).]

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Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2001 8:16 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
I may have mentioned this before here, but a a performer who's mentors instilled in the fear of God into us where designers, technicians,etc. were concerned (i.e. don't even think about looking down your nose at these incredibly important people) it has been my great desire to move in to that area,particularly lighting. I love it all, but I am constantly amazed at what can be done with light on a bare stage. Who has suggestions as to how I can learn more about it? Keep in mind I'm an old dog, 44! haha<BR>D


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2001 10:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
I'd start with David Hay's <I>Light on the Subject</I>, which is written for non-designers. Just look at light. Go to photography exhibitions (the word, after all, means "light drawing". Read other books.<P>Then find a small company somewhere and just start doing it.

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Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 07, 2001 10:50 am 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 17, 2001 11:23 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2001 12:01 am
Posts: 28
Location: College Park, MD; USA
Salzberg wrote: <BR>*Any IA local (The IATSE -- International Association of Theatrical Stage Employees is<BR> the stagehands' union, folks) that tolerates its members being inebriated on the job<BR> should be decertified.*<P>Jeff, I can't agree more. The local I had to deal with over the summer sent me the gamut of talent: a few great people, an unemployed stripper (who accused me of being a sexist when I cut her after the first five hours--funny, I didn't think I was wrong for releasing a worker who showed up with no tools, broke my scenery, and didn't know the first thing about being a stagehand), various folks who had to amend their work schedules in order to be on time for their COURT appearances and/or DUI school appointments. Never mind the ones who had to re-schedule over the weekend so they could do their weekend jail time. And these are the people who managed to show up on time or at all. In the midst of it, it was incredibly frustrating. Now that I'm gone from there, it's very amusing and also rather pathetic. <P>This local is probably going to lose their contract with this theater and speaking as a member of the union, I can't say that I disagree with that. <P>There are good IA locals and bad ones, and it doesn't matter if they are loading in a ballet, opera or a summerstock production. I got a doozy this summer! Luckily for me, I did have a core group of five or six people who were more valuable than all the drunks and strippers they sent me for my load-in calls. <BR>One story: <BR>We did "A Chorus Line" and managed to keep the rental set in excellent shape for the run of the show, ie, the big, expensive, delicate mylar mirrors. The mirrors that the dancers in spike heels came within inches of on a nightly basis. It took less than one hour during load out for one of my local stagehands to put their foot through one of the panels. And then not 'fess up to it, lol!!<P>Okay, I'm done with my rant. All in all, a great summer was had by myself and the production/design staff, but I learned a LOT about the varying levels of what IA locals consider acceptable credentials. <P>I'm fairly certain this local learned what I deem as acceptable and qualified work behavior and skills. <P>Meredith<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2001 4:28 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
LOL, Meredith! I had fun reading your post. Oh, wait, it wasn't meant to be funny...


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2001 9:18 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 21, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 717
Location: California
Jeff,<BR>I've just started reading David Hay's Light on the Subject! Wow, it's great. I have to say though,it wasn't an easy book to find. I finally found it at a website new to me - <A HREF="http://www.half.com." TARGET=_blank>www.half.com.</A> <BR>Thanks for the recommendation.<P>David


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2001 2:24 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Although I doubt he'd remember me, I took class from David for one semester. He was one of the two most inspiring teachers I ever had -- and I was fortunate enough to have had <I>several</I> inspiring teachers.<P>It's just amazing what a person can do if s/he has passion, knowledge, and articulation.

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Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 19, 2001 2:54 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><I>an unemployed stripper (who accused me of being a sexist when I cut her after the first five hours--funny, I didn't think I was wrong for releasing a worker who showed up with no tools, broke my scenery, and didn't know the first thing about being a stagehand)</I><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>Er. . .Mary Edith, did she not notice that you are also female?<P>There are, alas, incompetents in every societal grouping (including white males) who prefer to believe that their failures are due to their membership in that classification, rather than to their own lack of ability, knowledge, or work ethic.<P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><I>This local is probably going to lose their contract with this theater and speaking as a member of the union, I can't say that I disagree with that.</I><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It sounds long overdue to me. My happiest experiences with IA locals have been in "right-to-work" * states. You were in a state in which unions are very powerful (Michigan, right?). I've also heard horror stories (and I mean <I>horror</I>) from Ohio.<P>Babs, anything to say about PA?<BR> <BR> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR><I>Luckily for me, I did have a core group of five or six people who were more valuable than all the drunks and strippers they sent me for my load-in calls.</I><HR></BLOCKQUOTE><P>It seems to me that a letter to the International might be in order.<P><BR>* Note: "right-to-work" means that state laws prohibit an employee's been required to be a union member in order to work at a particular establishment.<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P><BR><p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited August 19, 2001).]

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Jeffrey E. Salzberg,
Dance Lighting Design
http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 971
Location: Pennsylvania
This weekend I had the PLEASURE of working with two very fine IA pink contract employees with the ballet. We were at a park, they were dealing with a reduction from their usual number of employees, and we were pretty slammed for time. The fill-in employees provided by the presenter (in this case the city, I believe) were the park production crew. We rather thought we were missing their people until a lunch was provided, and suddenly, voila! there they all were. They (and the dancers) were the only ones who really had time to eat the sandwiches as we were to the wall time-wise. The city crew then, with a couple exceptions, disappeared again until food arrived from the audience reception. The IA guys, if they ate at all, did it on the run. They worked hard, all afternoon, through the show, and in some awful weather. The situation was bad, and the more than rose to the occasion.<P>And my favorite moment of the evening - during load out all of us were helping with strike and loading the truck, the stage manager, production manager and myself, as well as the guys. The city crew was sitting watching us. We were doing final idot check, and I found a cooler where the city guys were seated. (now background is that all evening the SM and I have been sputtering about how these guys are just sitting). I go to pick up the cooler, not three feet away from the bench of "crew" and all four said, in unison, as I went to lift it "It's heavy". Not a muscle tensed to jump up and grab the other handle. <P>The IA guys kicked backside. The others did not.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2001 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2001 11:01 pm
Posts: 8612
Location: El Granada, CA, USA
Having done two national tours with Western Opera Theater, I've had my experience with the full gamut of competence and incompetence. Some places the crews were SO sexist they wouldn't take direction from the female props manager. Other places they were sexist and incompetent. Our production manager would warn us though. He had been around the block a few times and knew how to handle them all. I learned a lot on those two tours.<P>But aren't we getting off the topic a bit?<P>I expect other designers to respect my work even though I look ten years younger than the rest of them and the crew.<P>And I don't ever want to be called "little lady".


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