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The Life of a Technician
http://www.ballet-dance.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9404
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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Mon Oct 25, 2004 7:17 am ]
Post subject:  The Life of a Technician

Technical Talk
By Robin Johnson for The Stage

Having any kind of professional involvement in the performing arts is a strange thing. That strangeness comes from the vast majority of people only interacting with our industry in their leisure time.

Non-professionals sometimes make the connection that because of this, those working in in the arts industry must also be there in the pursuit of leisure. They’re having fun so we must be.

That point of view takes many different forms. Television actors get called by their characters’ names in the street.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Jan 27, 2005 4:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: It's no fun being a technician

Flyman - don't forget the technicians
From The Stage

You can also be fairly sure that those who manage to get through a passable ‘performance’ will have been supported by the technicians and stage managers who are probably more help to them than the coaches or mentors.

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Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Feb 07, 2005 1:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's no fun being a technician

Thanks for posting these articles Stuart. I wish our papers here would run similar topics.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Wed Feb 09, 2005 9:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: It's no fun being a technician

"The Stage" is a trade paper, LMCtech. I wonder whether there is anything similar in the US?

Recently, "The Stage" celebrated its 125th Anniversary and here is the link to a series of interesting celebratory articles:

http://209.172.33.37/criticaldance.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic;f=11;t=002456

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Thu Apr 21, 2005 8:48 am ]
Post subject: 

Where creativity ends and brute labour begins
By Flyman for The Stage


“Every ballet, circus, opera, operetta, exhibition, painting, concert, printing of a book, requires the intense effort of thousands and thousands of people, working forcedly at what are often harmful and humiliating tasks.” However, “it is possible to imagine that in the future physical labour will partly be replaced by machines” and “there will be “no need for the same people constantly to sit under the stage, moving the scenery and lifting machinery”.

This not the most recent assessment of the industry from Bectu but Leo Tolstoy writing at the end of the nineteenth century on the nature of art.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 20, 2005 5:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Technicians go first
By Flyman for The Stage


Job security is not one of the reasons that people seek a career in technical theatre. Indeed, they are mostly attracted by the same kind of passion that motivates directors, designers or actors.

However, the general public find that hard to understand. They never see us, or if they do we are skulking about in the shadows trying to pretend that we are not there. This is not the image of self-promoting showbusiness that they are led to expect and they think that we are only doing it so that we can get jobs as actors.

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Author:  Craig Miller [ Fri May 20, 2005 4:05 pm ]
Post subject: 

This article is sadly true. I know a company that, in the panic about things being difficult financially, is looking to reduce, if not eliminate, its production department. Funny thing is, they still plan to have productions.

Now, the wise question might be how do you propose to do your half million dollar productions with no production staff, but sadly, there is no answer to this.

As the article mentions, management is as much in the dark sometimes about what goes in to making a show, as the audience is....

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri May 20, 2005 4:51 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Craig and welcome to CriticalDance. Your personal experience on this theme is very welcome and I hope we hear more from you in the near future.

Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Jul 22, 2005 5:36 am ]
Post subject: 

A thoughtful piece inspired by the death of a friend. Shame we don't get the full name of the deceased as a proper remembrance:

What happens to old technicians?
By Howard Bird for The Stage


Bill was 54 when the clock stopped ticking for him. A ludicrously young age to go nowadays, really, but a stroke and other health problems were major contributory factors. Why do I mention his death here? Well, he was a friend I didn’t really know and his death made me think about what happens to technicians when the curtain comes down on their career at the onset of middle age and fails to rise again. You know the old song - No One Loves a Fairy When She’s Forty - and I wonder whether that opinion is also valid for technicians when they pass that watershed.

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Author:  Stuart Sweeney [ Fri Nov 25, 2005 4:02 am ]
Post subject: 

Those of a sensitive nature are warned that the word "techie" appears in this article:

Technical rehearsals and fit-ups
From The Stage

Actors always claim that they enjoy rehearsals more than performances. Many stage managers look forward to technical rehearsals as a moment when they get to exercise their authority most widely and most publicly. What do technicians look forward to?

Some, who work as freelances, do very little else but fit-ups. Is that what we enjoy?

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