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 Post subject: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 12, 2000 11:48 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Expectations are funny things. Sometimes, it seems so obvious to me what a collaborator should be bringing to a project. . .and then I find that it's <I>not</I> so obvious to him or her.<P>So my question is this: what do you expect of your designers and technicians? Dancers and choreographers, what qualities do you want/expect to find in your stage manager? Grace, as a writer, when you sit in that theater seat, what are you expecting of the lighting, set, costume, and sound designers? Designers, what do you want from your colleagues (including the dancers and choreographers)?<P>. . .And if you answer these questions, I promise to follow up by telling you what <I>I</I> want.<P><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><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,
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http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2000 5:26 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 24, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 19975
Location: London, England; Tallinn, Estonia
At its best, I am not concerned if the set or lighting design impinges on me in its own right. The work of Hein Heckroth ('The Green Table'), Lez Brotherston (NBT's 'Dracula' and 'Carmen') and Michael Hulls (The Russell Maliphant), Bakst or Gontcharova stand as fine art work in their own right. <P>I am also reminded of the comments of Deborah MacMillan, an artist and designer, that lighting is the second most important aspect in ballet after the choreography and that is highly significant in creating mood and emotion in a work. <P><p>[This message has been edited by Stuart Sweeney (edited August 13, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Sun Aug 13, 2000 11:06 am 
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Joined: Wed Jun 28, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 17
Location: Gulfport, MS
I am one of the fortunate ones who has had the chance to establish a wonderful working relationship with our theater's lighting director and his crew. I trust him implicitly with every production...He watches rehearsal, designs the lighting, himself and then we work it out on stage. Seldom do I have to ask him to change anything. We seem to be able to read each other's minds. If there's anything I need, it's there in 30 seconds, no fuss, no bother...Nothing is impossible for him to do. He has truly been 'sent by God'!!!<P>However, I have assisted backstage with crews from visiting companies and I can't be so generous with my words...It seems that anyone wearing tights is at the bottom of the food chain where some tech people are concerned...<P>Lighting, sound, sets, props, etc..should all be designed so that the dance is center stage. It is there to enhance the production, not 'star' in it..Just my thoughts....


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 14, 2000 6:11 am 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 971
Location: Pennsylvania
From the dancers: an understanding that we really are all working towards the same goals for the performance, and that technicians are not merely rats in black at the corners of the stage. I hope for some mutual understanding of what we as artists bring to the production - I hope that the interest I show in understanding the dancer's needs, training, background, etc. will also occasionally be met with like interest in what I am doing (and it is sometimes!)<P>From the choreographer: I expect to be considered part of the overall production and artistic product, not merely a necessity at stage time.<P>From my fellow technicians: I expect the same respect for what the dancers are doing that they (the technician) have for their own fellow folks in black. When in the audience, I expect to not see the mechanics of the technical aspects of the show (unless I am inteded to do so). Above all else, I expect a safe environment to be made and maintained for dancer and crew alike.<P>From the audience: I expect you to stay in your seats through the curtain call. I will try my best to not misjudge the applause and let the curtain call drag on, but I expect you to no trample people in your haste for the door. I also expect you NOT to take pictures, to turn off you cell phones and beepers when I ask you to do so, and to kindly refrain from talking during the show. We've all worked hard to get to this performance, and your respect is appreciated.<P><p>[This message has been edited by BabsLights (edited August 14, 2000).]


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 22, 2000 7:34 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
What I want (in no particular order):<P>From dancers:<P>A. Consistency. This doesn't mean that each performance should be a carbon copy of the previous one, but key issues such as entrances, exits, and critical moments in choreography should be reasonably consistent from day to day, so that the timing of light cues will work.<P>II. Respect -- for what I do and for what the stagehands do. This can take several forms (kissing the ring is optional), the most basic of which is knowing the difference between designers and technicians (one reason I hate the word "techie" -- it's too often used by dancers as a catch-all phrase for "all those people whose functions I've never bothered to learn anything about").<BR>

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http://www.jeffsalzberg.com


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2000 4:46 am 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
From Management:<P>An understanding of what it takes to do my job and reasonable support in terms of resources. "Resources", of course, includes personnel, supplies, time (<I>especially</I> time!), and equipment. This should be kept in perspective, of course. I don't expect them to buy me hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of equipment when they can barely pay the dancers; however, I also don't expect (actually, I *do* expect it -- it happens all the time, unfortunately) to see them driving home in their Mercedes after telling me that we simply can't afford to hire an electrician for 4 hours to prep the show before load-in.<P>All this, of course, could easily be put under the heading of "respect".<P>I'm probably not going to post my expectations of stagehands, because I agree 100% with Barb's -- and she phrased hers so articulately.<BR><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><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 28, 2000 9:17 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Okay... I have a feeling I will regret this... does the quality of stagehands vary a whole lot from city to city and between let's say opera and ballet? Does $$$ = quality?


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2000 10:21 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
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Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Oh, boy, Aslan, that's a complicated one.<P>From city-to-city, absolutely. There's one American city with a well-known ballet company whose stagehands are famous for going out and getting drunk between cues. There are other towns in which the work ethic is taken quite seriously. Sarasota, for instance, with its circus tradition, has a very good stagehand local.<P>There's not a qualitative difference between stagehands for opera and stagehands for ballet, since the same stagehands work both; very few stagehands specialize in one form.<P>As for the question, "Does $$$ = quality?", it depends on the town, but, in general, yes. In most cases, union stagehands are more skilled than non-union workers.<BR><P>------------------<BR>=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>Online portfolio, now including "This Day in Arts History":<BR><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: Tue Aug 29, 2000 10:52 am 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Thanks, Salzberg, for the info.


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Tue Feb 27, 2001 10:05 pm 
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Joined: Fri Oct 22, 1999 11:01 pm
Posts: 17498
Location: SF Bay Area
Salzberg, another question... Does ego matter?


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
I'm not sure what you're asking, Azlan. Whose ego?<P>We all have egos, of course, and I've often explained to "civilians" that few people go into the arts because they're totally well-adjusted. There's a big difference, though, between excessive ego and justifiable pride in one's ability to do a job well; any professional, whether dancer, designer, publicist, or stagehand, has the right to show such pride, and her or his competence should be respected. This is a lesson that I learned late and hard, but I've learned it well, I think.<P><I>I</I>, of course, am remarkably ego-free.<P>Jeff Salzberg,<BR>Emperor<p>[This message has been edited by salzberg (edited March 01, 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: Thu Mar 01, 2001 2:21 pm 
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Joined: Fri Dec 15, 2000 12:01 am
Posts: 498
Location: neworleans, louisiana
How about no drinking on the job? I'm totally serious. There's nothing like dancing your heart out only to suddenly find yourself without music because the tech wasn't in full control of his/her capacities. <P>


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 2:30 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Absolutely, Christina.<P>There's a simple word for a stagehand who's drunk (or otherwise artificially impaired) on one of my shows: "unemployed".<P>It's not just a case of the production's being damaged (although that's bad enough!); it's a safety issue, too.<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<P>Online portfolio: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg</A> <P>This Day in Arts History: <A HREF="http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm" TARGET=_blank>http://www.suncoast.quik.com/salzberg/arthist.htm</A><P>

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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: Thu Mar 01, 2001 3:09 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jul 15, 2000 11:01 pm
Posts: 971
Location: Pennsylvania
It's a huge safety liability. And I've never understood why one of the big houses here doesn't clamp down. Or why the smaller venue is looked down for doing so.<BR>


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 Post subject: Re: What do you want?
PostPosted: Thu Mar 01, 2001 4:12 pm 
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Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 12:01 am
Posts: 3663
Location: The Bronx is up; the Battery's down
Well, as I said earlier in this thread,"There's one American city with a well-known ballet company whose stagehands are famous for going out and getting drunk between cues." I won't mention the city, but I will say that it's in the midwest and no longer has that company, so maybe you can figure it out.<P>What are the safety issues? Well, for one thing, these guys are hanging heavy objects over your heads and flying them in and out. That's scary enough by itself.

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


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