Saturday, October 25, 2014

Somewhere...

Somewhere out there is a theater where the Lighting Designer gets no support. Where they are asked to rig the lights, repair the inventory, program the cues, run the light board without a single assistant. Where they are "accidentally" left out of meetings and schedule updates. Where they are expected to draft a plot without ever seeing a ground plan, focus without seeing a set, write cues without actors or blocking. Where they are given limited access, and when they ask if someone could please turn out the work lights so they could see what they are doing, they get laughed at. Where the inventory sucks so bad they have to bring in their own equipment as a free loan, and then watch helplessly as set movers smash into it, set painters splash it with paint, and helpful stage managers randomly pick up chunks of it and stuff them away in closets without telling anyone.

At this theater, incredulous laughter greets the idea that it actually takes more than a couple minutes to focus a plot, and it is a job that requires more skill than the random volunteer doing their community service. And when the Lighting Designer bothers to speak (having somehow not digested the way their emails go unanswered, their questions ignored, their concerns brushed off) every random person speaks up with what to them is the simple obvious solution. The Lighting Designer is trying to fill the stage with moonlight? "Why, just stick a blue gel on a 6" fresnel somewhere and voila!" they say, "I really don't understand why you have to make everything so hard." Except, of course, when they hit Opening Night, and the lighting sucks -- oh, then everyone blames the Lighting Designer.

I'm sure such a theater exists for Lighting Designers. There are some really stupid theaters out there. Thing of it is.....ALL theaters are like this for Sound.

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