In the beginning there was the Stage, and the Stage was without lights or sets, and darkness was on the face of the actors. And the Technical Director (hereinafter referred to as the TD) said, “Let therebe Lights!” and the TECHIES worked and wired, and there were lights.Spotlights and specials, areas and backlighting, pipends and rovers – yea, lights of all shapes, sizes and hues. And the TD saw the lights, that they were focused and colored according to the need, and no more was there darkness on the faces of the actors. And it was good. And the evening and morning were the First Day.
And the TD looked upon the actors and saw that although they walked in light, they did walk upon a bare stage, and had no place to be, and the TD was moved to pity. And the TD said, “Let there be scenery!” : and the TECHIES scrambled and worked, and there was a set, with platforms, wagons, stairs, and furniture of various types and sized according to the need. And the actors did walk within the set, and did have a place to be. And the TD saw the set, that it was good, and the evening and the morning were the Second Day.
And the TD saw the actors, that although they did have a place to be, they did look like fools for they waved their hands, clutched at open air, and struck each other with nothing. And the TD was moved to pity. And the TD said, “Let there be Props!”: and the TECHIES worked feverishly and did buy and build, and there were props. The TD saw the props and that they were good and the evening and the morning were the Third Day.
And the Costumer looked upon the actors, and saw that they did go forth in blue jeans and the Costumer knew that this would not do. And the Costumer said, “Let there be Costumes!” And the Techies did cut and sew and shape and there were costumes, each sized to the actor, according to the play, and in keeping with the role. And no more did the actors go forth in blue jeans. And the Costumer saw the costumes, that they were good and the evening and the morning were the Fourth Day.
And the TD watched the play and saw that the actors did wait in silence, and was moved to pity. And the TD said, “Let there be Sound!” And the techies worked and taped, and there were sounds, each according to its place and cue, all at the proper levels. And the TD heard the sounds, that they were good, and the evening and the morning were the Fifth Day.
And lo, all these works were completed in five days, showing that if God had used sufficient TECHIES in the first place, He would have finished sooner.
Behold, my son here is wisdom. Pay heed to these words, and in the days of the play, in the hours of thy performing, thou shalt not be caught short. For truly, it is said, pay heed to the errors of others and you shall not make them yourself, and again, as we have been told from of old, to thine own self be true.
I. Give not unto the actor his props before his time, for as surely as the sun does rise in the East and sets in the West, he will lose or break them.
II. When told the placement of props by the Director, write not these things in ink upon thy script for as surely as the wind listeth, so shall he change his mind.
III. Speak not in large words to actors, for they are slow of thought and are easily confused.
IV. Speak not in the language of the TECHIE to actors, for they are uneducated, and will not preceive thy meaning.
V. Tap not the head of a nail to drive it, but strike it firmly with thy strength.
VI. Keep holy the first performance, for afterwards you shall party.
VII. Take heed of the last performance, for afterwards they shall party, YOU will be doing the strike and get-out.
VII. Remember always that the TD is never wrong. If it appears that it is so, then you obviously misunderstood the first time.
IX. Leave not the area of the stage during the play to go and talk with the actors, for as surely as you do, you will be in danger of missing your cue and being summarily executed or worse.
X. Beware of actors when flying in walls, for they will stand and watch and be crushed.
XI. Beware of actors during scene changes, for they are not like unto you and are blind in the dark.
XII. Take not thy cues before their time, but wait for the proper calling.
XIII. Take pity of the actors, for in their roles they are as children, and must be led with gentle kindness. Thus, endeavor to speak softly and not in anger.
XIV. Listen carefully to the instructions of the Director as to how he wants things done – then do it the right way. In the days of thy work, he will see thy wisdom, give himself the credit, and rejoice.
XV. And above all, get carried away not with the glow-tape, or thy stage will be like unto an airport.
Word to the Techie
Remember always that thou art a TECHIE, born to walk the dark places of the stage, and know the secret ways of thine equipment. To your hands it is given to mold the dreams and thoughts of they that watch and to make the Stage a separate place and time. Seek not, as do the actors, to go forth in light upon the stage, for though they strut and talk and put on airs, their craft does truly depend on you, to shape the dreams that they would show.
Remember also that although they depend on you, you exist only to aid them.
Remember that thou art a team, for thou shalt party together.
My friends be not deceived by deluded actors masquerading as TECHIES.
Remember always the signs by with thou shalt recognize a true TECHIE:
They move softly during scene changes, not stumbling or falling.
They are silent backstage and are aware of what is happening
They can speak with knowledge of Tools
They respect another’s job and aid where they can
They do not just stand and watch.