Hey there! As the title says, I am the Head Stage Carpenter for one of the biggest regional theatres in Atlantic Canada. 10 years experience in the industry, have installed/tech'd/run 100+ productions, on both theatre and music stages. Many stories, words of advice, and im hoping i could peak you interest into asking me a question!

I'm trying to find a way to provide proof, but it seems I'm unable to post a picture (if that is proof enough?)

Here is a link to the theatres staff page, with my face and bio. Match that pic to the reddit profile picture? Hope thats enough! http://neptunetheatre.com/default.asp?mn=1.24.468

3hr UPDATE: Holy crap! Im glad this is taking off!! Not bad for my first post :) Im so happy everyone is taking an interest! I have a show to run, but keep em coming!!

Comments: 484 • Responses: 99  • Date: 

bort-thrillho98 karma

How did you get into it? Trained as a carpenter then found your way into theatre or the other way around?

7om3117 karma

Fell into it actually. Went to college for Audio engineering, joined IATSE (good guess below!), and started doing concerts. Neptune is a union house, so I started taking calls as a causal, eventually worked under the staging dept, and it took off from there! No schooling, which is rare for most techs.

InitiatePenguin20 karma

No schooling, which is rare for most techs.

Maybe it's different in Canada but there's plenty of people working on theatre in the US without degrees. Especially Carpenter / foreman types.

7om312 karma

If you go as far as getting the books in, its only going to help you more. Experience on site is king. Im writing my ETCP rigger exam in the summer, and that doesnt qualify me for jack over someone else with equal experience. Its just a certificate that recognizes those who go pro, and want the tickets to back up what they have done.

Mego19896 karma

Most of the techs I know went to college for other things.

7om39 karma

Typical. Lots of weird and random ways someone can fall into this trade.

_poissontete_73 karma

My 17 year old daughter is interested in tech. Any advice? Programs to look at?

7om397 karma

I personally didn't take a course for tech. If you live in a city, chances are there is an IATSE local who provide labour for concerts and such. Find out who the BA or vice-president is for that local, provide them with a resume (no experience is usually not a problem), and ask to work as a permitee. They will eventually give you a chance to work, as it's always the unions wish to hire keen members. The field is the best classroom!

iPope27 karma

To add to this, any work is good work. I'm not american, but that's not to say that there is plenty of people looking for new techs for little to no money, who lie about their connections and pretend they have future work. However, as I tell a lot of new people looking to get into the big leagues.. Sell yourself as a lighting designer (top role) and no one is going to talk to you. The shows are too big, too much money on the line, not enough time. Go out willing to do the nuts and bolts, people will use you. Do the grunt work, and it's more likely you'll do the big shows and meet the people you need to meet to be the "big time" LD. If your looking for an 'in' you'll meet more top league people pushing boxes and bashing truss than you will playing button pusher for your local pub band.

I don't know anything about the american market, but in EU every new kid wants to hit buttons, but there is a massive shortage of people who can run crew and bash metal.

7om311 karma


Bones_IV68 karma

I believe I speak for the folks of /r/woodworking, /r/EDC, and /r/DIY when I say can we see what tools you're using?? 10 years of use and trying different things must lead to a pretty honed setup.

Edit: and /r/tools, too!

7om310 karma

Im an avid user of products from AutomatonFX, and wireless pyro devices made my Cobra

Daafda47 karma

What's an "a-house" theatre?

7om369 karma

"A-house" is the highest ranking for a theatre, based on audience seating.

ChiWave30 karma

What’s your favorite part of your job?

7om346 karma

Prep for shows, and working out any glitches that one may find. I operate a 60' fly tower, and with that comes alot of trust that needs to be earned from those who work under it. Providing a safe and professional stage is where I get my satisfaction from. That and designing interesting effects, like pyro displays and funky kabuki drops!

emptyfader23 karma

Always good to have "truss't" in your flyman

7om316 karma

HA! Pun approved!

Mego19898 karma

You don't have a dedicated flyman?

7om312 karma

Yup. Me.

Mego19895 karma

I guess I'm surprised you pull double duty in that level of theatre with that level of equipment.

7om312 karma

Yeah, its due to how the contracts have been negotiated over time. It was like this when i showed up, and its not about to go away. LX did video at one point, because the arguement was that projection counts as light.

tornadoRadar7 karma

Do you have a static grid above? my fav was repelling in from the static to work on stuff.

7om39 karma

It is a static grid, but no room for repelling. Too many battons in the way lol

jethrogillgren728 karma

What's the worst thing that's gone wrong during a performance?

7om354 karma

Nothing major. Did have a show stopper on my first Christmas show as head of department. Had a pnumatic switch fail on a braking system for a revolving deck. Deck jammed halfway through rotation, had to bring i the show curtian so I could get on deck with a reciprocating saw and chop the brakes out. I hated it, audience loved it!

sublime_cheese18 karma

Theatre with a twist! That’s partly why live theatre is so much fun. Sounds like you rolled with it nicely and made a further contribution with some solid audio fx.

7om39 karma

Lucked out so far!

realsabrex23 karma

Fellow stage carpenter and Flyman from the states here. Nice to meet another techie on reddit. What has been your biggest Murphy’s law moment? What can go wrong will go wrong...

7om39 karma


See ghost of thespis... Everything that could go wrong, went wrong.. ON THE DAY!!!

asrama16 karma

What’s the most elaborate/complicated thing you’ve made for a production?

7om319 karma

A multi-stop system for a hydrolic lift under a stage. Needed to stop at specific points due to what was being lifted. Where it started/stopped was specific to the script. Lots of trial and error.

An in-house kabuki system was a fun one I did a couple years back. Definitely one of my sickest builds.

mada987614 karma

I am currently a theatre technician in college, set to graduate in one year with a BFA in Design and Tech. Any advice for ways to help secure jobs out of college? My focus is stage rigging and carpentry similar to you, but have a more diverse background than that(SM,Sound, props, and automation namely). Should I drive hard for that focus job, or should I expect to need to pick up stage management or stuff otherwise just to get my foot in?

7om319 karma

Because, when staring out, jobs in the industry can be hard to get into full-time, there is no reason you couldnt persue both. Attempt to join IATSE (labour) and Equity (SM), and should you get your foot in the door, you can play both until you decide which you prefer more. The more experience you currently have in a field, the more you'll be naturally driven to gain more following that path. Try and get whatever you can in, but going union is where the work is for this industry.

mada98763 karma

Awesome to hear! I currently have a foot in with my local IASTE once I graduate, and I have worked plenty of equity shows, so I think I’m gonna follow that up. Thank you so much!

7om311 karma

You bet! Remember, persistant and consistant. Names remembered, and if you want it, youll get it!

goodcorn11 karma

Not OP, but have worked in and around the industry for nearly 20 years. If your focus is, as you say, rigging and carpentry, then you should be able to move forward in that direction quite easily. Think scenic shops rather than specific theaters. (Unless its a large theatre with its own large scene shop.) Sending resumes, or even better, stopping by places with a resume is a good way to start. A better way to start is to know some people. For example, stay in touch with the folks who are graduating now and see what they're up to when you graduate. This is the number one way to get hired - having somebody who can vouch for your abilities. Expect to take whatever at first in the carp world. You may just get hired at first to be on site for unloading the truck(s) and installing the set. You may get put in the shop but end up doing the more menial things at first. Ie. unloading and putting away stock materials, sweeping up, being other people's "cut bitch" at the chop saw all day. Once people figure out you're not an idiot, you'll get more of a chance to shine.

As far as picking up other stuff, that's mostly alright too. Hey, you gotta eat. Just be wary of time commitments and such. A lot of opportunities that will present themselves at first are near universally crap from a pay standpoint. Sure, you COULD do props or stage manage a show, but how many weeks of your life are you willing to give up for some 10 - 12 hundred bucks? (And not allow you to take other work. You say "no" a few times and a lot of shops will stop reaching out.) The only times I've seen that sort of cross pollination backfire is when the individual wants to be a designer. For whatever fucked up reasoning, if people see you working as a carp, or an electrician, even a MC or ME, they will deign you just that. As if you can't also be a designer that needs to eat and doesn't have rich parents.

Anyway, good luck. And if there's one word of advice that's worked well for me, it's this: Play well with others. Nobody wants Johnny Jackass around fucking up crew vibe. And while there are many ways to skin the proverbial cat, however the boss says is the way is the way you do it. It's alright to offer up alternatives in the right situations, but for the most part, do what you're told, how you're told. At least until you get some clout by proving yourself worthy. And even then don't come off as "smarter" than them. Even if you are...

7om37 karma

All of this..

DemMiningMews311 karma

What’s the best production you’ve been in/designed?

7om324 karma

There's a few! Standouts that come to mind for theatre would be Mamma Mia, Cinderella (pantomime), Beauty Queen of Leanne, Colony of Unrequited Dreams..

Concerts? Metallica, megadeth, guns n roses, any big event with a budget to back it really..

shankcraft13 karma

So when Metallica comes to town, what parts of the production are the responsibility of their people, and what's left to the locals?

7om315 karma

Their people basically direct the locals to put the nuts and bolts together, like truss, video walls, PA, etc. The union provides the labour, in all its shapes and sizes. The drum/guitar tuning to the FOH and monitor operators are roadcrew.

ShinyToyLynz4 karma

I saw Mamma Mia at Neptune when it was here and I wished I had gone back to see it again. It was sooooo good! Neptune puts on a great show 💜

7om310 karma

Glad you liked it! That was a giant pig to get through.. 16 weeks, plus the tour to Cape Breton? Finally just got the songs out of my head lol!

SilentSamurai9 karma

What story having you been dying to share with the good people of Reddit?

7om310 karma

No specific story, just got some if that's what you want to hear?

SilentSamurai12 karma

Perfect! Let one rip.

7om329 karma

Wizard of oz: a truck unit gag where the wicked witch of the east was squashed by a house. Prop-legs were built underneath, which were pushed out the onstage side with a broom handle-like device. One show the legs jammed, and broke as they came out the onstage end. The wicked witch of the west has her back to it, reciting a line. She turns around to face the legs, and they were smashed up as if a house actually landed on someone.. Scene barely salvaged, as the poor actor could barely finish the dialogue, due to laughing so hard! The cast and crew collectivly pissed their pants laughing, and the audience had no idea what was going on. Classic one in my books.

KevWill7 karma

What's the toughest set you had to build?

7om316 karma

I don't build the sets per se, that's the job of the Scenic Carpenter. I am tasked with rigging, fly operation, special effects (pyro, pnumatic matrixs, etc). Haven't been stumped yet! Luckily, I work with an awesome team, and we all work well together, which makes life good!

Queef_Machine6 karma

Local venue PM here for a theatre and PA for an outdoor concert venue! Coming off a run for touring broadway- sound of music. Any advice on how not to feel like death after working 30 hours in two days (not to include the pre-rig day before)?

Really great to see this AMA thread! IATSE cardholder here as well. Great to see a fellow union brother talking about the craft and being so passionate about it.

I love the summer outdoor concert season more than my winter indoor theatre season. I love the energy of the crowd seeing a band that they love- watching thousands of people scream along to lyrics of a band that I may not have ever heard of and also I enjoy being able to throw my hammock under the stage during the show and take a nap. Do you have a preference on theatre vs concerts?

Thanks again!!

7om34 karma

Eat healthy, sleep, and stay away from the booze (and thats tough, drinking is almost a pre-requisite for what we do). Regular exercise is a plus, its done wonders for my recovery (im a gym rat).

Both concerts and theatre have their pros and cons, but i prefer theatre in the long run. Consistancy, I prefer the type of stress involved, skillset leans to that, etc. HOWEVER, i am looking to get into high-steel rigging for concert events. Did the intro rigger course put on by the union, and passed, so just waiting for the call to begin shadowing.

Im happy this topic is doing so well too! Thanks for enjoying!

Gouper_da_Firetruck6 karma

If not carpentry or Fly-duty what other area of theatre would you do?

Also: you like Q2Q comics?

7om310 karma

Down with Q2Q! Speaks to my soul lol!

I have an audio background, i suppose i would have migrated there, but i wouldnt have had the same "in" that i had for Stage Carpentry. Ive had my industrial rigging ticket in the past, and i also am a ticketed scaffolder (oilpatch), and these are pretty useful skillsets to have, which will undoubtably further my career as time goes by.

sparkplug496 karma

Hollywood or Broadway style flats?

7om315 karma

Hollywood for sure. More meat to rig to. Broadway warps easy and can be a pain if the fly gallary is tight.

thebannanaman5 karma

Isn't it the opposite? Hollywood flats are meant to sit on the deck and got there name for the TV and soundstage work of Hollywood. They have there framing with the face to the ground to give them more footprint and stand on their own better. While Broadway were made to be thin to fit in houses where battens were really close together.

7om35 karma

That is correct, but both can be flown, and thats how i came to my conclusion. If it sits and stays on the deck, its likely a scenic carpenter gig, and out of my wheelhouse. If it goes in the air, then its my ballpark.

FoxInKneeSocks5 karma

Small world! I perform in shows in Atlantic Canada! What’s been the craziest stunt you’ve worked on?

7om39 karma

Which shows?? Maybe we worked together?

Flying actors is always the craziest thing. Loooots go into it, both technically and mentally. Addams Family is the flying highlight that comes to mind. Fester had a heart-wrenching song which was put to aerial dance, which involved multiple people doing specific things to make him move about (person on traveler track, another on hoist). Put concentration and communication to the test!

bbk3e5 karma

What tools are indispensable?

7om38 karma

Leatherman. Leatherman. Gaffe. Leatherman.

Tom-Kirby5 karma

If you had to pick up only 5 tools for a set build what would they be?

7om314 karma

Scenic? - Screwgun, Square, Level, Tape, Tablesaw

Stage? me - install: Crimpers, impact hammer, shackle, turnbuckle, rope

- run: Leatherman! mag-light, c-wrench, screwgun, wireless-com

Mandalionfish5 karma

Stagehand/occasional LBO in high school here. Just finished the final show of my school's production of Annie and noticed I've never seen more scratches, bruises, and scars on my arms ever. How often do you get injuries building sets or working flies and what do you do to prevent against some of the lesser injuries like rope burn?

7om33 karma

The more experience you get, the more caution you take, although accidents happen. I use petzl gloves for the flyrail, or any prolonged rope handling. PPE is big. Hard helmut and steel toes are a must. Just keep your head up and be attentive, the accidents will be fewer and farther between.

Skow13794 karma

What would you consider the most interesting thing you've built for a set?

7om35 karma

Kabuki drop for Mamma Mia was pretty badass \m/

RothkoRathbone4 karma

Are there any trends you’ve noticed? Several years ago I saw more than a few productions with wall to wall books for sets. What are some of the most successful types of sets you have built? Is there much diversity, and are there many women in the field?

7om35 karma

wall to wall books?

The current production of Noises Off has alot of set gags in it, and they are all holding up so far! Very active set and cast. Any prodution that goes buy where there are no near-misses or potentially dangerous incidences i consider successful.

Women play a huge roll in the industry! Lots of successful LX designers, Stage Managers, and Directors i personally know and enjoy working with. My partner of eight years is a hot up-and-comer in LX theatre design!

few234 karma

Ever fly on the 45? Do they still make the interns load the pig iron? Is the flyhouse manually run or have computers taken that over, too? I swear it seems like the goal is for the SM to have 3 buttons, lights, sound and flies. Plus a dimmer for house lights.

But I have to admit, being part of a complex scene change is like a ballet. Except someone could be seriously hurt (or worse, expelled) if they get out of step. Keep safe up there, and no whistling!

7om35 karma

No 45 flying, everyone takes a turn at loading, and it's a manual single purchace counterweight system.

harpejjist4 karma

Live theatre tech can be a physically brutal line of work. If you have only been in 10 years, you probably are still in peak health, but what are your plans for when you have to slow down? Are you leaning towards design, SM, theatre management, sound design....?

7om32 karma

I'm a cog. No interest at all in design. Right now my plans are to excel at the craft, land a job that pays well for the time spent at it, and save til retirement? Vague I know, but I'm keeping it short term in goals for now. I own land, so one day I hope to build. I have my toys, so im not blowing cash every paycheck..

I run a podcast as a passion project. Brand new, and meant to be a hobby. If it makes me a million bucks, then hey! But until then, it's lotto tickets and hard work.


mmss3 karma

Saw a preview of Noises Off. Great job on the set! Talk about a challenge.

I guess my question would be, did you design it or is there a set of plans out there?

7om33 karma

Notice the guy with the Superman shirt rotating the set?...

I did not design the set. The Artistic Director highers Set, LX, Wardrobe, and sound designers to create the show, and we the techs build it!

IAmTheMostHappy3 karma

What advice would you give to someone trying to decide whether or not to join a union like IATSE as a tech?

TakeitEasy63 karma

I'm biased, as I am an IATSE member in Washington DC, and love my union. Every local is different. Because of mine, I have higher wages than someone doing my job in my city without Union representation. I have health insurance, a pension and an annuity for retirement, and an office that works to find work for me. A union helps improve job security, safety, and overall quality of life. Also, generally the biggest venues in town have Union contracts.

7om34 karma

In this biz, union is the ONLY way to fly.

Malamadre5813 karma

Are there any methods for set construction that you have learned that wouldn't be aparent to a new techie?

7om35 karma

Measure never, cut wherever...sometimes, SOMETIMES necessary. Sometimes..

blastmaster923 karma

Hey man, first off: THANK YOU. As a stagehand/IATSE member myself, I know that people in our line of work don't get thanked nearly enough for what we do.

Second: I'm looking into starting a summer camp at my local high school for kids who are interested in this general line of work. I want to teach them a little of everything: Stage Management, running flies, general safety, etc. What topics/activities/basic skills do you think I should try to include? I sort of want to teach them a little of everything, and not too much of one topic.

7om33 karma

That's a good one! I suppose I'd start with trying to organize watching a show at the local theatre, and contact the production manager to see if a backstage tour could be offered?

At my theatre, we do local tours for uni students who are trying to break in. Expose them to more people who do work in the industry, while in the theatre themselves. Questions will fly!


I'm a full time contractor. I now wish I would have gone into your line of work.

Do you have, or have you had any related side hussles?

7om34 karma

Nope. She's a full time operation.

Tried to get out a couple times. Became a journeyman scaffolder (oil patch). Came back to it when prices crashed.

I run a podcast as a passion project, to keep my mind from being totally occupied by work. Https://www.mixcloud.com/Evisceradio

teddyg0273 karma

Part time stage crew / LBO here. Have you had any scares from the load rail? I haven’t seen any long drops, but any time a lead gets dropped onto the catwalk that resounding thud makes my heart jump.

7om33 karma

No drops! My hands are glue. Saw alot of crazy drops in my scaffolding days. 2 meter standard at 80'. Made some serious noise going down.

AuraNightheart3 karma

I'm doing a lot of tech in high school. I'm currently ASMing for our next high school show and I'm the calling SM for the show after, and then ASMing for a large community theatre in our city after that (probably the first or second most well known in the city). Next summer I can get paid for ASMing at the community theatre. (In terms of the actual in-class production work I do for the shows I am on our props crew. Next year I'll be a junior crewhead, hoping to be company manager my senior year).

Do you have any advice for getting into more work or seeing things backstage in a more professional setting, even just as observation? I might email the city's Repertory Theatre but I'm not sure I'd even get a response. What is the best way to get involved on a larger level to decide if tech is something I might want to major/minor in? Also, what sort of fly system do you have? Our school just has a pretty standard 30 batten system, probably each a foot or so apart (more for our elecs). For shows with flying we usually hire a company to use their equipment.

7om32 karma

Best way to get involved at the SM level is try to shadow an ASM on a production by contacting the Production Manager of the theatre. If you can get credits through working independent theatre towards joining Equity, then that will only serve you better.. For tech, since you do have stage experience, contact your IATSE local and ask to work as a permitee.

Current fly system single purchase counterweight. 29 line sets.

callumh63 karma

Super late to the party here, I'm a scenic/stage carpenter from the UK, and I spent a year as stage tech/head flyman at the Bristol Old Vic. What's your fly system? Ours was a double purchase counterweight system, which gave us lots of space side stage but meant that get outs were a bitch with all that weight to move.

7om32 karma

Single purchase counterweight. 60' tower, 29 line sets.

sour293 karma

Did you love the theatre when you started, or did you grow to love it by working around it?

Best stage production you've worked on / seen?

Any funny flubs / remarkable recoveries that stand out?

7om38 karma

Grew to love it. Didn't give a rats ass when I started, I just needed to eat. I decided to go pro a couple years ago!

Good flubs? Been spotted on deck once or twice! Some good actor mess ups both hilarious and cringe worthy... Good saves are in the heat of the moment. I know they are there, but none come to mind at the moment.. Ill get back to you on that!

LittleMug2 karma

I am a scenic carpenter/props artisan in my final semester of college, receiving a BFA in Technical Direction! What has been your experience with joining IATSE, anything you would have done differently?

Also, any advice for someone joining the field?

(This is such an exciting AMA omfg)

7om32 karma

IATSE is the only way to go! Union + entertainment = opertunity. Wouldnt have done anything different. I have attempted to leave the industry in the past, and all that did was serve to give me more skill sets relivant to what i do now!

All the advice i can give on getting your foot in the door can be found above!

greentree202 karma

How do you feel about the advent of new, safer, and cheaper automation entering the theatre today. Such as the powerlift or the prodigy?

7om32 karma

No robot can replace the feel and intuition of a human. Robots also work for free, which doesn't help us.

Seriously, there are some pretty cool automaton devices out there. I never have personally experienced them, so my statement above is based on ignorance!

manamachine2 karma

Neptune, nice! Former Haligonian missing the ocean (but not the winter).

What's a show that interests you from a tech/set perspective that you'd like to be a part of? Or even a cool original stage idea you've had?

I recently saw Lion King on boadway, and the rotating staircase/slanting stage/semi-transparent layered curtains made the whole thing incredible.

7om32 karma

I've seen a video on line where the stage was converted into a pond-like setting, complete with water flow and someone paddling around! Can't remember the production, but the process looked amazing!

Laser_hole2 karma

I am trying to build a little library as my first large woodworking project. I have only dabbled in wood turning before this.

My question is, How do I work out my cutlist? Obviously I am able to make my design different to reduce waist. I plan to use 3 2' by 4' laminated poplar sheets.

7om32 karma

Great question for a scenic carpenter! My expertise is in rigging and counterweight systems.

LxTRex2 karma

Got a recommendation for rigging ropes?

I'm a relatively young freelance ME/TD (late 20s) and I'm in the market. I've been struggling to get a specific opinion and all the suppliers have WAY too many options. Even sorting by "entertainment" on Samson's site leaves 12 options. I've also seen people recommend arborist ropes, so I'm really not sure which way to go.

Looking for a general purpose hauling line that I can use for hauling lights to and from a catwalk as well as pulling points. My thought is 5/8 inch but I've heard 3/4 inch can be easier on the hands (but it'll cost more).

I'm also curious what you use for snub lines? I want to buy a decent length of 1/2 inch (25-30 feet) and cut it in half/thirds to practice both whipping one end and making an eye splice out of the other.

Thanks in advance for the advice!

7om32 karma

Double braided polyester, 1/2". Standard rigging/hauling rope! Knots easy, comfortable on the hands. I'd recommend the same if you want to practice whipping.

karriejan2 karma

Hi! My son is really interested in learning about stage lighting. Are there any cheap/free apps or programs you would recommend for an eager young learner?

Light_Papi693 karma

Touring lighting guy here. As someone else mentioned, I highly recommend downloading the MA on PC software and learning that, it's the industry standard for concert lighting. http://consoletrainer.com has some good resources for beginners for most lighting consoles. u/christianjackson has a youtube channel that has a lot of content for more advanced stuff in the MA software, once he gets to that point. I would also recommend learning some other consoles such as Hog 4 and Avolites, but I would start by getting comfortable in one before trying to learn another. Lots of resources out there to learn, but you can't beat hands on experience either. I have no idea how old your son is, but if he's old enough, it would be great for him to start looking into interning or working for a local production company, venue, or school theater program to gain some real life experience even if it's just coiling cables and pushing cases. Feel free to reach out if either of you have questions or just want to know more about lighting, I'm always happy to help.

7om32 karma


7om32 karma

Try LX free!

greatplanidiot2 karma

How would you build a projector screen for home use?

7om32 karma

White canvas, stretch over wooden frame. Staple, hang..

MaudlinObscura2 karma

Where are you located? I’m an IA stagehand (philly) and I’m visiting Montreal this upcoming week.

7om33 karma

Nova Scotia, Canada

canadasoccer2 karma

Hello fellow IA member! I am part of local 168 on Vancouver Island. I'm trying to get into full time work here but it is proving to be difficult. Do you have any advice or people I could reach out to for more learning/job opportunities?

Thanks so much!

7om32 karma

Full time work in the field is tough.. Takes time, taking calls, and being available for gigs when they present themselves, especially when its short notice. Get the phone number of your BA or vice-president, and tell them your available for work! do it on the weekly. . You will get a call to work, and once you do, make an impression. People remember names in this industry.

Tishimself772 karma

I had the absolute worst experience as a general contractor working for a head stage carpenter in her home and was wondering if I could yell at you and pretend you are her? For therapeutic value?

7om32 karma

Bring it on!

TiedOffTwice2 karma

Im a college student/Permit worker in Toronto hoping to turn it into a full-time career down the line, even if I have to leave the city.

Are there any certifications I should look into to really set myself apart? Some things ive heard are first aid and Special Effects pyro.

What can I do to really set myself out from the crowd and get more calls?

7om32 karma

Get as many certs as possible! First aid, FP, pyro, forklift, telehandler.. That, along with hard work in calls while listening to crew cheifs will get you noticed and keep you working 1000%

JaCoBaLlEn1 karma

You like soup? Got a favorite?

7om32 karma

q2q stew baby!

7om31 karma

q2q stew baby!

itineroadie1 karma

Cheers on doing the AMA, brother. Fellow IA member from the states.

Did you spend much time on the road? Or have you generally stayed local?

7om31 karma

My pleasure. This is my very first post on reddit too, seems to be going well. Some recognition for the TECH!

Not a road dog. I like working in-house. Will be working on film-set sometime down the road, but that usually stays local.

Kwildber1 karma

I am "directing" my first play, Alice in Wonderland for 4th and 6th graders. Do you have any advice on inexpensive, and safe to make staging/props. Or could you point me to some good design resources out there?

7om32 karma

Try facebook for local theatre resources? I know that in my city, there is a big independent theatre community, and independent theatre designers looking to work/make a name will negotiate

inthesandtrap1 karma

How much hanky panky happens back there?

7om34 karma

Actors be fuckin

theyellowpants1 karma

What advice would you give to someone looking for custom made Dj booths that would have stage appeal for performances?

7om33 karma

Any carpenter with experience and the tools to make it happen should suffice. It helps to have someone who has build experience, but if your plans/blueprints are specific, a run-of-the-mill carp with an eye for detail can make anything stage ready.

Simulatedbog5451 karma

Currently a lighting designer in High School, what's the best way to make the jump up afterward?

7om33 karma

Try to apprentice under an establised LX designer/get your hooks into some independent theatre. Networking be your friend!

What_The_Tech1 karma

What’s your relation with the sound and light crew? I’ve heard of a number of higher level theaters where the carpenters and the like are not fans of the “sparkies”

7om32 karma

People are assholes, and youll find them in any job. I cant speak from experience because ive gotten along with every tech, from head of department down to casual, LX to stage, and all in between. The current crew i work with are awesome and know their shit, so friction isnt something i can relate to. I have no doubt my career will take me to bigger, more established theatres (Stratford *cough*), but if your calm and confindent, and know what your about, then you wont have this problem.