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USA / UK differences?


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I'm considering taking a sound position at a theatre in Philadelphia. So far, my experience has been limited to working at Her Majesty's Theatre, London. I gained a whole load of knowledge there, but I'm guessing that alot of terms etc are going to be different.


i.e. I haven't seen a single job posting for a Master Carpenter over there. Is that because they're called something else? Or am I just being blind?


Has anyone here had any experiences with different terminology etc?





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pipe = bar


elliptical (iirc) = profile

Oh, come on! There's a bit more to it than that! (And one of your two examples is wrong, anyway - it's 'ellipsoidal', and it's much more usually called a Leko.)


Have a Google for technical theatre glossaries - there are some US-based ones out there which will give you a pretty good flavour of the differences in the language of lighting and sound. A US-based discussion group like the Light Network might also make useful reading. I think most of the differences relate to situations where we (or they) might use a 'trade name' for something, rather than a generic name - Grelco, for instance. I've worked in America, and with Americans, and although some of the terminology might be different it's really not that tricky to get the hang of things.

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The RATS (rec.arts.theatre.stagecraft) newsgroup has a good mix of members from both the USA and the UK and could be a good resource for you. Certainly I've seen discussions in the past about the differences between the two sides of the pond.



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Dunno, but a rope has two ends - the live one and the dead one.

The live end goes to the load, the dead end is free, so 'to dead' probably comes from the act of making a dead end by tying off.


Most hemp flying terms and the original expertise came from sailors, as they were the guys who knew how to handle ropes back in the day.

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It may go by climbing, The live end is the rope going to the climber, past the anchor point above him/her(if they are being top roped) and the end which the belayer is holding is called the dead rope, because if the belayer lets go of the rope, the climber is dead if they fall. That was always my understanding of flying.


Just a thought from my years of rock climbing!




:( And off-topic. This thread is about US/UK terminology differences, not rock climbing expressions. Keep it on-topic, please, chaps.

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off the top of my head, a few others to watch out for are:


Schedule 40 - scaff (schedule 80 is another one, possibly it refers to the diamater of the pipe)


AC Cable/ Aircraft cable - steel rope


And when I was flying at the summer, their system was different in terms of terminology.




"bar coming in", "your bar", "bar weighted/ deweighted"




"pipe (number) moving" - this is always responded to with a "thank you" from the deck. Also, "pipe loaded/ unloaded"


A cradle is an arbor, a flyman is railcrew, and you don't "fly" a show you "run the rail"


"Trim" and "spike marks" have been dealt with above.


More if I remember them.

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I think the term spike is fairly common over here I use it a fair bit


It all makes sense on the dead business, sometimes youve just got to think before you speak eh? :(


Oh and remember they work in yeh olde fashioned terms like feet n tit inches, Im the same as most folk I'll say 'give it a tap stage left 2 inches' but as soon as you write it down my brain goes wizz bang pop.

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