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Complete and utter rant!!!!!!

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Ok.. So maybe it's because I am getting old; maybe because I don't suffer fools gladly; maybe I should just retire from lighting altogether...... but today for the first time in my 23 year career I shouted at a technical manager!!!!! ;)


He, and the name of the venue will remain nameless.


Arrive at the venue having tried for 10 days to contact said Tech.Man. concerning the crappy plans...... I need to get a girl in the office to send me the tech specs. (which turn out to be incorrect). So I finally send the plan via e-mail as a PDF file witha note saying "if you have any problems or questions let me know"


No, he waits until I get to the theatre before saying.... "Oh, I coulnd't print your plan'. Then goes on a coffee break. His assistant turns up at 10:30am after a 9am call.


You know what it's like when you have to go looking for the technical team so you can start rigging right???


No bearing in mind this is a new production, with no technical rehearsal, and an opening night tomorrow (Thursday) time was now oon our side, so when it comes to lunch and I am asked " so how is it going" ( Yes he did appear on stage once of twice during the morning session), I reply with a polite "well, it's going a little slowly really" only to hear a short sharp retort of " well you should have contacted me before you did then"


;) I have not shouted at anyone in a very long time.... and called out a few unpleasant phrases hoping as he exited stage left for the 50th time that morning it would fall on his ears..... shame though he didn;t and it was left up to his assistance to pass on my unpleasant comments to him over lunch. To be honest I was very rude at this point. But for a technical manager to leave an assistant; someone only out of college a few months to run a fit up crew of.... wel just him........ while he goes off to do admin and make phone calls is rediculous.


So, getting back after lunch I am greeted with a comment " How old are you Paul..... I would think someone of your age would have the guts to tell someone to their face if you think they are a TW*T" So I put the record straight and called him a TW*T to his face to ensure he could hear me this time. I know...... a mistake..... and very un-like me. So he goes off on one.. and tells me I should have been helping his assistance with the rigging cos every other lighting designer that comes in does so........ He didn't see how much I had done thus far cos he wasn't on stage enough to see for himself. He didn't realise at this poiint that I would be up the scope myself, and would be focusing the entire rig (apart from FOH) myself to assist. Anyway to cut a long story short.... I found myself for the first time complaining officially to the management about the tone, behaviour, and downright rudeness of their technical manager. The first time in over 20 years in the business.



Being told I was a little ####, an upstart ( strange as I am probably twice his age), did not go down too well either. He didn't like the idea that the plan was micky mouse... done on a CAD program; I will be informing the makers of WYSIWYG 4 Design that they cannot please all the people all the time.


He was called to the office.... and came back having been told to apologise...... we shook hands, I apologised and we got on with the rest of the lighting.


So why an I telling you all this.... partly to get it off my chest.... to share a very unpleasant experience and to see if anyone has had such an unpleasant experience you found you had to complain about it. Not the best way to start a tight fit-up schedule.


Rant over and thanks for listening ;)

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Sounds like you had something of a bad day there, Paul ... ;)


As someone who does quite a lot of touring, I'd be very interested to know which venue you are referring to. Obviously I'll understand if you don't wish to name-and-shame in the open forum. But if you feel able to PM me with the info it'd be worth knowing - it sounds like the kind of venue that touring tech staff need to be forewarned about, so that we can maybe arrange to take our own technicians in there rather than have to use the venue staff ...

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Hello Gareth,


Yeah, you coudl say that . not a very nice day at all really. Good job the guy who was put on electrics seemed ok. and eventually., and I mean eventually....... we managed to be ready to start plotting at 7pm...... oh yeah .. should say the Orchestral rehearsal started at .... yup you guess it. 7pm! ;)


I have done every such a lot of touring also. and never have I been in this situation before....... I see myself a pretty laid back type of guy. but the combination of the bad communication, the disappearing tech man. on a fit up day and a personality clash combined to start the fireworks.


Best not spill the beans about which venue it is...... this is a small world and no amount of slagging off. in private or in public serves any purpose. You will recall it was the slagging off which took the situation I was in yesterday to a higher level.



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Well, I too have had a similar thing happen to me. Again won't name the venue. But basically the electrics call for the show was 3. Well for the majority of the morning session I had two. The chief rolled in at lunch time and spent the rest of the afternoon in his office doing paper work. Now the show was a tight fit up and this was not helping.


The plan was not labbled up in anyway apon arrival again not helping. When I asked that one of the two left could labble it up I was given a dimmer location plan and told to do it myself.


Go ahead and do it I did only to find when it actaully came to plugging up the plan they had given me was out of date and did not account for the circuits that were now bust.......


The list could go on, but also had a stand up argument one of the LX over focusing, which the FOH colour was not being put in before focusing - but the only way to put the colour in was to move the lamp once focused.......


I like you Paul would call myself calm and relaxed but as you can guess by this point I was far from it!


Never mind stopped touring now and having all those fun things to look forward to...



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