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How Qualified Are You??

Do you have a Technical Theatre related qualification?  

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  1. 1. Do you have a Technical Theatre related qualification?

    • Technical related degree at Drama school
    • Other Technical related course at Drama school
    • Technical related course at other institution (ie university)
    • Training scheme within a professional theatre
    • No formal qualification in Technical Theatre
    • Other
    • Student currently studying Technical Theatre course
    • Just about to begin Technical Theatre course

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Seeing as we've just had A Level results and everyone is considering what their next step in the dizzy world of theatre should be- I'm now interested in where we have trained etc so we can then all row about whether it is necessary to have a formal qualification or if it's really experience you need........
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Trained at Guildhall - was still a diploma course then (yes, I really am that old!).


I think the best technicians are those who had a formal training AND experience in/on various venues/shows. Training is important.... but hands on experience counts for a lot!

On-going training whilst working is essential, there's no point buying new equipment if you don't have the training to use it to its full potential !

Health & Safety (those words always pop up don't they) training should always be ongoing - even if its just to keep up to date with all the new EEC regs!


That's my tuppence worth anyway...

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Trained at Mountview, again was still a Diploma course, however judging from people I know have been on the course since it was a degree it was much better as a diploma. The degree involves to much writing, and I am a great believer in learning by doing rather than by writing essays on the subject. An industry as practical as ours should not have to be reliant on people who can write for weeks on how to do a general cover but in real life have never actually done it.


Paper work should only come into play when it would actually be used or when theory lessons such as Electrics/initial lighting designs require it.

This was how I learnt and I admit I made mistakes but that is the time to make mistakes and I've never made the same ones again.


I did actually work with a chap the year after I had graduated, who waltzed into the venue with his brief case claiming that he had a degree in lighting design, I think my comment was thats very nice for you, He couldn't read a lighting plan and relate it to real world if it actually got out and pointed the truss/fixtures out.


After all that I agree with a formal education but I also believe that it has to be backed up practically as well.


Let us all not forget that this industry as with many others is a constant learning curve..


That was very deep!!!????

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I have one A-Level in Theatre Studies and Drama, and did all the units as a Tech opt out - so I suppose it's a Technicial Theatre Studies and Drama A-Level, just not classed as such! :P


Grade C by the way. A's all the way for the pratical work mind :angry: :** laughs out loud **:



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Well from my faded memory, TS&D on Edexcel was split into 6 modules - Module 1 you had to act (yikes! :** laughs out loud **:) Module 2, 4 and 5 was either acting or design (in my case LX Design) and Module 3 and 6 was coursework and exams.


No marks for guessing it was Module 3 and 6 that let me down! :P And module 1 was chosen to be stylised dance. Fine if you don't have two left feet...


Mind you I was predicted an E so that'll show em :angry:



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So now the balls rolling I'll add my thoughts.....agree with what most people are saying that the best bet seems to be some form of proper qualification / training backed up with experience......however, I did my training (if you can call it that) at a University which was not geared to do any technical training at all - the degree I took was Modern Drama Studies - which to a bright eyed 19 year old it seemed very appealing to spend 3 years running around a studio chasing bits of coloured tissue paper (yep you read that right - I did a whole performance based on this!!!) it wasn't untill my second year that I realised I was never going to get a job in theatre with this on my CV and so started to do all the technical bits for the performances - basically teaching myself - when eventually I asked if I could be assessed on these areas, they had to employ professionals to come and teach me properly and grade my work....for me this was fantastic as there were only ever 2 of us in any of the classes (the theory lessons were held in the college bar which added to the enjoyment!! ) 8 years after graduating however, it does make me very sceptical about non Drama school students claiming they have been 'trained in technical theatre' -

So to cut a long rambling boring post short - yep I think that qualifications and training is important but only if carried out at a proper drama school not a University that is not geared to this area.

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I think that the trend towards the degree is not a bad thing at all, the problem that arrises is that there is a certain part of the degree that says to be a degree there must be written work submitted :P I am on a course not at CSSd and the only problem I have is when I have to submit an essay, I dont really see why how I write abotu the styles of dance or acting in the past has any relivancy on how good a technician I am. this really goes to mean that I could be a dangerous and generaly bad technician and get a hight degree because my english is good or could be a #### hot tech and get a low degree because my english is bad.


unfortunatly in 10 years most people will have one and it could see you in a situation where you are not getting as much work because of the lack of a peice of paper :** laughs out loud **:

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it could see you in a situation where you are not getting as much work because of the lack of a peice of paper  :** laughs out loud **:

I disagree actually as most people now realise that a degree isn't everything and unless the stipulation for unnecessary essay writing is removed I think employers will stay with the experience I know where I am you could have all the letters in the alphabet after your name and they still wouldn't employ you unless you had proven experience that you can suvive on your own out there.

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but somone with experiance and a degree will come before somone of the same standard with the same experiance without a degree. it gives that extra edge

Hmmm I disagree - you get talking to people on fitups and the like, and 95% of people say they prefer people who've learnt on the job.


While having a degree isn't a bad thing, for instance if you want to move perhaps into teaching when your too old to climb ladders or have lost the spark (no pun intended) for the job, then you could quite easily move into something else.


I also think degrees for Stage Management, or Technician or whatever are a good thing, but somethings, like Lighting Design, can't be taught to someone. You either have the feel and flair for it, or you don't.


Anyway, as I've always said and maintained, you can do just as well with or without a degree, or any bit of paper!


I doubt degrees will become the be-all-and-end-all in the future.



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Technical theatre and design Diploma from a school with a tree in the middle.

City and Guilds 181s.

Diplomas in scenic carpentry and BTEC engineering.

ISOH working safely course.

Risk assesment and first aid courses.

Oh I think thats all my my qualifications besides my bad attitude.

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