The Techie Bible
& Anthology of Theatrical Religion
Is a compilation of a number of sources
of theatrical humor and code, all of which have
been posted to the internet so many times that
I have no idea who the original authors are.
I have edited this copy to suit my personal
taste, and you are welcome to do so as well.
Steven Soundlight H. K.
The Techie Bible
& Anthology of Theatrical Religion
The Techie Bible
& Anthology of Theatrical Religion
The Proper Reference for those who
consider themselves to be a part of the
Order of the TECHIE
The Book of
In the beginning there was the Stage,
and the Stage was without lights or
sets, and darkness was upon the faces
of the actors. And the Technical
Director (hereinafter referred to as the
TD) said, "Let there be Lights!" and
the TECHIES worked and wired, and
there were lights. Spotlights and
specials, areas and backlighting - yea,
lights of all shapes, sizes and hues.
And the TD saw the lights, that they
were well aimed and focused, and
gelled according to the scene, and no
more was there darkness upon the
faces of the actors. And it was good.
And the evening and the 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 a Set!": and the TECHIES
scrambled and worked, and there was
a set, with platforms, wagons, stairs,
and furniture of various types and
sized, each 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
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 in
his heart, 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. And 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 keeping in
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
The Book of
And lo, as the year begins, so is the
Gaffa Tape delivered unto the
TECHIES, who do revere and worship
And, soon, does the Gaffa Tape leave
the store, to be used by the TECHIES
in pursuit of excellence in their techie
activities, and also in various activates
with fair TECHIE maidens.
And, the head TECHIES do soon
become worried at the amount of
Gaffa used, for while much use of
Gaffa does surely lead to a higher
plane of TECHIE existence, the year
must be split in two: 6 months of
plenty, following the delivery of Gaffa
unto the TECHIES, and 6 months of
famine, when the Gaffa must surely run
The Book of
And when God had created light, and
sets, and props, and costumes, and the
like, God rested, and this Sabbath day
he named the Cast Party. And the Cast
Party was good. But on the morning
following this said Sabbath, the Lord
did rise with pain of head and nausea
of stomach, and God did go forth into
the lighting booth to take unto himself
some Pain-Aid and Pepto from the
first-aid kit. And because the Lord had
not yet drunk of his heavenly goblet of
black coffee, he thought, "I shall make
a creature in my likeness, and in the
likeness of the TECHIES, who are
already in my likeness, and all shall
bring me glory." And God took a
handful of Pain-Aid and Pepto and
created a being in his likeness, and the
likeness of the TECHIES, wearing
many tools and garments of only black.
And God saw that his creation was
good, and firm of joint, and could see
in the dark.
And the TECHIES did party, and build
the new creature a beautiful set in
which to dwell, with perfect sight
lines, a lowering grid, a turntable,
three scrims, showers in the back, and
gel changers in the lights. And God
said, "My child, I name thee Bill. Go
forth and play, Bill." Bill did go forth
and play, and henceforward, a being
running forth like a child on a set
would be called a Play. And God said
only, "Run, play, and be fruitful; live in
great peace on this beautiful set which
my TECHIES have created. Only heed
one warning: thou shalt not play
pridefully in the vision of anyone, with
the exception of the TECHIES, who are
always watching and well should be."
Bill did play for many nights alone
with no one but the TECHIES for
company, and was content. But each
time God did fade the sunset special
from the western side of the theater,
Bill's heart cried more and more in
torment. And Bill wept to God, "Lord
God who hath created me, who hath
clothed me and fed me and taught me
the holy ways of wrenches and circuits
and hath not troubled me to climb any
really tall ladders, Lord God, I am
lonely and need another like myself."
And the Lord was moved to pity. So he
took a pipe wrench and smote Bill
upside the head, then clipped a lock of
his flaxen hair with a utility knife. He
mixed this with some sawdust and two
measures of joint compound. And God
did stir. He stirred until the grid did
quake and the heavens flickered. Thus
was created another being in the
likeness of Bill, but suave of build and
of hair as blonde as the morn. God
said to Bill, "My son, I offer you the
great honor of bestowing this fine
creature a name." "I name her Jane,"
Bill replied with stars in his eyes.
Thusly became Bill and Jane
playmates, and there was much frolic
and rejoicing on the set. And God saw
that they were good, and was not
moved to concern. But Bill and Jane
grew fond of their games of charades,
and were less and less satisfied with
the clear, alert gaze of the TECHIES.
"I want not to be gazed upon merely
for my light cues," cried out Bill in
great distress. "Ah, and I am such a
handsome devil," sighed Jane,
admiring her reflection in the lid of a
paint can. "What a pity that such
beauty should go unappreciated!" And
God did shake his great head and
chuckle, unconvinced that any of his
children should go astray.
One night, when the R78's glowed
softly in the Fresnels, Jane was stirred
to waking by a strange noise. She
noticed a shadowy figure standing
before him. "Speak, and proclaim
thyself!" Jane insisted, leaping to her
feet and grabbing a piece of stage
artillery from the nearby prop table.
"Fear me not," proclaimed the specter.
"I am none but a weary traveler, and I
have journeyed from afar merely to
perceive thy beauty and talent."
"You're kidding," quoth Jane, dropping
her sword. "Ah, indeed," the figure did
continue, "far and wide hath the news
spread of thy ability to behave in the
likeness of characters other than
thyself." And the figure did pull forth a
business card, and when Jane did
inquire as to what meant the strange
word "agent," the figure replied that
he was none but a human being who
appreciated a good performance and
liked to see other people appreciate it,
too. For a small fee, of course.
Jane did act for the agent, and tap
dance, and sing, paying no heed to the
word of God. The agent brought in
some of his family, then friends, and
Jane awoke Bill to play a jazzed-up
duet of "Don't Cry For Me Argentina"
fit to make Patti weep. And the
TECHIES did follow Bill and Jane with
large round lights, and adjust the
sound as necessary, for they
understood the word of God and were
bound by their God-betrothed duty.
The audience did pound their palms
together in applause like unto thunder,
standing and whistling and shouting
for an encore. God was thus awakened
from his slumber.
Bill and Jane were aware of the coming
wrath of God, and they ran and hid.
God sent forth all the TECHIES to find
them. When the TECHIES did return,
they had retrieved not only Bill and
Jane but armloads of 8x10 headshots
from the lobby and empty bottles from
mineral water from the green room.
Bill and Jane did cower before God.
And God said: Henceforward shalt
thou be called "actors." And all thy
descendants "actors" as well. Thou
shalt wear colorful clothes and be
stripped of the holy knowledge of the
TECHIES. May you marry many times
without success. May the tabloids
exploit you. May you die lonely deaths
in hotel rooms in Vegas, for thou hast
fallen from grace." Bill and Jane wept
and cried out for redemption, but it
was to no avail, for they had sinned in
the eyes of God. And their garments
became colorful, and sewn with
sequins, and uncomfortable, and their
faces coated in pancake makeup. And
they did forget all that they were
taught about being a good TECHIE,
and needed to be spoken to in small
words, and could not see even glotape
in the dark. And the TECHIES
The Tao Te
The Tao that can be told
Is not the eternal Tao
Surrounded in light
It is cloaked in darkness
It is the unseen
It is the unheard
It flows from stage left
To stage right
And envelopes all between
This is essential to the show
Yet the actor understands it not
Under heaven, all can see beauty as
Because there is ugliness
Good owes its existence to evil
And the Tech owes his existence to
As male needs female
As student needs teacher
As the foolish need guidance
So does the actor need the Tech
Therefore the Tech goes forth
Cloaked in darkness
Bathed in silence
Radiating the Tao
Creating yet not posessing
Working, yet not taking credit.
In this way, the Ten Thousand Things are preserved
The Tao is an empty vessel; it is used,
But never filled
Oh, unfathomable source of ten
Change the lamp,
Adjust the level,
Call the cue,
Clean the shirt.
Oh, hidden deep but ever present
It comes from the darkness And flows
into the light
It is the keeper of our art
When the Tao is present in the
The horses haul the manure
Which happens as one of the
Ten thousand things becomes
The man who has not the Tao panics,
And is therefore up to his neck in
The Tech, however, abides in the Tao
And the Tao in him.
Therefore, when one of the Ten
Thousand Things is misaligned,
He realigns it
And the manure is hauled away.
Or if it cannot be realigned
We'll still get paid.
Actors are stupid.
The wise actor hears of the Tao
And strives to follow it
The mediocre actor hears of the Tao
And gives it its due respect
The foolish actor hears of the Tao
Then I cut off his sound and lights
and leave him setless
This is the way of the Tao
The audience is gullible
They see the actor as a god
The Tech is wise
He sees the actor as a child
The actor must be made up
And have his hair done
He needs to be dressed
And led to his props
The Tech needs not such things
Silence is the language of the Tech
His movements are the wind
While in his care, the props do not
Nor are the lights dropped from on
There is not panic within the Tech
There is instead the peace of the Tao
Which allows him patience to deal
Yea, even child actors
Without beating them even more
Then they already are
(at least until the end of the run)
The greatest virtue is to follow Tao
And Tao alone.
For it is well known that a Tech can act
But he will never be an actor
Just as the actor may attempt to tech
But he will never be a tech.
The actor's art is internal
He cannot help but become selfcentered
He is the victim of his trade
Which leaves him oblivious
The Tech's art is external
He cannot help but be concerned with
He is the benefactor of his trade
Which conditions him to be aware
To act is to know oneself
To Tech is to know all in one's
A good walker makes no noise
A good speaker arrangement
Gives no feedback
A good actor breaks not the props
Nor does he break the furniture
The Tech takes care of them all
And abandons no one
He takes care of all things and
This is called "abiding in the Tao"
What is a Tech?
The keeper of an actor.
What is an actor?
A Tech's charge.
If the Tech is not respected
And the actor not cared for,
Confusion will arise
This is the crux of illusion.
Whenever you advise a designer in the
way of the Tao
Counsel him not to break the laws of
Do this also in the guidance of a
Animals, Trees, Children
Such things should never cross the
When the designer or director
Conspires against nature
He upsets the Ten Thousand Things
Yet the Tao attempts to accommodate
The Tao is great
But even greatness
Cannot overcome fate
For it is written
There are no stupid concepts
Just stupid directors and designers
Producing the most intelligent
They can come up with at the time
The Tao is forever undefined
Ubiquitous, yet intangible,
It eludes the masses
When Designers abide in it,
The Ten Thousand Things rejoice
If directors and actors could harness
The Ten Thousand Things would
The dramatic and the technical would
And all would abide in the Tao
Once the whole is divided, the parts
There are already enough names
One must know when to stop
Knowing when to stop averts trouble
Knowledge and wisdom are the
companions of the Tao.
No acting please
Knowing ignorance is strength
Ignoring knowledge is sickness
If one is sick of sickness, then one is
The Tech is not sick because he is sick
But because he is sick of actors
The great Tao flows everywhere
Both to stage left
And to stage right
The Ten Thousand Things depend on
It fulfills its purpose silently
And makes no claim
It nourishes the Ten Thousand Things
And yet it is not their lord
It anoints the Tech
And enhances his ability
Therefore the Tech knows himself and
He has self-respect, yet is not arrogant
He lets go of that and chooses this
The Tao of the Tech is impartial
And stays with him at all times
Love thy Gaff as thou would love
Honor thy SM and thy director.
Thou shalt not get caught in light.
Thou shalt not talk louder than a
Thou shalt not covet another tech's
Thou shalt not drop things from the fly
Thou shalt not crave sustenance other
Thou shalt not kill another TECHIE.
Actors not inclusive.
Thou shalt assist the actor when
walking through the wings of darkness.
Thou shalt be as God-like as possible
- fast, quiet, efficient.
Proper Logic of
In is down, down is front.
Out is up, up is back.
Off is out, on is in.
Left is right and right is left.
A drop shouldn't, and a
Block and fall does neither.
A prop doesn't and
A cove has no water.
Tripping is OK.
A running crew rarely gets anywhere.
A purchase line buys you nothing.
A trap will not catch anything.
A gridiron has nothing to do with
Strike is work (In fact a lot of work).
And a green room, thank god, usually
Now that you're fully versed in
Break a leg. But not really.
Logic of Thy
Sound guys count to two, musicians
count to four, dancers count to eight,
but always start at five.
The Book of
Behold, my children, here is wisdom.
Pay heed to these words, and in the
days of thy play, in the hours of thy
performance, thou shall not be caught
short. For truly it is said, "Pay heed to
the errors of others, and thou shall not
make them thyself;" and again, as we
have been told from old, To Thine
Own Self Be True.
1. Give not unto the actor his props
before his time, for assuredly as
the sun does rise in the East and
sets in the West, he will lose or
2. When told the placement of props
by the Director, write not these
things in ink upon thy script for
as surely as the winds blow, so
shall he change his mind.
3. Speak not in large words to
actors, for they are slow of
thought and are easily confused.
4. Speak not in the language of the
TECHIE to actors, for they are
uninitiated, and will not perceive
5. Tap not the head of a nail to drive
it, but strike it firmly with thy
6. Keep holy the first performance,
for afterwards thou shalt party.
7. Keep holy the last performance,
for afterwards thou shalt strike
and then party.
8. Remember always that the TD is
never wrong. If it appears that he
is, then you obviously
misunderstood him for the first
9. 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.
10. Beware of actors when flying in
walls, for they will stand and
watch and be crushed.
11. Beware of actors during scene
changes, for they are not like unto
you and are blind in the dark.
12. Take not thine cues before their
times, but wait for the proper
moment to do so.
13. Take pity on 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.
14. 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.
15. If it is not yours, do not touch it,
for surely as you do, your hand
will be severed.
16. If force doesn’t work, you’re not
17. It is not the question, "What if
something goes wrong?" but,
What will go wrong?"
18. Do not miss your cue, for as you
do, your world will crash down
upon your head.
19. The only valid excuse for missing
one's cue is death.
20. Do not overestimate the
21. Do not underestimate the
22. Always write down your blocking
notes, for if you do not, the stage
manager shall punish you.
23. One must always check their
props, for if thou don't, they will
24. To be early is to be on time, to be
on time is to be late, to be late is
to be replaced.
25. Know thy venue as thou knowest
thine own hand.
26. And above all, get carried away
not with the glow-tape or they
stage will be like unto an airport.
Remember always that thou art a
techie, born to walk the dark places of
the stage, and know the secret ways of
thy equipment. To thine hands it is
given to mold the dreams and
thoughts of they who watch, and to
make thy stage a separate place and
time. Seek not, as do the actors, to go
forth in light upon the stage, for
though they walk and strut and put on
airs, their craft does truly depend on
you, to shape the dreams that they
Remember also that though they
depend on you, in their world you exist
to aid them. Remember that thou art a
team, for thou shall party together.
True Essence of
My friends, be not deceived by the
deluded actors masquerading as
Techies. Remember always the signs
by which thou shall recognize a true
1. They move softly during scene
changes, without stumbling or falling.
2. They are silent backstage and aware
of what is happening.
3. They can speak with a great
knowledge of tools.
4. They respect another's job and aid
where they can.
5. They will not whine at an obstacle,
but fix it in silence.
6. They do not just sit and watch.
“We hold these truths self-evident that
all TECHIES are created superior.”
It is a simple and clear message
delivered unto us by Luke:
Our amps are switched off
The cans are not patched into the PA
The Masters are down.
The loudspeakers are disconnected
THEY CAN’T HEAR YOU!
The Birth of a
And lo a parcan in yonder western sky,
did shine with `152' light. The naive
Fresher was attracted to its golden
glow but alas there was no room at the
proj. box. "Try the rostra store where
ye may well be able to find a place
among the old damp sets of yesteryear.
"So the fair techie child arrived at the
portal to the lowly store and stepped
through to find its techie parents who
had returned for freshers week. The
fresher was quickly converted to
techieism and began uttering the
sacred words of ‘gaffa,’ ‘HPL,’ and ‘go.’
And lo, on the second day three
members of the ruling party of techie
land did arrive bearing gifts of
wonderment. The first bought the
for communication is the second most
holy virtue. The second wearing a
cape of black velvet bought the sacred
roll of gaffa for no techie can be truly
fulfilled without the wonderment of the gaffa. The third adorned in strange
headwear bought a strange cable
which he described as "shedloads of
these to shedloads of these." The
techie was truly amazed and grateful.
The three then left but not before
promising full and comprehensive
training to all new fresher techies. At
this the techie parents could bare the
silence no longer and burst into tears.
On the third day three more wise
men/persons arrived. Instead of gifts
they bought pearls of wisdom. The
first, the director, spoke of the
Promised Land, “One day you shall
enter the Promised Land, the new
theatre will be completed." The
second spoke of the treatment of lowly
things, “Don’t drag the chairs across
the floor." The third and finally visitor
just stood there in silence for the
masters were down and the amps were
turned off. So no-one could hear St
Luke offer to buy a round of drinks.
The Plan and
In the beginning there was the Plan.
And then came the Assumptions.
And the Assumptions were without
And the Plan was without substance
And darkness was upon the face of the
And they spoke amongst themselves
saying, 'It is a crock of crap and it
And the TECHIES went to the Stage
Manager and said, 'It is a pile of dung,
and none may abide by the odor
And the Stage Manager went unto the
Production Manager saying, 'It is a
container of excrement, and it is very
strong, such that none may abide by
And the Production Manager spoke
amongst the Directors saying, 'It is a
vessel of fertilizer, and none may
abide by its strength.'
And the Directors went unto the
Producers saying one to the other, 'It
contains that which aids plant growth,
and it is very strong.'
And the Producers then went to the
Backers saying unto them, 'It promotes
growth and is very powerful.'
And the Backers sent forth the
publicity saying unto the Public, 'This
new plan will actively promote the
growth and vigor of the production,
with powerful effects to be felt all the
way to the audience!!!'
And the Public looked upon the Plan
and saw that it was good.
And the Plan became Policy.
And the TECHIES looked upon the
Policy and saw that it was nothing but
the same old shit with a new name.
And thus, shit happens.
Hierarchy of the
Leaps Tall Buildings In A Single
Is More Powerful Than A Locomotive
Is Faster Than A Speeding Bullet
Walks On Water
Gives Policy To God
Leaps Short Buildings In A Single
Is More Powerful Than A Switch
Is Just As Fast As A Speeding Bullet
Walks On Water If The Sea Is Calm
Talks With God
Leaps Short Buildings With A Running
Is Almost As Powerful As A Switch
Is Faster Than A Speeding BB
Is Occasionally Addressed By God
Makes High Marks On The Wall When
Trying To Leap Buildings
Is Run Over By Locomotives
Can Sometimes Handle A Gun
Without Inflicting Self-Injury
Talks To Animals
Runs Into Buildings
Recognizes Locomotives Two Out Of
Is Not Issued Ammunition
Can Stay Afloat With A Life Jacket
Talks To Walls
Falls Over Doorsteps When Trying To
Says, "Look At The Choo-Choo!"
Wets Self With A Water Pistol
Plays In Mud Puddles
Mumbles To Self
Lifts Buildings And Walks Under
Kicks Locomotives Off The Track
Catches Speeding Bullets In Teeth
And Eats Them
Freezes Water With A Single Glance
Walks through solid buildings
Levitates Locomotives off the tracks
Catches Artillery Shells in Teeth and
Eats Them for Breakfast .
Freezes water by just being near it.
Tells God what to do.
of the Stage
A stage Manager, a Sound Technician
and a Lighting Designer find a bottle
in a corner of the theatre. One of them
rubs it and a genie pops out.
"Since you all found me," he says "you
each get one wish." The Sound
Technician steps up and says, "I'd like
a million dollars and three beautiful
women." POOF! - The Sound Tech is
The Lighting Designer steps up and
says, "Well, if he can have that, I'd like
TEN million dollars, and my own
personal island with fifteen beautiful
women!" POOF! The Lighting
Designer is gone.
The Stage Manager steps up and says,
"I'd like them both back in ten
Eternity - The time that passes
between a dropped cue and the next
Actor-Proofing - making your props,
sets, costumes, and everything that
could possibly touched by actors
Acetylene Wrench - cutting torch.
High-Impedance Air Gap - space
between the cord and the plug where
it’s supposed to reach to but doesn’t.
F*ckit Nut - also referred to as the
Fudge Nut, it is the Pan Nut on
Prop - 1. A hand-carried object small
enough to be lost by an actor shortly
before it's needed on stage. 2.
Anything that gets in the way of a
Director - The individual who suffers
from the delusion that he or she is
responsible for every moment of
brilliance cited by the critic in the
Blocking - The art of moving actors
on the stage in such a manner as to
not collide with the walls, furniture,
orchestra pit or each other. Similar to
playing chess, except the pawns want
to argue. Blocking also serves to
block the carps’ brilliant genius and
the scenic designer’s creativity, which
is (of course) where the term blocking
Quality Theater - Any show with
which you were directly involved.
Turkey - Every show with which you
were not directly involved.
Final Dress Rehearsal - Rehearsal
that becomes a whole new ball game
as actors attempt to maneuver among
the 49 objects that the set designer
added at 7:30 that evening.
Tech Week - Also known as Hell Week
The last week of
rehearsal when everything that was
supposed to be done weeks before
finally comes together at the last
minute; reaches its grand climax on
final dress rehearsal night when
costumes rip, a dimmer pack catches
fire and the director has a nervous
Percussive Maintenance - hitting
something to “fix” it.
Knockometer - used for percussive
Telescoping Long-Range Calibration
Device - stage brace wielded by an
electrician, used for the popular
“carpentry focus” method described
Carpentry Focus - hitting an
instrument with a board to focus it.
Headset - sign of true power;
technology used to gripe about actors;
technology to ensure that the stage
manager always has a direct yell line to
their crew members.
Adjustable Ball-Peen Hammer -
Bubba-Mag - largest flashlight
BFH - the biggest sledgehammer
available. Also referred to as a
micrometer adjustment tool or a
Duct Tape - life-saver.
Custom Distressing - shipping
damage, free of charge.
Set - An obstacle course which,
throughout the rehearsal period, defies
the laws of physics by growing smaller
week by week while continuing to
occupy the same amount of space.
Monologue - That shining moment
when all eyes are focused on a single
actor who is desperately aware that if
he forgets a line, no one can save him.
Bit Part - An opportunity for the actor
with the smallest role to count
everybody else's lines and mention
repeatedly that he or she has the
smallest part in the show.
Dark Spot - The stage area which the
lighting designer has inexplicably
forgotten to light, and which has a
magnetic attraction for the first-time
actor. A dark spot is never evident
before opening night.
Impossible- Sorry, not in this
Triple Halifax - any unidentifiable
Welfare Road Case - cardboard box.
Pureed Smurf - blue contact cement.
Audition Slippers - kneepads.
Play - A bunch of cool looking sets
that people admire, despite having a
group of unimportant nobodies
talking nonsense in front of them.
Hands - Appendages at the end of the
arms used for manipulating one's
environment, except on a stage, where
they grow six times their normal size
and either dangle uselessly, fidget
nervously, or try to hide in your
Stage Manager - Individual
responsible for overseeing the crew,
supervising the set changes, babysitting
the actors, and putting the
director in a hammerlock to keep him
from killing the actor who just decided
to turn his walk-on part into a major
role by doing magic tricks while he
serves the tea.
Lighting Designer - Individual who,
from the only vantage point offering a
full view of the stage, gives the stage
manager a heart attack by announcing
a play-by-play of everything that's
going wrong. One who whines, throws
fits, and says "This is the last show I'm
doing here! I swear to God!" One who
knows the true value of Flash and
Makeup Kit - among experienced
community theater actors, a battered
tackle box loaded with at least 10
shades of greasepaint in various stages
of desiccation, tubes of lipstick and
blush, assorted pencils, bobby pins,
braids of crepe hair, liquid latex, old
programs, jewelry, break-a-leg
greeting cards from past shows,
brushes and a handful of half-melted
Stage Crew - Group of individuals
who spend their evenings coping with
50-minute stretches of total boredom
interspersed with 30-second bursts of
Makita - in terms of drills, screwguns,
saws, sanders, and most other power
tools, the best in the shop.
Comedy Gray - color that is achieved
by mixing all other colors in the paint
Strike - Techie’s Revenge; The time
immediately following the last
performance that all cast and crew
members are required to watch the
two people who own Makita screw
drivers dismantle the set while the TD
runs to his car to get his micrometer
adjustment tool (BFH).
Actors - People who stand between
the audience and the set designer's
art, blocking the view. That's also the
origin of the word "blocking," by the
Stage Right, Stage Left - Two simple
directions actors pretend not to
understand in order to drive directors
crazy. ("No, no, your OTHER right!")
Indoor Sunburn – Welder’s arm, or
skin toasting from the UV from a
Shakespeare – actually, Shakespeare
is NOT in reference to the playwright,
but to the spin-off of the Source Four
that Altman makes...also a light.
Gaffa – Simply put, A Godsend to All
FOH – The place where you send the
sound engineer for productions during
which you don’t want to hear his
Signs of Thine
•Your weekend consists of
Monday, and only Monday.
•"Q" is not just a letter.
•National holidays that fall on
Monday seem pointless to you.
•You know more than one theory
for the origin of the name "green
•You can only read from a light
that is blue.
•You consider the red part of the
stoplight the "standby."
•You can't remember what daylight
•You feel naked without your keys
attached to your belt loop, or
your belt without your Maglite,
Leatherman, and Gerber.
•You know tie-line has several
uses---shoelaces, belts, ponytail
•95% of your wardrobe is black.
•You watch the Super Bowl,
waiting for intermission, not halftime.
•You tell more stories of what went
wrong on shows you've done than
what went smoothly.
•You start wondering what it feels
like to be a prop.
•You know anything can be fixed
with gaff tape, Mortite, sculpt-ercoat,
a sharpie, tie-line, and a
•Your diet consists of fast food or
•Varying your diet means ordering
the #2 instead of the #3 or eating
with your left hand instead of your
•You understand the jokes in
•People recognize you by the
sound of your keys jingling down
•Going to a restaurant means
ordering and sitting down in
Sheetz rather than eating in the
car on the way to show call.
•"Practical," "Drop," and "flat" are
•You give up a summer job to work
on a musical for no pay.
•Most of your meals come from
•You can never sit through a whole
play without feeling that you have
to hit a button.
• Missed pickup $ 20.00
• Missed tape cue $ 20.00
• Late tape cue $ 50.00
• Early tape cue $ 75.00
• Wrong tape cue $ 150.00
• Going on an uncalled cue $ 10.00
• Not going on an uncalled cue
• Failure to bail out clueless stage
manager $ 0.01
• Unauthorized bailing out of clueless
stage manager OSTRACISM
• Failure to duck out offensive
orchestral players $ 35.00
• Failure to duck out offensive
vocalizations $ 55.00
• Feedback DEATH BY 19 kHz
• Falling asleep at console $ 20.00
• Causing feedback by falling asleep
at console $ 150.00 and appropriate
punishment to adress feedback
• Audible snoring at console
• Making audible rude comments on
the performance $ 5.00
• Failure to maintain correct mixing
levels $ 150.00
• Failure to correct glaring errors
caused by designer $ 50.00
• Correcting glaring errors caused by
designer LOSS OF JOB
• Failure to mute faulty wireless
• Failure to mute wireless when actor
is not on stage $ 50.00
• Failure to mute wireless while actor
is in bathroom $ 2.00
• Recording wireless while actor is in
bathroom $ 0.00
• Recording wireless while actor is
gossiping $ 0.00
• Listening to wireless gossip on
headphones WHO'LL KNOW?
• Self-serving use of wireless gossip
• Unauthorized use of wireless
condoms $ 300.00
• Recycling wireless condoms
• Overzealous transmitter changes on
opposite sex cast members
• Overzealous transmitter changes on
same sex cast members $ 66.00
• Recycling batteries $ 20.00
• Failure to recycle wireless batteries
• Failure to share vast wealth from
recycling wireless batteries with:
• House Department Head DEATH
• Stage Manager $ 5.00
• Missed cue $ 60.00
• Early light cue $ 75.00
• Late light cue $100.00
• Accidental blackout during show
• Failure to correct glaring errors
caused by designer $ 50.00
• Correcting glaring errors caused by
designer LOSS OF JOB
• No safety cable $ 50.00
• Wrong gobo or gel $ 40.00
• Falling asleep at the console
• Falling asleep at the console and
missing a cue $ 50.00/cue
• Falling asleep at the console AND
hitting the blackout button $900.00
• Questioning the stage manager
about when a cue should be called:
• Not putting a return to the scroller
power supply $1000.00
• Making and using a DMX Y-cable
• If a fine is for rig and not show,
letting mistakes exist until show night
quadruples the fine.
• Requesting Lee color in a Rosco
• Excessive whining $ 10,000.00
• Excessive cheerfulness $ 15,000.00
• Hiding/sleeping during load-in
• Hiding/sleeping during load-out
Please be aware that the following
clean-up fees are in place and will be
• Killing or maiming an actor: $10
• Killing or maiming a dancer: $30
• Killing or maiming a stagehand: $50
(to cover disinfection of the stage
• Killing or maiming pit musicians:
• An additional $10 is charged if the
House has to dispose of the body (an
extra surcharge of $1 per degree is
added if the temperature is over 100°,
Minimum $10 charge)
In cases where the injured party is at
fault, the fine will be assessed
to their estate. Fines are assessed per
incident. Group rates are available in
the actors department, and half-rates
are available for wholesale.
101 This board is a genuine,
honest-to-God, bona-fide, real life
copy of a piece of sh*t.
102 Ahh, COME ON! A trained
octopus couldn't take a cue like
103 I think the dimmer pack is on
104 I wasn't even near the light
105 Somebody backstage must
have done it.
106 This fu*kin light would look
great in an outhouse.
107 Is this fiasco over yet?
108 Hey, turkey, you’re supposed
to stand in the light, that's what it's
109 You want me to take how
many presets in ten seconds?
110 If you want that kind of
garbage, buy a light organ.
111 That's the fugliest set of color
washes I have ever seen.
112 The turds upstairs won't buy us
113 Even if they did buy one, it
114 Is it act three yet?
115 It was dimmer creep.
116 Send the cute one up to the
117 That's one fugly (fu*kin ugly)
120 You couldn't hear a stick of
dynamite at ten paces.
121 Back off the mike, a$$hole.
122 This amp would make a lovely
123 Don't thump on the mics.
124 Don't blow into them either.
125 Is this turkey over yet?
126 Must be a loose wire…somewhere.
127 Ah, I think the console is on
128 No, dipstick, you re supposed
to use the other end of the mic.
129 If you want that kind of
bullsh*t, buy a synthesizer.
130 I'm deeply sorry that I do not
have enough cord to go to Cuba.
131 Of course the stack is leaning,
you set the fuck*ng thing right on
132 Send the cute one up to the
140 How come I always get the
ones that move like a rabbit in
141 You want that kind of
coverage, Scrooge, hire another
142 No sucker, six colors is all you
143 I prefer the crotch shot,
144 These machines aren't worth
145 Can we do without the next
cue? I gotta go pee.
146 More BEER!
147 I can t help it- some bear in
trousers and a funny hat just
stomped my light out.
150 You said to drop it, you didn't
specify where and how fast.
151 B O R I N G
152 Is this piece of horse feces over
153 Hey you, don t run into my
baton so hard.
154 Gone for pizza, take the scene
shift without me.
155 Hey a$$hole, you want to
stand under that sandbag over
156 Good golly, Miss Molly, will you
look at the gazongas on the one
that just walked in!
157 Ever herd of castors? Little
round things, makes moving really
158 If God had wanted that tank to
fly, He would have put wings on it.
159 Touch that again, and I'll hang
you by your balls from the highest
point on the grid.
160 If you don t mind, I'd like to do
it wrong my own way.
161 I've got the cute one
170 Is there any possibility that we
can all take this cue together?
171 Lights: This is your wakeup
172 You want a live cow on stage
in what scene?
173 Well, I've never heard of that
174 Cues 16 through 82. . .GO!
175 Any chance of us starting
anywhere on time?
176 Fu*k cues 103 and 131.
177 Oh, suck mine.
179 Call em like you want ‘em or
take it like you get it.
180 You couldn't find two St.
Bernards if they were screwing in
the same closet as you.
181 WHAT did you say was on
182 What is someone as talented
as me doing working on a piece of
junk like this?
183 Pardon me, but you have
obviously mistaken me for
someone who gives a sh*t.
184 Half over, guys.
185 This same old sh*t has got to
186 Is it art, yet?
187 Sit on the rail and spin, fu*ker.
188 Can't talk now, some sh*thead
stole my code list.
LIGHTING DESIGNER /
200 The fu*king desk has crashed
201 Oh shit I thought this song was
*x* not *y*
202 Oh no not this song again.
Anyone got a pillow?
203 What do you mean, "The
racks are on fire." ?!?
204 No you fu*king can't switch
that rack off for 5 minutes!
205 NO NO NO! Don't move in
front of that light! Arrrrgggh!
206 Which pillock kicked-over the
floor cans during changeover?
207 You're all crap. I'm seeing
Production straight after the show.
208 I love you all, I'll get you a
beer during takedown.
209 I'm not being fu*king paid
enough to cope with this sh*t.
210 Fu*k that didn't happen
when I pressed that yesterday.
211 Pyros? Pyros? NO! NOT NOW
212 How the heck do you program
213 It isn't working! It isn't working!
Oh sh*t oh sh*t oh sh*t!
214 Hmmm? What? Whoops!
Missed that again...
216 What the heck is that Cyber/VL
218 I want more lights.
219 The fu*king scrollers have
gone into disco mode again!
220 The patch is fu*ked again.
221 Hey look at the gorgeous blond
standing here! Oh, wait, you can't. Ha
222 Good show guys, I'm going to
223 The LD's fucked-up again.
224 Who rigged this? Its supposed
to be straight!
225 Sh*t! Did you see that bulb
226 Oh look Cybers/V-L *x* is
227 Hey! Mind that cable...Oh, too
228 Why did the chicken cross the
road? Because it was less bored than
229 Oh, I fu*king *HATE* this song
230 I'm off to catering.
231 Where *IS* catering today?
232 What's catering?
233 Is that supposed to be
smoking like that?
234 Where's my fu*king maglite?
235 Who wants to crawl across the
back of stage today?
236 Well *I* didn't touch the
237 Look at that one! Where's that
238 Fu*king take-down and the
LD's ponced-off again.
239 Oh sh*t, you numbered them
in *THAT* direction!
240 I thought *HE* was the lead
241 I can't hold it any steadier!
242 Sh*t the shutter's jammed
243 I thought *I* was spot 4!
244 How fu*king long is this show?
245 Look mate, you come up here
and try and do it better!
246 Get that fu*king light out of my
247 Sh*t its really hot up here!
248 Look at the really cute one in
the white top near the front.
249 I need to piss! I forgot a bottle!
250 No! Not in the chain-bag!
251 Well, it was straight this
252 What do you mean, you can't
find a fu*king 2m spanset?
253 This shackle is fu*ked.
254 We need another rigger.
255 I'm doing it as fast as I fu*king
can!! Get off my back!!
256 Look, I'm first up and last to
bed, so fu*k you.
257 It won't take that.
258 Send the cute one out to the
259 Sh*t! The rig is hanging from
the cable-pick again!
260 Where's the fu*king feedback
261 No no no! Sing *INTO* the
262 Don't stick that in the wedge!
263 Aggggrrhh! Another trashed
264 These speakers need retriming.
Now. I don't care its midshow.
265 We need to test every speaker
266 I wish I had better mics/
267 *I* can play better than that.
268 Well I don't think its too loud.
269 No I haven't got a fu*king
265 How the does one of these
266 Sh*t! Missed the DAT running
267 I'm too good for this.
268 I hate this venue.
269 Where's the way out of
270 Does that 7am call include
271 No I can't move that.
272 Oooohhhhh...look at *that*
273 Well, *we* got our gear out in
half an hour!
274 Where's the fu*king band
275 2 minutes guys. Honest. This
time I promise.
276 We need more light back here!
277 Lights! Lights! Go! Go!
278 Sound! Sound! Switch it on!
279 No No, not yet they want
to...oh sh*t, too late...
280 I'll be in catering.
281 I'll be in production.
282 Special announcement guys,
don't pack-up yet.
283 Anyone want these flowers?
284 Hmmm, look at...
285 Okay guys lets do a quick one
286 Come on, get it up quicker.
287 The trucks have to go in an
288 No you can't go to catering
289 I'm going to the office.
290 Can anyone fix my fu*king fax/
291 Anyone want to give the
Runner some money for their sh*t?
292 But I got you a screwdriver
293 Money’s no object, fix it!
294 Production can't stretch to
295 The band hated it - we need to
talk straight after the show.
296 The band loved it - see me for
a special bonus after the show.
297 What PD's?
298 *no translation, already
299 4 hours sleep is enough, isn't
300 I want a Pepsi.
301 I want a Root Beer.
302 I want a Mountain Dew.
303 I want an Orange Soda.
304 I want a Snapple.
305 I want a Coke.
306 I want a Cherry Coke.
307 I want a Dr. Pepper.
308 I want a Sprite.
309 I want a coffee.
310 Pass me a french fry.
311 Pass me a slice of pizza.
312 Pass me a chip.
313 No, get your own!
314 Somebody get me a frickin'
315 Remember guys, vegetarian.
316 No, you do not have time to
get take out down the street.
317 No, I do not have spare
318 Well, I could give you a dollar
if you hung yourself from the grid...
319 Dinner's on the director
320 I take my coffee black, the
way nature intended
321 Not instant again!
322 How can you put that in/on
323 Can I bum a cigarette off of
324 Anyone want to lend me
325 Alright, who left the fries in the
326 Hey, you didn't tell me you had
327 Anyone want these leftovers?
328 Guys, you can not eat in the
329 You - get me something from
the vending machine.
330 If you think I'm gonna kiss you
after you've eaten that, forget it!
331 OK, time to fire up the PARBecue,
I forgot that we blew up the
332 Wouldn’t those old 2K fresnels
make great pie stoves? I mean, the pie
plates fit perfectly in them! Yeah…
which dimmer did you say was
333 Why can’t anyone stop eating
beans and cheese before the shows!!
334 Why can’t they make powdered