Sunday, March 22, 2015

Melbourne International Comedy Festival - Off Stage 4

Tech crews (sound, light and staging) should be like sport umpires in that if they are doing their job well they are not noticed. At the end of the show when the talent raises their hand toward the anonymous people at the back of the room or backstage the audience should be left wondering “who the hell are they pointing too, and why are we clapping them?”

The transitions will be seamless, the sound perfect no feedback, no drop-outs. Everything  goes according to the running sheet any the techs talent comes to the fore when they follow the act as they venture off script. Their flexibility and ability to go with the flow of the show – or if they were a constitutional lawyer; “the vibe of the thing” – is critical to the success of a festival show.

Rehearsals are as much about the technical requirements as they are the material themselves. I am pleased that the crew for my show have willing suggested ideas for staging that will add to the humour of the material. Check out my tech crew’s work for yourself - live for 10 shows during the festival.

Even shows that appear to have the simplest of stage set ups, a single microphone on a stand and a spot light still require the tech crew to be paying full attention. Many of the tech team will be running multiple shows per night and repeating them night after night. By the end of the season they will know the material nearly as well as the comedians and yet they will still laugh along as though it was the first time they heard the joke.

A wicket keeper sets the tone of the fielding side.  In the same way the tech crew can set the mood of a room for the performer and audience alike.

Here’s to the tech crews working hard on all shows, here’s hoping we don’t notice any of them.

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