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Theatre EDC

Discussion in 'Where, When, & How Do We Carry All This Stuff?' started by zuixro, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. zuixro

    zuixro Loaded Pockets

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    Who here works in a theatre? What do you do and what do you carry?

    I work in the theatre at my college. I do a little bit of everything; usually I work in the shop, sometimes I operate one of the boards, a lot of times I hang and focus lights.

    I never go to work without my steel toed boots (painted (mostly) black), Dickie's Double Knee Work Pants (black of course, pants are a requirement), AA Minimag w/ LED and tail clicky (and a scrap of blue gel) (upgrading this Christmas hopefully) (black), and my LM Charge TTi (in a black sheath, if only the Charge TTi came in black...) with a F-301 Compact in the side pocket (plus my other EDC stuff, this is just the stuff I use at work). Usually I also carry a 6in C-Wrench with me, but at school, we have gravity locks, so there's really no reason to carry one. When I go elsewhere though, I have one (I'd like one anodized in black... Seeing a trend here?).

    I try to be as professional as possible when I work, so I like to be prepared for almost any eventuality. I also have a tool bag that I take to certain jobs (seen here: http://edcforums.com/index.php?topic=33470.msg392269#msg392269)

    I also like everything in black. Not sure why... Some people are obsessed with Titanium. For me it's black gear.

    I'm interested in what professionals carry.
     
  2. Vitiare

    Vitiare Empty Pockets

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    I used to do a lot of A/V stuff and for years carried a 1st gen leatherman and a AA mini mag. Pretty old-school and unobtrusive. Though having everything in black makes it harder to find in the dark.

    Later on I started carrying a backpack that had everything I needed for audio work:
    a handful of adapters
    extra mic cable
    headphones
    ipod and a 1/8" to 1/4" patch cable for patching into sound boards
    spare batteries
    gaff tape
    work gloves
    pens
    candy or honey packets (great for a quick pick me up at strike time, after sitting on my :censored: for 8 hours.
    And whatever else I might need that is job specific.

    I used to get a lot of heat from my co-workers for carrying around all that stuff, but when they needed something, I could always produce it without having to walk a country mile to whever the truck was parked.
     
  3. jegrundh

    jegrundh Loaded Pockets

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    i did 4 years of theater, working everything from costumes to lights to sets to stagemangaging to acting.

    sounds like you have some pretty good stuff there, but here are some possible inclusions:
    ductape
    black hockey tape (patches or covers up a variety of things)
    safety pins - quick costume fixes
    black sharpie (again quick black fixes)
    small fak with : ibuprofen, tylenol, immodium, peptobismol, bandaids, kleenex, maybe cough cold, through losenges, etc
    spare script
    work gloves
    maybe headlamp w/ darkblue gel


    again, certain things you have to tailor to the job, but ductape and safety pins are almost always a must. Other than that i think you are ok

    stay frosty.
     
  4. FRagman1967

    FRagman1967 Loaded Pockets

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    I worked in the theatre in College.
    I carried a Mini Maglite, aviator's pliers, needle-node pliers (to tweak Gel holders) and a set of switch head screw drivers.
    They were all dummy corded to my old milsurp pistol belt on which pouches full of harware also hung.
    People chided me for the dummy cords until someone dropped a wrench from a 40 foot catwalk and beaned a guy standing on stage in the head and sent hiom to the hospital.
     
  5. wortgames

    wortgames Empty Pockets

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    I worked in the West End for several years before moving to Australia and working in corporate events for over a decade, so I guess I've got some experience here.

    With the theatre work I could generally have a relatively large, lockable rolling toolchest. I could always find space for it somewhere and I only had to move it when the run ended or I moved to a different theatre. A bum bag (fanny pack) was a good way to keep a few essential bits nearby without affecting my ability to climb a ladder etc. I'd carry a flashlight (I wish they had Quark (or maybe Nitecore D10) lights a few years ago - I'm sure the moon mode would have been much more convenient to use than blue gel!), multitool, safety pins and cable ties for general fixing, different coloured pvc electrical tape (marking stage positions, fly ropes, wireless mics etc, bundling cords, general organising), chalk (best way to mark important messages on black walls), permanent marker (used with pvc tape for labelling, also good for touching-up black things) etc. If I needed anything else my large kit was only a couple of minutes away.

    The events work was much more challenging. Often I would set up several different events and operate on one or none of them, so a large tool chest was a liability. I'd go out in a truckful of guys and gear but then I'd often get ferried to the next gig by taxi or car, so my personal kit had to be portable. On the other hand, time was always tight, planning often sketchy, and there were always unique problems to overcome, so I really needed some resources. The better companies provided them, but many did not.

    I went through many bag and case options, and the best I found for a long time was a tradesman's rolling plastic tool chest - the kind with a retractable handle and 2 wheels on one end. I could fit a lot of materials and tools etc in there, and it would also double as a decent seat (handy while waiting for a cab at the end of an exhausting setup, or operating a show in a venue with fixed or no seating). It wasn't too big to get in a cab and the wheels and handle were real handy for moving it around - sometimes there's an awful long trek between the elevators or the cab and the part of the ballroom or exhibition hall you're working at. Try doing a 10 hour setup that blows out to 20 hours, then carrying your overloaded case a mile or so. No fun!)

    That case would carry tools (shifters, screwdrivers, soldering iron, small socket set), test equipment (multimeter, test tapes, CDs), gaffer tape, electrical tape, misc gels, foil, batteries, adaptors, fuses, spare cables, spare lamps, laptop, basic first aid, water bottle, hi-vis vest, gloves, snack bars etc and probably a heap of other stuff I've forgotten by now.

    Later on I did more operating / stage management type work and flew interstate a bit. The best solution I found for that was a 'pilots' briefcase (top opening, with wheels and retractable handle). It could fit my laptop plus a large plastic parts box full of adaptors, batteries, pens, screwdrivers, mini multimeter, water bottle, snack bars etc. It looked respectable enough at meetings and didn't take up much space under the desk while operating - often I was operating gear that other, less experienced guys had installed and sometimes physical space was a challenge and there was nowhere left to open up a traditional clamshell case.

    Again the coloured electrical tape was one of the more useful items - you don't need much, just a couple of feet each of 3 or 4 colours is enough to mark out stage positions, identify microphones and other things that people need to pick up or put down in the right place.

    The other essential carry for the events work was cutlery. Often I could wangle myself a meal by making friends with the wait staff, but of course it never came with cutlery...

    (Not sure if any of this is useful to anyone, I'm just enjoying the flashbacks)
     
  6. geonex

    geonex Loaded Pockets

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    Not a professional, but I'm another one working in a college theatre department - I'm also a "jack of all trades" guy, I do lighting and sets, primarily. I'm a bit OCD and tend to over-carry, but I'm also the guy that everyone turns to when they need something. My work-specific EDC (which complements my already excessive "standard" EDC) typically consists of the following:

    • Surefire A2 - Yellow/Green
    • Surefire G2 w/ Malkoff M60 Drop-in
    • 8" Craftsman crescent wrench w/ dummy line
    • 6-10 24" pieces of tie line
    • Roll of 2" black gaff
    • Pair of generic safety goggles, usually on my head to keep my hair out of my eyes
    • Pair of generic leather work gloves, usually on a clip on my belt

    I always carry my Charge TTi, benchmade mini-grip, and ear plugs. I use all of them with some frequency while working. The charge is also on a dummy line. Department policy dictates that you can't carry anything up on the grid unless it's safety tied and I work on the grid in our big theatre enough that it's worth it to just leave 'em on there (that's 65' from the grid to the stage, and yes...people have had something as small as a nut take them out of commission from that height - not pretty).
     
  7. Gnarly
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gnarly Loaded Pockets

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    30 years of Theatre/TV/Concert production as a stage rigger,most recently with Rent-A-Bum Stage Crew....and you guys have covered about everything I carried! With the possible exception of SuperGlue,small Gorilla Glue & a sewing kit +awl.

    Stage Rigging was my FUN job....I miss it.

    ----Gnarly :evilgrin:
     
  8. echo63

    echo63 Loaded Pockets

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    Im not a theatre person - but i thought this was a good idea.

    here in perth they are building a new theatre, i got a tour of it while it is still under construction recently.

    there is one section underground, and the lighting grid on the roof, has a steel mesh running under it, apparently the lighting techs can walk on the mesh, they have to step over the grid (there is enough room to still hang the lights between the grid and mesh) but there is walkways across the grid, so they dont need to step over it all the time.

    the mesh has been designed so that it doesnt affect the lights too much too.

    i thought it was a great idea as it stops a few dangerous things, people working at height, and stuff falling.
     
  9. zuixro

    zuixro Loaded Pockets

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    Good idea for catching stuff. I would still tie off though. I also wouldn't want to walk on it. I'm not afraid of heights, but I have a problem with having nothing but thin steel mesh under me....
     
  10. Gnarly
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Gnarly Loaded Pockets

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    :woohoo: We referred to it as the "mesh dance" because it's like walking on a trampoline.

    Takes a bit of getting used to,but was welcomed by all riggers who worked approx. 84' above the stage!

    Much more fun than doing the :angel: 'high iron' balancing act,IMO.

    ----Gnarly :evilgrin:
     
  11. echo63

    echo63 Loaded Pockets

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    yea i would probably still run a safety lanyard/harness - if i did that kind of work
     
  12. GRIFFINHAWKS

    GRIFFINHAWKS Banned

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