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Tuesday, March 27

The Tetchy Techie

Last night's sketch show did exactly what I imagined it would do. My gig radar was saying that it would be a quiet one and my technical planning skills were telling me that I'd got my CD right and that I would have fun running the show.

I did have fun running the show from the box. I also got to participate in one of the sketches. The idea of the sketch was that the performers start doing something that's really poor and the sound man, incensed by this, starts heckling. The idea was to make the heckling sound like you could hear into the sound box, but not like it was an announcement over the microphone. So, I brought in and connected up something that was more like a room mic. Soundwise I took out some of the bass that make a vocal mic sound rich, and I made something which should have felt more like an intercom voice.

This was really useful as it was, essentially a handsfree microphone I could also use to enable me to talk down to the stage level while running through all the cues prior to the show.

I reckon we put our enthusiasm into the craftsmanship of the things that we're given to do. So, my contribution was to wire in a special microphone and set it to be a bit tinny.

The show was a bit juddery and I even managed to both screw up a sound effect - accidentally playing it before a sketch started - and then escape blame for the mess up, as the cast hadn't even gotten onto stage when I brought the lights up. So I had to rescue the empty stage by taking the lights down, playing some music, waiting for them to arrive and then re-starting the sketch... it was all just the sort of thing which happens in live theatre. One should expect that sort of thing. I'm surprised we haven't had it sooner.

Anyway, it was tough work for everyone, but I think the audience enjoyed it. Some of the sketches went really smoothly and some of them had me chuckling away in the box, enraptured.

I like being involved in an off-stage capacity.

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