Author Topic: Running lights from front of house?  (Read 12101 times)

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tombo_17

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Running lights from front of house?
« on: Nov 09, 2007, 04:00 pm »
Hi. So this weekend I am running lights and sound for a magic show in a theatre that seats about 240. Since we don't want to reveal any tricks, we have decided to only use the center front of house for seating in the area, and the director wants the light board moved to one of the corners and run from there. I've always run lights and sound from backstage, but the way the theatre is set up, it's hard to see anything from the SM console. This makes sense to have me out front, but is this ever typical? I've heard of booths in the back of the house, or backstage, but ever IN the audience? Just a general question, and I'm interested to see your responses. Thanks!
« Last Edit: Nov 09, 2007, 04:02 pm by tombo_17 »
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Celeste_SM

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #1 on: Nov 09, 2007, 05:09 pm »
I don't know about typical, but I've done it in small black box theaters, and for certain shows in our venue.  (We don't have a SM console offstage and out booth is soundproof - a problem when calling an unamplified ballet!)  So it's not unheard of.

lauria

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #2 on: Nov 09, 2007, 05:36 pm »
I wouldn't say typical, but not unheard of. I know of one SM who called her show from the audience with audience members all around her. The director had some idea of making it a part of the show, I believe? I've had many a sound board op run board from the audience so as to better hear levels.

Sarah

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #3 on: Nov 09, 2007, 09:37 pm »
I find it funny that you title your post as a question; in the majority of theatres in which I have worked, the booth and all lighting and sound equipment was located FOH.

I once had to run a show from the first catwalk in a black box; the set had been placed on the same wall as the booth and we were repelling an actor from the grid. It was loads of fun, but sort of lonely. It was also a treat to be that much closer to the audience, and to really "hear" their responses.

LiLz

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #4 on: Nov 09, 2007, 11:19 pm »
When doing environmental theatre or experimental theatre the boards can end up anywhere.  It's a good lesson in self-control ... You almost have to create a character of your own that you play during the performance - None of the usual kicking back disinterestedly between Qs, ya know?

BWEEVEED

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #5 on: Nov 10, 2007, 12:05 pm »
I know of various high schools that have one level of seats, the board/booth, then another level of seats behind them. Sounds a little odd though.
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tombo_17

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #6 on: Nov 10, 2007, 02:24 pm »
So I just finished setting up my little makeshift booth (read as table) in the audience and it seems like it will work just fine. I've ran all the light cues and i can see everything as it happens. Should be a good show! Thanks for all the responses!
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smalltimeSM

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #7 on: Nov 11, 2007, 03:38 am »
I have seen several touring venues that have a booth/projection room, as well as sound and lights on the main floor in the middleish of the audience.  Though it sounds odd, it is not uncommon by my experiences.  It just SUCKS to be seen by the audience.

Mac Calder

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #8 on: Nov 11, 2007, 04:54 am »
There is a reason that sound people sit in the audience. The mix sounds quite different from the audience compared to the sound in the bio box - so if they were to mix an orchestra in a booth (without the aid of an expensive, well designed monitor system) the sound in the audience would be quite different (and probably quite bad). Hence - Sound guy in the back row.

zayit shachor

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #9 on: Nov 11, 2007, 01:17 pm »
I actually encountered this for the first time yesterday when I went to see a show...I was sitting right in front of the tech table and quite enjoyed hearing the click of the "GO" button right before each light cue.

Midnight Blue

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #10 on: Nov 23, 2007, 06:19 pm »
I've run lights/sound for kids' shows from the house. Kids right in front of you twist around in their chairs and ask you all sorts of questions. You tell them all about being an SM/board op, and they tell you all about being a first grader. Great learning experience, when all they usually ever see are the actors.

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #11 on: Nov 25, 2007, 12:37 am »
I've run lights/sound for kids' shows from the house. Kids right in front of you twist around in their chairs and ask you all sorts of questions. You tell them all about being an SM/board op, and they tell you all about being a first grader. Great learning experience, when all they usually ever see are the actors.
Now see that's cool.
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geoffsm

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #12 on: Nov 26, 2007, 10:42 am »
Although, it greatly depend on the venue, I think it makes most sense to run lights/sound from FOH.  In high school, we had a tech table at the back of the house.  Now that I'm in college, (we have a black box), there is a booth at the back of the house (at the top of the stadium seating) with enough space for the stage managers and the board ops.  There is a space right next to the booth outside of it for the sound op, so he can hear.  We just ran a really technically complex show from that booth, running lights, sound, and video all from the booth area.

lilmonki in black

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #13 on: Jan 21, 2008, 02:26 am »
There's a show house right here in my town where the sound board and stage manager's console are in the back of the house, surrounded by audience with no barrier, and the light board is in the back of the balcony, again with no barrier.  So... it happens.  I think parts of the audience enjoy being able to see us working...

I've called from backstage exactly once, and I find calling from FOH easier.  But liked backstage for the fact that if there was an emergency, I was right there to take care of it.  I suppose that with a proper SM console backstage, I could have the best of both worlds... but for now I have my booth. :)
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Oobleck1441

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Re: Running lights from front of house?
« Reply #14 on: Jan 24, 2008, 11:36 pm »
Good question and way to be concerned. When we do productions at school we ALWAYS move our board into FOH just.. well just because. Thats how I was taught and never changed it. We have a little set up that sits right over two rows of seats and the boards (Both Lighting and sound) go right on top and thats how we run our show. Usualy sounds board is in a prop side booth and the light board is prompt side on a "bridge" So for me... It's some-what normal
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