Every theatre technician knows the frustration that comes with their craft. Use these quotes and jokes to relieve some tension as the stress of art making takes over.
Signs You’ve Been in the Theatre Too Much:
1. Your weekend consists of Monday, and only Monday.
2. “Q” is not just a letter.
3. National holidays that fall on Monday seem pointless to you.
4. You know more than one theory for the origin of the name “green room.”
5. You can only read from a light that is blue.
6. You consider the red part of the stoplight the “standby.”
7. You can’t remember what daylight looks like.
8. You feel naked without your keys attached to your belt loop, or your belt without your Maglite, Leatherman, and Gerber.
9. You know tie-line has several uses – shoelaces, belts, ponytail holders…
10. 95% of your wardrobe is black.
11. You watch the Super Bowl, waiting for intermission, not half-time.
12. You tell more stories of what went wrong on shows you’ve done than what went smoothly.
13. You start wondering what it feels like to be a prop.
14. You know anything can be fixed with gaff tape, Mortite, sculpt-er-coat, a sharpie, tie-line, and a safety pin.
15. Your diet consists of fast food or microwaved food.
16. Your Halloween costume in some way utilizes running blacks and gaff tape.
17. Varying your diet means ordering the #2 instead of the #3 or eating with your left hand instead of your right.
18. You understand the jokes in Forbidden Broadway.
19. You insist on spelling “theatre” with an “re” not an “er”.
20. People recognize you by the sound of your keys jingling down the hallway.
21. Going to a restaurant means ordering and sitting down in McDonald’s rather than the drive-through.
22. You’d heard of Mandy Patinkin before he was on Chicago Hope.
23. “Practical” and “flat” are nouns.
24. Instead of saying that you’re leaving, you say you’re “exiting.”
25. At home, you “strike” your dishes to the kitchen.
26. If someone asks you what time it is, you respond with something like, “Half hour ’til half hour.”
Sayings for Technicians
- Beat to fit, paint to match
- If force doesn’t work, you’re not using enough
- An actor without techies is a naked person standing in the dark trying to emote; A techie without actors is a person with marketable skills.
- “Umm, ‘scuze me, your techies are showing…”
- If we could read minds , we wouldn’t need headsets
Light Bulb (LAMP!) Jokes
Q: How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Complain to the director at notes.
Q: How many stage managers does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Pull the technical director off of a set installation to deal with it.
Q: How many technical directors does it take to change a light bulb?
A: None. Call the master electrician at home to fix it.
Q: How many master electricians does it take to change a light bulb?
A: We don’t change bulbs, only halogen lamps. It’s a props problem.
Q: How many props masters does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Light bulb?! When did they even get a lamp?
Q: How many theatre students does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Erm, what’s the deadline, ‘cos I may need an extension.
Q: How many audience members does it take to change a light bulb?
A: Three. One to do it, one child to cry and another to say, “Rose, he’s changing the lightbulb.”
Q: How many directors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: 3…no, make that 4…on second thought 3… well, better make it 5 just to be safe.
Q: How many stage managers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: I don’t care! Just do it!!!”
Q: How many electricians does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Lamp! It’s called a lamp you idiot!
Q: How many lighting designers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. Where’s my assistant?
Q: How many actors does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: None. They can never find their light.
In is down, down is front. Out is up, up is back. Off is out, on is in. And of course, 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 okay. 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 football. Strike is work (in fact, a lot of work). And a green room, thank God, usually isn’t. Now that you’re fully versed in theatrical terms, break a leg.
But not really.
STRESS REDUCTION TECHNIQUE FOR TECHNICIANS:
Sit quietly and inhale deeply and slowly through your nose. Exhale slowly. Picture yourself near a stream. Birds are softly chirping in the crisp, cool mountain air. Nothing can bother you here. No one knows this secret place. The soothing sound of a gentle waterfall fills the air with a cascade of serenity. The water is clear. You breathe deeply.
You can easily make out the face of the person whose head you’re holding under the water. Look. It’s the person who caused you all this stress in the first place. What a pleasant surprise. You let them up … just for a quick breath … then ploop! … back under they go. Allow yourself as many deep breaths as you want.
There now … feeling better?
Post these jokes all around the shop to help mitigate on and off stage aggravations. And remember “if all the world’s a stage… I want better lighting!”