Please take a minute to check out our event calendar. Be sure to check back frequently as all times and dates are subject to change. Please be sure to contact Rodney with any questions you may have. You can email him HERE or call him at (614) 905-8204
In the lighting department you will be assisting in assembling lighting trusses, hanging lighting fixtures and running power and data cables. You will be handling materials of weight and of a fragile nature. Be sure to ask for assistance if you feel you cannot manage a piece of equipment alone safely. Take the time to make sure that any cables you are handling are not carrying live electricity.
There are several varieties of lighting fixtures and special effects, the most common being:
Conventional Lighting Par cans, molephays, lekos, ACLs and any other lights that are only capable of dimming up and down in intensity.
Automated or Intelligent Lights Fixtures that can be remotely operated to change position, color, focus, intensity, iris, shape and pattern. These fixtures have several common varieties;
Moving Head Units that have a moving head mounted on a stationary body, and can change both their pan and tilt axis. The inside of these units house multiple color filters, gobo capabilities, variable iris and focus.
Moving Mirror- Units where the main lighting fixture remains in a fixed location and projects a beam on to a mirror that can change its axis. The inside of these units house multiple color filters, multiple gobo capabilities, variable iris and focus.
Color Changers Units that attach to conventional lighting fixtures to stream color gels in front of a white light at the command of a remote control.
Spotlights The JSC owns and operates 8 3000 watt Strong Gladiator 3 spotlights that can be used during events from positions in the catwalk called the spot baskets. Touring shows may also carry smaller spotlights that are specifically designed to be mounted on the lighting trusses and operated from a chair during the performance.
In addition to the lighting fixtures, you be setting up equipment related to what is called special effects. This group includes a wide array of equipment used to give the stage a look or feel.
Foggers or Hazers Machines that create a mist in the air to highlight the lighting effects during a performance. These units may be mounted on the lighting truss or on the stage depending on the effect desired.
Confetti Cannons Small housings that contain confetti to be shot out over the audience or stage during a performance. These are often triggered by pressurized air or CO2 canisters and operated remotely.
Roll Drops Scenic effects that are contained on a motorized drum attached to the lighting truss. When triggered the motors will roll out a piece of scenery specific to a part of the performance.
Kabuki Drops Similar a roll drop but with a one time use. The curtain or drape is attached by grommets or D-rings to a set of magnetic solenoids. When an electrical charge is sent to the solenoid, a electro-magnet retracts the pin and releases the drop. This effect is a common use for instant reveals.
Pyrotechnic Certain shows will employ the use of pyrotechnic effects, and on occasion you will assist the pyro-technician to mount and fix the shooting apparatus for these effects, under no circumstances are you to accept responsibility for the explosive material that will be detonated from that location. If you are approached by a touring crew member and asked to handle the pyrotechnic material, politely inform them that they will have to seek the approval of your supervisor.
There are many different types of cables that carry power. The most common are:
5 Wire or Feeder Traditionally thick single cables one for each of the three power phases (red, blue and black), one for neutral (white) and one for ground (green). These cables are used for main power distribution and carry loads between 100 and 600 amps per phase. When connecting these cables you should always start with the green cable, next connect the white cable, then move onto the red, blue & black. The opposite order should be used when disconnecting feeder cables.
Socapex or Multi Large single black cable that has a multi-pin connector on each end. It often carries 6 - 20 amp circuits.
Pin and Sleeve A single cable that carries all three phase wires, a neutral and ground, and connects by a single connector either of blue or red plastic. These traditionally carry loads between 60 and 200 amps.
Edison A single cables that is single phase and is rated for 10 to 20 amps of charge. The connector is the same as a household plug.
Twist Lock Similar in use to the Edison cable but usually reserved for larger loads, typically 20 to 60 amps. It may also contain more than a single phase.
In all cases of power, ensure that the cables are not energized during handling, and under no circumstances place your fingers inside the connectors.
Data & Control
There are many different cables and control devices that will be employed for the lighting department, some examples are as follows:
DMX The DMX protocol is carried over the same XLR cables that are often used in audio applications. The official standard calls for a 5 pin XLR connector but you will often see a 3 pin connectors used.
Dimmer Racks These are the computerized brains that receive information from the lighting console and distribute it through the data and power cables to the fixtures.
Lighting Console Control device that communicates with the dimmer racks, intelligent lights and special effect equipment through the data cable using the DMX protocol.
As a member of the audio department you will be required to assist in the assembly and wiring of speaker cabinets both on and off stage as well helping assemble the system that will be raised above the arena floor. You will be handling materials of weight and of a fragile nature. Be sure to ask for assistance if you feel you cannot manage a piece of equipment alone safely. Take the time to make sure that any cables you are handling are not carrying live electricity.
There are many varied configurations of speaker placement, but the three most common are:
Line Arrays This type of system employs multiple speaker cabinets stacked up on top of each other and then flown to a height optimum for the hall that the show is playing. It is designed to deliver an equal sound field throughout the entire venue without the use of secondary delay speakers. Older systems relied on quantity of speakers to be able to deliver the sound across large spaces, and the competing wave forms would often reduce the clarity of the end product. The technology of today allows for systems to use fewer speakers, but by placing them at specific center distances they can achieve the levels necessary with reduced wave conflict, and therefore much clearer sound. Most touring concerts employ line array systems today.
Clusters Smaller groupings of specific speaker alignments most often used in permanent installations. Rather than being arranged in a vertical line they are positioned in a manner that provides the best coverage of the listening audience. They are very effective at their chosen task. The Schottenstein Center utilizes this configuration for our permanent speaker that provide audio coverage for athletic events.
Monitors Individual speakers placed on the stage deck or hung above it to provide the performers with a mean to hear how their voices or instruments sound. Some performers have moved to using wireless in ear monitors, which are professional grade, highly precise headphones.
While the manufactures of sound equipment are as varied as the numbers of bands using them, the specific types of equipment used are limited. They include:
Amplifier A simple device that receives an audio signal increases it using a power source and outputs it to a speaker to be projected to an audience or performer.
Equalizer Used to adjust specific frequencies of an audio signal to enhance the clarity of the outputting signal.
Mixer A console made to receive multiple audio signals, adjust signal levels and distribute them to audio amplifiers.
Effects Many performers today use an assortment of effects to alter the sound of their instruments or voice. Some of these include: delays, reverbs, distortion and wah wah pedals.
As a member of the video department, you will be assisting with the construction of screens, projectors, video walls and editing facilities. All this equipment is to be treated as extremely fragile. Here too, it is common for this area to involve heavy lifting in teams, and may involve placing equipment on scaffold structures.
Several methods of video projection are used for touring shows, examples are;
Rear Projection A screen hung from the arena roof will appear to have an image appear from nowhere. The projector units in this case are situated behind the screen, and in the backstage area. They may be positioned on concourse level, but often will need to have scaffolding constructed to achieve the correct alignment height. The most common configuration is to mount the screen and projector on a truss that is built in a T- Configuration, with the screen hung from the top of the T and the projector hung from the stem of the T.
Front Projection The only front projected configuration you will encounter will be the T-Configuration. This configuration does create sightline issues for anyone above the height of the projector, as they have to look through the apparatus to see the screen. It is most effective for shows that will only have audience seated below the trim height of the truss.
LED Walls In recent years most tours have moved to the use of LED video walls as a replacement for the standard video screen. A LED Wall is comprised of a tight pattern of light emitting diodes (LEDs) grouped together in red, green and blue pixels. By varying the light levels of the individual LEDs the video wall can recreate a full spectrum of colors and images.
As with the other departments, you will be involved in handling a variety of cables that will carry power, or power and data. Make sure you are always aware of a power cable and its current status of load. Always check to make sure there are no live ends left unattended, and avoid handling live cables at all times. If you see anything that you feel is unsafe, report it to your supervisor immediately.Back to Top
As a member of the Carps department you will primarily assist in the construction of stage sets, or tour provided stages. This department often involves heavy lifting and working in confined spaces. If you are not suited for either of those conditions inform your supervisor immediately to avoid an unsafe working environment for you and your colleagues. Stage sets are limited only by a designers imagination, and you can expect to be involved with small intricate fragile pieces as well as large heavy sturdy plates and frames. Handle all equipment as if it were your own, and with care.
Some of the materials you can expect to handle are:
Floor Coverings Many types of material is used to cover the stage to provide decoration and comfort for the artist.
Carpets and Rugs
Marley A thick vinyl flooring that covers existing stage surfaces
Drape Most shows utilizes a black drape to dress the house upstage of the stage deck to provide a better look for the performance.
Barricade Many shows incorporate the use of a barricade system to provide a barrier between the artist on stage and the audience.
Risers These platforms are used to raise an artist above the level of the base stage height for better sight lines to the audience.
Additional responsibilities of the carpentry department are to make sure the stage is clean and ready for the performance. You may be expected to mop or vacuum the surfaces as the need arises.Back to Top
Riggers are responsible for the task of hanging all equipment that needs to be flown for the event. This position has a high level of responsibility because they have the highest chance of severely injuring someone with a mistake. One slip and a piece of steel can fall from the sky with dire consequences. If you are working on the stage deck or floor, try to be aware of anyone working above you and never, never ever pull on a rope hanging from the grid. Theres a good chance that there is a rigger attached to the other end of that rope.
There are two types of riggers on an event call. They area:
Up Rigger This is the person you see in the air walking around in the grid. They are responsible for pulling up the chains attached to the chain hoists and securing them to the grid using wire rope. This position requires a great deal of strength and balance. An up rigger must be able to pull up to 100lbs. 97ft. to our grid while maintaining enough balance to not fall off of the 4 inch beam they are standing on.
Down Rigger This person acts as support for the up riggers, but this is not to say that they are any less important. A great deal of what keeps the rig safe is in the hands of the down rigger. The down rigger must make up the steel to be hung. Making sure all shackles are tightened, knots are tied correctly and hooks are safely secured to the eyelet of the wire rope. The down rigger also communicates with the tour rigger to be sure that the rig is hung correctly.
Of all the positions involved in setting up a special events truck loading probably causes more injuries than any other. While these injuries are almost never more serious that a broken finger, it is very important to be aware of your surrounding at all times and take care to not get yourself or someone near you injured. Work smarter, not harder while you are in the truck. There is a reason that there are four members to a load team. Four corners on a box, four truck loaders. Take the time to make sure that you are lifting safely and you will have a better chance of avoiding injury.Back to Top
Show-calls are split into several categories;
House Spots Operation of the house Gladiator 3 spotlights located in the grid at each corner and the far-east platform.
Truss Spots These spotlight may be operated by house stagehands or touring personnel. This position involves climbing a wire rope ladder into the truss and operating a small spotlight from a small seat attached to the truss sometimes as high as 60' in the air.
Deck Hands Stagehands employed for a variety of duties, including but not limited to:
- Set and back-line changes in-between opening and main acts,
- Cable paging for cameras and microphones. This entails prolonged periods in a crouched or kneeling position
House Lights One person each night is required to operate the house lights control. This position is located in the sound booth on the press box level.
Loader On occasion the show will require a team of loader to come in early for load-out to help load some of the opening acts equipment.
All the above listed positions are essential to the smooth operation and presentation of the show or live event. They are required to be carried out seamlessly, and this is to include attire. All showcall Deck Hands and Truss Spot Operators are to report at the assigned time in head to toe black attire. Most of the listed functions occur during the presentation of the show, and should be as un-noticeable as we can make humanly possible. There will be no tolerance for clothing that sports bright or obscene logos, or for loud noises unless it is to gain the attention of someone in immediate danger.
The JSC takes great pride in the quality of personnel it makes available for show-call positions, and there are training programs designed to qualify you for these roles. You may ask your supervisor about any upcoming classes or training programs at any time, however participation in these classes do not guarantee you a position for a show-call. Many times, the show itself requests that the spotlight positions are filled by riggers, as they will not be needed immediately after the show for load out duties.Back to Top
Vocabulary and Nomenclature
As with most specialized industries, the entertainment field has many exclusive terms and verbiage that will need to be understood to follow direction in the fast paced load-ins and outs of equipment. Below is listed some of the more common phrases or words that you will hear in connection with your function.
Amplifier An electronic device for magnifying electrical signals to a level to which speakers respond.
Backline Band equipment specifically for the instrumentation of the show.
Backstage Area that is not used for the performance, but is required by the artist for other means, this includes dressing rooms, catering, equipment storage, loading dock, etc.
Barn Doors A metal fitting attachment on the front of a lighting fixture that allows light to be cut off by up to four hinged flaps.
Beam The cone of light from a lighting fixture. It is also a common term for a single piece of steel that makes up the roof grid.
Black Light Ultraviolet light.
Boom Vertical Pipe for hanging lamps, cameras, microphones etc. Also an extendible arm on a microphone stand for supporting microphones on the end of a cantilevered.
Bridle A multi-legged rigging point that needs more than one connection to the grid to enable the chain motor to hang in the correct position between the steel beams.
Chain Hoist (Motor) Manually operated or electrically driven mechanism for lifting scenery, lighting, video or sound equipment.
ClearCom Brand Name of a headphone intercom system. Commonly used to describe all such systems.
Cue A point at which certain adjustments are made during a performance.
Cue Sheet A record of the scenes and changes for each segment of a show or sporting event.
Dimmer An electrical circuit device used to regulate the current permitted to a lighting fixture or special effect, this allows variable intensity or output.
Dimmer Beach A location, usually located up-stage right, where all lighting cables will converge to supply lighting system with power and DMX control.
DMX- a communications protocol used mainly to control stage lighting, but is capable of controlling video projection systems and stage machinery.
Drop A cloth suspended from fly bars or grid to mask certain areas of the stage area.
Feedback Signal from the output of a system returns to the input creating oscillation of the sound waves.
Flat A unit section of scenery, often seen in theatre productions.
Flood Type of lighting fixture that illuminates a wide area.
Flux Capacitor Fictional creation from the movie Back to the Future. Ignore all requests for such an item, along with Glass Hammers and Buckets of Air.
Fly Term to lift equipment or performer above the stage level.
Focus Positioning lamps to illuminate specific scenes, people or areas.
FOH (Front of House) The audience side of the auditorium or arena, encompassing everything from the doors area to the seating bowl. Also a common term to describe the lighting and sound mixing areas at the back of the floor.
Follow Spot High intensity lamp requiring an operator to follow the subject being lit on the stage or in the audience area.
Gel Color filter used in front of lighting instruments. Originally made of Gelatin, now of plastic.
Grid The metal framework of steel beams that are used to support the chain hoists.
Iris Adjustable circular shutter used to alter the size of a beam.
LED abbreviation for light emitting diode.
Leg A narrow drape used to mask the sides of a stage.
Monitor World Area used to mix the sound on-stage that the band will hear.
Pickle A handheld control for chain hoists. Commonly has a rocker switch for up and down control and a 4-pin twist lock connector.
Scrim Thin, sometimes decorative netting used to provide translucency or scenic diffusion.
Set A group of scenic pieces arranged to give a decorative, often functional effect.
Sheave A single pulley used for redirecting a rope or cable. Often used to pull a rigging point from the ground.
Sightlines Theoretical lines that depict what the audience will be able to see.
Spanset The brand name of one type of continuous sling made of nylon strands wound for strength and used for rigging purposes.
Spiking Marking a position on the stage.
Strike To remove a piece of equipment or set from the performance area.
Tab Any curtain.
Teaser A border curtain used to mask trusses or fly bars.
Throw The distance from a lighting fixture to the subject it is lighting.
Truss Metal structure used to support weight and instruments over the audience and performers heads. Most commonly made out of aluminum, which has a higher tensile strength than steel, and is much lighter for ease of transportation on a touring show.
Wings the areas on either side of the stage.
Stage Direction The way in which a stage is labeled was devised in Shakespearian times when rather than having the audience sitting in an amphitheatre style seating the stage itself was raked, with the edge closest to the audience lower than the edge closest to the back wall. Stage left and right are as youre standing on stage facing the audience.