written by and © Ed Bentley, 1982
The Techie Prayer
Lord, let my arms never grow weary of carrying or pulling on ropes. Let my lights always work, and my sounds always be clear. Let my props always be placed, and my set always be prepared. Let me now miss my cues, nor be caught onstage when the lights come up. Keep my hemp always strong and fresh, and my borders always in trim. And when this play of life at last finishes its long run, may the strike be short and swift, and the party be long and joyful.
The Book of Genesis
In the beginning there was the Stage, and the Stage was without lights or sets, and darkness was on the faces of the actors. And the Technical Director (hereinafter referred to as the TD) said, “Let there be Lights!” and the TECHIES worked and wired, and there were lights. Spotlights and specials, areas and backlighting – yes, lights of all shapes, sizes and hues. And the TD saw the lights, that they were well aimed and focused, gelled according to the scene, and no more was there darkness on the faces of the actors. And it was good. And the evening and the morning were the First Day.
And the TD looked upon the actors and saw that although they walked in light, they did walk upon a bare stage, and had no place to be, and the TD was moved to pity. And the TD said, “Let there be a Set!”: and the TECHIES scrambled and worked, and there was a set, with platforms, wagons, stairs, and furniture of various types and sizes, each according to the need. And the actors did walk within the set, and did have a place to be. And the TD saw the set, that it was good, and the evening and the morning were the Second Day.
And the TD saw the actors, that although they did have a place to be, they did look like fools, for they waved their hands, clutched at open air, and struck each other with nothing. And in his heart, the TD was moved to pity. And the TD said, “Let there be Props!”: and the TECHIES worked feverishly and did buy and build, and there were props. And they were good, and the evening and the morning were the Third Day.
And the Costumer looked upon the actors, and saw that they did go forth in blue jeans and the Costumer knew that this would not do. And the Costumer said, “Let there be Costumes!”: and the TECHIES did cut and sew and shape, and there were costumes, each sized to the actor, according to the play, and keeping in with the role. And no more did the actors go forth in blue jeans, and the Costumer saw the costumes, that they were good, and the evening and the morning were the Fourth Day.
And the TD watched the play, and saw that the actors did wait in silence, and was moved to pity. And the TD said, “Let there be Sound!”: and the TECHIES worked and taped, and there were sounds, each according to its place and cue, all at the proper levels. And the TD heard the sounds, that they were good, and the evening and the morning were the Fifth Day.
And lo, all these works were completed in five days, showing that if God had used sufficient TECHIES in the first place, He would have finished sooner.
The Book of Exodus
And lo, as the year begins, so is the Gaffa Tape delivered unto the TECHIES, who do revere and worship the Gaffa.
And, soon, does the Gaffa Tape leave the store, to be used by the TECHIES in pursuit of excellence in their techie activities, and also in various activites with fair TECHIE maidens.
And, the head TECHIES do soon become worried at the amount of Gaffa used, for while much use of Gaffa does surely lead to a higher plane of TECHIE existence, the year must be split in two: 6 months of plenty, following the delivery of Gaffa unto the TECHIES, and 6 months of famine, when the Gaffa must surely run out.
The Book of Proverbs
Behold, my son here is wisdom. Pay heed to these words, and in the days of thy play, in the hours of thy performing, thou shalt not be caught short. For truly, it is said, pay heed to the errors of others and you shall not make them yourself, and again, as we have been told from on old, to thine own self be true.
- Give not unto the actor his props before his time, for as surely as the sun does rise in the East and set in the West, he will lose or break them.
- When told the placement of props by the Director, write not these things in ink upon thy script for as surely as the winds blow, so shall he change his mind.
- Speak not in large words to actors, for they are slow of thought and are easily confused.
- Speak not in the language of the TECHIE to actors, for they are uninitiated, and will not perceive thy meaning.
- Tap not the head of a nail to drive it, but strike it firmly with thy strength.
- Keep holy the first performance, for afterwards you shall party.
- Keep holy the last performance, for afterwards you shall party.
- Remember always that the TD is never wrong. If appears that he is, then you obviously misunderstood him the first time.
- Leave not the area of the stage during the play to go and talk with the actors, for as surely as you do, you will be in danger of missing your cue and being summarily executed or worse.
- Beware of the actors during scene changes, for they are not like unto you and are blind in the dark.
- Beware of actors when flying in walls, for they will stand and watch and get crushed.
- Take not thy cues before their time, but wait for the proper moment to do so.
- Take pity on the actors, for in their roles they are as children, and must be led with gentle kindness. Thus, endeavor to speak softly and not in anger.
- Listen carefully to the instructions of the Director as to how he wants things done – then do it the right way. In the days of thy work, he will see thy wisdom, give himself the credit, and rejoice.
- And above all, get not carried away with the glow-tape, or thy stage will be alike unto an airport.
Words to the Techie
Remember always that thou art a techie, born to walk the dark places of the stage, and know the secret ways of the equipment. To your hands it is given to mold the dreams and thoughts of they that watch, and to make the stage a separate place and time. Seek not, as the actors, to go forth in the light upon the stage. For though they strut and talk and put on airs, their craft does truly depend on you, to shape the dreams that they would show.
Remember also that although they depend on you, you exist only to aid them. Remember that thou art a team, and that thou shalt party together.
My friends, be not deceived by false deluding actors masquerading as techies. Remember the signs by which you shalt recognize a true techie: they prefer the darkness of the wings to the light of the stage; they move softly during scene changes, not stumbling or falling; they are silent backstage and are aware of what is happening; they can speak with knowledge of tools; they do not tap with a hammer on a nail, but strike with force to drive it; they respect one another’s jobs and aid where they can, they do not just stand and watch.