CMU School of Drama

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Top 50 Terms Every Church Tech Should Know

ChurchProduction.com: The role of church TD has grown extensively over the years, Now a weekend service can rival that of a touring concert or Broadway show. With that growth, so grows the vocabulary a TD should know in order to interact with tours, rental houses, and church production team mates.

8 comments:

Kelly Simons said...

Um….excuse me? This list is preposterous, belittling, and just plain sad. “Here are the 50 terms every TD should know”. The first entry of this list is apron. Honestly? I would think that being a Technical Director, one would at least know the basic terms of theatre. Batten, Call time, Gaff tape? If you don’t know these terms as a technical director, then you shouldn’t be in this position to begin with. You’d think that any person who has worked even a single call at a theatre would know and use these terms. I don’t understand this article, or at least the audience it was marketed to. I wouldn’t be giving this article such a hard time if it has been named something like “50 Terms Every BEGINNER theatre technician should know”. I’m actually quite insulted from how stupid this article assumes I am, and I’m not even a fully fledged technical director.

Claire Farrokh said...

So this seems like an article that you would come across if you knew nothing about theatre or entertainment or any kind of live performance and you were lighting designing a church concert to help out and you found this. I'm not really sure why this is specifically geared toward churchgoers, since all of the information seemed fairly generic and basic. This is kind of more like 50 Terms to Know in High School Theatre or something where people don't know what they're doing. I also never really understand the articles that are posted about church and working tech for churches. Do churches have crazy intricate performances? I thought they just sang and did services and then had a small play at Christmas time. I didn't know you need a full theatrical team, and used terms like "call time" as opposed to just "time you should show up." I haven't been to church too many times so I'm no expert it just seems kind of weird. I could have definitely used this list before I came to Carnegie Mellon, as I had literally no experience in theatre. If someone said "apron" to me and didn't mean the cooking garment I would be immensely confused. I think this list is a good thing and definitely would be useful for someone who knows absolutely nothing, but I just don't get why it specifically helps church techs. Do churches have aprons?

Cosette Craig said...

A “seasoned A/V veteran wanting to stay current on the latest lingo” doesn’t need a list that includes apron in it. If anyone in a position of power has to refer to this list for information, they don’t know enough to deserve that a position of power. Also a lot of these aren’t even technically based. Why do I need a bunch of church TDs telling me that a “train wreck” is a common term for when shit goes wrong? This article sounds like some old mansplainer trying to look cool in front of a bunch of nervous youth group volunteers whose moms forced them to help the creepy church TD for community service hours. I also think that if you are going to make a list about building stuff that you obviously aren’t qualified to build, wouldn’t it be important to put things related to safety and actual knowledge rather than slang about things going wrong.

Taylor Steck said...

I agree with essentially what everyone above me has had to say about this not so helpful list of an article. I think that this would actually be a helpful cheat sheet of terms for freshmen in high school who have just joined the stage crew for their school's production of Guys and Dolls, but definitely not for a TD. If I rolled up to a carpentry call and my crew head had a list to tell them what the apron of a stage is then I probably wouldn't trust them with literally anything else for the rest of call. Also why was train wreck a word on this list? Why do American slang words belong on this list of technical theatre terms?To be honest I don't really understand why this article was posted on the blogspot at all in the first place. Perhaps Boevers just wanted to punk us. I know that I'm pretty bad at carpentry and am almost useless in the scene shop, but even I know that this article is a joke.

Megan Jones said...

When I saw this headline I thought that this article would have terms specific to church production, but it's just a generic list of technical theatre terms. I would hope that if you were going to get hired as a technician you would already know most of these terms, but I know absolutely nothing about the world of church production. When my family used to be religious the services we attended would mostly be pretty low-tech. Coming from a small town in Wales to a small town in New Jersey I have never been exposed to any churches that need a full scale production crew to run a worship services. My church in Wales didn't even have any speakers, just naturally good acoustics and a priest with a loud voice. Maybe the people who are going into church production come from outside of the entertainment industry, in which case I could see why this list would be helpful to them. However, I would be pretty concerned if I ever met a TD that needed a list of terms to learn the word "strike".

Ali Whyte said...

I know many people in the church community that could really benefit from this article. First of all, it is a decent lexicon of general technical theatre terms which I think are just good to know in general. Secondly, because so often the "church technician" is little more than a high school kid who didn't want to be in the choir but has been made to be involved in some way or even an adult member of the congregation that maybe worked with electronics and is thinking "Hey, how different can it really be?" Giving people a lexicon also opens up another resource to them: Google. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to find an answer about how to put a channel on a fader in a light board, but having to type "how to put light onto slide thing" or a similar nonspecific variation. By having these terms, people will be able to communicate effectively with others in the field and make their services the best they can be.

John Yoerger said...

What I found much more interesting than the actual terms this bullshit article is providing is the comments. Like, I don't understand why everyone is recking the article because I'll tell you what. Literally anyone can become the 'technical director' at a church. There is no union test. There is no degree. They don't make shit money. You can literally say something along the lines of "yeah I've used some power tools before" and get hired. So hell yeah it is nice if they know what an apron is, because maybe they've just been saying "come to the front of the stage" their entire life as they worked as a construction worker and a cash clerk before this gig. I'm not trying to generalize who has these jobs, but I can't imagine you'd see a Carnegie Mellon Drama graduate going to work in a Church. This position is also almost definitely not just about shop work in a Church as they're going to want someone who can help with the lights and sound too (you know, "technical"). It's a Church not a Regional Theatre. Chill.

Julien Sat-Vollhardt said...

There's this weird overlap our industry has with church and worship production that I find very very weird. There are a multitude of blogs and magazines out there, a number of which show up in the new blog, which treat preaching as a show that needs lights, dimmers, amps, with this article suggesting you might even need a generator to put on your church show. This rubs me completely the wrong way, and make s me feel like these churches are just selling a completely manufactured experience to their constituents. I have no qualms about producing manufactured live events because I do not purport to have a hand in steering other people's lives. The blogs I read seem to trivialize the act of preaching, of literally telling other people how to live their lives and what to believe, as casually as one might describe the running of a gig down at your local jazz bar. That is what makes me uncomfortable with these articles.

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