Working for Exposure

As the local arts festivals get closer and companies are busy rehearsing their productions, the “would you work for free” rears its ugly head. We see this every year; the cast is being paid and suddenly they realise that they need a lighting/audio operator, and they hope to get one for free. Exposure if offered as an incentive to them, exposure might create more work, but it does not pay the bills.
Now if the show is a true amateur production, everybody doing it for love and as a hobby, I do not have an issue with them have someone keen to do the lighting and audio. It is a great way for them to learn and the social aspects are great. But when it comes to shows where the cast are paid, either profit share or award rates, and they are expecting techs to work for nothing, that is totally wrong. This becomes an “us and them” situation. It is very demeaning to the tech who has spent and money learning their craft like actors do. Then they join a show and be the only ones not getting paid. They need to be on an equal footing, all getting something or all getting nothing.
There is a mentality among a very small minority of companies that techs are happy with just the acknowledgment. The concept of getting exposure is a falsehood. Exposure of this kind basically indicates that you are willing to work for free and you will most likely not get any paid work. It should be up to the technicians to decide if they want to offer their services for free, and that would be most likely to amateur companies. I have done the same, there is a couple of amateur companies I am happy to do the job for nothing.
These companies often use the line “we did not budget for someone, it was an error” or “we did not know we needed a tech” when they hire a venue. All venues would have this in the standard terms and conditions.
So, if you are a tech and they offer you a gig, for the exposure and fun, but everybody else is getting a cut – SAY NO

Adelaide Fringe 2021

So the Adelaide Fringe next year will look a lot different. A lot fewer acts, about 800 it seems compared to the usual 1100. This could mean more audience to see them, they won’t be spread thinly on the ground.. The Garden and RCC will be much smaller, with fewer venues. Does mean less work for some of the techs, hopefully only SA techs will be used in preference to any that travel from interstate to work. Let’s keep it really South Australian, and make it exciting. Audiences may be asked to buy the empty seats to help artists and venues. We will be at 50% capacity at least, though maybe it would be wonderful if this increased. The average 42% of houses are sold. So we just need the public to spend a couple of extra dollars and get it to 50%.

The only thing we don’t want to see is acts trying to underpay their support staff. Especially using the excuse that COVID has made it hard to pay techs etc. It is hard for everybody, but they all need to be paid. This is rare but it does happen. I have been asked to work for nothing as the exposure would do my career good. The answer was NO. I don’t think this artist will be in 2021 Fringe.

We all need to work together and make this a great Fringe. Small does not mean lesser. Let’s make it one too remember for years to come. Let’s tell our friends, family, and workmates to open their wallets and buy a ticket of 2 to see some great Fringe shows and remember the Fringe is all around the city, not just at one or two locations.

Bring on the Fringe and to hell with COVID.

Audio Magic Part 1

As an audience, we sit there immersed in the show, and the sound washes over us. The audio seems so perfect we don’t really notice it, as good audio should be. Why is the audio so good, surely it is just sound effects and music. This is the art of the sound designer, to build an audio track that complements the show and lifts it that extra mile.

So what is involved in making that magic sound effect. Often it is not just enough to record the actual sound and just play it back. Often a recording does not sound right. So why does it not sound right? and what needs to be done?

Often when we hear a sound we also have a series of visual cues that supplement what we hear, we also have the memory of sounds in our mind and we are comparing what we hear with this other data. So the audio designer will tweak the audio, maybe add some effects, maybe make a sound that sounds similar but works better.

Now if this sound effect is there to build a mood within the show. The sound designer might add various effects etc to set the mood. Maybe a drone underneath the show to put the audience on the edge. Or add unusual elements into the sound to trigger a response within the subconscious memory of the audience. This might be a sound that is discordant to the action on stage.

This is all part of the audio design. So how does the audio designer approach a show and decide on the the form of the soundtrack that will complement the directors vision.

First off, read the script a few times, get it under your skin. Next how preliminary discussions with the director on what direction they think the audio should go. You both need to work together and be on the same page. If it is going to be loads of conflict maybe it is not the right production for you to design. So once you have talked through with the director it is time to go back through the script and work out your basic ideas and lay down some basic tracks and effects. This will help to consolidate the ideas and hear what may or may not work. Then off to the director for their thoughts on the initial audio.

NEXT part – Music and putting effects together.

Double Standards

In South Australia, we are seeing the return of theatre. But only the state-run theatre company at a state-funded venue. It seems no other venue is really open, and there are no stage productions or musicals happening.

The main reason that some of the other venues are not staging shows is the fact we have the 1 person per 2 square metre rule and people need to stay 1.5metres apart. Okay, that does sound reasonable until you realize that the State Theatre production at the newly refurbished Her Majesty’s theatre is running at 50% capacity. That seems to works out to less than 1.5-metre distance and 1 person per 2 square metres. The audience here is arms-length from each other, sitting in a checker-board pattern.

So how is this occurring? Now some of the other venues can run shows at reduced capacity, but it is a lot less. The capacity works out at around 25%. Some shows might happen soon, but most are waiting for the time we can increase the audience numbers.

If you use the online calculator you can work out the area and the total number of people allowed into a venue, but staff are not included in this number. Theatre is a defined public activity and there according to the SA government website

The density requirement of 1 person per 2 square metres applies for Defined public activities. The maximum number of attendees at a place of business will be determined by its size.
These requirements apply only to patrons, not staff.

So why does there seem to be different standards for the various venues? Are other large venues around 500 seats doing the 1 person per 2 square metres and 1.5metre apart? Why does the state government not release any information on a way out for SA’s art industry? Why are they not supporting the Arts Industry, why is there not a visible Department for the Arts? As a theatre technician and lighting designer, I would love to get back to work, I would like to know what the roadmap is for our industry.

We have an audience waiting to return to venues around SA and the rest of Australia. If you read the Audience Outlook Snapshot you will see that there is a growing trend of people wanting to return to see live theatre. In fact, they seem to be comfortable id they could return to some of the smaller venues of under 250 seats. Though there have been some comments of people enjoying a little extra space to sit in. So that is one blessing. I have included a link to this document below.

So hopefully soon we will see each other in a venue near you.

Antari Lighting and Effects USA Releases Air Guard Line, Awarded FDA Registration

This could be very relevant to the Australian market. A lot of venues could use this devices to clean thier venues.

Antari Lighting and Effects USA, best known for its extensive lines of fog machines, has recently been awarded FDA Registration for its product collection of antibacterial fogging machines, Air Guard.

The Air Guard system vaporizes an area with sanitizing vapor. This vapor penetrates hard to reach areas, leaving a thin, non-residue, coating on surfaces for continuous protection that lasts up to two weeks.

The machines are used in conjunction with Air Guard FLE Antibacterial Solution, which effectively removes fungi, germs, viruses, dust mites, and even neutralizes bad odors. The FLE fluid is registered with the FDA as effective against SARS-CoV-2, also known as COVID-19. It has also been independently tested by accredited labs, such as TUV and Super Lab.

Air Guard was announced in late 2019 before the threat of coronavirus reached the United States and has since become a staple product for Antari USA, which has been shipping the products since March 2020.

“The Air Guard product has been incredibly successful for us, finalizing our FDA registration will serve to boost the confidence in our product as a means to keep oneself and their loved ones safe and healthy. Our hope is that our entertainment customers can find ways to use the product to keep themselves working in this difficult time,” said Ray Villasenor, Antari USA’s General Manager.

There are several Air Guard machines available for various applications from Automotive to Commercial Buildings, including the following:

Air Guard AG-20
The AG-20 is the first product under the Air Guard umbrella to feature a rechargeable battery to allow the machine to sanitize small to medium spaces when a traditional power source is not available. It’s ideal for tents, cars, boats, planes, and offices.

Air Guard AG-800
The AG-800 is effective in sanitizing small locations such as automobiles, offices, doctors’ offices, and more. It operates with the simple press of a button or using a wireless remote.

Air Guard AG-1500
The AG-1500 offers a high-outburst blast to spread fog and effectively and efficiently fill a room. This model is designed for medium to large spaces, such as banks, post offices, classrooms, nightclubs, and restaurants.

Air Guard AG-3000
The AG-3000 is ideal for large venues such as houses of worship, theatres, and conference centers offering fast and efficient results.

The Air Guard line of disinfectant vapor machines is distributed through Antari USA.

# # #
About Antari Lighting and Effects USA:
Based in California, Antari Lighting and Effects USA, is one of the leading manufacturers of entertainment products specializing in fog machines. Continually developing new products to meet customers’ expectations and with an emphasis on meeting important environmental concerns, Antari is committed to quality control and a hard-driving work ethic. For more information, please visit:

Antari Lighting and Effects USA
1247 Enterprise Ct.
Corona, CA, 92882, USA

Her Majesty – Gleaming again

Feels comfortable like slippers, but also has that nice new car feel. The “refurbished” theatre is a nice space. It feels like a new theatre but still hangs onto its atmosphere. From the old dressing room walls that were signed by visiting artists that have been re-laid as a tribute to the old Her Majesties as you come through the scene dock door. The number of seats has increased to 1500. The stage area is a little larger.

As we were reminded there is a bar on every level of the foyer. The foyers are rather beautiful, as you look up you will see a tintype ceiling based on the original tintype ceiling. There is plenty of wood used in the foyer and auditorium that gives a nice wall feel to the space.
Audience seating is wonderfully comfortable, and the view from the seating of the stage is great. Even on the second balcony, the view of the stage is particularly good.
All the dressing rooms are new, bright, and airy. The rehearsal room is well designed. There is a decent green room. Also, a wardrobe room with plenty of natural light, in fact, some of the offices for the production team have natural light.
There is a ton of new gear and future-proofing within the venue. Streaming ACN for the lighting which is driven by ETC consoles such as a GIO. These drive some 600 channels of Jands Dimmers. Each channel 2.4kW. The dimmer room is a fine example of cable porn, all the cabling so well done by the installers, it will be a dream to fault find.

Lighting is a mixture of fixtures, from ETC Lustre fixture and traditional incandescent fixtures. The bridges give a great coverage from FOH. In fact, from a lighting designers’ point of view the whole lighting set up is very versatile. I reckon it would not be that hard to rig your custom lighting design. Each patch point is hardwired to a dimmer.
The audio is also great. Sound is available throughout the auditorium. The main FOH is the Adamson Line array. Each speaker has a dedicated amp. The console is a Yamaha. Plenty of patching options are available.
Overall this is a great venue that SA should be proud of.

Even thought there were some folks not happy that it seems to be a new building with the façade retained, it is very worthy. Larger foyers, more and better seating and enhanced technical service and cast amenities it is up there with the best theatres in the world.

It may as well be Rocket Science to me

A director’s musing on lighting and audio
By Angela Short

When I was at Drama School in London, the “Turns” and the “Techie’s” were kept quite separate until the 2nd year when we had to do a Stage Management Module. It was like a kind of “Wife Swap” where we had to learn about “the dark side” and the techies got to be Luvvies. Prior to this I had no experience or knowledge of how this magical team did what they did. The idea behind this was so that since we would be out of work most of the time (they called a spade a spade at Mountview Conservatoire of Performing Arts) if we had the skills to be ASM’s or spotlight operators we would at least be able to pay the bills. We were also told that the only time of the year everyone should be employed was Panto season. If you weren’t employed in any capacity in panto then perhaps you needed to rethink your future. Sorry, I digress, but writing this has brought back a lot of memories.
I remember being Stage Manager for Panto in Chesterfield. It was Aladdin. We had a flying carpet and I swear I nearly had an aneurism 11 shows a week when the principal girl was clunkily raised up mid-song by hydraulics. It was after that I decided I was more cut out to be a Temp when I was “between jobs”.
Speeding forward 20 cough years later and I am directing as well as acting. This isn’t just being bossy to actors, as my husband thinks. It comes with a few more spokes in the wheel. One of those many spokes is Lighting and Sound. Well, that is two but both are still very much an enigma to me.
In Adelaide, there is a beautiful theatre on the grounds of Adelaide Uni called The Little Theatre (Picture a heart above the “I” as everyone who talks about it will give a little “ahhh” before they speak of it with such affection). It seats just 120 in a horseshoe shape. It has an onstage mezzanine level which is so versatile. I have been lucky enough to work with both Richard Parkhill and Stephen Dean separately at The Little Theatre. I first worked with Richard when I was in Much Ado About Nothing directed by Megan Dansie. We had grass on stage. Ooooh. That was cool enough but then Richard was able to create the ambiance of a summer’s day. And, I don’t know how he did it but it was actually an English summers day. In the same show, he created a dungeon for when the baddies were thrown in prison. It was believably claustrophobic and smelly. Same set, grass, but it didn’t look like it. Brilliant. Richard also lit Lettice and Lovage when I directed it in the same theatre. The first scene was an old falling apart National Trust property. It really did feel damp and cold.
I first met Stephen last year when Matt Chapman and I directed Seventeen for the Theatre Guild. Funnily enough we used the same grass. This play took place over 10 or so hours from 8pm on a summer’s night to dawn the next day, in Adelaide. This was beautifully done, with incorporated street and park sounds, seamlessly. The finale was the sunrise with a perfectly timed crescendo of music (a nod to Matt Chapman for syncing the actors with the music) with not a dry eye in the house.
For those of you who don’t know the Little Theatre the feet of the front row audience dangle over the edge of the stage. Both Stephen and Richard manage to almost erase them from view yet light the staircases, four of them, for action. As an actor the addition that audio and lighting make are huge, and yet all these years later I still don’t know how they do it. And do it they do and at the same time bring an unbelievable calmness and a font of knowledge, they share with ease, to the proceedings. I still don’t get that the actors prepare for anywhere between 8-12 weeks and yet once in the theatre, the technical crew are expected to put it together in a fraction of that time.
My father, an engineer, taught me to know my limitations. Go as far as you can but know when to call in the professionals. When I am directing a play I call in the professionals. Lighting and sound are, for me, just some of the “techie” areas I am in awe of. I prefer to hand over the play to the lighting designer to design. That is what they are so good at. Me? Well, between you and me, I still don’t know how to find my light. If I do…. it’s probably more through luck than skill. And so, I am grateful to those with the divine gifts to transform a little black box into something truly magical – the St Stephens and the St Richards of this world as I like to call them.

Elation KL Panel™ for broadcast-quality white or full-color soft light

Elation Professional has added a full-color-spectrum soft light to its KL series (Key Light) of broadcast-quality LED luminaires, the KL Panel™. Optimized for the color temperature-adjustable requirements of film and television, it is an ideal key and fill light source for any situation requiring outstanding performance and color quality.

Broadcast environments require bright and highly variable lighting of very high quality. The KL Panel™ LED soft light delivers with superior output, precise color temperature control, full-spectrum color rendering and an even wash coverage. Using a highly-efficient 295W RGBW + Lime + Cyan LED Array, the KL Panel produces beautifully soft white or full-color washes up to 24,000 field lumens at a 100° half-peak angle.

Color reproduction is also of the highest quality with a CRI over 95 while color temperature is easily adjustable from 2,000 to 10,000K for a wide choice of variable color or white shade projections. Additional color tuning is possible through a green-shift adjustment and virtual gel library.

Besides its wide spectrum of chromatic options, this dynamic soft light luminaire includes other useful design features like smooth 16-bit dimming all the way to zero and 16-bit selectable dimming curve modes for programming ease, as well as electronic strobe. Adjustable and removable 8-leaf barn doors allow for customized shaping of the beam for more precise illumination and less light spill.

The KL Panel is fully optimized for broadcast and film environments with 900-25000Hz LED refresh rate adjustment for flicker free operation. Compact and portable, it can be mounted on a stand or suspended using any standard clamp or the included Junior pin adapter. A rugged housing with impact-resistant surrounds and base plate ensure that the fixture can handle rough handling on today’s fast-paced sets.

Fully self-contained without the need for an external power supply, the fixture can be powered remotely through its integrated 4-pin XLR 24-36 VDC battery input (battery not included).
Professional control options include DMX, Art-NET and sACN. It can also be controlled manually using the included encoders and OLED display, providing instant control of intensity, color temperature, green shift and other settings. The integration of Elation’s E-FLY™ wireless DMX system allows for even more flexibility of use.

The KL Panel is energy efficient, consuming only 295W of max power, and offers other benefits of LED like greater reliability, a long LED life rating and less maintenance for a lower cost of ownership.


ADJ is pleased to announce the immediate availability of the latest addition to its popular focus series of led-powered moving head luminaires. The focus spot 6z has become the new flagship of the range, combining huge output with a comprehensive feature set to deliver a true lighting powerhouse. It is ideal for event production, rental and touring applications as well as installation in churches, concert venues and large nightclubs.

The Focus Spot 6Z harnesses the power of the latest LED technology, featuring a potent 300W cool white LED engine that offers a 50,000-hour operational life. This is paired with a precision-engineered, high-quality optical system to deliver extremely punchy output, allowing for sharp aerial effects and crisp GOBO projections. Offering 50% more LED power than the 200W Focus Spot 4Z and 5Z models, the 6Z has an output of 10,500+ lumens, which represents a significant step up for the Focus Series.

The Focus Spot 6Z is powered by a brilliant 300W cool white LED engine that produces vibrant, saturated colors and is equipped with motorized focus, zoom (9~28-degree zoom), Iris and two prisms. It is designed for temporary live events and fixed installations in nightclubs, stages or churches. It is professionally fit with two GOBO wheels (7 GOBOs per wheel), two COLOR wheels, each with 7 vibrant colors plus white, and 2 rotating/indexable prisms, (one 6-facet linear and one 6-facet circular). It also has two frost effects (heavy frost and light frost).

The Focus Spot 6Z has locking power In and out connectors to daisy chain the power, as well as 3-pin and 5-pin DMX In/Out to transmit a DMX signal from one fixture to the next. It also has RJ45 In/Out connections to control with Art-Net and sACN. There is a USB firmware update port built-in plus advanced control options such as 16-bit fine pan and tilt, multiple DMX control modes, and 6 different dimming options. The Focus Spot 6Z offers a robust light output in a lightweight, compact foot print (18-inch high and one 23 pounds).


Martin ELP LED ellipsoidal fixtures deliver the luminance, brightness and vivid color rendering that have been synonymous with the Martin name for more than 30 years. Martin ELP WW IP offers the industry-leading color rendering and brightness as the original Martin ELP WW but expands its versatility into temporary outdoor applications through IP65 compliance for moisture resistance and complete dust protection, along with C3 corrosion resistance. ELP’s ergonomic Danish engineering offers advances in lighting functionality that include the highly efficient gear-based Fine Focus—an industry first; and Fast Focus which allows focusing of the fixture without data flowing to it. ELP also offers 16-bit dimming with 4 selectable curves. ELP WW IP is available in black and white housing options and can be configured with one of four Martin static lens tubes in 19, 26, 36 and 50-degree beam angles, or a choice of two Martin Zoom lenses with choice of 15–30-degree and 25–50-degree range. ELP also offers flexibility in lighting design and inventory management through compatibility with third-party lens tubes along with a wide range of accessories including gel frames and gobos. Superior output, optics and color rendering, combined with robust protection from the elements, unparalleled ease-of-use and convenience, make Martin ELP the leading LED ellipsoidal fixture in its class.


Advanced Martin Optics Meet Cutting-Edge LED Technology
Martin ELP Ellipsoids feature optic assemblies designed in Denmark by the technology innovators behind MAC Encore, the leading LED moving light. Illuminate everything you want to light and nothing you don’t: The ELP is designed to maximize efficiency and deliver a flat field of illumination for smoother blending and mixing between fixtures.

The ELP WW IP delivers 7,000 lumens of output and an industry-leading 97 CRI at 3000K color temperature, for the truest color representation on any surface, and provides flicker-free operation for consistent light output on and off camera.

Classic Style With a Focus on Functionality
ELP WW IP takes a classic light fixture to new performance levels with a suite of innovative features. Our gear-based Fine Focus adjustment—an industry first—lets you lock focus exactly where you want it, instantly. There’s no refocusing, no drifting and no slipping. Our innovative Fast Focus feature brings the fixture to full output without data running to the fixture. Halation Color correction removes atypical blue and brown halos when using Martin lens tubes. Along with interchangeable lens tubes, fixtures offer 16-bit dimming with 4 selectable curves. Rugged enclosures are IP65 rated for water resistance and complete protection against dust and other particulates.

Danish engineering is all about efficiency and ergonomics, and ELP WW IP’s subtle details are no exception: We’ve placed the center of gravity as close to the yoke as possible for more comfortable operation. And, we’ve placed tilt knobs out of the way of framing shutters, to allow quick, easy position adjustments.

Expand Versatility With ELP Zoom Lenses
In addition to a choice of four Martin static lens tubes in 19, 26, 36 and 50-degree beam angles you can expand the versatility and range of ELP with Zoom Lenses in 15–30-degree and 25–50-degree ranges. The 6 lens optical design delivers unrivaled optical performance, providing the ultrabright output, unmatched flat projection and crisp focus of a static lens, with the speed and flexibility of a zoom lens.

Invest in the Future, With a Minimal Financial Investment
It’s never been easier to transition your inventory to LED ellipsoids: The ELP line fits common lens tubes and accessories, which means you can save money by using your existing gel frames, gobo holders and rotators and lens tubes.


  • Legendary Martin quality in LED ellipsoidal light fixtures
  • Advanced optics engineered in Denmark
  • Warm White light engine employs leading-edge LED chipset technology for high output and smooth LED blending
  • Impressive light output of 7,000 lumens (at 3000K)
  • Industry-leading CRI rating of 97
  • Fast focus feature for data-free focusing
  • Revolutionary Fine Focus gear-driven focus-adjustment knob locks in placement the first time
  • IP65-rated for water resistance and complete protection against dust and other particulates
  • 16-bit dimming with 4 selectable dimming curves
  • Compatible with universal accessories such as gel frames and gobo holders and rotators
  • Options include 4 static lens tubes and 2 zoom lenses with compatibility for 3rd party accessories
  • Halation color correction removes atypical blue and brown halos when using Martin lens tubes
  • Flicker-free operation
  • 4-blade manual framing shutters
  • Center of gravity at the yoke for ergonomic use
  • Tilt knobs positioned to clear framing shutters
  • Regulated cooling for ultra-quiet operation
  • 5-pin DMX/RDM and Neutrik True1 In/Thru connectivity

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