Coffeeshop Musing – Crewing a show

So, you want to help on a show? You want to help backstage on the crew with props etc. So before learning the skills required, we need to look at some essentials so that do not stand out. Well the first thing to think about it what to wear. Black is the correct outfit if you are appearing on stage moving props and set even during an interval or blackout. Another skill is not to speak loudly in the wings etc whilst the show is happening. Use a torch not your phone if needed, preferably with a bit of blue gel on the front. Rehearse all the crew actions, get it nice and slick whilst moving stuff on and off stage. If it runs smoothly and slickly the audience will accept it, even when done in full view. Likewise, don’t be seen by the audience peeking out at that them to see who has arrived. Also do not say hello to friends in the audience as you change the set or props, just get on with your tasks. The cast is relying on you to get everything in the right place every night. If you get distracted and do something differently you are going to possibly put the cast offside. These basic things are important, and you need to know them before you start to learn a whole range of tasks that are important for the tech side of the show. Recently I have seen transgressions of these simple ideas, it can be as exasperating. Nearly as bad as the audience using phones during a show.

The Mobile Phone Monster

Well this problem is making noise yet again. The sound of the phone ringing during a show. The audience has been asked by the Front of House staff to make sure their phones are off or at least on silent. Yet often we see someone scrambling through handbags and jackets pockets to silence the ring. All under the glare of fellow audience members and the cast and crew. Then they don’t put it on silent, they just reject that call. Had one the other night that rejected a call. A minute or so later it went of again, with the phone announcing to to the audience that “Sarah had left a message”.

Do we need to treat the audience like school children and ask them to put their phones into a bag at the beginning of a show, and they then can pick them up afterwards.

Surely after all of these years, and multitude of stories about phones ringing in cinemas and theatres, people would get the message. It also seems the older folk within the audience that are the worst offenders. It seems the teens and young adults have the message, but once they are over 35 they think this common courtesy does not apply to them. It nearly as bad as the continue to chatter as houselights go down and the first lighting cue comes up.

Maybe we need to publicly shame them on Facebook. A list shared throughout the land, to humiliate them in front of their children. so what should we do? Pain is not an option.

Showtools International expands offering with the acquisition of The Lighting Collective

Showtools International expands offering with the acquisition of The Lighting Collective

Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Showtools International Pty Ltd (“Showtools”, “Company”), leading Australian distributor and wholesaler of some of the world’s foremost professional lighting, staging and truss brands, has entered into an agreement to acquire The Lighting Collective (“TLC”).

TLC is an Australian based distributor and manufacturer of leading entertainment lighting and lighting console brands, some of which include GLP, Minuit Une, Portman, Smoke Factory, LED Blade, ApeLabs, Axalight, Spotrack, Light Shark and Avolites in addition to their very own TourPro brand, just to name a few.

As part of this acquisition, Showtools will take on the exclusive distributorship of TLC’s existing brands adding to the company’s current portfolio that includes Chauvet Professional, Eurotruss, Nivtec, Iluminarc, Doughty, Amphenol, ProCon, Stagetools and ShowCase.

TLC’s Managing Director, Dave Taylor and the TLC team will also bring their extensive professional experience, knowledge and expertise as both lighting distributors, designers and technicians to Showtools. As a result, Showtools will also be expanding their sales support network into Queensland, Victoria and Western Australian in addition to New South Wales. Led by Head of Sales and Business Development, Eli Malka, this committed team will drive to expand Showtools’ leading position within the professional entertainment lighting market, whilst maintaining the company’s unrivalled dedication to outstanding customer service.

“With a strong focus on growth and expansion, Showtools is also proud to add an exciting and inspiring collection of internationally leading lighting and lighting console brands to complement our existing offering. This, together with our expanded support network in NSW, QLD, VIC and WA, will present a more comprehensive and diverse offering to both new and existing clientele.” explained Robert Runko, Managing Director of Showtools International.

“We are also thrilled to welcome Dave Taylor to the Showtools team where his wealth of experience and skills will undoubtably be of great value to the company.”

For more information, contact Showtools International on 02 9824 2382 or email


Showtools International is one of Australia’s leading suppliers of lighting, staging, trussing, road cases and associated accessories. They are the exclusive Australian distributors of an array of world-leading professional production brands including Chauvet Professional, Eurotruss, Nivtec, Iluminarc, Doughty, Amphenol, Procon, Stagetools and ShowCase. With over twenty years of knowledge and experience in the industry, combined with a proud focus on performance and quality, the team at Showtools are passionately dedicated to providing high quality products at an unparalleled value to help deliver upon any desired client vision or goal.

The Humble Reviewer

They sit quietly in the audience with a stub of pencil making notes on the back of an electricity bill envelope or a small notepad if they get paid. That is the image most people think of with reviewers in mind. These days it does not seem so. They often arrive with their smartphone in hand glowing in the darkness of the venue making notes in the an app. You can often pick them out by glow of a small screen on their intent little faces. Often they are mistaken for naughty audience members. But is this fair on the audience sat around them? Recently I have seen this a few times during the Fringe season. Surely a few pencilled notes on the back of the program should keep things fresh until the show is over. They could write up more extensive notes in the foyer or sitting waiting for the number 9 bus.  Recently I have also noticed the odd reviewer doze off in the audience, and also drop things loudly on the floor, that woke me up. Also it seems that there is often not enough reviewers to go around during the busy season, so they get in a real estate copy writer or a sports jock to review a production. Can make interesting reading.

Yet there other reviewers who do the right thing, if only the newer breed would follow in their footsteps and understand the role of a reviewer.

Eventec has some exciting news to share

Eventec have been appointed the exclusive Australian distributor for Antari Lighting and Effects.

They already stock a vast range of Antari products and will now be stocking almost every model manufactured by Antari Fog Machine very soon.

We look forward to seeing the complete range of Antari machines in Australia soon.


Changes to the AESRG subscriptions
The good and the bad news. After launching 12 months ago subscriptions to the AESRG website have been slowly increasing. Unfortunately too slow to keep the Australian Entertainment Safety Resource Guide as a commercial enterprise, the costs of keeping the guide up to date and accurate far outpaced the income from subscriptions.
In discussions with CX Magazine and Julius Grafton, who supported the project from the outset, it was agreed that rather than wasting the time, money and energy that went into creating the AESRG, we would open the website to the world by removing the paywall. Hopefully this will assist the Australian entertainment industry in maintaining a safe environment for workers and visitors alike. That is the good news.
The bad news is that because of these changes I will no longer be able to update the website or the information it contains. Maybe in the future we can look at a different business model to add and update the chapters but for now it will be a status quo.

Thank you for your support in the past, share the information on the website and stay safe!

Kind regards,
Roderick van Gelder

Elation Protron Eclypse™ Hybrid More Than Just a Powerful Strobe Light

Elation Professional has merged hybrid with high-intensity in the latest luminaire in the company’s Protron line of powerful strobe lights. Elation introduces the Protron Eclypse™, a high-powered and highly versatile hybrid LED luminaire that can multi-function as a bright blinder, powerful strobe, high-output wash light or creative eye candy effect in one.

Following the development in moving heads towards more multi-functional luminaires, designers have also asked for effect lights that are more than a one-trick pony and the Protron Eclypse delivers. With flexible 4-in-1 functionality, the Protron Eclypse can fill multiple requirements in the rig on productions of all types while offering more bang for the buck.

With ninety-six 10W RGBW LEDs that produce an intense 37,000 lumens of power, the Protron Eclypse offers a full spectrum of color options, including high-impact white light, for a barrage of colored or white light effects possibilities. The fixture projects light at a 31° beam angle with strobe intensity, duration, rate and FX all controllable. A super-fast, adjustable strobe (1-25fps) produces the ultimate in rapid strobing effects and for added visual dynamism selectable 1-, 2-, 3-, 6-, 2 x 2, 2 x 3 and 2 x 6-zone pixel control can be incorporated for spectacular pixel-mapped and eye candy looks. The Protron Eclypse is fully dimmable down to 0% and a selection of variable dimming curves is provided for faster programming.

The Protron Eclypse comes in a robust housing for durable on-the-road use. Versatile rigging options include an adjustable/removable yoke bracket with 3-position mounting holes, ¼ turn omega bracket, and integrated interlocking pins for easy multiple fixture matrix designs. With an IPX4 rating for protection against water spray, the unit is also fit for temporary outdoor use. Barn door and gel frame holder accessories are available for added versatility.

The Protron Eclypse features a superior interface with control support from DMX, Art-Net, Kling-Net and RDM protocols. It offers all the savings in cost, energy and space that a hybrid solution brings including all the benefits of LED like greater reliability and less maintenance with less power consumed compared to conventional Xenon strobes for a lower cost of ownership and greater ROI.


For more information, contact:

Elation Professional US

6122 S. Eastern Avenue

Los Angeles, CA 90040


Tel: (866) 245-6726 (toll free)

Tel: (323)582-3322

Elation Professional EU

  • Junostraat 2.
  • 6468 EWKerkrade
  • The Netherlands
  • Tel: +31 (0)45 546 85 66
  • Elation Professional Mexico