Why is it these days everybody wants to use microphones. Even in plays people are asking to use microphones. I am seeing this more and more with school productions. The teachers are wanting to mic up the performers so that they can be heard. I find a couple of problems with this, first of all it can sound really strange when some child’s voice comes booming from the pa and some other child that is not miked sounds meek and insignificant, this is because the school cannot afford to mic each performer. The worse thing that sometimes happens is a Teacher/Director will say to a technician is “can we have a few mics on stands to pick up the kids voices”, now this is not an easy task, and sometimes requires special mics that most venues will not have in stock. And if you use your stock of SM 58’s for the task, as the Teacher/Director knows you have some and they have seen them used everywhere, so you set them up and everybody complains that nobody but the strongest voices can be heard. Or the schools hires a few radio headset microphones, but not enough for all of the main characters, so the headsets get swapped around. Now this can be an okay practise ass long as someone is in charge on the radio systems in the wings, and that is all they do. That way the technician knows that the same cast members will always recieve the same mics. Not like what has happened to me, which the mics were dealt out in any order and I had to sort out on the mixing desk which mics where being used and by who. And also operate the lights as well, since most venues I work at only put one tech on due to the client baulking at the cost of having 2 techs – but that is a story for another day. Of course we try and educate the client in the use of mics and the fact their show might improve if they used more mics. But in drama it boils down to voice projection and the lack of it. Musicals I can sort of understand, you need to get the voice louder rthan the band in most cases, but even in the early days of musicals the performer could sing over the orchestra. So what happened to teaching voice projection as part of the drama course. This will not only help them on stage but will be a useful skill later in life if they have to speak in public or use their voice a lot. Projecting and using your voice are very important skills in theatre. It is no good emoting and acting if no-one can hear what you are saying. So if teachers are going to stage productions they need to work on the projection side as well as the acting side.