I have come to the conclusion that theatre technicians and venue technicians in particular are really there to teach clients about the processes of theatre. We often have clients that have very little or slightly dodgy understanding of theatre , its processes and some of it traditions. They have the impression that it all happens like magic and that anything they ask for can happen in a minute or 2. They don’t realise that at times that things can take a while to set up. You might get a statement like “can I have spotlight on that person now”, unfortunately that cast member is not in the path of a spotlight and you say that to the client. And one of the reactions is will can you bring one up and then you go into a discussion about the fact that you can re-focus a light on that cast member but it will take a bit of time. some people do not realise that some of these tasks will take time and that it is going to eat into the time that they have in the venue. Must not also not forget about the programming of lighting and audio consoles. You set up the show to run smoothly on the consoles and the client wants to change the order of the show as you are running. It becomes interesting, very interesting.This can lead to conflict and a few upset people including you.
So a way to overcome these sort of problems, is to sit down with the client and educate them in the way you work and the way the equipment and venue work. You need to explain that somethings are going to take a bit of time and that there are going to be a time when they cannot make changes to the show. They are going to appreciate that you take the time to explain the way of the theatre with them. This is just another part of customer service. It will make your job easier and it will make it easier on the client.