phantom_full run

The cast and crew of CLOC’s Phantom of the Opera have been working hard this past week, with the production  coming together fantastically!

Acts I and II are now fully blocked and running through with ease, with fine tuning continuing for some of the more detailed aspects, such as making sure the cast’s microphones are tuned correctly and that all crew members who will be onstage have appropriate costumes to blend in with the action.

It seems bizzare that it is only one more week until bump in commences – I can barely wait to get into the theatre and start perfecting this amazing production!

Ticket’s for CLOC’s The Phantom of the Opera can be purchased here.

phantom_act i block & run

The cast and crew of Phantom of the Opera came together for the first full block and run of Act I today, to astounding success!

The complex labyrinth scene, the multiple quick scene changes, and the (organised) chaos of the phantom’s various hauntings of the Opera Populaire were all negotiated with minimal fuss and outstanding precision.

I can’t wait to do it all again tomorrow!


phantom_first crew rehearsal

Technical rehearsals have commenced for CLOC’s Phantom of the Opera, and I can barely express how excited I am to be involved.

Tucked away in CLOC’s warehouse space, the world of Phantom is taking shape – a magnificent modular bridge arches across the space, amongst moody floating candelabra pieces and a majestic full sized entrance to the Daaé family mausoleum, ominously concealing the Phantom’s secrets.

After reviewing our assigned positions and the multiple complicated floor plans, the sizable and energetic crew were eager to have a run through of the technical challenges we will face together. We were particularly thrilled to have a practice run of some of the scenes, including maneuvering the bridge and floating candles out to create the entrance to the Phantom’s labyrinth, and fitting together the grand staircase that will open Act II with the opera company’s masquerade.

We also took the time to discuss the OH&S implications contained within the performance, as there will be multiple safety considerations throughout the practice and performances. The team reviewed the safety audit together and discussed the seriousness of some of the potential hazards, such as the use of pyrotechnics during the Phantom’s various escape scenes, and the very strict requirements in using replica guns during the performance’s final climactic sequence.

With our full run sheets for bump in already prepared, I can hardly wait to get rehearsing and do all of these amazing staging and set pieces the justice they deserve.

Some photos of the fantastic staging and costumes that have been completed so far can be viewed at CLOC’s website, here.

Tickets for the upcoming Phantom performances can be purchased here.


NMIT may be on it’s first term holiday break, but the show(s) must go on!

Technical rehearsals are commencing this week for CLOC’s Phantom of the Opera, with the large crew team becoming familiar with the set  pieces and the many different changes required.

Preparation also continues for the upcoming Elvis Live in Concert tribute, with performers being fitted for costumes and musicians fine tuning the musical numbers.

As the saying goes – no rest for the excited theatre technician!

award_nmit study grant

I am absolutely thrilled and humbled to have been awarded one of NMIT’s Open Category 2013  study grants.

I focused my application on the very tangible benefits the grant would have for my current study and ongoing career. Practical items such as safety cap boots, tools and the all-hallowed Gaffer tape will put me in a prime position to accept any opportunities that may come my way and be ready to go immediately.

But looking further ahead, it will allow me to accelerate the development of my personal business ideas and ongoing professional opportunities. I will now be able to afford to gain membership to professional industry bodies, opening up opportunities that I would never have had access to before. I hope to use this access to increase my networking and start creating connections that will help get me ahead as my study continues.

I would like to sincerely thank the sponsor of my particular grant, Flashlube Pty Ltd, for investing in NMIT students’ future. I would also like to thank Robert Hails, my wonderful program co-ordinator for his support in my application, and my technical supervisors Tom, Shane and Graham for their unending wisdom, advice and inspiration.

debrief_nmit live music

5 April 2013_1 off show

Head Stage Manager – NMIT Live Music Performance

Yarra Edge Music Centre

This week’s performance platform was a fantastic variety of several ensemble groups preforming with guitar, vocals, and the Balinese gamelan. We had several challenges for the stage management team this week, including the performances occurring in two separate spaces (outside on the grass, then back inside the theatre), and the lack of a prearranged run-sheet of performances which meant we were kept on our toes all day. This was also a departure from our usual format of staging individual performances – this week the focus was on each of the 7 ensemble groups as whole units, instead of supporting focus for only one performer.

Starting outside in the beautiful sunshine of the NMIT campus, we were treated to a Balinese gamelan performance, where a collection of different drums and chimes are played in various rhythmic harmonies to create an amazing, ethereal, multi layered cascade of music. The stage managers then coodinated the audience return to the theatre, and set about determining the following acts.

The guitar ensembles performed next, with each group having to be coordinated in real time due to the lack of a run sheet to rely on in prompting us who was due to perform in which order. The stage management team was required to keep very constant communication open with the performers to ensure that everyone was where they needed to be ahead of time.

Finally, a wonderful a capella chorus ensemble bought another challenge into the mix, beginning their performance by entering through the FOH doors instead of the usual stage doors. This required quick communication with the bio box updating them of the new lighting requirements, allowing them to make good use of the followspot to draw the audience attention to the new focal point of entry.

I absolutely loved being in the role of Head Stage Manager for this performance platform. It was so different to the performances we have managed so far, allowing both the stage management and lighting teams to face new challenges, and come up with new novel solutions that we have not yet faced before. I also felt I developed a higher level of professional relationships with the performers – by having to manage them closer than usual, and remind them of stage management rules such as restricting them from tuning their guitars in the green room, I felt we reached a level of professional respect that I had not experienced before.  The lack of a run sheet kept us all on our toes and through concise and regular communication, we formed a tight knit team which easily overcame any issues that arose.

debrief_nmit live music

15 March 2013_1 off show

Lighting Operator – NMIT Live Music Performance

Yarra Edge Music Centre

As part of the lighting operation team for this week’s live music performance, I was able to assist with the design and realisation of the artists’ lighting requests during the show. Some artists had provided us with performance plans, noting what lighting effects they wished to use and assist us with  creating the right feel on stage for their particular pieces of music. Other artists did not produce a plan, so we were required to interpret the appropriate lighting for their performances in real time as they played.

By using various mechanisms during different performances such as programming different feels onto sub-masters, and using the chaser effect, and considered use of the followspot we were able to create interesting and effective lights depending on the mood and the requests of the performer.

My favorite experience was interpreting the last minute request of a band who had bought some of their own effects, such as a smoke machine and strobe light. Despite never having heard the song before, and not having the opportunity for a technical rehearsal, I followed their 1-page of typed instructions live as they were performing. At the crescendo of the music, a heavy rock song, I had to time a complete blackout to perfectly coincide with the blasting of the strobe light – an effect I pulled off perfectly, resulting in the surprised cheering of everyone in the audience (and all of us in the bio box as well!).