IATSE 470 STAGEHAND BASICS



EXPECTATIONS

♦ You are expected to be at the work site at least ten minutes before the actual "call time." This is to give you time to take off your coat, stow your gear, visit the restroom...etc. Call time is when you should be ready to start working, not the time you should be strolling in the door.

♦ Check in with the job steward as soon as you arrive. Also, be sure to check out/sign out with the steward at the end of the day. Your time card may not be turned in if you skip out early.

♦ You will be fined $20 if you are late to a job.

If you are more than 30 minutes late, you may be replaced on the call and might be fined. You will also be moved to the bottom of the call list for the next show.

♦ In case of emergency that will prevent you from working or will make you late for work, you must contact one of the following or be subject to the fines as listed above:

♦ The following infractions will mean IMMEDIATE DISMISSAL from a job:

  1. Coming to work intoxicated/under the influence of drugs
  2. Drinking alcohol or taking drugs on the job
  3. Unsafe work practices
  4. Stealing
  5. Insubordination

♦ The job steward will try to assign you to a department in which you are best qualified, but this is not always possible. Do the best job you can in whatever department you are assigned. Stay there until released by the steward or your department head. If you seriously feel you cannot perform an assigned task, ask the steward for re-assignment. Pride has no place in safety.

Turn your cell phone off!! You are there to work, not chat with friends.

Ask questions. Remember that more experienced stagehands are willing to help and answer questions. They may give you instructions if it seems necessary. Try to accept the advice in the spirit it was offered. They are not trying to show off or make you feel stupid ...they are simply trying to preserve your safety and help you learn.

♦ Please maintain a professional demeanor at all times on the job. DON'T AIR DIRTY LAUNDRY IN PUBLIC!!!!! This cannot be stressed strongly enough. Even if you think you are talking just among yourselves, managers and roadies can easily overhear your comments. Save the gossip and complaints for times when the management and road crew are not around.

♦ Be very careful concerning the comments you make about the show. Save all discussions of artistic merit until the load-out has been completed and we have left the building. Some roadies will agree with your opinion of the show, but many get highly offended if they hear derogatory comments. Let's be professional and save the comments for later.

♦ "Up riggers" are 85 feet over your head. LEAVE THEIR ROPES ALONE!! If a rope coil on the deck needs to be moved, ask the ground rigger to do it. Never stand on a rigger's rope, run a crate over it, pull it or tie it off for any reason.

♦ Don't assume breakfast, lunch or dinner is provided unless notified by the Steward.

♦ When you're released from your department at the end of a load-out you turn into a pusher unless told otherwise.

If a problem arises, locate the steward and allow them to resolve the situation.

There is a huge amount of additional information about our craft at our website: ia470.com. CHECK IT OUT!!

FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS

IATSE Local 470 has work dues of 5% of your paycheck. Our policy is to have have either the employer or a payroll corporation deduct this money from your paycheck. The 5% dues goes to cover administration expenses in negotiating our contratcs and keeping our office functioning.



SAFETY

♦ The number one rule of stagecraft is "SAFETY FIRST!" This is not the place to prove your machismo. If you have any doubts about completing a task, ask for help!! Even if you feel stupid asking for advice or assistance, ask anyway. Dumb questions are much easier to deal with than dumb mistakes! Remember that you are responsible not only for your own safety, but also the safety of everyone around you.

♦ Any injury must be reported immediately to the job steward. You may not be covered by Workman's compensation if the injury is not reported within certain time limits.

♦ Minor first aid is always available, but don't try to continue working if you are seriously sick or injured. This only makes things more dangerous for everyone around you. If a fellow worker or a member of the road crew asks you to do something which you feel is unsafe, report it immediately to the job steward. Don't be pressured to something you don't feel is right.

♦ Remember that when a forklift has a full load, the driver's field of vision is very limited. Get out of his way!

♦ "Heads" or "heads up" is the most important warning on the stage. If you hear this call, that means something is being lowered from the grid on a rope or baton, OR it could mean that something is FALLING from the grid at a rapid rate of speed. Be aware of what is happening around you at all times. If you hear someone yell "heads," it means look out! Do not stand under the loading rail whenever weights are being loaded or unloaded.

♦ If you will be working more than a few feet off the floor, you must observe special safety precautions. This applies to anyone working in any of the following areas: on the grid/rigging, on the load rail, on a catwalk, at the top of a ladder, focusing lights or anywhere else that there is even a chance of another person to be standing underneath you.

♦ Empty your pockets of ALL items unnecessary to the job. Leave your wallet and other personal items in your car or with a trusted co-worker (yes, some of us actually CAN be trusted!)

♦ Carry only those tools necessary for the job. Any tool carried with you must have a wrist strap or tether line tied to your belt.

♦ If you wear eyeglasses, buy a safety strap for them, even if you think it makes you look like a geek.

♦ Above all, if you drop something, yell "heads" as loud as you can so that your potential victims below have a chance to evacuate.



JOB DESCRIPTIONS

1) STAGEHANDS--
provide manual labor for the set-up and tear down of a show, as required by the crew chief. Once you have been assigned to a department, stay there until the job is done or you are re-assigned by the steward, stage manager or road crew.
a) When a task is completed, return to the department head for another task. Never stand around with your hands in your pockets or chatting with others.
b) If you don't understand your task, ask for clarification. It is better to ask for help so you can do it right the first time.
c) Be polite and professional.
d) The departments are as follows:
i) Electrics--set up/operate lighting instruments, spotlights, anything needing to be powered on the set.
ii) Sound--a branch of the electrics department deals specifically with the set-up/operation of mics, speakers and all other sound equipment.
iii) Carpentry--set-up staging, trusses, scenery, backdrops. The carpenter is in charge of a fly system, if used. During the show, the carpenter is responsible for any changing of scenery.
iv) Properties--this crew is responsible for set decorations and any hand-held items used by the actors during the show.
v) Wardrobe--work with costumes. Prepare them for use (hang up on racks, ironing, mending) and assist the performers to change costumes during the show.
vi) Video--set up video walls/sceens and projectors.
vii) Backline--assist with instruments.
viii) Pusher--pushes cases to and from loading dock to floor.

2) HOUSE ELECTRICIAN
This is a premium position which may also be referred to as the 'master electrician'. He/she performs the electrical hook-ups as required by the show, and is on the call as long as the electrics are hooked up. Other responsibilities may include spotlight and headset maintenance.
3) GROUND RIGGER
This is a premium position who's duties include providing all necessary support for the up-riggers. Must know basic knots and other rigging requirements. Responsible for the safety of the up-riggers. Must know the correct way to pack the rigging elements in the crates at the end of the show.
4) TRUCK LOADERS
A premium job at many venues. Duties include the unloading/loading of all crates from the trucks or bus. Loaders stay with the truck for the entire load-in. The work area ends at the bottom of the ramp.
5) FORK LIFT DRIVER
This is a premium position responsible for forklift operation as required by the road crew. Oversees the safe operating conditions of the loading area. Must have fork lift ready to go at call time. Know ahead of time where to find fresh fuel tanks, so tank changes can be made immediately. All forklift drivers must be certified.



CLOTHING

CLOTHING

  1. You are being hired to do heavy, dirty work--NO FASHION PLATES ALLOWED!! Wear something protective, yet loose enough to allow you to move freely. Don't wear valuable clothing as you will often get very dirty, and may even tear your clothing.
    Absolutely no profanity/racist or sexist material on clothing.
  2. Layering clothing is important during the winter. It may be -20 degrees while unloading trucks and 70 degrees after the doors are closed! In hot weather, shorts and brief tops are worn at your own risk. Remember that there are lots of rough edges and sharp corners just waiting for you.
  3. If you are working on the stage during a performance, wear ALL dark clothing, preferably black. Wear dark brown or dark blue as a last resort. If you will be seen by the audience, wear respectable attire.
  4. You are strongly advised to wear ear plugs at rock concerts. They are available aif you ask your steward.

JEWELRY/HAIR
NO dangle style earrings, necklaces, bracelets. Avoid rings whenever possible.

Restrain long hair with a ponytail, braid or bandana.



TOOLS

Everyone is expected to bring a few simple tools to every job. They have been broken down into required and recommended lists.

A) REQUIRED
Leather work gloves (not fashion gloves!)
8" crescent wrench with wrist strap or tether line.
B) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Steel toed boots
Pocket flashlight ("Mini Mag" style is a very good one)
Pocket knife
Sharpie
Phillips screwdriver
Straight blade screwdriver
Hammer
Tool pouch or fanny pack...you can carry a certain amount of tools in your pockets, but it is very helpful to have a pouch or bag.
C) SPECIALTY TOOLS
These are useful on specific jobs and are recommended only if you already own them. There is no need to buy them unless specifically asked to do so by a department head on a show of lasting duration.
WARDROBE
Safety pins needles
White thread and black thread
CARPENTER
Wonder bar
Tape measure
Pencil
Battery screw gun
ELECTRICIAN
Side cutters
Rag for spotlights
White grease pencil
Voltage detector ("tick" tester)



STAGE DIRECTIONS



Front of House (FOH)

NOTE: The black half wall that divides the floor from the stands is called a dasher.





BASIC ELECTRICS

BASIC CONNECTORS

<<== Stage Pin

Soca/Socapex ==>>

<<==3-, 4- or 5-pin Data Cable

Make sure the number of pins matches the number of holes before plugging in.

Camlock connectors IMPORTANT!!!
There is an order to the connection of these.
Know it before connecting!
<<== Cam-lock connectors

Rear panel of Dimmer rack ==>>

The order is:
Plugging in:   Always first ~ Green (Ground)
Always second ~ White (Neutral)
Any order ~ Red, Black and Blue (Hot)
    Unplugging:   Any order ~ Red, Black and Blue
Always second to last ~ White
Always last ~ Green

IMPORTANT!!!!

The Red, Black and Blue connectors are hot. NEVER, NEVER plug them in first.
Any questions??? ASK!


BASIC LIGHTS

<<== Par can

Leko or Source 4 ==>>

<<== Moving light or mover
    aka Verilight, MAC, etc.



BASIC EQUIPMENT

<<== Carabiner

R-clip ==>>

<<== Quick link

Round sling, aka Spanset
comes on varying lengths ==>>

<<== Shackle

Last modified December 29, 2008