Lighting Op (LX)
This position goes without too much explanation really but we can break it down into component parts of the job.
Firstly the design: the lighting designer (often either the LX or TD) has to liase with the director and produce a diagram of exactly where each lantern will hang, what it will point at and what colour it will be; this can be edited and developed at the directors request.
Next comes the rigging and focusing - most people can be taught to do this quite easily. All you need is a good head for heights and the ability to follow the designer’s plan.
Then comes the lighting programmer (often the designer or operator): they need to know how the board, the dimmers and the cabling is set up, and they are responsible for connecting the right lanterns with the right desk channels and programming each scene whilst working with the director. This stage sometimes happens during the tech-rehearsal but it is much better to sit down beforehand and work through the show (as actors get very bored and very annoying while you are pausing to program scenes!)
Finally, the operator: you sit in a little box and press buttons at the right points during the show (usually when the SM tells you to). In smaller productions you may be responsible for following your own script and getting your cues right. If everything goes to plan, no experience at all is needed to do this job but as soon as something goes wrong you need to have a good understanding of how the board works in case you need to perform the rest of the show manually using the sliders. This position has a wonderful feeling of power as you recreate each scene in front of the audience at the touch of a button or snap to blackout and cause raucous laughter.
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From Sunday 30th Oct
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