Category: Articles

I am Gareth Lewis

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

So back in the last few months left of college I decided I wanted to work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival as a Technician.

Edinburgh Fringe Festival is known as the biggest arts festival in the world and attracts people from all over the world for either work or for the entertainment.

What I didn’t know was when the festival is on their are also other festivals that go on such as The Edinburgh Book Festival, the Edinburgh International Festival and The Edinburgh Military Tattoo Festival.

The Edinburgh Fringe takes part in almost anywhere you can think of in the city of Edinburgh, From Theaters, Pubs, Bars, Hotel Rooms, Streets and also peoples bedrooms.

I applied to several different companies and must of had at least 4 or 5 different companies contact me throughout the time before the festival, one which I even had to drive down to Edinburgh just for the day for an interview.

In the end I was offered a job with TheSpaceUK.

TheSpaceUK have 16 performance spaces spread out at several different venues across Edinburgh and one of their venues last year was the busiest venues of the festival with more shows coming in and out of their doors than anyone else.

Before the festival I had to try and find my own accommodation, this is something I’ve never had to do for work before.

In the end I headed to a Theater Digs web page and was also pointed in the direction of a friend of a friends place which was being rented out during the festival.

It was in a prime location of only about 15 minutes walk to work every day, Usually this flat is hired out to people working at the Edinburgh Playhouse as its only a few minutes walk away.

So when I arrived I spent the first week building venues and getting to know the other members of the company and was soon thrown into tech rehearsals.

I then soon realised how much time we would have for each show.

Basically one show would start, then when it finished we’d have 5 mins for that show to get out and then we would have between 5 & 15 mins get-in for the next show which would involve patching new lights, gel new light colours, get set and props and set it up and open the doors so we can start the show on time.

This same process would happen all day for the duration for all the shows that were on for the day.

I worked between 2 venues, one being situated in a church while the other was situated in a hotel room.

most of the shows I did not operate but I was asked to operate sound and lighting for a few shows through the month I was there.

At the end of each week we also had new tech rehearsals as shows left and new shows came in (apparently TheSpaceUK are one of the few companies who let shows run for a short time at their venues) so after getting used to a routine of shows for the week it would then be all change again.

At the end of the festival I was also part of the Get-Out team which I helped at most of the venues (not just the 2 venues i was allocated to work at for the month)

I had an amazing experience and I’d love to be part of the festival again, Although I didn’t get to see many shows I did make a few friends in which i’d like to hope i’d see again during my career.

Edinburgh Fringe is something I’ve wanted to go to for a long time but for my first time at the festival to be a part of it was even better.

Such an amazing month away, now its time to head back to home and normality.

Thanks to everyone who made my time at the festival thoroughly enjoyable.

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Bellow is a list of the productions I worked on during the festival:

Jurys Inn

Venue 45

Certification

So after my month away I came back home to finally receiving my certification for my Technical Theatre qualification.

2 years I have been studying Technical Theatre.

I moved back to Cheshire 2 years ago to go back to college and better myself and get a qualification in which I can make a career out of, not just a job.

Recently I have been working on festivals and have been having an amazing time in doing so, none of this would of been possible if I didn’t choose this route that I chose 2 years ago.

I’m hoping I will be able to find more work now that the festival season is coming to an end.

Either way I’m pretty chuffed that I have finally passed my qualification in which I set to do.

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Sonisphere 2014

So this year I got the opportunity to be part of the Stage Crew team for Sonisphere festival.

I had a fantastic few days.

As I had never attended an out door festival let alone work on one the whole experience was new to me and its not very often I camp either.

My main duties while on the show was loading and unloading the trucks, building risers and transporting them on and off stage when  bands started and finished and then breaking them down to then go back in the trucks as well as setting up backdrops.

I met so many fantastic people and had such a great experience.

I even got asked if I could followspot for Metallica but sadly at the moment I don’t have a working at hight permit so this was an opportunity I had to miss out on.

Sonisphere Backstage 2014

Starting PAT Testing Training

So today I start I start my pat testing training.

So I have decided to bulk up my CV with some extra qualifications and one of those extra skills I have decided to take on is PAT Testing.

I feel this is a useful skill in several fields of work, not just Technical Theatre.

After researching about the course I decided to go against taking course at college and study the course at home instead.

Hopefully this won’t take too long and will be another extra skill under my belt.

Business Cards

So today I think I’m finally satisfied with my Business Card design, it’s taken me a long time to come up with something that not only matches my design to my website but something that I am also happy with.

Also over the last couple of days I have been editing the layout of my social media pages using a similar design and have also incorporated it into the logo of the main site so that everything matches.

I’m extremely happy with how my layout turned out on Twitter also.

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Alice Is Over

alice

So again, another show over.

After a week off from ‘Oh What A Lovely War’ I was thrown straight into ‘Alice In Wonderland: The Rock Ballet’ as sound operator.

When I took on this role, from day one in rehearsals I took it upon myself to start building my cue-stack in Qlab 3 so I could start building up my sound for the show.

As well as operating for the show I found myself  sourcing and editing most of the tracks for the show

One challenging edit I had was a track the director had requested and it had several curse words in it and there was no way I could source a clean version of this track.

Because of this I took it upon myself to try and edit it myself the best I could, I sourced an instrumental version of the track, edited the original version removing the cursed words and replacing it with with part of the instrumental track.

It actually worked pretty well and everyone was pretty pleased with it.

Other tasks I took on during this show was online promotion.

Because ticket sales were slow I took it upon myself to set up online promotion.

I managed to get the show advertised on chester.com, whatsupchester.com, The Cheshire Oaks Intranet System, as well as setting up and managing Facebook promotion.

One of the amazing things that happened with promotion was that I put the event on Stage Jobs Pro and remotegoat, One week after posting this the Stage Jobs Pro Newsletter that is emailed to every single member of the website featured our show in their Newsletter.

Because we had a live band, audio from a cue-stack and Radio Mic’s the show was run off two separate Roland V-Mixer’s, one running as a slave.

The rehearsal before the first show there were no sound team in apart from myself so I had to try and run it all on my own and no notes were left either for which microphones were used for which songs, Thankfully everything ran well though.

For the time we had and and all the challenges that were thrown at us during this performance as a production team we all pulled together and pulled off a pretty decent week of performances.

Member Of The Month

So today I received a tweet from Stage Jobs Pro.

I’ve only just started hunting for jobs properly as i’m coming the the end of my Technical Theatre course and even found out I can finish early and give jobs a 2 week starting notice.

Got my first tech interview tomorrow.

Fingers frossed I get something soon.


As well as this the following week I was features in their newsletter and so was the current production I am working on.

Busy Times During Alice.

With only a weeks break after ‘Oh What A Lovely War’ I have started work straight away on ‘Alice In Wonderland: The Rock Ballet’

I didn’t expect to be working on this show quite so quickly as I thought my role of sound operator was not needed so early.

On my first day back at college I attended my first rehearsals putting a cue-stack together in QLab, acquiring music from several cds as well as a few DVDs.

within a day I had acquired most of the music for the show and arranged it in some sort of order and have been editing audio of all kinds.

My hardest audio editing task so far has been to make a clean edit of an offensive song, luckily enough I was able to find an instrumental version of the track so I have tried to replace the offensive words with backing track.

Today all the sound equipment has been put in ready for rehearsals in the performance space today ready for cue to cue on monday.

I’m really happy with the way things are going with rehearsals even I thought that I would not be needed till much later and I feel as though I have been doing some sound design (which some night continued till 3 in the morning)

I think this is going to be an amazing performance.

Come Check it out at West Cheshire College from 7PM, 24th -27th of March
Ticket prices are £8 each, no concessions. Please call the box office on 01244 656500.

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