Behind the scenes: On set with the Tech Crew 

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Last week’s FON performances brought about a buzz of excitement throughout the school. In the days leading up to FON, Harrisites could be seen dancing around in the hallways and lobbies whilst perfecting their last finishing touches in preparation for the upcoming shows. Behind the scenes ensuring the success of these performances is the Tech Crew, a team of students that manages the technological aspects of every school production. 

 The Tech Crew controls the lighting and sound of each performance as well as the microphones and equipment in order to make sure the audience is satisfied and has the best experience possible. This takes a lot of focus and dedication, as each individual member needs to fulfill their role in order to make sure the performance runs smoothly. The members have to constantly check on the soundboard and lighting equipment to make sure everything will work for the final performance, and spend hours working to perfect these details each day. On the day of the show, members have to stay the whole time and run the lights and sound for each performance, keeping in mind any other special effects requested from the directors. This means they have to familiarize themselves with the lighting and sound requirements for each individual performance. 

Manager of the Tech Crew junior Sanjna Nagah explained that they are also somewhat limited by the old equipment available to them. Due to school budgets, the equipment, specifically the soundboard, can at times disrupt a show. This has often resulted in criticisms from the audience whenever something goes wrong. “Sometimes we are not [appreciated] because sometimes things go wrong with our sound and light system that we can’t control,”she said. 

“Difficulties include trying our hardest to appease people who come to us with ideas on what they want for lighting or sound or music as those are important elements that we know directors want to enhance an overall performance,” added junior Alvin Zou. “We also encounter issues on real performance days such as microphones blowing out, missing batteries, spotlights not working, or missing our light cues.” 

Incidents from the past have harbored notoriety of the tech crew’s performance. “[An incident two years ago] made people think we are not aware of what we are doing, but this tech crew has made a lot of changes in leadership and management,” said light leader junior Alexia Mitchell. The Tech Crew has now evolved from this incident and is working to improve any future upcoming shows. They hope to pull off a spectacular FON performance this weekend as well as a dazzling stage for the upcoming school musical, The Addams Family. 

Despite their hardships, however, the Tech Crew remains a fun space for many of the members and serves as an unique bonding experience. Freshman Brian Judge said, “Being in the tech crew, I love that everyone is friendly. I have made friendships and have learned from everyone who has already had experience with tech – from the lighting to the sound system, I have learned a lot.” 

“The cooperation and teamwork is admirable,” said Alvin. “I love being able to work behind the scenes with people involved in a performance and to be able to feel as if I am part of something huge that I know the audience will enjoy.”