Tech: The Hardest Working Crew in Show Business


Courtesy of Creative Commons

Juliana Solano Uribe, Reporter

Pres does a great job of offering a variety of extracurricular activities to appeal to the interests of all of its students. However, though its mission is to be inclusive of all, some groups still don’t often have the chance to shine under the spotlight. The theater’s tech crew is one such group that often goes under-appreciated for all the hard work they do.

The theater company puts on many shows throughout the year, and its tech crew is vital for all these shows to run smoothly. They are in charge of lighting, sound, costumes and all things tech. Without them, theater production would not be possible.

The Voice staff interviewed Hannah Martinez ‘19 (Stage Manager), Holden Curtin ‘20 (Projection Designer), and Sela Nequist ‘20 (Deck Crew) to gain more insight into how their experience in tech crew has been.

Tech crew members come from all levels of experience and are allowed to join at any time during their high school careers. They are given the liberty to choose what shows they work and just how many. Holden Curtin ‘20 has been teching since their sophomore year, and Hannah Martinez ‘19 has teched since her freshman year, doing shows at her own leisure.

But they all start somewhere, and every interviewee had a unique story of how they first got involved in tech crew. “I had been attending the summer theater program for a few years, prior to attending Pres. Once I got into Pres, I started doing technical theater because I realized I was not that great at acting,” Martinez ‘19 remembers. Holden recalls, “My older sister had done tech for a while and inspired me to try it out too. Once I did my first show, I knew I wanted to stick with it.”

After their first glimpse into the world of tech, they all soon realized that it comes with its very own charms; there is always something for everyone to enjoy. Sela Nequist ‘20 says, “My favorite part about being a part of tech crew was that everyone I met was really sweet and funny, which allowed me to make a lot of new friends.”

Curtin ‘20 agrees, “It is great for practicing leadership and problem solving. You have to come up with solutions to issues on the fly and make sure the show runs smoothly. Tech gives me an opportunity to work hard on a project and have a lot of fun while doing it (even if we mess up).”

Having a close relationship with your team is important, especially in tech crew. Due to the stressful nature of their work, a good group of people who can work well together is needed in order to persevere. All the interviewees noted tech was like a big family.

Just like any team, special rituals to go along with working any show are important to techies. “We usually have a sleepover at someone’s house before a show. We eat a bunch of food and stay up all night watching movies and talking. Then, before shows, we doordash a ton of food,” says Stage Manager Hannah Martinez ‘19.

Everything is not always so easy though, as tech crew members have to find a way to balance all their other obligations along with the hours of work spent on stage. Martinez ‘19 says, “I try to manage my time as much as I can. It does get difficult at times, but I find a way to make it work. If it is something I want to do, I have to put in the time to make it happen.”

Sometimes, these obstacles make some techies want to quit, but the love they have for the work they do convinces them to stay. “At first, I didn’t like being bossed around, and all the pain of moving heavy sets was a lot. However, there were people who supported me through the whole process. Once I realized it was actually a fun gig, I knew I could not give up that easily. It was definitely worth it in the end”, says Martinez ‘19.

Just like they have favorite shows, there are also certain memories to always remember. “When we were all backstage in the dark, we would make faces across the stage behind the curtains to each other”, says Martinez ‘19. “All the inside jokes we told with our friends and the other techies were the best,” says Curtin ‘20.

Tech crew is an amazing extracurricular to get involved in, and techies offer their advice if anyone is interested in joining. Martinez ‘19 says, “Join! It is a great opportunity to make new friends and learn a whole lot about management, direction, organization, efficiency and so much more.” Curtin ‘20 says, “If you have the time, do it for sure, because it is a really fun thing to spend your time on.”

Be sure to check out Pres’ theater production of Hamlet and see these amazing techies in action! They truly are the hardest working crew in show business.