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Young Creatives Blog

John Crofts: Week One

Wednesday 24 February 2016

  • Feature

The first day of my Young Creatives schedule started by jumping straight into the action of PIAF. I started off at the State Theatre Centre helping out with the bump in of The Object Lesson. It was such a cool environment with all the boxes and odd props. I had fun discovering how it was planned to stick hidden microphones and speakers around in boxes and behind walls. There were also had a series of mobile phones hooked up to a network with remote triggers to play sounds in line with the script.

Next I got the opportunity to head over to the Perth Concert Hall in the afternoon to check out the set of Refuse the Hour. I was shown the amazing set, the fly rig and the troubles of finding the right rigging points to suit the stage layout. I was able to spend a while shadowing the sound engineer from South Africa and his intelligent ways of capturing sound from the most unique of instruments. The highlight was seeing the drum kit rigged in the air, all controlled from a sophisticated midi system.

Day two was back at the State Theatre Centre and the bump in for Within. We spent the day rigging four monitor speakers and their cables above the right and left side of the stage. We then patched in the loom cables for the stage and band microphones. Whilst we were setting up for sound, curtains and trusses were being flown in and out on the most incredible fly system I've ever seen. The amount of lights rigged on the bars was incredible too. It was an awesome day to see all this going together and was great to have the chance to go and see the show the next night. In all honesty I wasn't paying too much attention to the story; I was focused on how the setting up the previous day came together into this incredible art form.

Friday was the Welcome to Country ceremony with the PIAF staff and artists from the companies currently performing in the Festival. It was a different insight into life and the environment around us, using energy from our surroundings to uplift ourselves. It was fun to see some of the staff and artists get up to participate and express the energy they had. After this I got to head down to the Home site and have a look around at the setup getting ready for Saturday night. This was one of the biggest concerts I've helped set up for with four sound desks: one for sound effects, one for vocal and orchestra and another two for bands that swap so one can perform while the other is being patched in side of stage. The huge line arrays along with monitors everywhere had racks and racks of amps stacked up and hooked into the sound and monitor desks, six in total. Unfortunately I missed the event, but plenty of people told me how amazing it was, just like I expected.

On Tuesday we all got to go to Art & Motion at the Astor Theatre, learning about the culture and way of skating back in the day, starting with the snake run in Albany which had its 40th anniversary this year. Russell Howell told his story about how his skating affected his life morals and views, sharing all his best stories that were true eye openers. Russell is such a humble and caring bloke and was just great to have an insight into his world.

It's just the beginning of my experiences and I'm looking forward to the rest of the Festival!