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yaka August 9th, 2008 08:58 AM

lighting technicians
I am still in college, but I am a lighting designer. I graduate next year and want to work on a cruise ship. I know that they have new equipment and many shows. How difficult is it to get an entry level job on a cruise line doing this. Is it 12 hour days? Any and all comments are welcome. Also advise on which cruise lines are the best.

sz August 9th, 2008 09:26 AM

if you get the chance, check out the forum at backstagejobs - in the "getting work" section, there's a thread going about cruise ship tech work.

Lighting techs are a needed commodity! you do need to be able to program quickly (my line uses Hog 2 & 3's) and be able to bench and repair any fixture in your rig.

Can be a 12 hour day or more if a show or cast is getting installed - or a tech heavy act comes in, but I'd say 6-8 hours is more the norm if your rig is in good condition.

"Best" lines? That's subjective . . but the 'big' lines generally have the latest in toys and gear and the older the ship, the more you need to be up on repairs. Many techs will go for a line where they can get a cabin to themselves (not sharing with another)

yaka August 9th, 2008 06:26 PM

Thanks for the info. I don't have any experience with hogs. Will they train you onboard? Also, I am female. Do you think this would hinder them from hiring me?

sz August 9th, 2008 08:18 PM

They don't really 'train' you from scratch onboard - you get at the most 1 maybe 2 cruises to learn the gig (sometimes less if whoever was before you left suddenly . . which happens. RCCL does send techs to Hog training before they sign on a ship if they have a decent background in intelligent programming or experience already. Onboard training will be more safety and 'corporate' - they assume you already know the gig going in.

or I just found the below - an old job description from my line (covers light and sound, so a bit wierd). It's also good to know show control basic concepts and signal flow of timecode to all the automated lights/scenery/sound as that computer is normally in the lx booth. Some lines might have a separate 'show control' person though.

don't let this dissuade you - it's good to know what's expected of you going in! Design skills are not as important as programming and repair. Productions shows onboard have already been designed, most traveling entertainers may have been on the ship already, so their show's already in the board, or they just hand you the set list and 'looks' they need.

I think about 25% to a 1/3 of techs coming in are female - I started out as a sound tech (and a girl ;-) and haven't had an issue - as long as you know your stuff, you'll be OK

Must have a minimum of six years working in Professional Theater.
· Education and or comparable work experience in technical theater audio
engineering and or lighting design.
· Must have working knowledge of automated audio, lighting and show control
systems, i.e. Euphonics, SSL, Yamaha, Etc. Whole Hog, Dataon and Richmond
NT/Amiga System.
· Must be computer literate on Windows NT, Word, Excel and Lotus Notes.
· Must be able to troubleshoot, manage and maintain all aspects of audio, lighting
and show control systems.
· Must have working knowledge of major theatrical rigging systems, PLC and
PC systems.

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