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karuna

Stagehands or Performers?

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Props are now a very large (pun intended) part of DCI productions. They can create all kinds of interesting and engaging stages.  Cool. 

What annoys me is that for large portions of a show, members ( who spent countless hours becoming the most talented musicians and performers and spend a lot of money for the privilege of joining a corps) are now relegated to being prop pushers. They don’t get to perform;  they get to push monstrously heavy props all over the field and they break character to do it. Used to be you’d get dinged for breaking character. Now we see people putting their backs into it all over the field  I know these things are cyclic but I sure wish performers got to perform for the whole show.   You know — march well, play well, spin well?  God bless all those stagehands out  on tour.  

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3 minutes ago, karuna said:

Props are now a very large (pun intended) part of DCI productions. They can create all kinds of interesting and engaging stages.  Cool. 

What annoys me is that for large portions of a show, members ( who spent countless hours becoming the most talented musicians and performers and spend a lot of money for the privilege of joining a corps) are now relegated to being prop pushers. They don’t get to perform;  they get to push monstrously heavy props all over the field and they break character to do it. Used to be you’d get dinged for breaking character. Now we see people putting their backs into it all over the field  I know these things are cyclic but I sure wish performers got to perform for the whole show.   You know — march well, play well, spin well?  God bless all those stagehands out  on tour.  

and I almost posted something similar last night

has anyone taken a stop watch to the hornline at SCV? I can't imagine the tuba line plays much more than 5 or 6 minutes - other sections?

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6 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

and I almost posted something similar last night

has anyone taken a stop watch to the hornline at SCV? I can't imagine the tuba line plays much more than 5 or 6 minutes - other sections?

Their visual program is a bit of a bore honestly and the constant worshipping of the props throughout the show is part of it. They’ve mastered the art of staging but god is it boring to look at 

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6 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

and I almost posted something similar last night

has anyone taken a stop watch to the hornline at SCV? I can't imagine the tuba line plays much more than 5 or 6 minutes - other sections?

Kind of missing my point. I’m not criticizing any performers. 

If you went to a Broadway show, would it be ok for the actors to stop acting, hold up their hand,  change the set, and then pretend nothing happened?

Audiences wouldn’t stand for it. Neither would the performers. 

I hate being taken “out of the moment “.  All this prop pushing does that constantly. 

And im not sure it’s what these wonderful performers are paying  a lot of money for either. 

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58 minutes ago, karuna said:

Kind of missing my point. I’m not criticizing any performers. 

If you went to a Broadway show, would it be ok for the actors to stop acting, hold up their hand,  change the set, and then pretend nothing happened?

Audiences wouldn’t stand for it. Neither would the performers. 

I hate being taken “out of the moment “.  All this prop pushing does that constantly. 

And im not sure it’s what these wonderful performers are paying  a lot of money for either. 

I'm not criticizing the performers either. I'm saying they are spending time moving props instead of playing/marching. Isn't that exactly what you are saying?

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7 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

I'm not criticizing the performers either. I'm saying they are spending time moving props instead of playing/marching. Isn't that exactly what you are saying?

It is.  I just don't want to this to be taken as ragging on any specific show.  There are a LOT of corps engaged in Prop WarsTM.

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Just now, karuna said:

It is.  I just don't want to this to be taken as ragging on any specific show.  There are a LOT of corps engaged in Prop WarsTM.

yup - I was just providing one example, I love SCV this year. Most corps have props anymore and while effective (I enjoy many of them frankly - it adds variety to our performance theater/setting) they do sometimes become quite time consuming - even in regards to rehearsal for each rep (moving back) and daily construction and breakdown (2 times per day on show days)

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I agree, I was thinking at the Denton show that corps should get dinged if you can see the props being moved. Am I just supposed to avert my gaze or something? If you can't hide it, that's poor design, and corps should be penalized for it.

After San Antonio last night I put on Cavaliers 2006 just to show my wife how MM's used to be exposed for the entire 11 minutes without any breaks. No props to hide behind for minutes at a time. No perma-soloists who only come out 3 or 4 times to play and spend the rest of the show pushing props. The entire corps is on the field for 11 and a half minutes and is judged accordingly.

I definitely miss that.

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52 minutes ago, George Dixon said:

yup - I was just providing one example, I love SCV this year. Most corps have props anymore and while effective (I enjoy many of them frankly - it adds variety to our performance theater/setting) they do sometimes become quite time consuming - even in regards to rehearsal for each rep (moving back) and daily construction and breakdown (2 times per day on show days)

They are effective if we pretend we don't see a bunch of performers stop performing,  gather round a prop,  push it 25 yds,   and then start spinning or playing. :doh: It's BAD ART !!  And it robs performers of time spent PERFORMING!  

If you need stagehands, convince a bunch of kids to pay $4000 to ride around in buses and move props every night.  What?  You wouldn't be able to find such kids?  Hmmmm....

Ok rant over. 

Edited by karuna
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Sometimes the prop movements bother me, sometimes not. If this, like other things that can be annoying, are either rewarded or not penalized by judges, then it’s just part of modern DCI.

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