The people that work behind the scenes deserve more recognition


Ethan Glick photographed by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Ethan Glick, Entertainment Editor

When it comes to entertainment, those behind the scenes are so often overlooked. The actors get the most attention, with directors getting the second-most recognition in the business. If I asked you to name the lead visual effects artist for Avengers: Endgame without looking it up, you wouldn’t have the foggiest idea who it was, and yet most of the movie was visual effects. My point is, without these people, there would be no movie, no show and no entertainment, yet they get the least amount of recognition. In live theater you get the cast pointing at you and a paycheck, and that sums it up. In an effort to shed light on the level of work and effort that goes into the behind-the-scenes production of a show, I sat down with Tualatin High School theatre’s lighting designer and the stage manager for our previous production of Little Shop of Horrors, Senior Aryana Dekhordi.


What is the most challenging part of your job(s):

“Probably time management or organizational skills. I have to be there every day during rehearsal to learn the show, because I have to know it like the back of my hand, and while I’m doing that, I also have to be playing the background music for the practice, and while I’m doing that I have to be watching it and thinking of lighting things, and while I’m doing that I have to be thinking about writing down cues for set changes. Once I have the design, I also have to be teaching the new lightboard operator. It’s just so much to keep track of, and I think time management and organizational skills play into that.”


Do you think you get enough recognition for what you do?

“I think people think that what I’m doing is really cool, and they know it’s important, but I don’t think the actual difficulty of the job itself is recognized. People will be like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s so cool she’s doing all these things. Like, she’s the stage manager and we know she’s important and we love her,’ but then it’s like nobody really knows how much work goes into it. So I think I’m appreciated, but the work I’m doing is kind of going unseen a lot of the time. Like, ‘Oh, who’s putting the green room back together after rehearsal. It’s clean every day.’  That’s me, and no one really knows that or cares about that.”


What do you wish people knew about the job?

“It’s long hours. It’s really a lot of time. Like so much time is put into it. I’m there Monday through Friday for every single rehearsal. I’m there early, I stay late, I’m staying the long hours that are there for stage managers, while staying the long hours for light design, while staying the long hours that are there for techs in general. It becomes my life. My life becomes totally consumed by it. My work schedule is totally based around theatre, so even my own personal job comes second to this. You have to put a lot of time into it.”


Well, that’s all folks. If there’s any takeaway from this, I’d say that there’s so much more that goes into creating your favorite movie or show. So the next time you go to a film or see live theatre – stay for the credits, maybe take the time to read the program, and give the tech crews the respect they deserve.