'For me, the work of a technician is an art form in itself. Creativity is key in our job, whether that is building a floating pontoon on the River Thames that will hold the weight of a 120m long replica of the City of London skyline from 1666, that will eventually be set on fire, or building stages all over the world.
"For me, the work of a technician is an art form in itself."
The skill of taking an artist’s project and bringing it to life in an exciting and safe manner takes ingenuity, excellent collaboration skills, critical thinking and a whole lot of common sense. Very often wonderful artists will dream up ideas that are literally out of this world, a scene created in their minds and then it is our job as technicians to turn it into a reality.
"...what always amazes me is the friendship and camaraderie between technicians no matter where you’re from or what language you speak."
I have been fortunate to work in the industry for thirty-seven years, all over the world, from County Durham to Beijing, China and what always amazes me is the friendship and camaraderie between technicians no matter where you’re from or what language you speak.
I have had some amazing mentors in my time and now recognise how important it is to nurture new young talent to become multi-skilled technicians that can handle anything that’s thrown at them in the crazy world that is the entertainment industry. It is always a moment of pride for me, standing at the back of a gig and watching the audience enjoying the artist’s work, knowing the long, hard hours that we technicians have put in to make it happen.
"I want to encourage young technicians to persevere when times get tough. Congratulate each other on a job well done, and always take a moment to stand back and see the art yourself."
As a young technician, it can be hard when you start, trying to envisage why your job is important. There are many mundane jobs that require to be done; there can be long hours and very little sleep, but this is all part of the learning process. Each person and each job completed on any project become part of a greater whole. I want to encourage young technicians to persevere when times get tough. Congratulate each other on a job well done, and always take a moment to stand back and see the art yourself. Appreciate the effort you and the team have put in to create moments of happiness for others.'
To see how you could become a technician in the arts, check out our Technician stories
For more information about Artichoke’s projects, please visit its website, www.artichoke.uk.com