THEATRE TECH WISHLIST:
Cool Gear for Backstage, Your Toolbag, & Scene Shop
I’ve got some new theatre tech items on my radar, and I definitely wanted to share them with you! They’ve made my wishlist; see if they make yours…
1. Canary Corrugated Cardboard Cutter
I use corrugated cardboard in a lot of my prop making because it’s a material that I can get easily, and it costs me nothing. When I saw a Youtube video of the Canary Cutter, I was absolutely blown away! It cut through a cardboard box like butter. Its serrated, double edged blade is safer for handling than a box cutter and has the ability to cut shapes with ease. Where has this been all of my life?!?
2. Bundling Supplies
a. Beadle Wraps
These guys are like zip ties, but reusable. You can bundle cords together with them and then use the second notch to create a loop to hang the cord up or attach another cord. They’re inexpensive and oh so handy!
Gear Ties are like giant twist ties, good for binding together cords or other equipment, or even for securing items in place. For example, you can use it to hold your flashlight or phone in place. They’re a lot sturdier than the bungee cords that I typically use. I would keep several of these in my tool bag.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly a new item on my wishlist, but I’ve always thought it would be handy to have some large laundry baskets like the ones they use in hotels. Our theatre always seems to have an influx of costumes either ready to be washed or ready to be put away. This one is on wheels, easy to maneuver, and comes with a cover. These would be nice to have one for drop or drop cloths in the scene shop as well. (Plus, it could be a handy place for exhausted stage managers or directors to hide and nap!)
4. Vocal Booth
The Studio Series Vocal Booth Flex Edition would be awesome for blocking out background noise for those times when I need backstage vocals during a show! I know that my stage manager would certainly appreciate them. They don’t take up as much room as a walk in booth, which would give me more room for storing large set pieces in the wings during a show.
Who would’ve thought that you could purchase an already thought out, put together, and ready to use stage manager’s kit! This easily portable kit is set up in a tackle box, with lots of areas for organizing everything you might need for cast and crew during rehearsals and shows. Yay, what a time saver!
I have used these aerosol can triggers before and can attest to how awesome they are. If you’ve got a lot of spray painting to do, these will help you from getting trigger finger. After a while, it becomes difficult to keep pressing the sprayer; it can be downright painful for anyone with arthritis. The squeeze trigger takes care of these issues.
8. Portable Tool Storage
All technicians need a place to store their tools on the go. Here are a few of my favorite portable storage systems which won’t leave you hunting for loose tools anymore!
This definitely isn’t an ordinary tool bag. It has 39 pockets to keep your tools organized and a molded base for stability. The front also sports a hard, molded pocket to protect your safety glasses. The bag is made of 1680D ballistic weave for durability, has shoulder straps with extra padding and handles for easy carrying, and comes in black with orange and silver accents.
This heavy duty job site bag is more than meets the eye. It is made of extra strong ballistic polyester fabric, comes in black,and boasts six compartments with 50+ pockets for multiple tools (see-through holders, sleeves, stretch loops and pockets of all sizes).
The Stanley portable tool chest has detachable containers with a handle on top and on the sides for customized storage options and as well as carry only options if desired. The top detachable tool box has a drawer and one hand operation latch, 2 drawer storage unit with shallow and deep drawer and bottom flip bin with back pocket for long tools storage (saw & level), allowing for versatile organisation for various sizes of tools and small parts. The aluminium telescopic back handle allows for easy elevation and can be lowered for storage. The drawers feature heavy-duty ball bearing slides, offering a quality drawer sliding system with better grips and locking mechanism. The heavy-duty 780mm wheels allow for easy on-site maneuverability. This rolling workshop measures: 86.6 x 48.8 x 34.8cm.
9. Clipboards & Portfolio’s
Okay, I’m a sucker for a good clipboard or portfolio, and I’ve found two that I absolutely LOVE!
The clipboard case secures your paper while storing other documents and supplies in an ergonomic clipboard box with carry handle. It’s perfect for anyone on the go, has flexible security bands holds tablet firmly in place, four internal compartments, and with a strong clip to keep everything secure inside. The LED light is removable. It is made of plastic, measures 11.8 x 2.2 x 16.1 inches, weighs 1.5lb, and runs on 4 AAA batteries required (included).
Next up is Dewalt’s amazing Contractor’s Portfolio which comes equipped with a flexible light. It is made from ballistic poly material with Sure- Grip spine provides strength and durability. It has a built in calculator equipped with solar and battery power for quick, accurate calculations. The full zipper closure helps keep your script, notes, and other documents secure while sleeves and pockets hold business cards, credit cards, pens, pencils, markers, and highlighters. The spring clip that can hold writing pad up 8-1/2″ x 11″. It measures 13″ x 10″ x 1.5″ and comes with 2 CR20136 batteries.
I’m always on the lookout for cool gadgets that will make my life easier. Whether your’re tech savvy or not, these items are sure to come in handy in the scene shop (and some would be great even for those not in tech theatre). Which of these cool gadgets will you be adding to your collection?