"But I Will Figure It Out!"
Monday, August 16, marked the opening of CSDC’s 2021-22 class year . . . and the first sessions of our popular Technical Theatre classes.
As is tradition, Technical Director Alfy Valdez began the afternoon with a scavenger hunt. The students look for three things: fire extinguishers, first aid kits, and exit doors. “It is very important for students to find the safety equipment on their own,” Alfy says. “They will remember their locations much better than if I tell them where they are.” More than that . . . it’s fun! The new students (three in Monday’s class, two in Thursday’s class) get to know the building through their own self tour.
Training continues with instruction on lifting heavy boxes safely and setting up and climbing ladders properly. Then the returning students train new students on the use of the light dimmers, sound board, spotlights, and fog machine. Alfy explains, “When I have older students train new students, it teaches them responsibility and builds confidence. They also learn how to troubleshoot and solve problems about the equipment in the training process.” During Thursday's class, the two new students got in on the act by training each other – and they created videos with these instructions.
Alfy’s students are not allowed to say, “I don’t know how!” when asked to do a job. He teaches his students to use a “tool” he calls Operation WART Speed:
W – watch and observe
A – ask (someone who knows)
R – research (Google or YouTube it)
T – trial and error
“When our tech students are asked to solve a technical problem,” says Alfy, “their mantra is, ‘I don’t know . . . but I will figure it out!’”
And this starts right away. Already in the second week of class, new Monday students Samuel and Frank built new steps for the stage. New Thursday students Shiloh and Devon installed new wheels on the truck dolly and hung the projector without any instructions – they just used WART.
“My kids have loved working behind the scenes in theater, making sets come to life,” says Holly Dunn, a CSDC mom. “One of my boys wants to pursue a career in theater and video production because of his experiences at CSDC. It has broadened their horizons and exposed them to new worlds.”
Not every student will leave us to pursue a career in the theater world. But whatever is in store for their futures, CSDC’s “techies” have acquired skills and habits that God will use in any endeavor they undertake.