I had been working FoH on and off from age 17 and in the middle of my A levels!
My fist LX job, which has continued through the good, the bad and the bizarre!
Congratulations @supertrooper , have you been exclusively a follow spot operator all this time? Always at the Prince of Wales Theatre? What were your favourite shows to work on ? Incidentally I saw that South Pacific production at the Prince of Wales, plus I can appreciate the skill and effort that goes into your work , having had a very brief experience myself at follow spot operating , at the heritage open day at the Plaza Theatre in Stockport . I hadn’t realised that you not only follow the action on stage, but written directions as well .
Look out, here comes a tonyloco anecdote on follow-spotting.
When I was regular pianist at the Theatre Royal, Stratford East, for their monthly Sunday Night Variety Shows in the early 1980s, we got all sorts of different acts to top the bill. On one occasion, the whole of the second half was given over to a sort of cabaret spot by Pat Kirkwood, who was then in her 60s and semi-retired but considering making a come-back and the show at Stratford was to be a sort of try-out. She brought along her own musicians and as producer she had the legendary Robert Nesbitt, who was particularly noted for his skill at lighting. (Famous anecdote: a member of the ensemble in a Royal Variety Show at the Palladium is asked to stand a bit further upstage. "Oh no" says the boy, "I can't move. I've been lit by Robert Nesbitt!")
The whole ambiance at the Theatre Royal in those days (and probably still is) was very much an informal affair with enthusiastic locals working on the shows doing front of house, being stage hands and such. During the band call on the afternoon before the show, the rather frustrated Mr Nesbitt was trying to arrange a stage setting for Ms Kirkwood's act and at one point he called out into the auditorium: "Where is the follow spot operator?" to which a voice replied: "She's just nipped out to Tesco's in the precinct to do her shopping. She'll be back soon." Well, that's how they do theatre in the East End, and as far as I know, Pat Kirkwood was never heard of again.