Day in the Life: DJD Technical Director Cameron Clowe
When you take your seat in the theatre to catch the latest performance by DJD, like the most recently passes Dancers In Love, you probably don’t realize how much work goes into the production and ‘behind the scenes’ management to ensure every show goes off without a hitch.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Cameron Clowe, the Technical Director at Decidedly Jazz Danceworks, whose role is just that. Cameron has been with the company for five years, and in that time admits he’s been required to learn as much as he can about pretty much anything that could potentially relate to a show. Making his role what some might call a ‘jack of all trades’. Though he maintains the number one priority is ensuring the safety of the dancers and all who are involved with the production of the show.
It’s an exciting role that Cameron loves, and he’s up most days at about 6:30 am raring to go. He’s a self-proclaimed early riser, which helps. Cameron’s style is fairly casual –in the office he tends towards comfort; he wouldn’t look out of place chilling in a trendy coffee shop. But when it comes to being onsite for the lead up to an event, and during an event, his attire is all about durability.
A few key items that are a mainstay include Blundstone shoes (a stylish shoe with a steel-toe), a headlamp to see in the dark, a C-wrench for fastening lighting fixtures, and bolts etc, wireless communication, and his trusty Leatherman multi-tool. During a show his clothing will be ‘dress blacks’, which is required of all crewmembers.
Though everyday is vastly different, if it’s ‘show time’ Cameron is putting in a solid 14-hour day. It’s his job to take the vision of the creative team and put it into action – which includes set design and lighting. Leading up to the show Cameron and his team will be busy building sets, transporting pieces to the Theatre, testing everything in the Theatre, and testing again to make sure things work and look the way they’re supposed to.
Then it’s rehearsal where the production team runs through everything with the performers. As it’s live entertainment there is always a chance the show will have slight changes, so he needs to be able to anticipate these tiny nuances and have his team execute appropriately.
When it’s show time Cameron oversees the entire technical team, which includes lead Lighting, Audio, and Stage ethnicities, each of whom has a crew working under them. Cameron must make sure everything is done to specification.
When the show wraps up for the night, Cameron still needs to discuss the show with the creative team where he gets feedback and finds out what may need to be changed for the next evening’s performance. By that point he has just enough time to head home, fall into bed, and get some solid zzzz’s before the next 14 hour day.
We asked Cam where he sees himself in five years and he knows he’ll be working in this line of work. He’s heavily involved in the arts, theatre, and film industry in Calgary and will continue to hone his skill and expertise is this diverse profession.
Here are a few photos of Cam’s day during our Dancers in Love show.
Thanks for sharing your day with us, Cam!