New Member Nine: Beth Rand

May 30, 2024

New Member Nine Beth Rand

Help us welcome one of our newest Professional Members, Beth Rand of CruiseTechies! Get to know Beth below.

1. Why did you become a member?

Because I’ve always wanted to be. I’m not giving any excuses as to why I haven't until now. Why have I always wanted to? In order to connect with like-minded people, who value the wide variety of benefits of a tech theatre education.

2. How did you get your start in the industry?

I got started in my high school theatre. I was lucky enough to go to a high school that had a 900-seat theatre, which was run like a roadhouse – drama productions, school events, and outside rentals. I was a lighting technician, and we ran the lights on a huge dead front board stage right! The student crew were paid, we were mentored and supervised by professional technicians, and there was a Theatre Manager overseeing the operations. To this day I base my concepts of how high school theatre operations should be run on that model.

3. What's your most memorable industry experience so far?

Mentoring a high school student in lighting design for a couple of years. We would finish each other’s sentences! He went on to study lighting design at university and he became a better lighting designer than I was (!), but I could still see my style and techniques in his designs. Although he never ended up going into the industry, everything he learned in tech theatre he applied to his life, and we are still the best of friends to this day.

4. Why are you passionate about the live entertainment industry?

The privilege of being behind the scenes. At one point in my life I worked in the construction industry – when someone walks into their newly built house, they have no idea what went on to make it exist. The same with a production. The audience doesn’t know what is going on behind the curtains, all they see is the magic. I call non-theatre people “Muggles” – they don’t know how the magic works.

5. What's your favorite piece of equipment to work with?

To be honest – a two-scene preset light board with conventional instruments, where you are directly physically manipulating light. Pushing buttons these days and programming robotic instruments does not teach a student about what light “does”.

6. What's your "artist's mission statement?"

Under the umbrella of personal safety, student-focused learning, and facility conservation, I endeavor to provide real-world experience for all performing students, and vocational training for Tech Theatre students, in order to maximize the success of students’ school events, develop students’ characters, provide students with transferable personal and career skills, and to allow teachers the freedom to do their jobs, as well as provide technical supervision and assistance to outside events, so that funds acquired can directly support the operation and maintenance of the theatre for educational use.

7. What Advice do you live by?

“Now!” As an undergrad at university one day I couldn’t get a bolt loose on a lighting instrument. A grad student – with whom I am friends to this day – said that I should say “Now!” as I pushed on my wrench. It worked! When the going gets tough – just command better!

8. What inspires your work?

Students! The whole raison d’etre of my two businesses, PRESETT and CruiseTechies, is to empower teachers to empower students.

9. Who would you most like to connect with?

Jean Rosenthal. Alas, I can only read her book.

Bonus: What's your best tech week survival tip?

Compartmentalize! You can do it all, but only one thing at a time. Don’t let the other things collapse into the thing you are currently focusing on.