Sunday, May 15, 2011

Dear Ice Show Coaches

I totally respect what you do. I am in no way dissing or trashing your choreography when I say this, it's a simple fact of the space you're in:

Please do not send your skaters too far down past the Big Red Dots on the ice. Doing so makes it hard for the Followspots to hit them. The hard angle makes the Spots hit the audience instead, and few things are more annoying to a patron than being blasted with a spotlight.

Just be aware of how far downstage, er, down-ice your skaters are. The Followspots are the only specials the Ice Show has, so if the Spots can't get those skaters, they may not be lit much at all. The shorter the child, the bigger the problem. If the Tots wander too close to the Down-Ice boards, the Spots may just clip the tops of their heads. All those kids deserve to be lit, they work hard. Again, it's not a complaint or a "DO IT MY WAY" demand, just a Fact of the Space. From what I've seen, everything looks super cool and awesome and fun and great (considering the material), but just be aware of those two Big Red Dots.


- Skate Mom


  1. Nice reminder. At Winter Show, in the audience, I got hit with the spotlight for just that reason and was annoyed.

    For the adult number, we each get to do one trick of our choice. Now I realize my choice will run afoul of the lighting geometry since my trick (lunge into toe loop) has me nearly crash into the boards. Of course I was never sure that, even with good lighting, I would be visible because of the boards themselves. But I am not upset by these problems since being the star of the show isn't the goal; the point is to have fun.

  2. You're tall, you should be okay. The trouble hits when they go below 5'. I guess we'll find out soon enough!

  3. Not gonna happen. We send the kids all the way to wall or they run into the curtains. It's happened. The tots are a rule unto themselves. We teach then to "connect the dots" just like you ask, but they go where they go. For the high skaters, we've taken 20 feet off their usual jump patterns, so that they have to set up as close to the downstage edge as they can get.

    A better admonishment would be-- can we please remember not to set up lutzes so the skaters are skating directly into a blinding spotlight? This is always entertaining. Maybe sunglasses?

    Also you are totally going to take notes and write about the lighting disasters. I am looking forward to it.

  4. Hate to say it, but it's not the soloists I'm concerned about, it's the group numbers. It's really easy for a kid to get lost in the shuffle, being dark shouldn't add to their problems. I think the top goals here are; Have a Fun Show Experience and Pretty Pictures for Mom and Dad. Everything else is gravy.

    Don't get me started on people who complain that the stage lighting is too bright. Every skater needs to realize that every fixture has been carefully selected in order to cause maximum blinding and discomfort to the performers. And why worry about being in front of an audience you can't see to begin with? Sheesh.

  5. I've always wondered why we don't get fill and ground (foot) lights- every single other local ice show does this.

  6. Probably because you're maxing out your available power as it is. The only way to add more lighting would be to rent a little generator toss it out the back door and run the power inside. -OR- you could save power by renting color scrollers on your frontlight so they could all pull double duty on the color washes, so then you could free up power for some ground rows. Then the magic budget pixies will fly around and hit us all on the head with bags of cash.