Stage safety

Posted In: Performing

  • Participant
    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #184704

    A rolling stage prop was accidentally kicked into my harp riser by a singer placing his foot on it during rehearsal. If I had not caught the harp, it would have been knocked into the percussion section, which would have caused a domino effect of thousands of dollars of damaged instruments. Not only that, the singer could have been injured. In hindsight, I should have asked the stage manager to make sure that the prop had chocks behind the wheels. I had noticed it and wondered how safe it was. So, never take for granted that the stage is safe for the harp if there are objects near it that are on wheels. Any other horror stories that could be instructive and possibly save someone from a disaster?

    jennifer-buehler on #184755

    Yikes. Glad everyone was safe!

    David Ice on #185000

    I recently had an accident onstage. The stage had a jet black matte finish, and there were set flats onstage, where the floor sections were also painted the same jet black matte finish. It was poorly lit, and I did a header over a protruding floor section of a flat. I hit my head on a chair and nearly knocked myself out, and also really banged up my left shin. Fortunately there were several medical people in the orchestra and I was immediately surrounded by concerned colleagues who wanted to call paramedics, but I refused.

    What was so ironic about all this was that it was a Halloween concert, and we were all in “zombie” costume and makeup. It was impossible to tell if my bloody bruise on my forehead and torn clothing was part of the act or if it was real! And even my confused shuffling on/offstage looked like part of the gag.

    The down side is that I wound up with a MRSA infection on my leg–that’s one of the antibiotic-resistant staph infections. I nearly wound up hospitalized a month later when it ran out of control. Fortunately there was ONE antibiotic that would work, and fortunately I had insurance. My Walgreens prescription statement said, “Your insurance has saved you $4,688.19.” For 28 pills! And I had to get a refill! Egad, I could have bought a small harp for that! But it sure beats losing a leg!

    Dave Ice

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #185341

    Wow, David, that is terrible! In our province, we have stringent Work and Safety rules which are set by the Workmen’s Compensation Board. An orchestra would be in a heap of trouble if someone got injured because of poor stage settings and bad lighting like what you describe.

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