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Production Glossary & Common Terms [funny] - Vol. 1

Are you new to event production? Have you been listening in on conversation and feel like you're way outside of some inside joke? Well, here's a short list of some of our trade & colloquial terms we often use, their meanings, and their actual meaning.

"Best Gig Ever!"

"Worst gig ever!"

"We only want to do this 'twice' once!"

"First we do it the Producer's way, then we'll do it the right way."

Setup Blacks

Black pants, black shirt, black shoes - the entire right side of a stagehand's closet.

Show Blacks

Black slacks, black button-up shirt, black shows - the other side of a stagehand's closet.

Dress Blacks

Black slacks, black coat, black tie - balled-up in the stagehand's trunk or in the back of their closet.


Mammoth-size road case filled with every tool ever used, adapters for every connection ever invented, every custom contraption ever imagined, food menus from every city ever visited, Basically, the workbox is a 500 pound security blanket on wheels.

Gack Box

A large rolling case full of random crap we couldn't fit in the Workbox.


The only tool you won't find in the workbox (but you will find it in every lighting tech's pocket.

Left-handed or Metric C-Wrench

See "Flux Capacitor"


Also known as electrical tape, which is a pressure-sensitive, non-conductive insulating tape useful for binding looms, cable stress-reliefs, identifying microphones, minor first aid, marking bad gear, fixing loose latches, dressing speaker stands, resealing lunch containers and holding open crash doors. Sometimes also used for insulating cable.

Gaff Tape

A heavy cotton tape with strong adhesive and tensile properties, used for everything else.

Flux Capacitor

A fictitious piece of gear that the veteran stagehands will send novice stagehands in search of. Other such goose chases involve the Cable Stretcher, the Left-handed C Wrench, the Metric C Wrench and The Skyhook [editorial note: there is now such a thing as a Sky Hook]


"I'm done listening to you."

"Copy that"

"I'm really done listening to you now."


"Now I'm done talking to you too."


"Aww Shiiiiiit!" [duck & cover]

Wash Up

Smoke break before lunch

Lunch [break]

Smoke break and nap time.

Coffee [break]

Smoke break and a snack cuz we slept through lunch

Bio [break]

Chance to sneak out for a smoke before you run to the bathroom.

"Make it safe"

"Drop what you're doing, we're outta here!"

Hollywood Half

30-min lunch period [on-the-clock] and a client-provided meal - commonly used to bribe or coerce a stagehand into staying on-site (since very few lay faith in a stagehand returning from a walk-away meal on-time).

Working Lunch

Some sort of sandwich, unidentifiable wrap, a slice of pizza or similar meal that may be consumed with one-hand - perfect for talent rehearsals, late-running shows, poorly planned load-ins, production schedule overruns - one of many solutions designed to avoid the fearsome 'Lunch Penalty.'

Lunch Penalty

A mythological creature that mommy & daddy producers tell baby producers about to frighten them into scare into eating their vegetables, making their beds and finishing their production schedules. Few stagehands claim to have ever seen any such thing.

Paper Tech

A production run-thru meeting that hardly anyone pays attention to.


A production rehearsal where it becomes evident that no one paid attention during the Paper Tech.


Nap time

"Standing by to stand by"

Nobody has a clue what to do next.

"Show Crew To Headset"

"Wake up"

"Client On Comm"

"Client is listening, so everyone pretend that's how it's supposed to look."

Well that's a wrap for today (meaning we're done). But stay tuned for Stagehand Glossary Vol 2.

1 Comment

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