Why do AV Technicians wear black?

(Video transcript) Hi. Paul Donovan here from AVTechnician.ca Thanks for watching my channel. This is the channel where we're giving tips and tricks to AV technicians and those who would like to be an AV Technician.

Today I'm going to ask the question, "Why do AV Technicians wear black?" Like me! That's a very interesting question.

I've got a couple of pictures here to show you to help you understand. In Japan there's a form of puppetry called "Bunraku".

Bunraku is a form of puppetry where the puppeteers themselves are actually visible. Unlike the puppeteering we see here in North America and Europe where the sticks are way up above the screen and they are manipulating the puppets from above and the puppeteer is out of sight. But in Japan, in Bunraku, often times the puppeteers are visible. Sometimes the main puppeteer is just in his kimono. But you will notice that the secondary crew are covered in black, as you can see in these photos. What makes this work? It's an amazing thing that when you wear black you turn invisible. Did you know that?

We wear black so we can stand out, right? Wrong. The whole purpose, the primary purpose, is to make us invisible. When we are on stage, say working in the theatre and we're in the back stage area behind the curtains, the audience can still sometimes see the black area that's behind the curtains. If some of the crew is wearing coloured clothing and comes to the edge of the area (stage) they might be seen and be visible and be distracting to the audience. When you are in the theatre business often times the crew will wear black. They just disappear.

Same for us in AV. We are not really doing theatre, but we are always visible to the public, to the client, the delegates of the meetings. So as a result we want to try and blend in and become invisible. This is why we wear black.

Doesn't your face turn white, well we do, but there's a limit..... We're not into the Japanese puppetry things where they cover their heads as well.

We have to remember that we do this so it's very easy for us to disappear, to blend in. It's amazing when people see us wearing black, especially with a company logo on it they view us as a technician, and it's like a cue to someone that this is a technician, as opposed to one of the members of the audience. Many times I've done events where I walk up with the black shirt on and right away people know who I am without even looking at a name badge, or even guessing. I don't even have to introduce myself, because I'm wearing black I must be a technician.

We wear clothing that is black because we wear everything black. Whether it's a shirt, a t-shirt, or a polo. Well I wouldn't wear a t-shirt, but some AV technicians will wear t-shirts. Or it can even be a button down shirt, dress shirt that is black. Quite often if you are working for a company they'll give you a shirt with the logo emblazoned on the chest or sometimes right on the back of the shirt. Which is sometimes nice. We also want to wear black pants. We also wear black pants that can be in the form of black jeans, cargos, or even dress pants. You want to wear clothing that is loose and comfortable. If you are just a show operator you probably not doing a lot of bending down and lifting of equipments. You could wear a dress black pants. But if you are doing a lot of work on the setup, on the crew with hoisting equipment, you want to try and keep pants that are much looser for you and very adaptable for what you are doing.

Shoes are dependent on the type of work. If you are a show operator you should wear a proper black shoe. It doesn't have to be a dress shoe, but you should wear black shoes. I have seen operators wear black sneakers or a black canvas shoe.

Whatever it is the idea is to wear black If you haven't gotten the idea yet, we're wearing black -- yea! There are a few exceptions to the times when we might not wear black. Sometimes I've seen the staging is setup with a very white scenario. They might as the crew to be wearing white, or at least a white shirt. Its all about blending in.

Sometimes you will do events where the company or the client might ask that you wear client-based uniform that matches you with other members of the staff who are wearing the uniform. In that case you would wear that uniform.

In more formal environments, say working an awards banquet (like the Oscars) You might be dressed a little more formally, possibly in a suit and tie. It all depends how much you are going to be visible to the audience and to the public in general.

That's very important for your quality of service and your professionalism. The original question.... Why do AV Technicians wear black? We wear black to disappear.

This is Paul Donovan from avtechnician.ca Please check out our website at www.avtechnician.ca. Subscribe to this channel to keep up with what's happening in the world of AV technicians. Thank you for watching.

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