Winter 2018

Chris Hines

Live Tapings Keep Hines on His Toes


Staging two live shows a week during seasons of The Voice is par for the course for stage manager Chris Hines, but it's no easy task. "The thing that makes it especially challenging is that it's a huge production and I'm constantly having to monitor all of the elements," he says, noting that the live shows can require nearly 100 crew members and elaborate set changes onstage that must fit into a four-minute commercial break.

As an added difficulty, sometimes a pre-taped segment for a future show is filmed around the live show schedule. "You've already got crew, you've already got audience," says Hines, "so the issue becomes shoehorning that into our day." Recalling a pre-tape of a Jennifer Hudson performance, Hines was candid about the complexity of managing everyone's time. "I have to gauge where she's at, [and] everybody has to be OK with this huge time crunch because we have to get that shot and struck before our live show starts."

Communication is key during the show since anything can happen, says Hines, "so we've got to constantly [be ready to] improvise what we're doing minute by minute, act by act."

(Photo: Tricia Noble)

At Work With

Short profiles of Guild members in all categories sharing their experiences at work.

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