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Posted: 2/15/2006 8:27:38 PM EDT
O.K. listem to this. A friend of mine in a local musical being preformed at a small theater in our town park. Unfortunately the entire sound system inside the barn was set up by someone who had no idea what they wear doing and they have been haveing alot of problems with it. I was asked to watch a rehersal tonight and then see if i could figure a way to improve the sound quality.
The program is called Oklahoma, and is a western. Throughout the performance a lot of guns get pointed at a lot of people at close range. not surpriseing in a western.

The problem with this is that after the show i was looking at the prop guns and they wear very real. one is a double barrel 410 gauge, a 357 mag revolver, a 45 LC revolver, and a lever action rifle.(didnt see what it spicificly was). the guns belong to a husband of one of the ladies in charge of the performance. I objected to this but was not taken seriously. I also found out that when the director was asked about useing blank firearms, he drasticly voiced his objection because, quote, " people can, and have been seriously injurd and killed by blank firearms." What the hell?

So what is the deal, is this rite? should real firearms be used in play with actors ranging in age from 9 to about 55. Im i over reacting in thinking that this is just plane not smart. or should i be trying to convince them of removeing the live guns for something a little saffer?

what do you think?
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:28:43 PM EDT
IBTSP
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:29:34 PM EDT
they make prop guns for a reason.

If there is any profession not 'professional' enough to handle real firearms, it's actors.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:29:44 PM EDT
chill man.


Unless you have reason to think someone is going to bring ammo for one of the guns and shoot somebody I wouldn't worry about it.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:30:38 PM EDT
they use real firearms in movie production all the time. the difference is that they have professional armorers who are on set at all times keeping close control of all firearms at all times, and make sure that everyone is trained in the proper safe use of them.

I think it's a little reckless to be using the real thing for a local show like that without a professional on hand.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:30:39 PM EDT
go invest in some epoxy and fix the chambers. The director is stupid out the wazoo..
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:32:42 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 20iner:
chill man.


Unless you have reason to think someone is going to bring ammo for one of the guns and shoot somebody I wouldn't worry about it.



I guess the four rules of gun safety don't apply as long as you're putting on a play...
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:32:52 PM EDT
Remove the firing pins?
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:43:51 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Papertargets:
Remove the firing pins?



AND put a rod in the chamber/barrel.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:53:07 PM EDT
snap caps, yo! snap caps.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:53:15 PM EDT
Bruce Lee's son Brandon Lee was killed in an accident involving a gun and blank ammo.

And earlier, there was this actor - whose name I can't remember - put a pistol loaded with blank ammo to the side of his head and pulled the trigger. He died a few hours later.

Oh, yeah. People have been killed and hurt with guns loaded with blanks.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:55:12 PM EDT

Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By 20iner:
chill man.


Unless you have reason to think someone is going to bring ammo for one of the guns and shoot somebody I wouldn't worry about it.



I guess the four rules of gun safety don't apply as long as you're putting on a play...



you guess right.



Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:56:43 PM EDT

Originally Posted By GiggleSmith:
Bruce Lee's son Brandon Lee was killed in an accident involving a gun and blank ammo.

And earlier, there was this actor - whose name I can't remember - put a pistol loaded with blank ammo to the side of his head and pulled the trigger. He died a few hours later.

Oh, yeah. People have been killed and hurt with guns loaded with blanks.



Jon erik Hexum was the one killed when he shot himself with blanks.

Brandon lee wasn't just blank ammo - a prop dummy round (just a bullet inserted in brass) was chambered in the gun. The bullet separated from the brass and lodged in the barrel. Later, when the blank was fired at Brandon Lee, the charge propelled the bullet at him.
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:57:49 PM EDT

Originally Posted By 20iner:

Originally Posted By bastiat:

Originally Posted By 20iner:
chill man.


Unless you have reason to think someone is going to bring ammo for one of the guns and shoot somebody I wouldn't worry about it.



I guess the four rules of gun safety don't apply as long as you're putting on a play...



you guess right.






odd that they apply everywhere else then.

Maybe we should just abandon them if somebody is going to be entertained. Think of all the 'hold muh beer' moments that will now gain an extra dose of hilarity!
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 8:59:27 PM EDT
trigger locks

just take out the firing components, eveyone will be fine
Link Posted: 2/15/2006 9:38:10 PM EDT
If there is any profession not 'professional' enough to handle real firearms, it's actors.

I want to say +1, but there are guys like Tom Selleck, and dozens of other cowboy actors who do know their firearms.

Did you know that Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin had been in a western together, and from that, got into "fast draw"?

But for the most part, you are right. Actors (and movies) aren't what they used to be.

And blanks ARE dangerous.

No, having real firearms in a stage play is asking for a tragic accident to happen.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 7:17:15 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Papertargets:
Remove the firing pins?



That's what I did for my senior play in High School.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 9:59:05 AM EDT
I have worked in theater for 18+ years now.

First off ask your questions. You may be the first person, you may be the 400th person, but ask. Heck if these firearms have come in from a local person involved with the production you might have found a new shooting partner.

We use firearms in productions about 2 times a year. Here are some of the things we have done.

We have built up an airsoft armory. These things are great 1:1 reproductions. No gas or batteries around for them.

We have one blank firing prop 1911. Plugged muzzle from the factory. Everything ejects out the ejection port. Uses an 8mm blank round. It was used last year in _Of Mice and Men_. Point black to the actors head with no problems. PLANING PLANNING PLANNING.

We have used real firearms as props when:
Ammo is no longer available. A rifle that shot 4mm darts.

The firearm is inactive. Firing pin removed, hammer removed, barrel blocked. I have been handed a shotgun walking into work and said make it so it does not work, we thought it was rusted up but the hammer started to fall last night.

The rules we fallow with firearm props:
NO AMMO ON SET, IN THE BUILDING, ETC.

LIST THE PEOPLE THAT ARE AUTHORIZED TO TOUCH THE FIREAM. Props master, actor, Firearms wrangler, etc. A firearms wrangler sole responsibility is the firearms, checking them out, checking them in, blanks, prop ammo (dummy rounds) etc.

NO PLAYING WITH THE FIREAMS. Horse play is not a game. This is serious. People have gotten hurt, and killed with props. A well meaning stage manger will tell a crew member to go buy more blanks. The person comes back with 22 lr shot, real ammo, and it fits. This is the job of the firearm wrangler.

THERE IS A CAST AND CREW WIDE SAFTEY LECTURE ON WHAT IS EXPECTED OF THE FIREARMS AND THE USERS. It is for decoration and it stays in the holster. If it comes out of the holster you are gone. You have to pull the trigger while pointed at him. This is what to expect and have them practice. A friend of mine when he was in grad school saw a black powder ram rod shot and imbed in the back wall of the theater. It was supposed to just be smoke but the shooters cue came and he fired because he was rushed in loading. The next night he could not fire at all because he was rightfully afraid he was going to kill someone.

EYE AND EAR PROTECTION WHERE IT CAN BE USED. Off stage people will have eyes and ears during gun fire. Actors on stage will have earplugs if they can get them in (usually there is a way to do the blocking so they can).

HAZARD ANNOUNCMENT IN THE PROGRAM AND IN THE LOBBY. As part of this production there will be loud gunshots and firearms being used.

INFORM THE POLICE, ANY LOCAL LAW ENFORCMENT , AND YOUR NEIGHBORS IN THE BUILDING. We tell everyone what we are doing. I have heard of an incident where the actors all had M-16 blank rifles. The final scene the actors run out into the audience firing blanks over their heads. Well the director happens to be walking in for production and he sees guys all tact out in the bushes, Hey guys what’s up? Get down there are people with guns in there. Um yeah I know, what are you guys doing. We are the local SWAT team. Hold up those are actors and those are prop guns. HUH?!? Well tragedy was avoid but let everyone know not to freak out. A report of gunfire in a building from someone that does not know it is a play can really ruin you whole day when the boy’s from SWAT come with the real thing. Campus police need to know too. Believe it of not the cops, and fire departments are more than happy to come out and check out what you are doing. How does it look if they don’t when you have invited them.

HAVE AN EMERGENCY PLAN. What the heck are you going to do if for some reason it goes wrong? Call 911, do you have a trained paramedic standing by (can you? Perhaps someone is a PM and is willing to stay backstage). This needs to be discussed with cast and crew before the production. Do you turn on all the lights to full, drop the main curtain, get the audience out, or is there a better plan.

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:16:47 AM EDT
Did somebody ask for an Oklahoma medly?


There's a bright golden haze on the meadow
There's a bright golden haze on the meadow
The corn is as high as an elephant's eye,
An' it looks like it's climbin' clear up to the sky.

Oh, what a beautiful mornin',
Oh, what a beautiful day.
I got a beautiful feelin'
Gay cowboys are comin my way.....



Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:18:59 AM EDT

Originally Posted By shadow870:


what do you think?



I think you need to learn to spell.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:25:30 AM EDT

Originally Posted By leelaw:
go invest in some epoxy and fix the chambers. The director is stupid out the wazoo..



Immediately. Who knows what deranged person might opt to try to prove a point in a sick way and load one.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:47:07 AM EDT
Many years ago I worked at Disney World. I was a "Jungle Cruise" Skipper. Every trip we had to "shoot" the charging hippos before they reached the boat. We were issued VERY REAL Smith& Wesson model 10s, loaded with blanks for this task. I always thought there was real potential for some high-powered stupidity but no problems at least while I was there. I asked why they used REAL guns for this show and was told that all the prop guns they had tried couldn't take the use and abuse (each gun was fired over 200 times a day in the Florida sun, rain, whatever else). A few years ago I took my kids to Disney World. I had not seen the place in years but I noticed they had completely disarmed the Jungle Cruise. I'm sure this was a PC exercise but to be honest I was relieved the S&Ws had been retired. IMHO there was just too much chance for something to go terribly wrong.

BTW-All Jungle Cruise Skippers did have to take a gun safety course before starting the job.
Link Posted: 2/16/2006 10:52:40 AM EDT

I played the sheriff in a small community production of Oklahoma! about eight years ago. All the weapons we used were real, supplied by local cowboy action shooters. We couldn't afford to buy anything because of the small budget of the show.

I also participated in a couple of staged shootouts at a small town festival where we had a nice big bank robbery/shootout in front of a big crowd of tourists. All real guns, firing commercial blanks. Everyone was trained to aim to the left or right of the 'target' and no onlookers were allowed in the line of fire.

Link Posted: 2/16/2006 11:03:10 AM EDT
As unlikely as it should be, this has so much possibility of tragedy I don't even know where to start.

Anyone who says live guns, not deactivated in any way, are fine for a play, hasn't seen the full spectrum of human stupidity, carelessness, or just sheer bad luck. Or they're an idiot.

With the kind of attitude displayed by the director, I'd worry about the security of the firearms, who's authorized to handle them, etc, etc, etc. Somebody--stage hand, actor, whoever--is going to want to show off their "gun knowledge" and bring a round for the lever gun, to show how it loads & ejects, or to show how the double-barrel extracts, or something. BLAM.

Sure, the odds are somewhat against it--but they're not 1,000,000 to 1, either.

Or, some anti-gun radical is going to come in and load one with live ammo, to make a political point.

Or, most likely, one of the actors is a ham. Like the ones who put unexpected centerfolds in the "reading material" of the other actors to be discovered on stage, to try to get their partners to drop character. What would be funnier than putting in something they think is a "blank", even if they don't know what it is? (Besides the potential danger of a real blank, look at those 8mm wooden rounds that were being sold as noisemakers, or the current 9mm plastic rounds.)

Those guns need to be deactivated or I'd drop out of the play. Seriously. Too much is being left uncontrolled by the director, and it's no longer a safe environment. And if something did happen, there's no way I'd want to be associated in any way.
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