Turn On the Lights Ch. 01

Haz 6, 2024 // By:analsex // No Comment

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Glasses Sexy

They say you should ‘write what you know’. The setting for most of this story is the environment that I work in. Apologies if I use some jargon that you’ve never heard of (I’ve tried to explain most of it). Google is probably your friend 😛

If you’re expecting a stroke story, stop right now and hit the ‘back’ button. This has a slow start, but the payoff is worth it!


Turn On The Lights



The car park was empty bar four cars, so I picked the spot closest to the entrance, got out, and locked the car.

I looked up at the building; it was the classic local music venue around here: a big, brick box whose only identifying feature was the enormous neon sign on the side.

I’d been told to head around to the side and find the stage door; after a brief investigation I found it unlocked and open slightly. I poked my head through the door and looked around. The lights were on but there was nobody in sight. This was a situation typical of any music venue in the late morning – work had not yet begun.

I pushed open the door and stepped in, looking around me. It was a decent size, maybe thirty metres wide and fifty deep. The walls, floor, and ceiling were completely black, with no windows. Currently, the only source of light was a single huge working floodlight above the back of the stage, aimed out into the audience area. The stage was set back into the wall of the room, and extended a good six or seven metres backwards. It too was black.

Across the front of the stage ran the ‘mojo’ – the crush barrier for the crowd, and either side of the stage hung two large hangs of loudspeakers.

Looking up towards the ceiling above the stage, I saw what really interested me: the lighting rig. Lengths of shiny aluminium trussing hung up there, studded with large black lighting fixtures hanging off them like some kind of heavy, angular fruit. Reflections from black lenses twinkled here and there.

Above that, I could see the gantries up inside the roof structure itself, criss-crossing the entire room way up out of sight to allow easy access to parts of the lighting rig, amongst other functions. Swivelling my head the other way towards the audience area, I saw the Front Of House position near the back of the room: the raised platform and surround that hid the sound and lighting engineers during the gig. I intended to head over there later and check out what lighting desk they had.

I was tapped on the shoulder.

Shocked at the uninvited contact, I spun around quickly and backed away a step.

The guy who’d tapped me was middle aged – probably about fifty – with a thick shock of silver hair, and a face that showed a lifetime of hard work. The cargo trousers and polo shirt with the logo of the venue on it told me he was a technician here. I was almost right.

“Sorry, didn’t mean to frighten you. I’m Dave, I presume you’re Chloe?”

“Um, hi. Yeah I am. Most people just call me Scruff. Pleased to meet you.” I mumbled.

My nickname comes from my appearance. You see, the technical side of the live events industry is almost entirely male-dominated, and if you’re an attractive girl, you spend your life fighting off advances from the other technicians and crew.

I didn’t think of myself as particularly attractive, but neither did I want to be hit on by guys, so I didn’t really care about how I looked. Or so I told myself; most of the time I was more interested in my work than my appearance. My dirty blonde hair was usually a tangled mess, my glasses were way out of fashion, and I dressed like a boy – camo combat pants and battered band t-shirt with holes in it, topped with a frayed, faded baseball cap I got for free from a lighting trade show. And I never went anywhere without my steel toecapped safety boots, of course – I wasn’t stupid enough to ignore safety regs.

I never really liked my face – I always thought that my eyes were too big, and the same applied to my lips. People had told me that I could be beautiful if I wanted to be, but I never really believed it.

The only part of my body that I actually liked was my legs. Years of loading flightcases into trucks, climbing up ladders and trussing into the roofs of venues, and walking miles around venues every day had combined to give me nice, toned legs. Although I only ever shaved them when they began to irritate me. The rest of me was distinctly average.

I was no oil painting, and I knew it. I didn’t care; I’d hardened to people insulting my appearance; it didn’t bother me anymore. Or so I told myself…so I didn’t make the effort. Someone had once called me scruffy, then that got shortened to Scruff, and the name had stuck. I didn’t mind it. The only people who called me by my real name were my parents, and that was enough to put me off it.

I’d spoken to Dave on the phone; through a friend of a friend, he’d got my number as a potential freelance followspot operator. Having just moved into the area, I was in desperate ataşehir escort need of work, and the regular gigs he offered seemed a perfect fit for my skills. I’d landed on my feet, for a change. It was about time I had some good luck.

Dave was desperate for a spot op – a spotlight or ‘followspot’ operator – and I fit the bill perfectly for him; I was cheap, reliable, and I knew my stuff.

“OK…Scruff. I’ll give you the tour.”

He showed me around the place, taking me up into the ‘grid’ in the roof – and the maze of gantries up there – via the labyrinth of corridors that ran around the venue.

“There’s an easier way up,” he’d noted, “But it’s a pain in the arse for an old bloke like me coz’ it’s a fair climb up a ladder just behind front of house.”

The followspot I would be using was housed way up here in the grid, on a platform about halfway down the length of the room. There were actually two of the spots, about two or three metres apart; both old models that had seen better days.

A followspot looks a bit like some kind of futuristic cannon – it’s a big light with a long body containing lenses that allow you to focus the light into a tight circle on the stage. The whole assembly is mounted onto a yoke, which then connects to a stand via a turntable. The result being that you could, as the name suggests, make the spot of light follow people around the stage with minimal physical input.

“Ever used one of these before?” Dave asked.

In answer, I struck up the lamp in the nearest one, checked the bearings and the balance, opened the shutter and focussed it onto the stage down below. I quickly swung it to each corner of the stage, hitting the mark perfectly each time. I had a natural affinity with distances and angles, and after having done the amount of followspot work that I had, it was second nature to me.

“Fair enough.” Dave’s eyebrows raised, impressed.

I killed the spot, and we continued the tour of the grid.

The grid is not a place for the faint-hearted. Nearly nine metres above floor level, the walkways are made of metal grates; you can look through them right to the floor. To those not used to it, it’s easy to discover that you have a fear of heights that you didn’t know about. You can tell people who’ve never been up in such a place – they cling to the handrails that line each walkway as if their life depends on it. It can be vertigo-inducing sometimes, especially when there’s a crowd in and they surge and ebb like a tide below you.

“Amps.” Dave gestured.

Right next to the spots – one on either side – were the amp racks for the PA system. Large, beige steel frames, their bottom halves were filled with amplifiers, their internal fans whirring away in an attempt to keep them cool in the stuffy, hot atmosphere up there.

That was the problem with followspot work in a large venue – it was great in winter, but in summer, you were in the hottest place in the whole building. The heat from the punters below you rose up here; the heat from the lighting rig got trapped up here; the heat from the amps also got trapped up here, and to add insult to injury, these followspots were ancient three thousand watt behemoths – they got extremely hot when the lamp was on. Most spot ops wore gloves in an attempt to avoid getting burnt, but it was never that easy. The insides of my forearms had enough old burn marks to attest to that.

It was dark, hot and stuffy up here, but at the same time I always found it peaceful when the PA wasn’t blaring out. All the sounds of the venue below seemed distant up here – mainly due to the acoustics of the roof. It was a strange environment to work in, but I loved it.

“Occasionally Mike – our main sound engineer – will give you a shout on comms and ask how his limiters are looking. That’s those LED meters there. Saves him climbing up the ladder,” Dave explained. “You’ll also get to meet our resident lampy, Jake. He’s a good lad, but a bit juvenile sometimes. He’ll probably try and hit on you at some point; just take it in your stride and try not to let him fall in love with you, otherwise we’ll have a depressed Jake walking around for the next few months,” he chuckled.

“I don’t think that will be a problem,” I said quietly.

He looked at me and shrugged. I could tell that he thought that it wouldn’t be a problem due to my appearance, but was far too polite to say anything.

We continued the tour, and he showed me the way through the labyrinth (that was their pet name for the mess of corridors that all looked the same) to get to the technical office. The tech office was ostensibly Dave’s working environment, but also served as a storeroom for bits of equipment that needed to be kept under lock and key, and judging by the sofas and armchairs strewn about the place, a social room for the technicians and engineers. I spied an empty beer bottle on a side table, reinforcing my observation.

“Welcome to the room where the real work gets done!” Dave joked. “If you ever need to find me, most of ataşehir escort the time I’ll be in here trying to get some information out of some dumb idiot tour manager who doesn’t know his arse from his elbow, pardon my French.” He slumped down into a well-worn office chair, wiggling a mouse on the desk until a computer monitor flashed into life. He peered at it for a second. “Hmm…should be a fairly easy one tonight for your first gig here, but we’ll talk about that when the others arrive.”

He clicked the close button on the spreadsheet he was looking at and turned to face me. “But anyway, that’s not for a few hours yet. The lads should be here soon, but in the meantime tell me about yourself.” He leaned forwards with his elbows on his knees, hands clasped loosely in front of him.

I was suddenly nervous. I’m usually pretty quiet and prefer to listen rather than talk, so being pushed into talking about myself – never my strongest subject – always made me struggle. I dropped my head a little, studying the floor, hiding behind a straggly curtain of my hair. It was a defence tactic I’d subconsciously begun employing years ago. I felt that if people couldn’t see my face and read my emotions, they couldn’t use them against me.

“Well, um, I’ve been doing spot for ten years now, but I can operate a rig as well – I’ve been engineering for about seven of those years.”

Dave shook his head with a grin. “I said tell me about you, not your career!”

“There isn’t much to tell,” I replied, embarrassed.

“I doubt that. Look, I can see you’re not comfortable with me grilling you, so we’ll talk another time OK? And anyway, look what the cat dragged in.”

A guy with long wavy blonde hair, rimless glasses, a goatee and a selection of festival wristbands on had just wandered into the office. I saw his eyes take me in for a second, registering interest at who I was, but with a slight flicker of distaste at how I looked.

“Mike, meet our new spot op, Scruff. Scruff, this is Mike, he does FOH sound for us when he’s not busy getting drunk.”

“Thanks Dave, great first impression. Hi.” He held his hand out to shake; I obliged. The handshake was firm, but not crushing. It was short – from that I deduced he was the kind of guy who liked to get down to business quickly.

“I don’t actually drink that much; Dave is just jealous that I can still handle my beer without waking up with an earthquake in my head. He’s an old fart now so he can’t hack it any more,” he grinned.

“Hey! That’s a load of bollocks and you know it, kid!”

“Speaking of bollocks, has bellend turned up yet?” Mike asked Dave. I had no idea who ‘bellend’ referred to, but evidently the banter around here was fairly foul-mouthed. I had no problem with that. As quiet as I was, I was definitely not shy of using a variety of curses when needed.

“Nah, late as usual,” Dave grumbled. “Jake has a habit of turning up fifteen minutes after his call time,” He clarified, turning to me.

As if to spite him, the door creaked open again and a skinny guy with thick, dark hair, huge eyebrows and thick-rimmed glasses peered in. Seeing us, he continued into the room. He had a black polo shirt and black shorts on; lanyard dangling from his neck with a miniature torch and a permanent marker attached to it. Standard venue technician attire.

I was starting to get nervous; I didn’t like being confined in the small office with three people I didn’t really know. I’ve had problems with social anxiety all my life – I start to panic when pushed into situations where I have no anchor to hold on to; I feel adrift in a sea of people. It may sound silly to some, but this was the reality of my life.

“Well that’s a turn up for the books,” Mike grunted from the seat he’d taken, looking at the clock on the wall.

“Speak of the devil – Jake! This is Scruff, new followspot op,” Dave introduced.

“Hi!” Jake opened his arms and stepped towards me as if to hug me. I stepped back, uncomfortable. Looking slightly confused and embarrassed, he instead offered me a hand. I shook it. “Pleased to meet you.”

I nodded, hiding behind my hair, peering out from behind it.

We all sat down and began to talk about the night’s gig. It sounded like it would be an easy, but interesting one.

“So…just two acts tonight – one local rapper who is just a radio mic and playback, and then the headliner – one ‘Professor Elemental’ – who is the same. So it’s a piece of piss really, hence why I haven’t called Craig in tonight. Craig’s our monitor engineer,” Dave clarified, turning to me. “You’ll probably meet him on the next gig.”

“So two rappers then. Lemme guess, usual deaf-as-a-post ego trip types who can’t hold a microphone properly?” Mike groaned.

“Surprisingly not. It’s Chap Hop.”

“What the hell is Chap Hop?” Jake asked.

“The picture on the technical specification shows the guy in a colonial explorer’s outfit. Silly helmet and all. The tech spec’s a hilarious read anyway. Funniest one I’ve read since anadolu yakası escort Hayseed Dixie…I think we’re in for a comedy show.”

“Can I have a look?” Mike asked

“Here.” Dave handed a couple of sheets of stapled A4 paper to Mike.

Mike flipped through it, a smile growing on his face. “Brilliant. Should be a laugh.”

“Anything for me?” Jake asked, breaking open a packet of chocolate Hob-Nobs that he’d just fished out of his rucksack.

“Bugger all mate, just the usual ‘adequately lit’ statement, plus the request for the followspot,” Dave informed him.

Jake turned his head to me. “Just you and me doing our own thing tonight then, babe,” he winked at me.

Mike rolled his eyes, muttering “Here we go again” under his breath.

I hid behind my hair again, not liking Jake’s grinning stare. If he thought he was going to have any effect on me, he was sorely mistaken.


Up in the grid, I dimmed down the spot as the support act sauntered off stage left to rapturous applause. It had been a fairly easy gig – the guy wasn’t particularly active, so following him around stage was pretty easy. Jake had chatted to me on the comms system during the show (followspot ops usually have to wear a headset so the lighting engineer can give them directions and cues). I had mostly listened and let him ramble on, cutting him short when I felt he was steering into pickup territory.

The support act went off without a hitch, and once he’d finished it was changeover time.

While the changeover was happening – the guys getting the support act’s stuff off stage (not that there was much of it) and setting up Professor Elemental’s stuff – I decided I needed to do something about the fact that I was sweating buckets.

My legs and crotch were itchy and uncomfortable in my combats, and my hat was making my forehead sweat. My t-shirt was a long sleeve, which wasn’t helping. I rolled up my sleeves, hung my hat on one of the finger bolts on the spot’s tripod stand, and rolled my combats up to my knees, using the ankle ties to try and hold them up there. I was still roasting. I was probably going to need to invest in some shorts.

The headliner came on, looking exactly like the picture in the tech spec. I chuckled; this would be fun. He proceeded to open his set with a song about being British, rapping about afternoon tea, the British mindset, and Hattie Jaques. I was struggling to keep the spot from wobbling as a result of my chuckling to myself.

I could hear Jake in my ear down the comms headset as well.

“Ten seconds to blackout,” I heard Jake warn. “Five, four, three, and…black!”

I killed the spot at the same instant that the song ended, bang on time with Jake killing the whole rig. Blackness was instant, the only illumination being the indirect light from the bars under the balconies. Loud applause filtered up through the grates.

“Bang on, Scruff, well done. Just got another four of those to do before the end of the show,” Jake’s voice squawked in my ear.

“Thanks,” I replied, turning the volume on my comms set down a little.

The Professor did a few more songs, before a large fake car was wheeled onto the stage. The crowd roared with appreciation; evidently this was the precursor to one of his better songs.

“Scruff, near the end of this song, his wife is gonna come on stage and yank him off by the collar. So, obviously they didn’t think this through when they only asked for one spot op; I think what I’ll try and do is get her with one of the movers, then when she’s within about a metre or so of him, iris up and try and catch them both,” Jake warned. “I know that’s pretty tall order – she’s going to be stomping on pretty quickly – so stay alert, but don’t worry if you miss the it. We don’t have a time cue for this one, so you’ll just have to eyeball it and be ready.”

I was confident I could get them both without too much trouble. I’d been doing this for long enough that I could operate the spot quickly enough to do it with minimal fuss.

When it happened, I did nearly miss the cue, but not because I wasn’t prepared. It was because the Professor’s wife was an absolute stunner. How the hell the crazy-eyed, lanky, unshaven Professor had managed to bag this modern corporately-dressed beauty was beyond me. She was in a black pencil dress, hair in a tight bun, and sensible heels. Her legs were stunning, and she had a beautiful hourglass figure with pert breasts. Her expression was severe – she was playing the character of the long-suffering wife fed up of the Professor’s crazy and ill-advised shenanigans – but she was still beautiful, none the less.

Quickly, I irised up, making the spot of light on stage bigger to encompass them both. I couldn’t stop looking at her. I irised back down as she got close to him, mesmerised by the sexy walk she had.

Thankfully, I was on autopilot as she yanked him off stage backwards, so I was able to follow them both without applying too much thought. My brain was wandering elsewhere, wondering what it would feel like to run my hands up either side of that dress and up to her breasts. I sighed. I was lusting after a straight girl again. Worse, a married straight girl. I justified it by telling myself that it was just fantasy. I’d never act on it.

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