Have you ever wondered what’s behind the black curtain at the RA? The discreet drapery covers the command center for the lights, camera and action that amplify speakers for the vast audience.
Frank Spadafora of Gracey Communications handles the lighting and sound, including what appears on the big screens behind the speakers.
And NYSUT’s Cindy Becker has a pivotal role, maintaining and monitoring the so-called “Black Book,” a tome detailing every speaker, introductory materials and any written remarks that need to appear on the teleprompters.
If last-mnute changes are made in a speech, or if the order of speakers changes, Cindy make sure it gets done and translated into the Black Book, and Frank makes it work on the teleprompter.
Like in the Wizard of Oz, the man and woman behind the curtain contribute to the magic that keeps the RA moving.