Sean is has been on the road with all kinds of acts for much of his life. Like so many others, he’s currently out of work because no one is touring. And while much of the news coverage has gone to the performers, he’d like to give this shout-out to his fellow production crew men and women.
The Show Must Go On
We build things in a day. The goal is that for 90 minutes or better, as many people as can be packed into a room to see a performance. A unique moment in time where a group of people contribute everything they believe will captivate a person is unloaded on a paying audience.
It takes a myriad of skills. From carpenter to lighting, audio to front of house, backline to wardrobe, an everything in between, the crew works toward a singular goal, The Show. (Actually, it’s to be ready for sound check.)
When we’re done we hand off our work to the engineers and the performer who knock your socks off from dusk on.
Show’s over. The performers head back to the dressing rooms, the House empties and we’re back at it. Taking apart everything we built that morning, the end-of-night stumbling and stuffing of cases. Stacking and loading everything we find the way we found it back into the truck. Nights done around 2am, out the stage doors we go.
It’s a great gig and not many people get to do it. It will continue as it has from the amphitheater on. The lamps will still be fired up with gels and the cyclorama will be hanging behind drape long past us.
We all know there will be hands in place whether they’re ours or not to make the show happen. As people get older in the industry they begin to recognize each other. When you hear about a tragedy on the road it may have happened to someone you’ve met, worked with, depended on, even for just a day. It creates a common bond.
When we were told after the morning setup the show was postponed, we knew it was the right call. At the front end of Canada’s portion of a global pandemic, we were building an event for thousands of people in a single room.
That now leads us to a void, from a job that was barely sustaining as it was.
The hands that make the show aren’t in it for the money, the pay isn’t there. They’re there because to build the show, is to be part of the show. Through this stretch of downtime there will be a great group of people, sitting on their hands, hoping they can cover the bills until the stage door gets unlocked.
I hope they stick around. The show needs them.
Carp, Lighting, backline, audio, riggers
Front of house
All there for the show
Don’t get paid great
Early Call times
Burns and turns
Earlier shows in winter
The show starts when the bay door opens
chalks on the tires
6 man the Ramp
On the truck – or – in the line
Multi tool (pocket knife)
Stage left/stage right
Legs and wings
Front of house
Edison/ 5 pin xlr
Gaffe Tape/ e-tape
2 – 4×8 with clamps
Legs with wheels
Wing nuts c wrench tight
Pipe and drape
Quick change rooms
Jobs will be there, will the veterans?
anyone can fill a spot
Must have Hands and feet
Knowledge is assumed
Teach by example
Monkey see monkey do
Trial by fire
Bad crews ruin houses
Bad crews ruin tours
Season Tour Timing