As a sound engineer I have never considered specifying a New Years Resolution but lately I have been thinking about ways that I can break bad habits and ultimately be a better sound engineer.
If you know me pretty well you will find that I stay pretty busy. I work a full time job, serve in my church and do freelance gigs on the side. In this post I will talk more so on the freelance side of things.
Here are 9 things you need to know if you are to do any stagehand (foh, monitors, lighting and so on) like stuff.
- Wear black. This is certainly not the most important but still good to know. Even in the heat of summer black is your friend. This will help you blend in with the flow of things. In a dark theater it is the way to go. During a concert or festival style gig black separates you from the average person.
- Closed toe shoes (or boots). I could go into a whole post of this but in an effort to safe space on the internet I will choose not too. Seriously, this is a good idea. I value my toes and I’m sure you do too..
- Don’t be offended by what you hear. This kind of work puts you in a position where you hear everything. Yes it may not be work appropriate but it is the nature of the job. You don’t have to participate. Period. If you get offended easily unfortunately this may not be the job for you.
- Do your job. This goes without saying. Don’t be excessively talking to coworkers. When the show is on; lips need to be shut. Stay focused. Get off your phone!
- Plan ahead. Plan for traffic, parking expenses and anything else that can hold you up. Arrive 15 minutes ahead of the time you were told to be there.
- Bring a gig bag. I call mine a “go bag”. This usually includes the following but varies on event: Sunscreen, water bottle, phone charger, usb battery pack, gaff tape (my own roll), deodorant, cologne (sorry, these events get gross, especially festivals), small tool set, box knife, a buck knife, a multi tool, flashlight, band aids (blisters and cuts), Excedrin (any kind of pain/headache pills are a safe bet) and ear plugs.
- Don’t ever bring anything of value to you. Of course there are exceptions (phone) but don’t bring your Great Grandpa’s war medal.
- Ask questions. Any kind of event is dangerous. A lot has to be done in a short amount of time. If you don’t know what you’re doing ask! It could save your life or someone else’s life. Seriously. I mean it. Yes you may be annoying, but ask.
- Make sure you know security and security knows you. I have yet to deal with this with the exception of local P.D.
That is it! Be safe and rock on.
Good Crew+Hunger=Bad Crew. You have been warned! -Anonymous