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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Quantity / Volume of Shows? (17 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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thomasR
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“there are other, let's call them "in between" options that no one has mentioned here. It is not just solo road work/tour or having a full crew that travels and operates with you. There is such a thing as traveling and functioning solo, yet picking up local onsite contractors in each town on your route. It can be an alternative to costly road costs eliminating food, lodging, per diem, and travel costs for a crew or team. “

Yes Mindoro! If you are self-promoting the shows, usually you have to pay for certain staff memebers at a theatre if you need them or not. If you have a proper cue sheet written up you can use the house guys instead of bringing your own staff. You just have to plan your show with that in mind.
TomBoleware
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2019, thomasR wrote:
While I made a joke about sound and light guys not getting overtime, I didn’t mean to imply that I thought I deserved it either.
On a typical day, if I divide the number of hours I work into my day rate I’m getting paid a very very high hourly rate. Of course my day rate takes into account that I am spending the entire day in a random city and I will be sleeping on a tour bus or hotel and not my home. But yeah regardless of you being right or wrong, I’m not gonna ask for overtime and wreck a good deal!



I didn’t take it that you were complaining, I was just throwing out some more thoughts on the subject. Many employees are led to believe that they are independent contractors when in fact they are not.

I just wanted to paint a picture for those that may be taken advantage of. It only takes one phone call to get the problem fixed.

Main thing is you are satisfied.

Now don’t work to hard.Smile

Tom
Dannydoyle
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Yep it only takes a phone call to completely lose everything you are working for.
Danny Doyle
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<BR>In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act....George Orwell
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2019, thomasR wrote:
Always great to hear from you Ray. Up in 6 hours? I’ll keep my pre-rigged GT truss that rolls on and off the semi thank you! Ha.
But then again you may be working on aerials / circus arts which is a lot more fun than what I currently do!


lol... we HAD pre-rigged truss! 2 - 5 stick lengths for first and second electrics (40 VL 3000's). 18 motors, 1 aerial truss, 1 US scenic truss, 1 DS Traveller truss, 1 Projector Truss, a LOT of scenic (30' rolling staircases, US Scenic piece w/integrated FP Screen) 16 K Projector, plus a lot of ground lights, hazers, low level foggers, effects, inflatables etc. We got it DOWN to 6 hours after a lot of work. The first few dates we just stopped building when the house opened.

Quote:
All this should make us think.... if we are designing a show that we want to do a lot, either touring or resident show, it would make sense to minimize cast and crew costs while still maximizing production value. Having illusions that you can perform solo without a trained assistant for example, having Audio / lighting automated or simplified to reduce or eliminate tech crew.... hey perhaps you can block your show to the point that you don’t need stage hands! A lot is possible


Absolutely! When I was touring with my illusion show, I designed everything possible with pin hinges and other connections that didn't require any tools. The cast broke down all the illusions during the show (The road cases were left open behind the cyc). All the hanging scenic was soft goods that went into dedicated hampers. By the end of Intermission, Act 1 was on the dock. Our best out time was 32 minutes from the time the curtain came down until the truck door closed. Then again, the show was designed with that in mind. Everything we needed the local crew for utilized standardized methods known to any stagehand that we could explain and have them execute. ("Hamper 1 on Pipe 3, Hamper 2 on Pipe 7", etc.) We didn't have to carry basic lighting which helped a LOT. Relying on follow spot cues for most of the special coverage saved hours of time. We did have some US effects lights and toys but nothing that took too long for the house crew to pack without instructions. As you said, it's all about clever design with the market in mind!
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Mindpro
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I agree as these are some great points. Many performers don't create their show or think of their performance elements (tricks, effects, scenes, etc.) with the setup and breakdown in mind. These logistics can result in many differences in getting rebooked, expenses in crew or staff, transport, and many other factors. This is as important as any component in the show for any mobile or traveling show - anything less than a permanently set venue.
Kevin Ridgeway
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
I agree as these are some great points. Many performers don't create their show or think of their performance elements (tricks, effects, scenes, etc.) with the setup and breakdown in mind. These logistics can result in many differences in getting rebooked, expenses in crew or staff, transport, and many other factors. This is as important as any component in the show for any mobile or traveling show - anything less than a permanently set venue.



So correct... almost no illusion builder out there designs illusions and the needed road cases with ‘truck pack’ in mind. Now I guarantee there are magicians in here currently googling truck pack....lol. I’ll save you the effort. In the real world of production most trucks are 90” wide. And every single road case is a multiple thereof- 22.5”, 30”, 45” or 60". This makes for the best use of truck space as well as the least amount of strapping or securing cases.
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Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Jun 11, 2019, Kevin Ridgeway wrote:
So correct... almost no illusion builder out there designs illusions and the needed road cases with ‘truck pack’ in mind.


Hey Kevin! lol... you're giving away the real dirt here! Yes, most touring cases are built to be a modular part of a truck load, even for stacking as well. The pieces that are too large for cases get strapped to rolling carts that are again designed to roll onto the truck in order and fill the space evenly. Earlier we were talking about "pre rigged truss" which are lengths of truss with the lights prehung on them. They have wheels attached and fit perfectly in a standard truck. As they are rolled off, they are unstacked, then flown a foot off the ground, the legs are taken off, the cable looms are secured in place, lights checked and they're ready to go.

If you want to see a model of efficiency, find a video of any touring concert being unloaded and set up. The trucks are docked in a specific order and tipped sequentially so everything goes up as elegantly as possible. Usually the get motors up first, then start rigging the truss, lighting, video and sound while the stage is being built up at the same time on the opposite side of the arena. Once the truss is flown, the stage is rolled into place under it.

This is one example and although you can't see a lot of detail, the process is evident. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVKtFntxjoc

Again, most acts won't need this level of production but it's important to study the efficiency of the process to design your act/show to waste as little time as possible. It's yet another mark of a true professional.

Kevin's rig is a perfect example! It's a very large set up by most standards but he has it down to the most elegant way to set up and strike with the least number of people.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
Mindpro
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While this is true for road and touring acts, much of this also applies to local performing acts - how it packs, sets-up, breaksdown, loads, transports, paying assistants and crew, production, and so on. The contents of this thread are not only for road workers, but almost everything here can easily apply to local workers as well - including the initial decisions, choices, and dilemmas as it pertains to our businesses. Great discussions.
Ray Pierce
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Quote:
On Jun 12, 2019, Mindpro wrote:
While this is true for road and touring acts, much of this also applies to local performing acts - how it packs, sets-up, breaksdown, loads, transports, paying assistants and crew, production, and so on. The contents of this thread are not only for road workers, but almost everything here can easily apply to local workers as well - including the initial decisions, choices, and dilemmas as it pertains to our businesses. Great discussions.


This is SO true. I always designed specific things for different markets as it always seemed to make sense to let the needs of each market dictate the material. A wonderful example that just came to mind was one of the guys that we worked with at Hollywood Magic was designing a new act with some very clever ideas. It used a lot of smaller material so it couldn't really work big rooms but was great for smaller venues like the Castle, Comedy Clubs, etc. The problem was that those clubs had a very specific budget and he had designed an act with a huge amount of consumables making his per show cost beyond what he could ever recoup with the budget of those venues. Larger rooms obviously had larger budgets which could have supported the act better but the scale of the act made working those rooms impractical. He had created a beautiful act without a market to play in! To be fair, there are some European markets that could still support a higher end small act (i.e. The Crazy Horse) but he couldn't survive long enough to polish the act to get to that point. I have always encouraged people to find an under served market and let the needs of the market define the act. There are many exceptions but if you want to work, this just makes sense to me.
Ray Pierce
<BR>www.HollywoodAerialArts.com
lunatik
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Definitely not in my arena, but I really like hearing all of the fine intricacies of what needs to be considered and planned for to increase the likelihood of one's ability to scale their business if they so desire.
"Don't let your Dreams become Fantasies"
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