5 Things New Touring Pros Need to Accept About the Industry

5 Things New Touring Pros Need to Accept About the Industry

#1 This is still a job that will beat you down. 

That’s not going to change, probably ever. This is not a white-collar world and most gigs are not white glove. Be ready to get hot, sweaty, dirty, tired, sore, broken, beat-up, used, taken advantage of, pushed to your breaking point, and more. And to think, it is better than it used to be!

 

#2 Hard work still wins the day. 

I think this is a known quantity, but I also think that the old school Road Dogs worked harder in general, since the gig was more physical than it is now. Thanks to moving lights, the days of hours in the rig focusing are long gone (and more and more gigs go out with fixtures in trusses or pods so you don't even hang them anymore). Most Road Dogs spent their first day up in a rig focusing. Many of the younger generation won’t spend any part of their first year up in a truss, that’s a tough thing for some people to wrap their heads around.

 

#3 Just because you have a specialty doesn’t mean you are special. 

Each person has their own niche. When it comes to being onsite at a gig, most people remember: you work together to get it done. It’s when you are off a gig that you need to focus on a bigger picture. Being able (and willing) to do more than what you specialize in will go a long way. And if you work for a company, it is an expectation.

 

#4 It’s “easier” to make your way in the industry these days. 

It is far cheaper to carry production of some kind than it ever has been. That means there is a greater need for techs to run that gear and management types to handle them. This has led to people being put in positions they aren’t ready for and making basic mistakes that shouldn’t be made for the level they are at. Because the gear is less expensive, bands are often carrying production before they are truly “ready,” and this lends itself to the “we need a young kid that wants to work hard and get their shot”... which is when you get those basic mistakes. The whole situation has a tendency to make Road Dogs twitchy and on guard because in the end, they will be the ones saving the day (as happens all too often).

 

#5 For all the talk of how our industry has changed, it is still the same at the core. 

I don’t care if it’s the latest greatest moving light, you still need to hang it on a truss that is rigged with spansets that you attach a motor to. Same thing as par rig all those years ago.

 

Once more for those in the back: I don’t care if it’s the latest greatest moving light, you still need to hang it on a truss that is rigged with spansets that you attach a motor to. Same thing as a par rig all those years ago.

 

Let that sink in.

 

Last week I said that we live in the young kid’s world and we better get used to it. I’m sure it made a bunch of people cringe and get fussy. But it is true.

 

Now it’s your turn for the hard truth: Those that came before did have it harder than you. It’s easier to do what we do now. Far easier than it used to be. It’s a kinder, gentler touring world. Accept that, understand it. That won’t make you any less of a Road Dog when you get there, it will make you a stronger one.

 

Until next time, “Knowledge will give you power, but character respect,” Bruce Lee

-Mark