SAFE Week - No One is Above the Law When it Comes to Safety
DATE OF THIS POST: FEBRUARY 27, 2015
Chicago Stagehand is grateful that in six years, we've not had what we consider to be any major injuries. We know the way to keep everyone working well and strong is to share the responsibility of maintaining safe and healthy job sites. This brings us to today's subject - accountability.
No one is above the law when it comes to working safe. If you're ever on the job with someone (crew member or not) practicing irresponsible or unsafe habits, raise the point with them directly, tell a Crew Chief and/or contact Chicago Stagehand management immediately. By working as a team, we keep our crew SAFE for this week and beyond.
Take this time to reacquaint yourselves with the basics of first aid, for you and your crew member's sake.
Remember: if any injury occurs on a jobsite, no matter how small, report it immediately to your Crew Chief or Chicago Stagehand management so we can help with onsite and offsite treatment. We've got your back.
Thank you for participating in SAFE Week!
Protective Equipment - It Protects you
DATE OF THIS POST: February 27, 2014
Small items (even clothing accessories) can cause accidents, so we encourage crew members to keep the following in mind: Attire/Gear
Be mindful of loose articles of clothing, piercings and/or hair that can be pinched, pulled, hooked, etc. into equipment and/or moving parts. Ten Fingers and Ten Toes
Many injuries involve fingers and toes. We strongly recommend wearing gloves and steel-toed shoes/boots at all times on work sites.
A reminder: this week Chicago Stagehand offers reimbursements up to 50% for purchases of steel-toed shoes/boots, work gloves, and other personal protective equipment up to $100. Reach out if you have questions.
Here are a few links where you can find equipment.The Working Person's StoreBelmont Army
Environment - Be Aware of Your Surroundings
DATE OF THIS POST: FEBRUARY 25, 2015
Slips, trips and falls are a major hazard in our industry. Fortunately, most injuries can be avoided by simply staying aware and practicing good housekeeping habits. Avoid obstacles in aisles and walkways.
Keep cords clear and store bags out of the way of all workers.Be aware of slip or trip hazards
like cracks, slick floors, loose cables, mats, spills and more. Pay special attention to environmental hazards
when working outside exposed to wind, rain, snow or other elements (i.e. slippery surfaces for feet and gripping, harsh sun, possibility for dehydration, etc...)
Here's a beautiful soft rock safety tribute to brighten your Wednesday.
Lifting Safely - Avoid Back Injury By Practicing Safe Lifting
DATE OF THIS POST: FEBRUARY 24, 2015
Lift with your legs, not your back. We've said it before and we'll say it again, because the most common production injuries occur when lifting heavy gear improperly. Lifting by bending over and using your back to raise up instead of your legs is wrong! Back muscles are not designed to withstand the strain applied in this unconventional manner. Instead, bend your knees, keep your head up, your back straight and lift yourself (and the load) up using the muscles in your legs. Never twist your back while lifting! To take it further, make sure you have someone with you to assist.
For more info on correct lifting, stretching techniques that can help avoid back injury, as well as free yoga classes and chiropractic care, check out the links below. And check back all week for more safety tips!
A few reminders from a stick figure.
Correct Lifting and at Home Stretching Techniques.
Aligned Chiropractic's free classes for your back care.
Justin Argenio to Teach Rigging Basics At Production Academy
DATE OF THIS POST: February 23, 2015
Coming up on April 4th, the Production Academy will host ETCP Recognized Instructor Justin Argenio for a one day seminar on Rigging Basics.
The class is part of the Production Academy's Rigging Professional Program, helping beginners and professionals of the live event industry work towards certification in this highly-technical and sought after field.
The class will be held at Production Academy's facility at 4265 N Knox in Chicago. Please submit all registration requests and other inquiries to through their website
Mindset - It's All in Your Head
DATE OF THIS POST: FEBRUARY 23, 2015
Chicago Stagehand's 4th annual Safety & Awareness For Employees Week (SAFE Week) is here. All week, we'll post guidelines and suggestions stressing the importance of maintaining healthy, safe work environments. Today's focus is on mindset. Be Prepared
. Arrive on site well rested and with enough time to acclimate to your working environment. Awareness
. Take into account all potential moving parts, physical characteristics, and other factors that could be hazardous or harmful throughout the day. Listen
. Pay attention to Crew Chiefs and supervisors with advice on how to move, lift, and/or assemble equipment. Focus
. Keep your concentration on the immediate tasks at hand and limit texting, calls and other distractions (including personal business and conversations) to breaks. Teamwork
. Help your fellow crew members with mentally or physically challenging tasks.
Here's an entertaining reminder on safety basics,
and some reminders of what should NEVER happen on a worksite.
Announcing SAFE Week
DATE OF THIS POST: FEBRUARY 23, 2015
Chicago Stagehand proudly announces its fourth Safety & Awareness For Employees Week (SAFE Week), February 23 - 27, to stress the importance of establishing and maintaining healthy, safe work environments.
During this week our crew will receive important reminders regarding safe and healthy habits via email, this webpage, Crew Chiefs and on site contacts. In addition, reimbursements will be offered for purchases of steel-toed boots, work gloves, and other personal safety gear. We encourage our crews to keep working as a team in order to maintain these standards, with the ultimate goal of keeping all members SAFE for the week, month, and years ahead.
In short, we do NOT want to be these guys:
or these guys:
Remember to check back all week for more safety tips!
Pizza Parties Forever!
TC Furlong Hosts RF Seminar & Expo
DATE OF THIS POST: February 13, 2015
On Tues, March 10, TC Furlong brings an RF Seminar and Expo to Moody Church on 1635 North LaSalle Street Room 107/108.
This day-long event will cover system design, coordination exercises, best practices for successful operation of systems of all sizes, RF transmission theory, how to combat challenging RF situations, as well as upcoming regulatory issues
In the evening, the major manufacturers of production wireless equipment will be on-hand with their newest RF gear in a tradeshow-style expo. Spend some hands-on time with the gear and get all your questions answered by manufacturer reps.
To learn more and register, click here
NEIU is looking for a Full-time Stagehand
DATE OF THIS POST: October 8, 2014
Our friends at NEIU are seeking a full-time stagehand for their projects, so we are spreading the word. Position:
Assembly Hall Stagehand, Student Union, Event and Conference ServicesSalary:
$15.00 per hourQualifications:
High school graduation or equivalent, and one year of full-time professional experience working with stage equipment, sound reinforcing systems, and/or lighting for live theater, OR
Two years of high school education and two years of full-time professional experience working with stage equipment, sound reinforcing systems, and/or lighting for live theater, OR
Three years of full-time professional experience working with stage equipment, public address or sound reinforcing systems, and/or lighting for live-theater purposes.Departmental Preferences:
College Degree in Sound Design, Audio Recording Technology, or related field
Professional Experience as a Sound Designer, Audio Engineer, or related position Hours:
To Be Announced - including nights and weekends (Hours may vary depending on departmental needs)Responsibilities:
Under general supervision from a designated supervisor, assists in the day-to-day operations of the Auditorium, Recital Hall, and Student Union, and other events both on and off campus. This includes hang and focus of lighting fixtures, setup of wired and wireless microphones, operation of sound and lighting consoles, setup and operation of audio visual equipment, setup and adjustment of acoustical panels, setup and operation of projectors and TVs, the laying of dance floor, load in and out of event setups, setup and removal of tables and chairs, and other related equipment. This also includes storage, maintenance, and repair of audio visual equipment, and other related duties as assigned. Employee will work directly with students, faculty, staff, and rental clients, to ensure successful events and client satisfaction.To apply:
Submit the following:
Statement of Annuitant Status
Official transcript(s)Application Deadline:
close of business 10/20/14.Click here
for more information on this posting or contact the Office of Human Resources email at email@example.com
TC Furlong Hosts Digital Console Expo at Moody - Oct. 21
DATE OF THIS POST: September 30, 2014
TC Furlong will host the third Digital Console Expo, where manufactures like Yamaha Commercial Audio Systems, Avid, Midas, DigiCo, SSL Live, Soundcraft, Allen & Heath, Mackie, PreSonus & QSC will present and exhibit their latest digital consoles.
The event takes place on October 21 at the Moody Church, 1635 N LaSalle Street, Room 107, in Chicago and is FREE of charge. Food and beverages will be provided along with a raffle and giveaways.
Space is limited, so registration is required. To register, visit www.tcfurlong.com/dce
Chicago Spotlight - Workshop "Kick-Off" Mini Sessions
DATE OF THIS POST: July 21, 2014
Chicago Spotlight has a mission to provide affordable Theatrical Skills Workshops to the theatre community through hands-on learning.
On Saturday, August 23, 2014 Chicago Spotlight will host their "Workshop 'Kick-Off' Mini Sessions", offering sample portions of their in-depth workshops. A range of topics will be covered, including programming, Rigging safety, stage makeup, scenic painting, and LED fixtures.
This workshop is 10:30am - 3pm at Chicago Spotlight Inc in Chicago. Deadline to register is Tuesay, August 19, 2014.
Visit href="http://www.chicagospotlight.com/HTML/newseminars2.htm">their website
for details about this and other workshops. Each workshop has a registration deadline (usually 2 weeks to a month in advance), so check back monthly to discover what new programs they are offering.
ILC's 3rd Annual Golf Outing Benefiting Behind the Scenes
DATE OF THIS POST: June 27, 2014
Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC) invites you to join them on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 as they host their 3rd Annual Golf Outing benefiting Behind the Scenes
The golf outing will be held at Indian Lakes Resort located in Bloomingdale, IL. Golfers will be treated to a reception following the round of golf, inside the Hilton Chicago-Indian Lakes Resort. This year, ILC will be offering lunch at the turn, a buffet style dinner, and cash bar. Not much of a golfer? Join the reception dinner for drinks, a silent auction, and raffles!
Registration begins at 12:00pm and the shotgun start begins at 1:00pm. The reception will be held from 6:00pm - 8pm.
Vectorworks Design Scholarship Program
DATE OF THIS POST: May 15, 2014
Students across multiple disciplines will have the opportunity to win up to $10,000 by applying for the Vectorworks Design Scholarship. The prize package includes installation of Vectorworks Designer with Renderworks software and training and the chance to compete for an additional cash prize and award. The deadline to apply is July 30.
Apply or learn more about the scholarship at www.vectorworks.net/scholarship
ILC Hosts May Product Showcase
DATE OF THIS POST: May 9, 2014
Chicagoland's Intelligent Lighting Creations (ILC)'s product highlights give area professionals the opportunity to view the latest entertainment technology in a series of free monthly seminars. This month, they will be featuring LED Tape QolorFLEX, Drivers, and Wireless DMX.
ILC will host their monthly product showcase at their Arlington Park facility on Thursday, May 29th from Noon to 4pm.
EARS, Columbia College and EARS Present THE SOUND OF STYX LIVE: Making The Grand Illusion / Pieces of Eight
DATE OF THIS POST: April 25, 2014
EARS has teamed up with the Chicago International Movies & Music Festival(CIMMfest) and Columbia College for a showing of STYX LIVE: THE GRAND ILLUSION/PIECES OF EIGHT.
Filmed at Memphis' historic Orpheum Theatre, this epic performance features the Chicago-born group's hits - as well as three songs never-before performed in public.
During intermission, there will be an interactive live Q&A with the films' Audio Mixers, Recording Engineers, Producers, etc.. to explain the how's and why's of the movie's sound and video aspects.
The event takes place on Tue., April 29 at 6pm in Columbia's Film Row Cinema (1104 S Wabash Ave, 8th Floor). For more info, visit the EARS Facebook Page
ETC Sponsors Scholarships for LDI
DATE OF THIS POST: APRIL 1, 2014
Its application time for ETC's Student Sponsorship program at the LDI Trade Show. The sponsorship covers the cost of hotel accommodations, round-trip airfare, meals, full LDI 2014 conference passes, and exclusive swag. Students will have ample time for networking at the trade show, including a special student reception attended by industry-renowned lighting designers, educators, consultants, and employers. Sponsorship recipients also participate in ETC's mentor-matching, pairing students with lighting professionals to offer advice, guidance, and support.
The Student Sponsorship program is open to Grad Students and Senior-level Undergrads. The LDI Tradeshow will be held November 21 - 23 in Las Vegas, NV. Students studying lighting design or theater technology are encouraged to apply. Five finalists will be selected from across the U.S. For more info or to apply, visit www.etcconnect.com/LDIsponsorship
Engineer & Recording Society Annual Networking Night
DATE OF THIS POST: March 19, 2014
The Engineering And Recording Society of Chicago (EARS) will be hosting their annual networking party at Schubas on Tuesday, March 25th. The event begins at 7:30pm, but guests are welcome to show up early and begin the evening with a visit to Schubas' downstairs bar.
The evening promises to be a fun opportunity to meet and exchange ideas with experienced industry professionals. Anyone curious about EARS is encouraged to attend - you do not need to be a member. Those under 21 are invited as well; IDs will be checked and wristbands will be issued accordingly.
This is a cash bar and light food will be offered courtesy of Shure, Vintage King, EARS and Schubas.
Tomcat hosts Hoist and Rigging school - Feb 17-20
Tomcat understands the importance of not only having the best equipment for your support structures, but also the experience and knowledge to use it correctly and safely. With this in mind, they will be hosting Tomcat U 2014 this February 17 - 20 in the of the Tomcat Factory in Knoxville, TN.
Tomcat U is an all-inclusive, four-day hoist and rigging school presented by experienced industry professionals. This comprehensive training course provides a combination of hands-on workshops and information-filled lectures on a wide variety of subjects including instruction on truss designs and their use, safe rigging practices and principles, using and troubleshooting chain hoists, and fall protection. By the end of the four days, attendees will have a better understanding of truss, how to work with it more effectively, how to increase their personal safety, and how to increase the safety of their structures.
Advance Registration is required. Call 865-219-3700 for more info.
Mountain Productions Hosts CM Hoist School, March 10-14
DATE OF THIS POST: November 15, 2013
The Mountain Productions' CM Hoist School is an intensive hoist and rigging seminar that serious riggers won't want to miss! Taught by leading industry professionals, this 5-day training will cover instruction in hoist use & maintenance, rigging principles, truss management, lifting & suspension and motor control/load monitoring.
Qualified attendees will receive 24 renewal credits toward their ETCP rigging certification / Level One certification from Columbus McKinnon.
The Hoist School will be held March 10 - 14, 2014 in Wilkes-Barre, PA. Register before Dec. 1 for a special Early Bird discount. For more information, visit www.hoistschool.com
DATE OF THIS POST: November 6, 2013
Chicago Spotlight has a mission to provide affordable Theatrical Skills Workshops to the theatre community through hands-on learning.
Coming up on Saturday, March 8, 2014 is "LED Lighting for Entertainment Spaces", presented by Marty Lazarus, President, Chicago Spotlight, Inc. This workshop will provide info on all aspects of LEDs - from the basics of how and why they work to deeper discussion about thermals and energy.
This workshop is 9:00am - 12noon in Norridge, IL. Deadline to register is Friday, February 21, 2014. Cost: Educational $15; Others $25
Visit their website
for details about this and other workshops. Each workshop has a registration deadline (usually 2 weeks to a month in advance), so check back monthly to discover what new programs they are offering.
Nemetschek Vectorworks hosts Conference Pass Giveaway for Students and Recent Grads
DATE OF THIS POST: October 18, 2013
When you're getting started in our industry, networking opportunities like the LDI, ASLA and Greenbuild 2013 Conferences can make a big impact. Nemetscheck Vectorworks understands, and that's why they're offering students and emerging professionals (graduated after 2008) a chance to win passes to their choice of these conferences.
To register, entrants would need to like the Vectorworks Facebook page and fill out a form, which includes a brief essay. Two passes will be given away for each conference. Winners will be chosen by the creativity of their entries.
The registration deadline is October 25. To register or learn more about the Conference Pass Giveaway, visit www.vectorworks.net/conference-pass.
City Theatrical Free Wireless DMX Webinars
DATE OF THIS POST: OCTOBER 18, 2013
City Theatrical, maker of custom lighting accessories, is hosting a series of free webinars to introduce industry professionals to their Wireless DMX system.
Below is a list of upcoming webinars (all are free, but require advance registration):
Topic: SHoW DMX Neo® (Learn how to set up a complex multi-universe wireless DMX system and to tune it to meet the needs of a professional show)
When: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at 10am CST Register for this webinar
Topic: SHoW DMX Vero® and Vero Net® (Learn how to set up a permanent outdoor architectural wireless DMX system)
When: Tuesday, December 10, 2013 at 10am CSTRegister for this webinar
Topic: Using Specialized Antennas With Wireless DMX (Learn how using specialized antennas with wireless DMX can improve your shows and installations)
When: Tuesday, January 7, 2013 at 10am CSTRegister for this webinar
For more information about City Theatrical and their products, visit citytheatricalcom.
Engineers And Recording Society to Spend Night award-winning Producer/Engineer Ed Cherney
DATE OF THIS POST: September 20, 2013
At 3 p.m. on Sunday, September 22, The Engineering And Recording Society of Chicago (EARS) will host a meeting with Grammy and Tec Award-Winning Producer/Engineer Ed Cherney at SAE Chicago (820 N. Orleans).
Originally a Chicagoan, Ed since moved to L.A. where he recorded and mixed records with some of the most important artists of our time, including Spinal Tap, The Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop, Bob Seger, Celine Dion, Eric Clapton, Tenacious D, Little Feat, Billy Joel, Carly Simon, The B-52's, The Goo Goo Dolls, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, and more...
This special presentation allows area Audio Engineers the opportunity to speak with a successful professional in their field and to learn from his experience. The event is for EARS members only, but they're offering a deal for new members to sign up. Click here
LOCAL YAMAHA TRAINING SESSIONS
DATE OF THIS POST: SEPTEMBER 9, 2013
Yamaha Commercial Audio Training Seminars (YCATS) comes to Chicago's Hyatt Regency O'Hare on September 10 and 13.
The Chicago seminars will include CL series operational training on Sept 10 as well as M7CL for beginners and M7CL for experienced engineers on September 13. This event provides area audio technicians a key opportunity to network and learn from some of the industry's top audio providers.
For more information and to register, please visit yamahacommercialaudiosystems.com.
For those who are unable to attend these training seminars, Yamaha features several self-training documents and videos on their website
Review and Comment on the 1st Draft of the Event Safety Guide
DATE OF THIS POST: July 23, 2013
The deadline is quickly approaching to provide feedback on the first draft of the Event Safety Alliance (ESA)'s long-awaited Event Safety Guide. The ESA is asking for help of those in the industry to look it over and provide feedback before it is published. The last day to review and to comment is August 5, 2013.
The Event Safety Guide hopes to provide a comprehensive look at the possible risks and hazards of events in all types of venues. Although the disclaimer does caution against taking the draft's words as law, as it is not final. As they put it "Nothing in this version of the Event Safety Guide should be relied upon as advice, guidance, or representation of any kind."
To download your own copy of draft one and to provide your feedback, visit www.eventsafetyalliance.org
ETC hosts second CUE conference --- July 22-25 in Madison, WI
DATE OF THIS POST: JUNE 18, 2013
Lighting professionals will have a unique opportunity to network with fellow professionals and learn about new technologies this July 22-25th at ETC's second biennial education event in Madison. Named for Create, Understand, and Experience, CUE offers product training, tours of ETC's famed factory, lectures from industry leaders, and more.
ETC is a global lighting company dedicated to providing customers with the best and most innovative products, services and solutions. The company is widely known as the developer of one of the first microprocessor-based lighting control systems in the world as well as the Source Four lighting fixture.
CUE requires advance registration. Cost varies based on involvement and student discounts are available. For more information about CUE and ETC, visit their website www.etcconnect.com.
SIM 3 Training in Chicago
DATE OF THIS POST MAY 20, 2013
June 25-28, Meyer Sound will be hosting a seminar here in Chicago on SIM 3 Training and System Design. This in-depth seminar provides a thorough operational understanding of source independent measurement and application of SIM analysis in the design of complex audio systems, along with a review of SIM theory and system development, followed by a discussion of field practices for the SIM 3 audio analyzer. The seminar extends the foundation of SIM measurement into sound system design. The seminar costs $700 per person, but promises a great learning opportunity for anyone who chooses to attend.
Meyer Sound Laboratories, based in Berkeley, California, manufactures self-powered loudspeakers, multichannel audio show control systems, electroacoustic architecture, and audio analysis tools for the professional sound reinforcement, fixed installation, and sound recording industries. For more information about this event, click here.
Yamaha Commercial Audio Allows Techs to Test Drive Consoles
DATE OF THIS POST: MAY 8, 2013
Until June 30, Yamaha's CL digital consoles are available for a "test drive," allowing area sound engineers to experience the new technology in their usual work environments. A great opportunity for anyone interested in adding this console to their gear list.
Participating dealers will offer the test drive for 72 hours, free of charge (although you may be required to put down a deposit). This includes a racked, two-unit RIO3224-D I/O, 150' snake, and road case for a gig of their choosing. The system provides 72 inputs and 35 outputs.
For more information on the 72-hour CL Test Drive and to locate participating dealers, visit www.yamahaca.com/cltestdrive
New Hemsley Mentorship Program Now Taking Applications
DATE OF THIS POST: APRIL 2, 2013
The Hemsley Lighting Programs, Inc. a long-time supporter of students pursuing careers in lighting design has announced its new Hemsley Mentorship Program.
Aimed at students and recent grads, the mentorship initiative would provide up to $5,000 in funding to allow its recipients to work with a lighting designer "mentor" for an extended period of time on an independent project in the professional arena. Projects could also count for course credit.
To be considered, applicants must first seek out a mentor of choice, and then work with his or her mentor to submit the appropriate materials together to the Hemsley Lighting Programs. The application deadline is April 15.
For more information on this and other opportunities provided by this organization, visit www.hemsleylightingprograms.com
EVENT - What Does Wireless Lighting Mean to You?
DATE OF THIS POST: February 13, 2013
On February 21, the Rock Bottom Brewery on Grand Ave will fill with Lighting Designers and Engineers to hear Eric Lind discuss the topic of Wireless Lighting Control.
Time tested conventional lighting controls are being challenged daily with methods of wireless control. Whether it is WIFI, specific unique frequencies or even over power lines all technologies are proving to offer creative, useful and cost effective solutions over conventional hard wired methodologies.
Hosted by the Illuminating Engineering Society, this event
explores how this advance in control technology applies to residential, commercial and historical projects.
For more information or to register for this event, visit www.ieschicago.org
Rose Brand USITT Action Design Competition for Design Students
DATE OF THIS POST: JANUARY 30, 2013
For the second year, Rose Brand, an industry leader in theatrical draperies and production supplies, along with USITT offers a special opportunity to students pursuing a career in scenic art.
This year's Rose Brand USITT Action Design Competition will occurr at the USITT Conference in March. Four teams (each with a student scenic designer, technical director, lighting designer, and costume designer) will have 3.5 hrs to compete for the best scenic environment. The teammates will not know each other, their supplies or the environment's theme until the day of the contest. Interested students must apply by Feb. 22.
To see last year's video and access applications, visit the competition's Facebook page
Behind the Scenes Grants
DATE OF THIS POST: DECEMBER 17, 2012
Many entertainment technology workers lack health insurance and other financial support systems which are common for professionals in other fields. This is why the ESTA Foundation's Behind the Scenes program exists -- to directly benefit industry professionals who are seriously ill or injured, from stagehands and designers to employees of manufacturers, dealers and production companies.
Since May of 2006, Behind the Scenes has provided over $200,000 in specifically tailored grants to industry professionals or their family members, from medical care to basic living expenses. A recent grant recipient, a soundman who toured the world until he became desperately ill, wrote, "I couldn't believe that when I needed help The ESTA Foundation was there. I am the crew guy - not the superstar. I can never thank them enough."
This season, consider making a donation to the Behind the Scenes grant program. Visit the ESTA Foundation's website
for more info.
Sapsis Rigging, Inc. opens its first Midwest Office
DATE OF THIS POST: DECEMBER 11, 2012
Sapsis Rigging, Inc. (SRI), a leader in stage rigging, fall protection and safety systems for the entertainment industry, is branching out from its Pennsylvania home. And it has opened its first Midwest satellite office in Bowler, WI, just outside of Wausau. The new office will specialize in safety inspections, rigging installations, hoist inspections and re-certification for SRI customers.
Part of SRI's success is its emphasis on safety. To that end, the company offers seminars for Counterweight Rigging and Arena Rigging, providing safety tips as well as new standards and methods training to working professionals.
More info and many more resources for riggers are available on the Sapsis Rigging website. Check them out at sapsis-rigging.com
and welcome them to the neighborhood!
ETCP Exams this Spring in Milwaukee
DATE OF THIS POST: NOVEMBER 16, 2012
The Entertainment Technician Certification Program (ETCP) is an industry-wide program of rigorous assessments for techs. ETCP certification can improve a technician's reputation by showing that he or she is fully trained in disciplines that directly affect the health and safety of crews, performers, and audiences.
This Spring, ETCP will host its exams in Milwaukee, WI on March 22, 2013. Interested candidates must submit their application, along with supporting materials and fee, to the ETCP office no later than March 1.
Eligibility requirements, applications and practice exams are available at etcp.plasa.org
, or if you prefer to have info mailed, contact Meredith Moseley-Bennett, ETCP Certification Manager, at 212-244-1505 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Drape Kings opens Chicago office
DATE OF THIS POST: August 14, 2012
The Drape Kings, an undisputed leader in event drape, has officially opened its third national office right here in Chicago. The new facility boasts a 7,100sq ft warehouse, tens of thousands of yards of high quality event drape, colorful event carpet, rope & stanchions, step & pepeats, in house cleaning services, and plenty of sturdy sandbags ready for the Windy City's events.
"We're very excited about expanding the kingdom," states the company's COO, Kevin Goodrich. "For years we've seen a noticeable uptick in both drape sales and rentals in and around Chicago. We feel that the market is under served and could use a true one-stop-shop to support a very robust events industry."
For more information on Drape Kings, their offerings and job openings here in Chicago, visit www.drapekings.com.
MONTHLY VECTORWORKS COMPETITION
DATE OF THIS POST: JULY 19, 2012
Did you know that Nemetschek Vectorworks Inc. hosts a monthly contest for design? The Creative Minds Monthly Design Competition introduces a new concept every month to be answered with any kind of design response -- whether architectural, product, landscape, entertainment, or other.
The competition is open to anyone within the US and submissions can come from an individual or a group of up to four people.
Each month's winner receives a $150 Visa gift card, the opportunity to be showcased in Vectorworks' traveling exhibit (which will be featured at venues such as the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition) and a feature in the online Creative Minds publication.
For this month and past concepts, more information, and to submit your entry, please visit vectorworks.net/creativeminds
Summer Work for Student Programmer
DATE OF THIS POST: March 27, 2012
The Open Lighting Project has been accepted into the 2012 Google Summer of Code program. This allows them to provide one lucky college student the opportunity to write open source lighting control software from home for three months during summer while collecting a paycheck.
The Open Lighting Project is a multi-faceted effort aimed at accelerating the adoption of new control protocols, while also providing high-quality, reliable, open software for the lighting industry.
To qualify for the Summer of Code Program, you must be a college student and a talented software programmer who also has a passion for the entertainment lighting industry. Click here
for more information.
Tips and Tricks for Lighting Pros
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 14, 2012
The Academy of Production Technology is an organization dedicated to education and safety of personnel in live event production. By hosting workshops and seminars across the country, they provide learning resources for aspiring professionals, including stagehands, technicians, electricians, designers, programmers, systems integrators, engineers, consultants, and more.
Recently, the Academy of Production Technology reached out to professionals and gathered some nuggets of wisdom for those working in the Lighting Industry for events, particularly corporate events. Click here to read what today's Pros had to say.
While you are reading, also be sure to check out the Academy's calendar of upcoming training opportunities
, which includes a seminar on entertainment electricity, power distribution, and controls happening in Detroit April 26-28.
Freelancer's Guide to Corporate Event Design
DATE OF THIS POST: JANUARY 4, 2012
Event Designer Troy Halsey speaks to Chicago Stagehand's Simon Hess about his career and his new book, Freelancer's Guide to Corporate Event Design
. Troy Halsey has a long history in corporate event design, both through his work with Freeman Co. and now with his own company, The Halsey Group.Chicago Stagehand (CSH): How did writing this book come about? Did you decide to share your experience with others or were you approached on behalf of those looking to learn more?
Troy Halsey (TH): The book came about because I got tired of training new designers. I worked for a company at the time that had new designers coming in every six months, and they would know 3D programs or exhibit design but they didn't know corporate events very well. I started thinking that we needed a training manual for the company and that grew into a much bigger project which eventually led to the book. I got very lucky; I called a publisher that had published some books that were similar on stage lighting and so forth. I told her about the book and she bought it right over the phone.CSH: So you had written the whole book before you shopped it around?
TH: I wrote about a quarter of it and I had a full outline - a big chunk of the book was research and interviews with experts. I had a clear outline though and I sent that to the publisher. She said, "you know what's crazy, this type of book has been on my find list for three years," so she gave me a contract. I had never tried to publish anything before, and it was a cool experience to have it thrown in my lap. Then I didn't even realize what I was in for. Once you start talking to a publisher they start talking about word count, image count and royalty - how all that stuff works - and then you realize it is a huge undertaking. Suddenly this fun little project I wanted to work on became very stressful. I ended up working on it for two years: a year to do the writing, and then a year to create the images. Most of the images are graphics I created or stock photos you have to spend time tracking down. There are still a number of photos I was never able to find. CSH: The fact that it got picked up so quick shows that there was obviously a genuine need for this type of book.
TH: Yeah, I think so. The publisher focused on theatrical books and had wanted to get in the corporate world. Corporate events used to be called business theatre, so it's not a huge leap to go from theatre to corporate event design. Our industry is a multi-billion dollar industry so they were excited to have a book about the topic.CSH: It's funny how our industry is such a big industry, but it does still seem like an underground type of thing to much of the world.
TH: Absolutely. Somebody once told me there are only 60 people who work in this business, and we all just keep moving companies. It is a very small industry as far as people and experts, but money wise, it's a big industry. CSH: There are so many different roles people play in corporate events. What kind of decisions did you have to make when tailoring the technical information to this wide swath of people?
TH: A lot of people that come in to work into this business for design and creative direction seem to know 3D programs, but they don't know the industry. So I started writing the book for somebody who never worked in corporate events, and I wanted to give them a crash course so that they could start designing really simple events. Then it kind of evolved into who else would be a good audience? It would be good for people who work in corporations who get thrown on their annual meeting planning committee and don't understand why does this stuff costs so much? Why does it take two years to plan one of these events? So I started writing the book toward that type of audience. Maybe they've attended an event or two but they have no idea what goes on in the background. I wrote from start to finish as though the reader was working as an intern at a turn-key production house.
Professionally I've been doing this over 15 years, and there is still stuff I learn. Whenever I sit down with an LD, I learn. There are different types of rigging methods and everything is constantly changing. Nobody is an expert all the way through, not even the guy who wrote the book on it. Not just because things change, there's just so much to know. There's not one person in this business that can know everything. CSH: As technology has advanced in so many ways over the last decade or so, how have you adapted? How have these advances made events better or worse?
TH: Of course it's changed in a lot of ways, but at the same time the core concept of corporate events is still the same. A bunch of people get in a room and talk about a specific topic, and you usually have two or three video screens, so that part has never changed. The toys that we have to make those meetings a little more exciting have evolved over time. The biggest technology difference I've seen in the last ten years is using video as scenery and using video with multiple screens blended. Video started off in the 70's and 80's and started off as very crappy technology. The projectors that came out were so dim, you'd have to dim down the slide projector next to it so they would match. Now it's so crystal clear and bright we're starting to use it as scenery. With mapping technology like the software package Mad Mapper you can do video mapping on the sides of buildings or scenery or whatever. I think video will continue to be a game changer in our industry. Very soon LED will become so high res and on flexible surfaces, your entire set will be draped with a video cloth instead of having to do image mapping. I think the potential is huge for where video is going to take the industry. As a designer, in some ways this is risky for me because as we go to video I'm out of a job - but in big ways it allows me to do more fun stuff with 3D content to go onto those screens. So now my job as a set designer just evolved into using digital media as my canvas instead of plywood and two by fours. CSH: Do you have any advice for young people who are just starting to work in the field on how they can expand their resume? Is there anything you would have done differently when you were starting out?
TH: I was very lucky. My degree in college nobody had ever heard of before. It was kind of a combination of RTF and theatre. My director's focus was combining video technology with theatre. I didn't realize it at the time, but that was basically corporate events. So I would say for a new person if you're interested and you're still in school, learn as much as you can about technology and theatre craft depending on what part you want to do. The biggest thing I would say is try to learn everything. So many people get into the business and immediately specialize in lighting or rigging or design. One of my great opportunities was my first job as a production assistant. It gave me that role where you touch everything. You load cases off of trucks, and then you work with the lighting guy and learn what he does. Get a full rounded education, and on-site, physical education. There's only so much you can learn in the classroom but, once you take that first job, you want to learn as many parts of the industry as possible. Then once you decide what you like the most and what you want to specialize in, you'll have a better idea of how it all comes together.
Working in companies I was always fighting with titles, because I was thinking I want to be a Creative Director and right now my title is Set Designer. How do I talk to somebody about creative when my title is Set Designer? After awhile I started to learn that yes, some of your clients might care about what your title is but, for the most part they don't really care as long as you're confident and know what you're talking about and are easy to work with. When working within a company, titles are important because they determine your salary. Once I decided to go off on my own, then it wasn't important. I could give myself whatever kind of name I want. CSH: Can you talk about the importance of a 'big picture view' when working on corporate events?
TH: That's kind of tough to answer, because I think the big picture view is going to be different from each person's vantage point. If you're a production person, you should be doing whatever you have to do to make a production that's safe and that the end client is happy with. For example, a company like Chicago Stagehand, their big picture would be making the end client as happy as possible - not necessarily the company that hired you, which is very important. You do want to make them happy, but you want to make sure that their client is happy, and that everybody is presentable and professional and has a wonderful experience.
Now if you're a creative person you have to start looking at big picture in a different way, and you start thinking what do you want attendees leaving this event and saying to themselves? That becomes a messaging big picture. So it all depends on your vantage point. But getting caught up in 'well that's not what the diagram says; this is where I'm supposed to rig this on this point, and that's what I'm going to do' - that's not thinking big picture. The big picture is that you have to put together an awesome production that makes the clients life less stressful. As stressful as you think it is getting that rig up, you're never going to be as stressed as the end client who's trying to think of everything. They're responsible for making sure that everybody does a good job. You really have to think of what's the big picture of my role, not necessarily just what's right in front of me.
From an overall production standpoint, it's a cohesive machine. I'm always amazed when I watch a load-in. It's amazing to watch it roll in and 18 hours later you have this amazing production that wasn't there when you started. On a very small scale it's like building a pyramid in modern times. Teamwork is an obvious and overused phrase, but I cannot overstate the importance of that in our industry. With the fixating on 'this is my job' - yes, thats important - but you need to focus on the team. What does the team need to do to accomplish to make this the best production possible. That may mean doing something that is out of your comfort zone or helping with something even though it's your turn for a smoke break. Thinking about the big picture is certainly important. CSH: What is one of the most common mistakes you see on site and how do you resolve that?
TH: From my vantage point it would be customer service. So often we forget that there is a client signing the check walking around at all times. You never know when that client is going to pop in the room that you're working in. A common mistake is that I hear people bad mouthing the client or bad mouthing the company that hired them. If you're a stagehand, bad mouthing the company that hired you gets around. Again, thinking big picture, you may just think of yourself as a rigger or lighting guy but, you're also a customer service representative for the entire industry.
An obvious mistake from a design standpoint is when a client picks a venue and says 'the paperwork says four thousand people can fit into this room' but they never take into account that staging and video usually take at least a third of the room. I still go through that after 15 years of working with clients. They're hiring me to make sure that it's a wonderful event. Every client is going to have a different personality, and it's a cliche to say that all clients are difficult. You have to think of it from their perspective - that they've got so much on their plate and they can't think of all those little things. They don't know how to make sure a floor plan is fire marshall approved or why an aisle has to be six or eight feet wide. They're not thinking of that kind of stuff, so that's why they're coming to you. CSH: You've been a professional in this world for over 15 years. What is it about this work that you are most passionate about?
TH: My new obsession for the last five years - which is kind of what I've started to build my career around - is the concept of an experience. I started to touch on it in the book, but it's a much broader topic. (I'm foreshadowing another book maybe...) Experience design says, "Let's look at this event from the attendees perspective and why are attendees important." Attendees may not be the ones writing the check, usually its the people hosting the event, but attendees are the ones filling out the evaluation form that goes back to that host. They look at those forms and determine if it was a successful event, so the attendees are really the ultimate client. So the next step as a designer is to ask the host, "What are you trying to get across to your attendees?" If you're a medical event then the message might be, this is the best medical association to be a part of. Then the designer has to backtrack and say, from the moment the attendee steps out of the car or gets out of the plane, what are all the touch points that they'll experience all the way into the ballroom or exhibit hall? What can we do to help us deliver this message that the client wants to get across? So when you start looking at it from the attendees' perspective and their experience, then you get into this concept of experience design. It's what we've always done but doing it from a different perspective. If you're standing in line for 20 minutes, is there something we can do to make it more entertaining? Do we project twitter feeds up above the registration wall and then people can tweet? Do we put picture walls along the path so that you can take photos with some famous person from that association? Those types of things start to lead to experiences.CSH: As a designer whose worked with people with all levels of experience on corporate events, what advice would you give to stagehands who are looking to be a valuable asset on site?
TH: A can do attitude. That seems so cliché, but, it's rare. Everybody in our industry is so overworked. You're tired, you're working weird hours and it's really hard to have a great attitude when you're on site. When you're on site and you have 60 people you're coordinating, the person I'm going to like and want to hire again is going to be the person who had the can do attitude - who says yes, we can do that and says it with a smile and gets it done. Not somebody who talks like they're condescending you and then nothing gets done. I'm talking about the real person that gets it. They want to make sure that everyone is happy and they're going to do what it takes to get it done. It's funny. It's usually not the foreman that has that attitude, it's usually a rigger or some lighting assistant. That person suddenly becomes my point of contact. A can do attitude is by far the most important asset a person can have if they're a stagehand wanting to stand out. It's all about attitude. You can be very limited in your knowledge, have a great attitude, and be more valuable than somebody who has 20 years of experience. It seems obvious, but we forget. CSH: And finally, the questions we're all dying to know... where can we buy your book?
TH: Amazon is the best place and the best price. Go to amazon.com
and type in freelancers guide or Troy Halsey. It's the only book I've written so it'll pop up.
Win a $25,000 Scholarship to Tribeca Flashpoint Academy
DATE OF THIS POST: OCTOBER 17, 2011
Tribeca Flashpoint Media Arts Academy, Chicago's premier digital arts academy, has teamed up with Time Out Chicago for $25,000 scholarship competition.
This offers a wonderful opportunity to anyone wishing to pursue recording arts, camera operation, visual effects and other digital programming careers, and who wishes to study here in the city of Chicago.
Applicants must fill out a simple form, attend a tour of the Tribeca Flashpoint Academy's campus and submit an essay of 500 words or less about how he or she would improve their Chicago community through the use of digital technology.
To register, visit www.timeoutchicago.com/tfa
To learn more about the degree programs and training available at Tribeca, visit www.tfa.edu
TheatreFace.com Interview on LED lighting
DATE OF THIS POST: AUGUST 19, 2011.
TheatreFace.com has launched a chat series to provde an inside scoop to the technical world of theatre production. On August 10, the series began with an interview with Ford Sellers and Mike Graham (product development managers for Chauvet Lighting) and David Tahmassebi (CEO of LEDEngin) to talk about about what new products they're developing, the state of LEDs today and how they'll fit in with theater production in the future.
A full video of the conversation is able to view online on theatreface.com's blog
To become involved in one of these live chats and ask your own questions to industry leaders, visit www.theatreface.com
and take a look at their chatroom and forums.
Full Sail Production Studies
DATE OF THIS POST: JULY 18, 2011
If you're looking to launch a career in recording, music, film, video games, design, animation, entertainment business, or internet marketing, Full Sail can help. Over the past 30 years, Full Sail University has built a reputation as one of the premier media arts schools in the world. Throughout the entertainment industry, Full Sail graduates have made their names working on award-winning films and albums, acclaimed video games and design projects, live productions, working inside major media companies, and more. Regardless of which program you choose, at their school or online, one of Full Sail's fundamental goals is to encourage the union of art and technology.
There are a number of Chicagoland stagehands that have studied at Full Sail, if you are interested in speaking to someone about their real experience email through the Chicago Stagehand site and we'll put you in touch with them. In the meantime, check out Full Sail's website at www.fullsail.edu
ARS Training and Tips
DATE OF THIS POST: JULY 12, 2011
Most often viewed in television shows (think "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire?" and "American Idol"), Audience Response Systems are a specialized technology which allows audiences to participate in polls and games through a wireless handheld device.
ARS Rental founder Scott Thomas is an audience response system expert. Since 2005, he has worked in the fields of audience response and A/V. Under his leadership, ARS Rentals, an Oregon-based company has become leading providers of Audience Response Systems like Turning Point for corporate meetings and special events across the U.S.
ARS Rentals offers expertise to other A/V professionals through their corporate blog, which features training videos, best practices, and other tips that enable service providers to get acquainted with this in-demand technology or brush up their skills. Check it out at www.ars-rental.com/blog/
Sennheiser Offers Training Seminars July 14 and August 24
DATE OF THIS POST: JULY 7, 2011
Sennheiser, a privately-owned world leader in microphone technology, RF-wireless and infrared sound transmission, headphone transducer technology and active noise-cancellation, will present two training seminars in the Midwest this summer.
On July 14 in Detroit and August 24 in St. Louis, these Sennheiser Installed Sound Academy training sessions will offer valuable credit toward CTS re-certification and enhance knowledge on key practices, topics and trends in the installed sound/systems integration business. Attendees will learn or refresh their skills through demonstrative instruction on sound reinforcement, microphone theory and applications, in-ear monitor systems, RF wireless systems and troubleshooting logic.
More information about these and other training opportunities can be found at their website.
Chicagoland's own Shure Microphones
DATE OF THIS POST: JUNE 29, 2011
Shure Microphone was founded in Downtown Chicago in 1925 as a one-man company selling radio parts. Over the course of 80+ years Shure Microphone remained in Chicagoland, spending almost 50 years in Evanston and then moving to their current headquarters in Niles, as a seller of professional audio electronics, including microphones and in-ear monitors for a variety of applications.
This summer, Shure Microphone donated gear to Guitar Center Studios, giving students and professionals a chance to hone their skills on ProTools and Logic software, as well as with SM58® handheld microphones, MX395 low-profile microphones and SRH240 headphones. For more information on Shure's work with Guitar Center Studios, visit their website
Also be sure to check out their many newsletters
, which provide offer insights and techniques for specific work environments.
Roland Systems Brings AV Showcase Tour to Chicago
DATE OF THIS POST: JUNE 15, 2011
Roland Systems Groups (RSG) will bring their North American Audio Visual Showcase Tour to Chicago on July 19, 2011. Chicago production rental companies, V-Mixing System users, designers, authorized resellers and consultants or anyone wanting to learn more about the Roland's new products, including the M-480 V-Mixer Live Mixing Console, the R-1000 48 Track Player/Recorder and web streaming products such as the VR-5 all-in-one AV Mixer and VC-30HD Video Convertor.
In addition to the event in Chicago, RSG will also host a series of online broadcasts on topics such as: Integrating Personal Mixing for the Musician, Best Practices for Virtual Sound Checks, Rehearsal and Training Tools, and Streaming/Producing Online Content.
For more information on the event in Chicago, to register or to learn more about Roland Systems Group, visit www.rolandsystemsgroup.com/avshowcase
Lighting Training Tools
DATE OF THIS POST: MAY 16, 2011
With headquarters in L.A., New York and Montreal, ACT Lighting has become a leading distributor of entertainment lighting equipment for concert tours, theatrical productions, and architectural industries. As with many product distributors, ACT offers training seminars both at their locations and online to help professionals learn the latest technology on their product list.
However, the ACT website also features a series of online documents that provide basic and advanced training of general lighting and programming.
To brush up on your programming basics or learn more about the latest lighting trends, visit www.actlighting.com/training
Clearwing, Chickenfoot and Audio
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 20, 2011
Veteran Audio Engineer - Jim Jorgenson - speaks to Chicago Stagehand's Ross Troyan about his life involved with audio from his early age to present day. Jim these days is a consultant on special installations, Monitor Engineer with Sammy Hagar as well as Sammy's side band, Chickenfoot, as with Joe Satriani. He is very involved with Martin Audio, Clearwing Productions and the future of audio entertainment products and productions.
Chicago Stagehand (CSH): When did you start to realize that you enjoyed doing audio?
Jim Jorgensen (JJ): I started when I was nine going on ten volunteering in the school library in Buffalo Grove, IL around 1973-1974. I thought cassette players were fascinating and it was my job to rewind tapes that had been returned- it was before there were "auto-reversing" decks. By the time I was twelve, I was setting up slide projectors and overheads in classrooms and stating to learn about basic AV. I was also learning about bands and music. I played sax for jazz band and then switched to baritone when I found out there were girls in the drum and bugle corps. By the time I was thirteen (1976), I was unloading gear and helping stack speakers for local events. I have worked with one band or another as a sound guy/tech since 1977.
Audio was a hobby that I became more and more interested in. I eventually started to learn not only how to use the gear, but the science behind it and the awareness of how it affected other people. The social and physiological value of the industry became more and more a part of it when people started paying to hear and see the results of all the effort.
CSH: Did you do theatre in High School? In College? Have you done any audio studio recordings?
JJ: As I mentioned, I was always near the AV Department of my school in some capacity. I started working as an audio engineer for bands (actually for money) since Jr. High School. By the time I left High School, I had become the resident expert on live sound. I joined the US Navy in 1982 and after nine weeks of boot camp, I was back in clubs on the weekends spinning knobs and helping the local sound company set-up and tear down.
After the Navy, I went to two years at University of Wisconsin majoring in "Tech Theater" where I was often excused because I had to go do shows. I did learn a lot about lighting and audio from a theatrical perspective, but was frequently asked to operate during in house productions. In 1998 I had the opportunity to go back to school and work on my MBM-T from University of Phoenix. I have worked on a few studio projects, but to me they are only recordings of music and wound up sounding like a live performance. Better I stick with live and let people that do that work the miracles they do.
CSH: What/who were some of the projects/companies you worked for in Chicagoland and the Midwest? And what sorts of positions or jobs did you do?
JJ: I was an employee of two different audio companies based in Milwaukee (one of them was Clearwing Productions 1990-1997) from 1986 until 1997 and worked on several projects in the Chicagoland area. I would have to think about some specific shows, but I remember working a Def Comedy Jam one New Years Eve. Also, an International Gay Rodeo, The Blues Festival, many live grand openings, galas and corporate events, a couple shows at the Chicago Theater (recently Jim came back to Chicago touring with Chickenfoot and Joe Satriani (famous guitarist and also plays with Chickenfoot). I have had a good connection over the years to the audio lays at Colombia University and could see myself teaching at a place like that one day. Several of the graduates are my peers today. After 5000 shows, they start to blur a bit.
CSH: Why the big move to Phoenix, Arizona (The Valley of the Sun)?
JJ: In 1995, I met a girl that was from Chandler AZ. We were married in 1997; the move allowed us to start our family with around thirty of her family all with, in a few miles of our house. Having all that (her) family around made it much easier for my wife when I have to travel. The travel time to the airport has become consistent, and much like a hotel elevator- "Once I am on the plane, I don't care which floor my room is on"
CSH: What was your role with Clearwing Productions in Milwaukee before the move out west?
JJ: I started freelancing for Clearwing as an Audio Engineer in 1988 and went full time in January of 1990 as an audio tech. In 1993 I was head of the Audio Department and then went on to become Operations Manager until moving to AZ in 1997.
CSH: Can you tell us how you became involved with Sunbelt Scenic Studios Inc., in Tempe, AZ and your role with its company?
JJ: The accountant for Clearwing was in AZ for a conference and started talking to an owner of Sunbelt (Ted Swanick) whom happened to be working on his masters' thesis of "reciprocal business relationships in a seasonal market". Ted Swanick suggested that Clearwing and Sunbelt exchange equipment in slow months to extend the rental days of the gear for both companies. I was sent from Clearwing to Sunbelt in the fall of 1993 to train Sunbelt's staff of how to operate the clearwing equipment. The head of Audio for Sunbelt broke his ankle and I was asked to stay for a few months while he recovered.
In 1997, I started with Sunbelt as a Senior Project Manager and quickly moved to Audio Department Manager. I made great efforts to stay involved in management responsibilities even when my opinion was not requested. I had the ear of the minority owner and my wife worked in the Accounting Department, it could have been a great company, but a series of unfortunate circumstances led to an eventual closing of the doors.
CSH: Leaving Sunbelt in 2003, opening your own company Genesis Audio Systems, Inc. / Genesis Productions in Tempe, AZ., can your tell us your thoughts, accomplishments and goals from start to end of the company including a list of productions and projects?
JJ: This topic could go on a bit too long, but in general: The owners of Sunbelt felt that they were becoming obstacles in the growth of the company and wanted to hire a general manager to oversee the day-to day functions of a one-hundred twenty-five-employee company. The person they hired was not the right guy for the job and had his own agenda. I decided to leave when my personal goals were not being met at Sunbelt. I started my own company and fell into a rapid and surprising pace right away. I remember coming home from the lawyer's office after applying for the LLC and finding six guys on my couch asking "what now boss?" My timing could not have been better for the market opportunities of the time in early 2004.
We did several 1 million dollar installs and had a National North American tour on the road with-in 6 months of start-up. There are companies I know that have been doing great business for years and are still looking for that first tour. Genesis did dozens of large festivals and radio shows all over the country. We also had a good mix of corporate theater and special events. MLB and NBA All-Star Games, NFL and NHL Pre/Post Shows, and several high profile fundraising events like Mohammad Ali's Fight Night and Alice Cooper's Christmas Pudding.
My goal was to create a self-sustaining work engine that would provide for my family with less of my direct involvement. I found the opposite to happen, I nearly lost my family in an effort to hold a twenty-eight person company together with limited resources and ever present competition.
CSH: What is your current relationship/job description with Clearwing Productions now with the office in AZ?
JJ: I went back to work full-time in February in 2011 as the National Account Manager for Clearwing, but my touring schedule required us to re-tool the position to act as more of an outside consultant. We will continue to collaborate over the next few months as Clearwing undergoes yet another rapid period of Growth. They are strongly committed to the new L'Acoustics K1 System that has opened up some very interesting opportunities. Clearwing has been and will be a company to watch- they seem to be doing everything right these days.
CSH: Regarding Martin Audio Ltd., can you tell us about your involvement with them during your early years and present?
JJ: There are some things going on here that I cannot talk about today publicly, but I do believe they are among the top three speaker manufacturers in the world and I hope to be involved with the company and their product line for the balance of my time.
I have been using Martin products since the early 1980's when I first used split bins and phili shaves I believe they price all of their products correctly and Dave Martin's horn designs were the best in the last thirty years.
Over the last fifteen years, I have been pushing Martin products on customers in both live and installed scenarios - the sporting arenas the churches, the live concerts, and movie theaters in Phoenix have seen a lot of Martin Audio. Once people hear it and stop listening with a magazine advertisement in mind- the transparency and warmth are hard to find in other products.
CSH: Can you tell us about your design role for Martin Audio?
JJ: Clearwing and Sunbelt both owned Martin Audio LE700 Monitor Speakers. They are a 15" x 2" bi-amp'd wedge that weighs 97 pounds and gets really loud. I was talking to Bill Webb (Martin Audio) and told him that I needed a wedge that sounded like the 700, but at half the weight- primarily for vocals. Over dinner we discussed some additional criteria and with a smile - I committed to purchasing 16 of them to help offset the cost of R&D. After several months of horn modification and prototyping- the production model was released as a Martin LE12-J and it was subjectively better than a 12am for half the cost.
CSH: What is the way of future audio equipment (digital and beyond?)
Audio Equipment is going to go through some major changes in the next eighteen to twenty-four months. There have been some major breakthroughs in the propagation of sound waves and phase correction/alignment. I also believe the computer screen as we know is at the end of its life expectancy. The next human interface to a computer will be quite different than it is now and I believe that Audio Engineers will invent and utilize some of the new hardware before the consumer industry embraces it.
CSH: We heard that Sammy Hagar and his Chickenfoot band (Jim is the Monitor Audio Engineer for Sammy and his side projects like Chickenfoot) are back in studio?
JJ: (Unofficially) Chickenfoot has recorded a second album and this is expected to be released late summer. Chad Smith (famous drummer from the Red Hot Chili Peppers) did record with the band and plans on playing live with the current line-up as schedules allow.
CSH: What are your current projects and future plans with various productions and on the road with Sammy Hagar and his friends?
JJ: I am consulting with a new church in Glendale, AZ. for some upgrades to their audio system. I look forward to Coachella 2011. I have some Sammy Hagar dates in May/June. I am looking for some Joe Satrani dates in July and then hopefully in Sept.-December will be with Chickenfoot. I do actually hope to slow down a bit this year, I am making an effort to seek out more consulting work and less touring, but it is a process and the cell phone bill seems to come every month even if I am not working.
For more information check out: www.sanernet.com
Jim Jorgensen's Websitewww.clearwing.com
Clearwing Productions, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI. And Phoenix, AZ)www.martin-audio.com
Martin Audio Ltd (Professional Loudspeaker Systems)www.redrocker.com
Sammy Hagar (The Red Rocker)www.chickenfoot.us
Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani, Chad Smith, Michael Anthonywww.satriani.com
Snoop at Welsh Ryan Arena
DATE OF THIS POST: FEBRUARY 16, 2011
Gand and SCS Productions teamed up to provide full staging, audio and lighting for the Snoop Dogg and Kid Cudi concert at Northwestern University this past December. A 42 box flown Nexo Geo T line array also included 20 Nexo CD18 subwoofers with PS15 monitors used on stage by the artists. Nexo Alpha ALEF 3-way side fills with S2 subs and PS10's were implemented for front fill on the wide stage for the crowd.
Gand Concert Sound is just one of the divisions of Gand Music and Sound based on the north suburbs of Chicagoland. Their operations include the sales and rental of band gear and installations of audio systems in auditoriums, places of worship, nightclubs and more.
For more information about Gand check out their website at www.gand.com
DATE OF THIS POST: DECEMBER 10, 2010
Based at the foot of Pikes Peak in Colorado, USA, Wybron invents, manufactures, and markets cutting-edge lighting products that have transformed the entertainment and architectural industries. In its state-of-the-art, 50,000-square-foot manufacturing facility, Wybron puts innovation, quality and world-class service to work every day.
The company features the Wybron Mobile Showroom, a custom-built, state-of-the-art enclosure which presents a survey of Wybron's stable of products in an environment more intimate than a trade show. The Showroom made a recent stop in the Chicagoland area on November 17th at Grand Stage Lighting
For more information on Wybron's products and the Mobile Showroom check out their website at www.wybron.com
Quebec City Projection Display
DATE OF THIS POST: AUGUST 9, 2010
The Image Mill is the world's largest outdoor architectural projection installation. The lighting and video performance is cast upon an active grain silo that is about 4 football fields in length and 12 stories in height. The show is displayed every night in the Port of Quebec City after sunset. This project was commissioned by The Quebec Port Authority and designed by Robert Lepage of the design group Ex Machina.
Ex Machina is a multidisciplinary company bringing together actors, writers, set designers, technicians, opera singers, puppeteers, computer graphic designers, video artists, contortionists and musicians. Their creative team believes that the performing arts - dance, opera, music - should be mixed with recorded arts - filmmaking, video art and multimedia.
For more information about the Image Mill and Ex Machina visit their website at www.lacaserne.net
World Cup Wrap Up
DATE OF THIS POST: JULY 27, 2010
Gearhouse South Africa is a full service production company that recently finished up servicing what has become its most recent success in the company's history; World Cup 2010. Chicago Stagehand had the chance to get some feedback from the group's Managing Director Ofer Lapid who summarized the experience.
Q What part(s) of the FIFA World Cup events was Gearhouse involved in providing production?
A. We did the Opening and Closing Ceremonies as well as the FIFA Kick off Concert and a good couple of brand activation events for corporates like Sony, Adidas and a couple of Public Viewing events.
Q. How far out in advance did your involvement in the World Cup become secured?
A. We started discussing our projects in earnest from around February 2010, however planning was in place to ensure capacity a good few years in advance. With a few exceptions, most SWC-related projects confirmed with a very short lead time.
Q. Did the FIFA projects completely consume all of your equipment and manpower or were you managing other projects alongside the games?
A. We were trading to capacity but managed to service our longstanding client base as well as the increase in one-offs fairly easily. In general we are very pleased about how the Soccer World Cup period turned out for us.
Q. Were there any unique or unconventional logistical challenges involved with the execution of producing the FIFA projects?
A. Yes, we had a week less than planned for the get- in for the FIFA Kick off concert - reduced due to the finals of the Super 14 Rugby competition, which just made it a bit more pressurized. Obviously the load-in at the Stadiums for Opening and Closing had to work around the scheduled games which also made life interesting.
The main challenge was sheer scale, which is something we are accustomed to dealing with. Gearhouse engaged in some serious statistics and logistics, starting the get-in for the Closing Ceremony as soon as the opening match had been played, a month earlier. All site/technical logistics and crew co-ordination were handled by project managers, Eyal Yehezkely and Bonni Meyer respectively, while Senior PM Bill Lawford organised the arrival of 8 containers of equipment by sea freight and a further 50 tonnes by air freight.
Q. Was Gearhouse involved in the design process of providing production for the event or just renting equipment and labor?
A. On some of the events like the SWC Closing we provided the Lighting design and on others just the rental equipment and staffing.
Q. Have any new relationships been formed between Gearhouse and other vendors or suppliers as a result of your involvement in the FIFA project?
A. It is mostly a case of strengthening existing relationships, but we did meet and work with a couple of new international clients as well.
Q. How supportive of Gearhouse is your local and national government and political bodies? Did you run into any unwarranted challenges or obstacles in running your operations during the World Cup games?
A. We don't believe that the SA government fully understands our business yet and its contribution towards the success of projects like the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the Presidential Inaugurations and the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of high profile sports events like the Indian Premier Cricket League and the Soccer World Cup not to mention the larger congresses/conferences which are finding their way to our shores. Of course South Africa, as a country, has its own challenges and the government has far more pressing issues to concentrate on. We are happy though that there has been great development in our industry over the past 15 years and increased "sparks" of understanding from the government over this time.
Q. Any valuable lessons learned from your involvement in the FIFA World Cup this year?
A. We learned how much trade we are capable of servicing in a single month. If ONLY every month was like June-July 2010.
For more information about Gearhouse, check out their website at www.gearhouse.co.za
Funding Projects in Africa
DATE OF THIS POST: JULY 7, 2010
Mocha Club is an online community of people that donate at least 2 mochas a month ($7 minimum) to fund relief and development projects in Africa. The club focuses its efforts and resources in 5 main areas: Clean Water; Education; Child Mothers + Women At Risk; Orphan Care + Vulnerable Children; HIV/AIDS + Healthcare. The model and fund raising drive of Mocha Club is to provide a way for people that don't have large amounts of money to donate by simply making small monthly donations and by their community based website that allows members to start a team and invite friends to join them in giving up the cost of two mochas a month to support their chosen project.
Chicago Stagehand has supported Mocha Club since our founding in 2009 and continues to believe in its vision and missions.
For more information about Mocha Club, check out their website at www.mochaclub.org
Locally Based Musician Network
DATE OF POST: JULY 7, 2010
Chicago Music Project (CMP) is Chicago's newest outlet for established and new musicians. Their mission is to provide Chicago with a well deserved platform to showcase its thriving and diverse music scene. CMP was founded by two locally based filmmakers, Leo A. Flores and Isreal Fernandez III who each bring their own unique talents to make Chicago Music Project a viable force in the saturated Chicago music media scene. CMP has produced concerts, media profiles and music videos for various Chicago musicians such as Matthew Santos, Hey Champ, Kid Static, 1773 and the Steepwater Band.
For more information about CMP, check out their blogspot at chicagomusicproject.blogspot.com
Virgin's Galactic SpaceShip Two Illuminated by Chicago based Lightswitch
DATE OF THIS POST: MAY 25 2010
The rollout of the world's first commercial space airship, Virgin's Galactic SpaceShipTwo took place at the Mojave Spaceport in California in front of 800+ press members, future astronauts, VIPS and the crew of Lightswitch, the Chicago based lighting and visual design company that was commissioned to illuminate the monumental event.
Lightswitch was responsible not only for runway illumination, but the press conference area, an ice bar sponsored by Absolut, and exterior lounge and a couple of inflatable translucent party pods to boot. Lightswitch partnered with Group Delphi, an internationally recognized exhibit and architectural design company that oversaw the project management of the event. Through their combined efforts they were able to overcome a gale force wind storm and freezing temperatures that blew away tents and equipment and threatened the event as a whole.
For more information about Lightswitch and the details of this history making event, check out their website at www.lightswitch.net
or visit Virgin's site at www.virgingalactic.com
DATE OF THIS POST: MAY 22, 2010
Kennedy Webster is an electric company that is a family owned business based in Downers Grove offering specialty, hard to find and general light bulbs. They have been in business since 1912 and they stock over 7000 different types of lamps and have access to another 50,000+ including use for aircrafts, audio visual equipment, graphic arts, appliances, entertainment effects, photography, stage studio, marine and many other uses. They consider themselves a top tier supplier with the ability to deliver small to large quantities while maintaining competitive pricing. They are a master distributor for all major lighting manufacturers including GE, Philips, Sylvania-Osram and others. They are the largest national distributor for PVIP lamps globally.
For more information about Kennedy Webster's services and products, check out their website at www.kennedywebster.com
or you can reach their local sales representative Miguel Franco at 630-240-9699.
Illinois Film Office
DATE OF THIS POST: MAY 6, 2010.
Illinois Film Office is a state sponsored organization that serves the motion picture, television and commercial industries as a resource for vendors such as actors, lighting and audio companies, casting, locations scouts and other related fields. They offer an online production guide that lists the names and contact information for anyone involved with offering services to the tv or movie community.
Whether producing a small budget indie or a sophisticated major motion picture, IFO is set up to support and assist in connecting its producers to the support staff and services that Chicago has to offer.
An initiative launched in recent years is the Diversity Guide that is offered by the IFO. In order to increase minority participation in the film industry, the Illinois Film Service Tax Credit requires production companies to make "good faith" efforts to hire minority and female owned businesses that are certified with the State of Illinois' Central Management Services.
For more information about the Illinois Film Office, check out their website at www.ifo.jtpr.net
Custom Designed Road Cases
DATE OF THIS POST: MAY 1, 2010
The Calzone Case Co., a family operated company has been manufacturing cases since the mid 1970's. With roots in the Rock & Roll business, the company and product line have branched out into virtually any and all markets imaginable. Drummer turned entrepreneur Joe Calzone founded the Calzone Case Company over a quarter of a century ago in Norwalk, Connecticut. Along with brother Vin, they embarked on a mission to build the highest quality cases in the music business. Within seven years they had grown the business to a size whereby they outgrew two manufacturing facilities. In January 1983 they relocated into a thirty thousand square foot building in Bridgeport, Connecticut. This location currently serves as the corporate headquarters as well as a manufacturing facility for Calzone Cases.
The company acquired "industry leader" Anvil Cases in 1996. Over five decades ago the company that is now Anvil revolutionized shipping by innovative designs in the manufacturing of reusable transit containers. As a result of their groundbreaking developments they became the icons in their industry. Calzone's acquisition of Anvil Cases from the ZERO Corporation, a publicly held company, doubled the size of the combined Calzone Companies. This combination would comprise the nucleus of the largest fabricated case manufacturer in the world.
For more information about Calzone, check out their website at www.calzonecase.com
Job Opening for Lighting Tech
DATE OF THIS POST: APRIL 20, 2010
Stage Tech Inc. is seeking a full time experienced lighting technician/programmer for their shop in Indianapolis IN. Applicants must have a minimum of 5 years experience in live entertainment production and equipment.
Stage Tech, Inc. is an Indianapolis based audio, lighting & staging production company providing equipment and services for concerts, conventions, special events, theatre & trade shows. The company has been around since 1975 and have worked on projects for clients such as the Indiana Pacers, the Indianapolis International Airport, BMW of North America and The White House Communications Agency.
For more information about Stage Tech Inc. check out their website at www.stagetechinc.com
Navigator Automation Training- Defy Gravity
ORIGINAL DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 28, 2010
UPDATED: APRIL 24, 2010
A few times a year, Fisher Technical offers training on one of the most advanced automation systems in the industry. The training takes place at the world headquarters of Fisher Technical Services in Las Vegas, NV. The week-long intensive training will give you a comprehensive introductory understanding of the award-winning Navigator Automation System. You will learn the software and hardware in the same facility where the system is designed, manufactured, tested and distributed.
The most recent course took place April 19-23 and was led by Dana Bartholomew, one of the foremost experts on Navigator software and practical installations. Dana is a Vice President of FTSI with twenty-six years of automation experience, and has been integral to the design, manufacturing and programming of everything from single line installations to choreographed seventy axis spectaculars.
Participating in the Navigator training can lead to a greater understanding of the fastest growing component in theatre, themed attractions, touring markets and film. This specialized field has a rising need for qualified, trained technicians, installers, programmers and designers.
Finally, The Fisher Technical Services, Inc. internship program is an once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be involved in the most innovative entertainment automation company in the world. They are offering their internship candidates the experience of taking an idea from concept to reality. FTSI provides a ten-week summer program.
For more information about the Navigator course and the internship opportunity please call (702) 251-0700 or check out their website at www.FisherTechnical.com
Road Show coming to Chicago
DATE OF THIS POST: APRIL 16, 2010
Martin U.S. is hitting the road on a 15 week Road Show tour that has Martin personnel traveling to 30 cities across the country and holding over 120 events for local lighting professionals. The Road Show stops in Chicago on June 28th and 29th.
Founded in 1986 and headquartered in Aarhus, Denmark, Martin Professional is a world leader in the creation of dynamic lighting solutions for the entertainment, architectural, and commercial sectors. Martin lighting solutions are industry standard on top tours and events, grace prestigious theatres, energize nightclubs, and decorate major television studios around the globe. Other important areas of application are indoor and outdoor architecture and commercial applications where Martin products are increasingly being used to transform spaces through dynamic light. Martin also offers a range of advanced lighting controllers and media servers, as well as a complete line of smoke machines as a complement to intelligent lighting. The company operates the industry's most complete and capable distributor network with local partners in nearly 100 countries.
For more information about Martin, visit their website at www.martin.com
My Name is Jerry
DATE OF THIS POST: APRIL 9, 2010
The soundtrack for the movie My Name is Jerry was written and recorded at the Music Technology Studios at Ball State University in Muncie Indiana. The recently released work won awards at the International Filmmaker Festival in Kent UK for best picture, soundtrack and supporting actress. The Director of Music Technology Rick DiGiallonardo lead the project using the facilities at the university that include 11 studios, one of the most extensive studio recording microphone inventories in the state of Indiana and the support of Ball State undergraduate students.
The Music Technology at Ball State University is an undergraduate music degree program featuring classes on acoustics, studio maintenance, computer music, multi-track digital recording, and composition. This degree program encompasses many to all aspects of audio production, sound design and music creation. In addition, as a music major, a student is required to take traditional classes covering music theory, history, arranging and performance.
For more information about the Music Technology Department at Ball State check out their website at www.bsu.edu/musictech/
Recruitment for Mumbai Positions
ORIGINAL DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 10, 2010
UPDATED: APRIL 7 2010
SIA Acoustics are seeking talented people with experience in acoustics, sound systems, sales and bookkeeping for a new office in Mumbai India that is scheduled to open this spring as part of a global expansion of their operations. This information was posted previously but the company is continuing their search for the right candidates.
Functioning primarily as consultants and designers, SIA Acoustics is an architectural audio system design team with offices in New York City and Los Angeles. In order to concentrate their energies on design and planning the company has intentionally avoided the task of selling equipment. This choice has resulted in their consultants being better equipped to focus on the details of the entire design and construction process. Some of their completed projects include the sound system design of Camden Yards, home of the Baltimore Orioles; acoustical design of NYU"s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music and the sound system design of the Pearl at the Palms Concert Hall in Las Vegas.
For more information about applying for the positions available in Mumbai and other SIA projects check out their website at www.siaacoustics.com
Screencasts and Seminars
DATE OF THIS POST: APRIL 1, 2010
Creative Conners is a scenery movement solutions company based in Rhode Island that introduces computerized motion control and automation technology to theatrical productions and venues. They make use of existing standardized and proven technology when applicable but choose to design and fabricate devices when the market doesn't offer what they consider to be the appropriate solution.
One aspect of the company's culture is sharing information and knowledge about their trade with the general theatre production community. On their website they feature SpikeMark Screencasts; this is their custom designed 3D scenic automation software. The Screencasts illustrate the various features and abilities of the software such as basic motor tuning; viewing of real time graphic feedback of show movements and advanced techniques of running and linking cues.
The company also hosts a Stage Automation Workshop. The next one is scheduled for May 14th and 15th. This event is in cooperation with Stage Machines, a standalone automation and metal shop for stage, film and television. For more details about Creative Conners and the workshop check out these websites:www.creativeconners.comwww.stageautomationworkshop.com
Contest for Gobo Design
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 22, 2010
Apollo Design Technology is hosting its 3rd annual Design-A-Pattern Contest. Winners of the contest will receive a personalized commemorative plaque with the design; inclusion on Apollo's website and catalog; industry press coverage; a donation to industry charity for each pattern sold. Some of the guidelines of this competition include being at least 18 years of age; design must be an original work to be eligible to win; the right to the artwork will be relinquished to Apollo if it is chosen as a winning pattern.
Deadline to enter is April 29, 2010.
Apollo Design Technology is a Ft Wayne IN based producer and distributor of special effects products for the entertainment lighting industry. Founded in 1992 by Joel and Keersten Nichols, the company has become widely known as a leading producer of custom gobos used by lighting designers to create stimulating visual effects for use in theatre, corporate, concerts and houses of worship.
For more information about the contest and Apollo Design, visit their website at www.apollodesign.net
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 22, 2010
The Center for Sustainable Practice in the Arts (CSPA) is an organization founded by Ian Garrett and Miranda Wright that provides a network of resources to arts organizations in order to better equip them to be financially and ecologically sustainable while at the same time maintaining a high level of artistic excellence.
CSPA have created a number programs to facilitate the process of this sustainability effort. CSPA Connect is a dedicated social network for artists and others bringing sustainability into the arts to meet up online. CSPA Wiki is a free open source that organizes information about sustainability practices. CSPA Convergence is an annual conference that gathers industry leaders, educators, students and the general public to share ideas and celebrate the year's innovation.
For more information about CSPA's programs and events check out their website at www.sustainablepractice.org
On Location Audio Class Starts in May
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 17, 2010
Chicago Filmmakers is a 35 year-old media arts organization that fosters the creation, appreciation and understanding of film and video as media for artistic and personal expression, as well as media of important social and community impact. Their mission is to provide an opportunity for artists to make films outside the mainstream marketplace, to distribute and exhibit this work, as well as to build audiences and to increase media attention for it. Recognizing the impact of mass media in contemporary society, it is additionally their goal to provide culturally diverse audiences with alternative images to those reflected in mainstream media and to broaden access to media education to include those typically left out of the process.
Their Co-op offers quarterly college-level film and video pre-production, production, and post-production classes taught by college instructors, media professionals, writers and independent artists. These classes provide a low-cost opportunity for those who want to learn film and video production in an alternative setting. Classes are offered on weeknights and weekends, and enrollment is usually limited to maximize personal instruction and to insure adequate equipment availability.
This spring there is a course being taught for location sound recording and editing techniques. Classes begin on May 15th. For more information about Chicago Filmmakers and this course, check out their website at www.chicagofilmmakers.org
Creative Fabric Solutions
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 12, 2010
Pink Inc. is a full service creative solutions company that rents and sells custom designed poly-spandex blended fabrics that can be used in place of traditional building materials to create surfaces, spaces and costumes. Using CAD, Rhino and other modeling tools their products are custom designed by a staff experienced in fine arts, graphic design and industrial drafting. Their work has been used in various applications including exhibits, houses of worship, theatre, concerts, hotels and event marketing.
A short list of some of their structures include: slender slopes, ripple walls, continental (room) dividers, crescents and ellipses, arches, tunnels, coves, mod pods, free forms such as splashes, kites and diamonds, mosaix and their own special line of geo aptly named pinkometry.
Their website has an extensive stock of photographs and case studies that summarizes the creative processes used to accomplish the goals of some of their most recent clients. Check it out at www.pinkincdesign.com
Green Initiatives for the Future
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 10, 2010
What's Green? For one, that would be the title of the link on Showman Fabricator's website that leads to the page that outlines the company's effort to achieve maximum sustainability moving into the future.
Founded in 1986 by Robert Usdin and Michael Cioffi, Showman Fabricator's is a diversified full service scenic design and fabrication shop that also offers services such as production management, scenic artistry, automation, graphics, CNC routing, waterjet cutting, trucking and logistics and road case construction. They service TV and film, museums, theatre, industrial and corporate events, retail and restaurants.
In the fall of 2008 New York City's Broadway officially announced it was going green. The Long Island based Showman is one of the leading forces of this energy conservation initiative for the live production industry. Their website now showcases a number of efforts the company has undertaken to incorporate environmentally friendly methods into their service and design process. They also feature a list of green resources that offer information about groups and organizations that are making efforts to further the movement of implementing sustainability practices in the theatre and general marketplace.
For more information about Showman Fabricators and their green initiative visit their website at www.showfab.com
Specialized Pro Audio Services
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 9, 2010
Alignment and Design is a professional audio service based in Creve Coeur Missouri (a suburb of St. Louis) specializing in loudspeaker system design and tuning. The company uses the latest technologies available to tune and align audio systems for clients such as a number of the Disney properties around the world and several arenas and stadiums in the United States including Anaheim Arena in California and the SBC Arena in San Antonio.
The company is owned and operated by Bob McCarthy and his wife Merridith. Collectively they run the operations with Bob acting as lead consultant, designer and tuner of audio systems and speaker/instructor for audiences that include professional touring production companies. Most notably a recent training session was hosted for the audio crew of Cirque du Soleil's Saltimbanco event being held in Hoffman Estate's IL. Merridith executes the duties of running the day to day operations of the office including bookkeeping and travel logistics for Bob's adventures abroad.
For more information about booking Bob for a service engagement or finding out about events he will be hosting in the future check out their website at www.bobmccarthy.wordpress.com
125th Year of Manufacturing
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 4, 2010
John Clancy, a Syracuse stagehand, began designing and building stage equipment in 1882 due to the lack of suitable equipment at that time. Three years later in 1885 he founded J.R. Clancy, now one of the oldest and largest manufacturers of stage rigging equipment in the world.
As the leading manufacturer of theatrical stage equipment in the United States, they provide everything from simple stage hardware to highly sophisticated automated systems for any rigging need - theaters, concert halls, arenas, television studios, auditoriums, convention centers, casino showrooms, opera houses, and even cruise ships.
One of their most recent installation projects completed includes the new Margot & Bill Winspear Opera House in Dallas Texas. Some of the techincal features include the focal point in the audience chamber that is a custom chandelier consisting of 318 internally illuminated rods, forming a 40' high and 40' diameter lighting fixture, that retracts into the ceiling. The performance rigging includes 85 counterweight sets, 16 point hoists (0 - 400 fpm), a steel framed fire curtain, three 2,500 lb. speaker cluster hoists with "bomb bay" doors, curtains, curtain tracks, and chain hoists.
The company also hosts a separate website completely dedicated to the topic of rigging safety. Information such as how rigging works; an article titled new loads for old structures that examines rigging in historic and aged properties and several rigging operating manuals.
For more information on JR Clancy visit their websites at www.JRClancy.com
Regional Promotion of Arts
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 3, 2010
Based in Baltimore Maryland, the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation supports the richness and diversity of the region's arts resources and promotes wider access to the art and artists of the region, nation and world.
The Foundation serves the states and territories of Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, the US Virgin Islands, Virginia, and West Virginia.
Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation was established in 1979 to promote and support multi-state arts programming. Over the last five years, MAAF has built a core of program initiatives designed to address specific issues of regional arts support. The work of the Foundation has been focused on areas such as artist issues, services and support; access to arts programs for audiences/participants; developing an infrastructure for touring and presenting; making connections beyond the region and many more.
The USArtists program might be of particular interest to Chicago based dance, music and theatre ensembles and solo performers. The program provides support to travel major international arts festivals anywhere in the world outside of the United States.
For more information about MAAF, visit their website at www.midatlanticarts.org
2010 National Conference
DATE OF THIS POST: MARCH 1, 2010
Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the American theatre, exists to strengthen, nurture and promote the professional not-for-profit American theatre. Its programs serve nearly 700 member theatres and affiliate organizations and more than 12,000 individuals nationwide. As the US Center of the International Theatre Institute, TCG connects its constituents to the global theatre community. In all of its endeavors, TCG seeks to increase the organizational efficiency of its member theatres, cultivate and celebrate the artistic talent and achievements of the field and promote a larger public understanding of, and appreciation for, the theatre. TCG is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Their national conference is taking place in Chicago from June 17 to 19th at the Palmer House Hotel. For more information about this event other programs offered by TCG check out their website at www.tcg.org
Transitions Abroad .com
POST UPDATED: FEB 28, 2010
Transitions Abroad or TA is a United States web based resource for students or civilians interested in living and working outside of the U.S.A. The organization posts links and resources for studying, working, traveling, interning, living and volunteering abroad short and long term. Some of the positions available include Au Pair, farming and teaching English. The site also offers specialty information about traveling in groups, single women, culinary travel, renting homes, health, safety and insurance. TA is also seeking travel writers to submit stories about locations around the world. All of this information can be found at their website www.transitionsabroad.com
Thern Winches and Stage Equipment
DATE OF THIS POST: FEB. 8, 2010.
Thern Stage Equipment is a fully owned and operated division of Thern, Inc, providing theatre operators with hoisting and rigging solutions to best fit their applications.
Thern, Inc. has been designing and manufacturing standard and custom hoists for use in applications across a wide range of industries since 1948. With a full range of load handling capabilities available to customers, Thern is a worldwide leader in load handling equipment, offering full lines of manually and electrically operated hoists. Known for product durability and quality, customer collaboration and satisfaction is key for Thern; nearly 40 percent of all Thern sales are custom-built products. Offering a range of standard and custom designs, Thern can handle loads from 100 to 100,000 pounds.
One example of their work is a custom designed winch that was used for the New Years Eve event in Times Square to lower the 12,000 pound Waterford crystal ball. More information about Thern's services and other notable clients and projects can be found at their website www.thernstage.com
Call for award nominations
ORIGINAL DATE OF THIS POST: JAN 31, 2010
UPDATING OF THIS POST: MAR 27 2010
Live Design has closed nominations for the third annual Excellence In Live Design awards, honoring outstanding achievement in design for projects completed between November 2008 and November 2009. Nominations were made in six categories-Concerts, Corporate Events, Live For Broadcast, Theatre Production, Architainment, Venues (Club or Lounge), and Venues (Theatre or Performance)-and each will be featured in the April issue of Live Design. One winner in each category will be chosen via online voting where typically 80,000 readers cast votes. All winners will be featured in the May issue of Live Design and be honored at the Live Design Master Classes.
To find out the nominees check out their website at www.livedesignonline.com/2009_excellenceawards/
DATE OF THIS POST: JAN 30, 2010
Expressive Structures is a new company founded by local Chicago scenic designer/stagehand Ben Palmer. The company is providing creative display solutions for corporate events, trade shows and the retail industry. Their systems are modular, light weight, easy to install and cost effective. They use the Triga display system which allows users to build light weight aluminum structures which are elegantly clad in seamless tensioned printed fabric. Unlike most conventional banner-stands and pop up displays, Triga can be expanded, contracted and continually reconfigured to meet your ever changing environments.
For more information about Expressive Structures, check out their website at www.expressivestructures.com
John Legend and Smashmouth Projects
Gand Concert Sound
was established in 1977 to meet the growing demand for large scale music performances on a regional level. Colleges and local festivals provided a jumping off point for what has become the Midwest's longest operating sound system provider. Under the stewardship of senior engineer Gary Gand, the company expanded into national tours by the early 1980's. Traveling the U.S. and Europe with many national acts gives Gary the ears as well as eyes to know what makes a great sounding and reliable system. His expertise is apparent in every system design used by GCS. Many ideas pioneered by GCS have become "standard issue" in the sound industry.
The company was recently involved in 2 major events in the Chicagoland area. Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter John Legend recently performed for an audience of 5,500 at the Welsh-Ryan Arena on the campus of Northwestern University supported by Gand Concert Sound
, who provided the audio and SCS Productions who provided the lighting and staging. The event, produced by A&O Productions, was held to celebrate the inauguration of new Northwestern president, Morton Schapiro and also featured Northwestern-affiliated performers. It was the first time in four years that a concert had been held in the venue.
As part of the audio rig, Gand
provided 12 NEXO CD18s, 10 GEO T4805s and two GEOT2815s per side for out fill. Eight GEO T4805s and a T2815 were used per side for mains, left and right; four NEXO PS8s were used as front fills. Since the band was on in-ears, three NEXO PS15s were used for stage monitors. A Yamaha PM5D-RH digital audio console performed front of house duties.
"Since the arena was set up for stadium seating on the sides, the side hangs where bigger than the mains," states Gary Gand, President, Gand Concert Sound. "I used to go to concerts at NU when my wife was a student there and, acoustically, it was a typical nightmare athletics-type room. Bands like Mountain, Springsteen, Simple Minds, even the Dead, just got swallowed up in echo. Now that the NEXO Tangent Array has proven itself in thousands of shows, the venue has changed radically into a pretty nice-sounding, mid-sized room with great potential."
The second major event recently serviced by Gand
featured all star rock and rollers Smashmouth. Set on the Barrington Illinois High School football field in late September, the band participated in a teen motivational event that culminated in a performance in front of a crowd of 3,000. The Barrington School District is strongly committed to building children's social, emotional and academic competencies, and this particular event was organized by a mental awareness coalition that included members of the Barrington School District, teens, parents, and community leaders.
With the assistance of Gand Concert Sound
, Joe Perona mixed front of house using a Yamaha M7CL digital audio console while Aaron Patkin mixed monitors on Yamaha PM5D-RH. Eight NEXO GEO T 4805s were used per side with one GEO T 2815 per side, four CD18s per side, PS15s for wedges with Alpha-E side fills, Yamaha PC9501n amps, and NEXO NX242s processors with EtherSound cards. "NEXO's top of the line GEO T system was employed to guarantee even coverage from the closest down stage audience members, dancing to the band, to the concertgoers in the bleachers," states Gary Gand, President, Gand Concert Sound. NEXO CD18 subwoofers are cardioid and keep unwanted low frequencies off the stage and out of the backstage area. The bottom goes where it's wanted, right into the feet of the dancers down stage and is easily directed."
"Noise control is always a concern in public spaces bordering on high-priced residential real estate, and GEO T is the perfect choice for pattern control," says Gand. Using Geosoft, we can plot the exact coverage with the correct amount of boxes to insure strong SPL where it's needed and still keep everyone happy including the stage company supplying the load-bearing roof."
For more information about Gand Concert Sound
, visit their website at www.gand.com
Motion Labs - Power Distribution and Motor Control Systems
Motion Laboratories is a company that provides power distribution and chain hoist control system solutions in the entertainment and corporate industries. A list of their products include:
The Cell*Mate weight monitoring system that simultaneously watches loads from one or more remote locations. Using state-of-the-art stainless steel load cells to measure tension in rigging points, cells are rated for either 2-ton or 5-ton loads and work in unison with Cell*Mate Hub and Digital Display Modules.
Satellite Power Distribution Products. This includes RacPacs and Stringers which are designed with a high degree of flexibility to deliver power to the places that need it such as amp racks, dimmers or just a rack full of gear. If a truss or backline needs power they offer a variety of boxes to match those needs.
Server System. An advanced hardware/software solution that monitors the exact position of every hoist in a grid. The product can be used to form groups of hoists that move together with one-click. This automated sequencing by setting thresholds allows the user to move a grid safely into place in one motion.
Load*Cell. A primary component in the Motion Labs manufactured weight monitoring system, the Cell*Mate, this stainless steel device works in unison with the eight channel Cell*Mate Hub and Cell*Mate Digital Display module, giving users the opportunity to monitor both dynamic and static loads in unlimited quantities from one or more remote locations.
The WardeN. A control unit that allows users the ability to remotely monitor up to eight channels of Load*Cell data simultaneously. It interfaces with Motion Labs chain hoist control systems and can detect any overload/underload conditions that could arise and automatically stop all motor movement. It also shows the operator as to which channel has the potentially unsafe condition.
For more information about Motion Laboratories products visit their website at www.motionlabs.com
Occupational Safety & Health Administration
The United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency of the United States Department of Labor. It was created by Congress under the Occupational Safety and Health Act which was signed by President Richard M. Nixon, on December 29, 1970. Its mission is to prevent work related injuries, illnesses and deaths by issuing and enforcing rules (called standards) for workplace safety and health. OSHA and its state partners have approximately 2100 inspectors plus complaint discrimination investigators, engineers, physicians, educators, standards writers and other technical and support personnel spread over more than 200 offices throughout the country. This staff establishes protective standards, enforces those standards and reaches out to employers and employees through technical assistance and consultation programs. Nearly every working man and woman in the nation comes under OSHA's jurisdiction (with some exceptions such as miners, transportation workers, many public employees, and the self-employed). Other users and recipients of OSHA services include: occupational safety and health professionals, the academic community, lawyers, journalists, and personnel of other government entities.
OSHA offers an on-site consultation service that is free and confidential advice to small and medium-sized businesses in all states across the country with priority given to high-hazard worksites. Consultation services are totally separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. Using this service, employers can find out about potential hazards at their worksites, improve their occupational safety and health management systems and even qualify for a one year exemption from routine OSHA inspections.
For more information about OSHA, visit their website at www.osha.gov
Stageline of Quebec
Stageline is the world's leading designer and manufacturer of mobile hydraulic stages. Founded in 1987 by Yvan Miron, Stageline was the first company in the world to develop the concept of the covered load-bearing mobile stage. The firm can lay claim to more than 20 years of expertise in the development of exceptionally durable, versatile and easy-to-operate mobile equipment. There are two production sites, one of them a "green" industrial building that at this time provides the second highest energy-efficiency performance in Canada. Stageline Group employs 150 people who work exclusively on the development, the manufacture and the marketing of mobile stages and equipment. With more than 10,000 events each year taking place on Stageline units in over 30 countries, the company is the reference and uncontested leader in the design and manufacture of telescoping hydraulically operated mobile stages and equipment. Stageline Group endorses principles of corporate responsibility. Those principles translate into products that are designed in a spirit of sustainable development, of maintaining quality jobs, of helping workers evolve through training and respect, of involvement in the surrounding communities, and of respect for the environment. "Tomorrow is today" perfectly summarizes the company approach.
For more information about specific makes and models of Stageline products and career opportunities, visit their website.www.stageline.com