Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Accidents as a way of life

I like to read Roadie.net because it's a look into life on the road and it's a little different world than Broadway. We do exactly the same things(set up stages, lighting, sound) and often in the same kind of lousy weather. However in NYC, we (the local crew) get off work, get on public transportation and sleep in our own beds. The roadies live their lives from arena to hotel to the bus and back.

One of the things often overlooked in the recent dispute with the League is the quality of the Local One crews. Since we do this work regularly, incessantly, we're pretty damn good at it and pretty fast. It's that whole NY minute thing. And we're safe at it. I recently spoke with a Onesie who is out of town. He told me that he was appalled that the Local Crew he was working on took 4 hours to set up part of an opera. "It would have taken an hour at the State and we would have gotten yelled at for taking to long!" Opera is a way of life in NYC. Not so much in other places, so it takes a little longer.

Rarely do we have problems like the canopy collapse at the Akon concert at Emory. In reading the blog about it on Roadie.net, it seem that this is the second time in two years that this has happened to this particular company.

In Spain, three stagehands are killed in a collapse at a Stones concert.

And for anyone who deals regularily with issues of public assembly, be it backstage or FOH, this Great White Fire video should be required viewing at least once a month, as a refresher. It's long and very difficult to watch so be forewarned. Go to the second entry for a link that skip the pop-ups.

In Local One, we've had our share of accidents, regretfully. Most can't be avoided. The causes can vary from exhaustion to carelessness to poor planning. We work to avoid them. The premise is that if I look out for my coworker, they will look out for me. This still holds true for us.

One other place I recommend is Bill Sapsis's site. Devoted to riggers, it promotes safety and technology.

1 comment:

David said...

Thanks, I was looking for something more on Emory.