As I’ve spoken about before, Production Managers get to go on-site to oversee the projects they’ve been working on. This week, I’ve had the pleasure to join in on our trip to Wisconsin to work on a show called AirVenture. I am technically an Assistant Master Electrician this week, with one person from our office as Production Manager and another as Master Electrician. I flew in on Sunday and left Wednesday. I’ve never actually been in Wisconsin for an extended period of time. This is an event PRG does every year and they’re giving me the full experience, there have been A LOT of cheese curd consumed. Since this is a yearly endeavor, a lot of the labor heads they utilize are the same people, so they have a great relationship with them. They also come from across America. It really goes to show how this industry works – the relationships you make on the job are essential. Showcasing that you are someone knowledgeable (or at least willing to learn) and are always ready to work go far in this line of work.
While I miss everyone in the office, this has been a great time. It’s a lot like the work I do in the shop, back at school so I feel at home, but there’s still a lot to learn since this is an outdoor venue, not a theatre. The biggest thing I learned about today is power and rigging. In our theatres at school, be it the Mendelssohn, the Power Center, or the Arthur Miller we don’t have to do any rigging, and there’s the power distribution is always the same – it always comes from the same place and there’s only so much of it. Here, since we’re in a tent with no formal hanging positions, we had to install out own truss and pipes. So, this was the first time I had ever done anything with motors and hoisting – since in a theatre, that’s all built in with the fly system. As for power, since we’re in a tent in the middle of a field, there’s no lines there for us to power all our equipment. Power and distribution boxes need to be rented and set-up. A fun time is being had and it’s nice to actually do something instead of sitting in front of a computer all day.
Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to stay for the whole show, or to see the completion of our load in, but I’m sure I’ll get to see pictures when the PM on this project gets back into the office!