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Author Topic: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?  (Read 6039 times)

Gary Atkinson

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2008, 08:18:15 am »

Personally, I feel as if when you are getting paid for a job, you should be considered professional. Anyone who gets a paying gig does have the responsibility for being portrayed as a professional. The way you act, react, speak and respect your clients will determine if you are a pro or not. People that do not act in a professional way will not last in this business.
Yes, I have a day job also but, in the 5 years that I have been doing this, I have built my business on being professional and provide the client a good product. Repeat business is what has taken me from a bar only business to one who is bidding for festivals and larger indoor venues with regional acts.
Don't try and BS your way through it. If you don't know something or you find a job thats over your head, admit it and be a true pro about it. If you have to cross rent to get it done, so be it. Just make sure you are smart about it. I have been given the task of not only being the audio contractor in many cases but, also I cross rent the stage, roof, generator and lighting if it requires more than what I can provide. Yeah its hard work but, to me its very satisfying to see it all come together!! As a result, I have a huge sence of self satisfaction for a job well done.
Currently I have had to obtain a CPA to help me with my business side of the equation and in turn, it has allowed me to grow in a different way. Being organized at a gig shows your professionalisum. Being organized in your business structure and on the accounting side is not only smart but also a trait of a true professional.
Bottom line, if you act as a professional, provide a professional product no matter what type of gear you have and you are percieved as a professional in your clients eyes, IMO your a Pro!!  
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Dave Barker

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #11 on: January 25, 2008, 09:02:52 am »

Matt as I understand your question my opinion would be that you are probably "considered" a professional and or pro level company when that is your sole source of income, when that is your business and your living.  And that is from someone on the outside looking in.

That certainly doesn't mean that hobbyist, weekend warriors and so on, which I consider myself are not professional and many times more professional than some of the full time guys.  I feel like I go out of my way to make sure that everything goes off without a hitch, many of the big "professional" providers I have dealt with on projects are here is your gear good luck.

My question is that if you are looking for a "national" act to perform at this event it would seem to me that they would have there own BE and you could certainly mix openers and be the system tech.  Most regionals I deal with bring there own engineer and if not, then the organization should be fine with you mixing if the national doesn't believe enough to bring along there own engineer.  Most of the time for me they have there own BE and I end up on monitors or just teching the system.

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Mike Kivett

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #12 on: January 25, 2008, 09:29:15 am »

To me, you're a professional when:

1) You get paid to supply the service.

2) You supply the service necessary to successfully complete the task.  ("enough rig for the gig", etc.)

3) You take care of all the problems that come up within your area of responsibility, so the client doesn't have to worry about it.  In the end, that's what you're REALLY being paid for.  (And that sometimes means other problems too, but you know how that goes.)
 
4) You satisfy the client.

If you can do that, you're on the right track.
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Matt Vivlamore

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #13 on: January 25, 2008, 10:35:00 am »

Dave Barker wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 09:02


My question is that if you are looking for a "national" act to perform at this event it would seem to me that they would have there own BE and you could certainly mix openers and be the system tech.  Most regionals I deal with bring there own engineer and if not, then the organization should be fine with you mixing if the national doesn't believe enough to bring along there own engineer.  Most of the time for me they have there own BE and I end up on monitors or just teching the system.





They where throwing around the ideal of bringing in a national act that they would pay.  Most bands for this festival get $20-50 for playing, 75% of the bands that come this festival are new/1-2yr old band within Southern MD trying to get exposure.  



I am like hearing people opinions about when your opinions of what it take being considered a pro.  

It seem everyone can agree as long as we meet or exceed the expectations and maintain a positive attitude during the course of the show we are considered a pro.

I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.
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Jeff Babcock

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #14 on: January 25, 2008, 11:25:21 am »

Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 10:35



I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.




Matt, If you feel you have your chops together enough to do a larger show, why are you turning it down?  If you are charging enough then you should be able to rent the extra gear required to pull it off.

"Pros" do this all the time.  Rather than buying a huge rig, buy a medium size one and when you need the huge one you simply rent the additonal boxes to complete the rig.  It may cost a bit more to rent, but if the boxes in the big rig aren't working very often, it isn't necessarily cost effective to own them.

Sorry to be harsh on you, but your website is your worst enemy.

It says "we don't have the latest and greatest gear out there from Midas, EAW, BSS or Klark" and "We offer a PA system for up to 300 people".  Why say that?  If a client needs better gear, rent it.  Don't place a limitation on your service (as long as it's something you can handle).  If someone goes to your website they assume based on what you are saying that you're an ankle-biter and they move on to somebody else.  If a client is willing to pay me to bring in a D&B rig and an H3000, guess what happens....  A phone call is made and we bring it in... if the client will pay and you can rent it and use it successfully, then you're showing that you are more of a "pro", not to mention the good experience you will gain.  Just don't get too overzealous and end up over your head.

You'll never get your foot in the door on larger gigs if you let your personal rig be the limitation.  Rent or find a business partner to team up with on the bigger stuff.  You've got to be willing to do that or you'll never get anywhere short of a miracle.

Jeff

Matt Vivlamore

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #15 on: January 25, 2008, 11:52:59 am »

Jeff Babcock wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 11:25

Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 10:35



I have turned away a couple gigs because I didn't have a system that can cover the 450 person room.  The next week, the band called me and asked me if I could do a smaller show for them.  I felt good.




Matt, If you feel you have your chops together enough to do a larger show, why are you turning it down?  If you are charging enough then you should be able to rent the extra gear required to pull it off.

"Pros" do this all the time.  Rather than buying a huge rig, buy a medium size one and when you need the huge one you simply rent the additonal boxes to complete the rig.  It may cost a bit more to rent, but if the boxes in the big rig aren't working very often, it isn't necessarily cost effective to own them.

You'll never get your foot in the door on larger gigs if you let your personal rig be the limitation.  Rent or find a business partner to team up with on the bigger stuff.  You've got to be willing to do that or you'll never get anywhere short of a miracle.

Jeff


Jeff,

I think a lot of the show had to do with the timing, it was during the week.  The guy I sent them to, we do hand each other a few gigs here and there.  Right now I know I am holding back, since my small rig (250 people) isn't at a 100% what I want it to be.  My Monitor rig needs some attention to; they are missed matched 2 NX55p and 3 Behringer Wedges.  I am sitting back waiting to file taxes for the next step.  By this time next year, I be able to do the 800 person rock shows;  4 U15s, 6 UCS1, that my purposed rig.

The closest person to rent a bigger system is 2 hours away and the Dynacord Cobra 4 system won't leave the house unless its a show that they booked.

This weekend I am working with Evan and a few LAB members for the show this weekend.  On my stage (side stage), I'm renting Eric W. U15s, and trying out the LS1208 Evan has; 4 U15s, 2 LS1208 in a High School gym.
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Find us on the web at: meerkatsound.com

I'm using: EV QRx212 over JBL SRX718s(2) with Crown IT's and MRX512m & MRX525 on monitors with XTi's; all controlled by Yamaha LS9-32.  I have a bunch of other stuff too.

Jeff Babcock

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2008, 12:25:13 pm »

Matt, You're serious that the closest "bigger" system is 2 hours away.... ouch... are you sure there's nobody else around your area?  I'm in Canada and have about 15 "good" rental sources within 2 hrs.... MD should be better than that.

Tim McCulloch

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2008, 12:44:56 pm »

Matt Vivlamore wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 03:37

Mike Christy wrote on Thu, 24 January 2008 07:56


Some may say that a part timer like myself (ankle biter, weekend warrior, what-have-you) may not be pro, I don't have a warehouse, a diesel box truck, or an accountant, but for the limited business I do, I provide a professional product, high quality service. I know (not being egotistical) I am as good as or better than, and am competitive with "pro" providers.


Mike you’re just like me...

I do a have been sitting in this committee to help plan for a festival... They want a Pro Sound company; they consider me a hobbyist since I have a full time job. They also own a Dynacord Cobra 4 system and its lead by the 3 Stooges; the main operator is known as "Feedback Fred"...

They want to bring in a "national act" to play at this festival and they are looking for donations for a pro sound company to run the sound.

I told them give me that stage and the Dynacord system and you'll have your professional set-up for the national act. I think I might be losing this battle. So far this sign up for the festival of local bands, there been more request for me to run sound for them. I've only been going strong in my area for a little over a year, but I've been in sound realm since 2002 when I picked up a college job as a stage hand.  It also helps that I work with a bar for a year on no budget for sound bringing in national touring acts.

editted:  college seemed to make me spell bad.



Matt-

Part of the "problem" is that you're local.  Remember, experts are from more than 50 miles away! Laughing

What kind of "national act" are they trying to get?  That will determine what kind of rig they need, if a mixerperson is traveling with them, etc.  You might be better off demonstrating your professionalism as the stage manager if you can't shake Feedback Fred from the crew.

To your question about MI v. Pro... You've gotten some pretty good input.  My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude.

Have fun, good luck, and let us know how it all works out.

Tim Mc
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Mike Christy

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2008, 01:13:59 pm »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 12:44

To your question about MI v. Pro... You've gotten some pretty good input.  My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude. Tim Mc


Are you saying that I cant have two or three professional jobs? One by day, and one by night?
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Stuart Pendleton

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2008, 01:19:56 pm »

Tim McCulloch wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 12:44

My take is, you're "professional" when fucking up  gigs means your kids don't go to college or there's no food on your table, i.e. when your existence depends on your skills, gear, and attitude.


Tim, I think I am professional then.  After spending about 50K on what my wife thinks is an expensive hobby, continued income and work from it means she will allow me to live a little longer...so my existence DOES depend on it.   Shocked

Stuart
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