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Author Topic: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?  (Read 5906 times)

Matt Vivlamore

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #20 on: January 25, 2008, 01:25:37 pm »

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



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


I am not sure what kind of "national" act they are trying to get, they through around the ideal in order to grow the event and bring in more people.  I can't really shake Fred of the festival, he is the mastermind behind the festival.  Last year was the 1st in 8 years he didn't mix a stage.

Where I am at in MD is like a ulra-mini version of Florida and I live at the bottom; DC is a little over an hour from my house, Baltimore is 2 hours.  My "local" store is 45 minutes away, but my dealer is 1.75 hours away.  

When I get the chance, I travel up to Baltimore (2.5 hours) to work a show; I have driven 4 hour to work a show in Cumberland, MD.
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Gary Atkinson

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #21 on: January 25, 2008, 01:49:55 pm »

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.

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


Thats is exactally what I do! I upgraded my smaller system when I started out by renting the larger gear until I could afford it. I reinvested all of my earned $$ on those gigs to increase my inventory. Now all I have to rent is for the much bigger gigs and all I make on those is going back into the company for additional gear when I have the money saved up. Its called growing your business.... Even the big companys do this when a show requires more gear than they have available. They may have it in inventory but, part of thier inventory is out doing other gigs so, instead of losing the gig, cross rent what they need to make it happen.
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Doug Fowler

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« Reply #22 on: January 25, 2008, 02:34:55 pm »

Quote:

I can't really shake Fred of the festival, he is the mastermind behind the festival. Last year was the 1st in 8 years he didn't mix a stage.


....and grant me the wisdom to know the difference....
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RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #23 on: January 25, 2008, 10:42:25 pm »

To me you have to have a professional attitude to be a professional.  It isn't so much about what gear you bring or how much you charge or even if you can get the job done by renting extra gear.  You have to have the attitude!

I often times have to rent extra gear.  Unfortunately for this coming week with the super bowl I had to purchase over $3000 of gear just to get the jobs done.  There is almost no inventory available to rent in the area.

I also know when job is beyond what we can do correctly.  Rather than hire in someone elses gear I will refer it to others.  I would rather one of the big boys in town do a gig that is out of our league then rent gear that I am not too familliar with and just barely get by.

I just got a call yesterday because of my professional attitude.  I worked with a band a year and half ago and their manager remembered me and just called me for some work because of how we treated them!

That's what being professional is.

As far as making the jump to the next level?  I have been making that jump for about four years and I still feel like I am just taking off.  Business is quite good, I have a steady stream of new clients coming in and since so many of my jobs repeat every year I book them all a year in advance so there are already a ton of dates that I can't take any more gigs on.

Maybe when you are able to do multiple shows in a day, that is when you have made the jump to the next level.  We can do two easily and three if all the stars line up.  Four shows in a day would not happen with us.  We would be referring them to others.  So we haven't finshed jumping yet.

Good luck and keep at it!

Ryan
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justin sircus

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2008, 02:28:01 pm »

It's when you open up your AC box and there are no orange cables and home power strips in there.
Thats only partially a joke.

I think that being considered a pro provider is different in different markets. I actually burned myself out by doing club level nationals for a few years and had to scale back or lose my mind and my credit rating. I used to call my sound enterprise a small business even though i've always had a day job but I now call it an expensive hobby. This way it sits better in my own mind and I'm not as concerned about ROI. I still want to make money and I actually charge more per gig but am comfortable with 2-3 gigs per month rather than the 10-15 gigs I used to have to do to justify the level of gear I have. I still have 2 EAW rigs but 75% of my gigs are now done on powered Mackies and it's great. I have no problem letting the EAW's sit. I would consider myself a professional sound engineer and I suppose most of the people I work with would agree but I no longer consider the business side of it as professional as it once was for me.
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Justin Sircus
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Randy Pence

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2008, 04:17:52 pm »

Mark Walter wrote on Thu, 24 January 2008 14:41

When it stops being fun.....

I feel that way about the music business in general.

A want to be an amature for ever.


The master sees distinction between work and play
-Lao Tse from the Tao te Xing, thousands of years ago.
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Tony "T" Tissot

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2008, 05:27:25 pm »

RYAN LOUDMUSIC JENKINS wrote on Fri, 25 January 2008 19:42

......

...Maybe when you are able to do multiple shows in a day, that is when you have made the jump to the next level....

Ryan

That's a really good point. That's also when your business management skills have to trump your audio skill set.
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Lester Moran

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2008, 06:01:15 pm »

Seems pretty simple to me:  If you're getting a W2 from a C-Corporation or an S-Corporation that's an Event-production provider...  You're a "pro".

Or...  If you own and provide production gear "for hire" and are are filing a "Schedule C" with your IRS 1040, you are a "pro".

If you own and provide production gear for events and are not filing a "Schedule C" with your IRS 1040, you almost certainly should be so you can lower your overall personal tax liability by depreciating all that gear you're buying while wondering whether you're a "pro" or not...

Les  
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Douglas Johnson

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Re: When to leave the MI realm and adventure to the Pro realm?
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2008, 11:16:38 am »

About 20 years ago, I had a District Manager tell me "that the difference between a job and a career is with a job you expect to get paid next Friday for the job you did today, with a career you expect to get paid a year from next Friday.

The same goes for becoming a professional.  It's when you stop working for the pay at the end of the night, and start doing a better job so you can get future jobs, bigger jobs, and better pay.  That goes either if you work for yourself or for someone else, full or part-time.

Doug J.
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