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Author Topic: Dealing with IATSE  (Read 15428 times)

kristianjohnsen

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #20 on: November 02, 2012, 06:47:21 pm »

Think of it like this, if you had a symphony concert staffed by a bunch of AFM musicians (that's American Federation of Musicians), you wouldn't ask the trombone player to pick up and play the oboe part because you couldn't find the oboe player. (Although it's probably more likely that the trombone player would be late or not present than the oboe player :) )

I'm all for people specializing and getting really good at stuff.  But still:  Many skills in our business are universal.  When it all comes down to it:  How much mixing do we do compared to lift/move/dress/run cable/pack/unpack/fix/organize/etc?

If someone is great at packing a semi they are usually great at a bunch of other stuff, too :)
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Mikey Brown

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2012, 12:40:06 am »

Andrew hit all the points in the first post. I would really key on your advance, since you are using house rigs. Most venues will have a tech package with the audio specs in it. Ask your TM to get that for you. For the Arenas you may have a choice of vendors or gear availiable in the area, depending on your rider. Review and contact the house A-1 for any questions. You may find you will hear from some of them, before you make contact.  All good , see ya here!
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2012, 01:13:42 pm »

If someone is great at packing a semi they are usually great at a bunch of other stuff, too :)

I don't know what it's like in your area, but the guys that load trucks in my town are absolutely NOT qualified to be RF techs, as was the example in the second reply by Scott Carneval, nor are any of the carpenters and almost all of the electricians.
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Justice C. Bigler
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Head Audio/A1 Blue Man Group North American Tour

kristianjohnsen

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #23 on: November 03, 2012, 03:39:09 pm »

I don't know what it's like in your area, but the guys that load trucks in my town are absolutely NOT qualified to be RF techs, as was the example in the second reply by Scott Carneval, nor are any of the carpenters and almost all of the electricians.

I think we might just be spoiled.  As a whole, people with truly simple skillsets generally don't work on shows at all.  But I understand that the entire "machine" is a lot bigger in the US so there is probably room for a lot more different folks.

Edit:  Who said they had to be RF techs?  (Well actually, you did). 

I'm just surprised that people would be so nonchalant as was described regarding something that might have stopped the show.  Even if you don't know how to coordinate the entire RF even 8th graders usually understand that a failing mic is a bad thing.  Time to switch to second gear, move that ass, and notify that RF guy!  (Well, that's how we tend to work on shows anyway.  I guess what was described in the post in question works for that venue since that's how they do it).
« Last Edit: November 03, 2012, 03:43:09 pm by kristianjohnsen »
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John Roberts {JR}

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #24 on: November 03, 2012, 04:45:25 pm »

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Roland Clarke

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #25 on: November 04, 2012, 06:22:03 am »

A friend of mine who toured the States with Billy Ocean during the 80's told me that you wouldn't believe how it could be with the unions in America in comparison with what we have here in the UK.

He had a situation where he went up on stage and opened up his Saxophone case and was about to take it out for the sound check when a union guy came up and stopped him and told him that he wasn't allowed to remove the sax from it's case and that this stage hand had to do it for him and hand him his saxophone.  Unbelievable!  :o
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Justice C. Bigler

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #26 on: November 05, 2012, 12:14:07 am »

He had a situation where he went up on stage and opened up his Saxophone case and was about to take it out for the sound check when a union guy came up and stopped him and told him that he wasn't allowed to remove the sax from it's case and that this stage hand had to do it for him and hand him his saxophone.  Unbelievable!  :o

I call bullshit on this one.
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Karl Bader

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #27 on: November 05, 2012, 10:53:08 am »

All I can say about Unions is it depends on the crew, it depends on the area... I've had some crews that were awesome, they would work hard, get your stuff in and up. Others, you have to keep an eye on everyone otherwise they'd be slacking off...

A couple of stories:

I was setting up a small roof system and in the middle of raising a tower the union break was called. We had to drop the tower so they could break. We weren't allowed to take 2 minutes, raise the tower and put in 4 bolts...

Another is that we hired a union call and the union steward spent more time advertising with us and our non-union hands his case company... Really it was making it impossible! I have no problem with advertising your company, but please don't sales pitch me while we're trying to load in a show!

And there's of course the usual threatening union guys. I've gotten the, "That's a pretty car out there, wouldn't want anything to happen to it..."

Unions have it's place, and I'm not trying to bash them, but I feel that the grounds have often been overstepped. I was very happy with the DC union and had actually seriously considered joining... Others not so much. I'm not mentioning for obvious reasons...

My 2c.
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Art Welter

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #28 on: November 05, 2012, 11:44:38 am »

I call bullshit on this one.
Justice,

The current description of the union regimentation in NYC, Phillidelphia, and Chicago seem the same as they were in 1978 when I first encountered them after only working with band roadies and volunteer hands sharing all the work, took a bit of getting used to.

Since then, I have found most IATSE halls to be more similar to Tim McCulloch's example where they do not hire 4 extra audio guys for another 4 hour minimum for 15 minutes of hump work that can be shared by another department.
That said, there have been times when a local union has decided to do everything to the letter of the rule after they have been taken advantage of too much, usually relaxing the rules again after some issue under negotiation has been resolved.
I could easily believe Roland Clarke's example of a musician not being allowed to open his own sax case being the result of some political situation.

Reminds me of the old joke about a dog walking through the loading doors during a cold NYC load in, and taking a dump on stage.

Road manager asks the union steward for it to be removed, a deckhand is called for the task, he refuses, pointing out the crap is on an electrical outlet.
An electrician is called, he won't touch it, says it is steaming,  therefore the props department responsibility.
By the time the prop man arrives, the steam has subsided, he says call a deckhand

Sometimes we run in to dickheads, they can be promotors or union reps, fortunately dickheads usually don't last very long in the business.

Art
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Riley Casey

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Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2012, 12:07:40 pm »

My last experience in a right to work state was a multi stage show in a city that builds it's name on the music business.  The non-union stage hands chained smoked and took constant cell phone calls from girlfriends or other employers.  Unless the cigarettes were in their mouths they had no hands to do any work.  On load out I was helping move gear myself to make things go faster as it was an outdoor show and it was raining.  I had fractured my elbow earlier in the summer and upon asking a 'professional' stage hand in 'music city' to use both of his hands as I could only use one of mine his reply was " thats bullshit man". 

I'm happy to comment.  I far prefer an IA crew where ever I go.  Better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

 
http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-57544237/ala-utilities-our-crews-not-turned-away-from-n.j/

offered without comment....

JR

ProSoundWeb Community

Re: Dealing with IATSE
« Reply #29 on: November 05, 2012, 12:07:40 pm »


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