One of the most annoying yet venerable quotes I was ever lectured with is: John, if you fail to plan, you’re planning to fail. Its a cop out, but it can also be quite true. So that raises the question, how early should you start to prep for a gig?
The truth of the matter is that there is no solid answer. Ideally you should give yourself the maximum amount of time possible, but outside influences are always going to affect this. If you are freelance, you are at the whim of the client. Some clients are awesome and you’ll know weeks in advance about a show. Some clients think we’re magic and hiring you the day before is peachy. If you’re lucky enough to be staff at a venue, prep time can vary drastically based on show schedule. If you are dark for a week prior to an event, then everything works fine. If you have one show loading out with the next waiting to load in, then things can get interesting. Lighting for houses of worship can be just as challenging. You may get massive notice for a seasonal show, but 2 hours for a weekly service.
How does one cope with the variances? How do you put on a show at the same caliber you always do with massive prep time one week and none the next? Fill out the survey and feel free to comment below. When we reveal the results for the survey, I’ll compile some of the best comments in the article. So its on you. How early do you start prepping for a gig? -and- How do you prepare for the show?