No Time for Amateurs

No one has to tell you that the music industry is a cut-throat, dog-eat dog business. How does a professional in the field stay on top of the game and consistently get gigs? For roadies and other pro’s who handle lighting, sound, special effects, and even props, your best friend might be a little self-promotion.

How do artists get new gigs? They distribute demo CD’s of their tunes and DVD’s of their past performances to agents, managers and labels. Why not follow their lead and document and record your work so it can be easily distributed to potential employers?

If you’re an expert in concert and stage lighting, at your next gig, record the important sequences which you handled on DVD. Copies are easy to make and affordable. Throw in some background info on your work history, a little personal info, maybe some references, as well as your contact details on a leaflet insert, and you have one of the best and most professional documentations of your work available.

It’s difficult for a road manager or band to determine who their best choice in sound and lighting or other show necessities is going to be, when the only proof of good work is your word, or the word of others. What if the employer is from across the country and isn’t familiar with venues you’ve worked? What if they haven’t heard of any of your references? While great references are golden, having a recorded DVD of past jobs gives them something tangible to view. They can see your skills for themselves and then decide if you would be a good fit. It’s a leg-up in the industry you can’t afford not to pursue.

Not only are DVD’s convenient for your self-promotion, they’re convenient for the potential employers as well. It is much easier to fit a brief viewing of your video into their busy schedules than it is a lengthy sit-down interview. They don’t have to scour their personal resources for a lead or referral, or search through ads or Websites. In addition, having a personal DVD of your experience and work shows potential employers that you’re serious, dedicated, and professional.

Regardless of what your job entails behind the scenes, a CD or DVD can increase and improve your future employment options. Whether you specialize in lighting, props, sound, or something else, you can easily document your work highlights through the use of a simple recording device.

Keep in mind, however, that if your recording isn’t of a high quality it’s probably not going to be the best showcase of your work. Make sure that you get a high quality recording, as well as high quality duplicates for distribution. You might even want to hire a graphic artist to design your leaflet insert to be reproduced on a good quality printer. Local designers advertise their services on community Websites and are usually willing to work within your budget. Start by having them show you their past work and then you can judge whether you think they can do a good job for you. No matter what you do, the finished piece needs to scream “professional” to have the maximum impact.

You handle your stagecraft professionally. Shouldn’t you do the same with your career?

You never know when you will need DVD duplication services. Skylar Tate, a video producer, understands how important CD replication is to her business and for protecting her work.

Author: Skylar Tate, Video Producer

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