Summer Jobs


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Hey, I was just wondering what jobs are there on touring shows in the summer.

I wouldn't mind touring with some band or anythning.... but I would perfer to tour with a theatrical company. It does not even have to be a touring show, just a production that could possibly provide housing?? I don't know. I just really want to go and see if this is something I want to consider professionaly.

I live about 2 hours outside of Chicago where there is only the high school drama program, (which is a peice of crap) and the kick butt, award winning community theatre, where I have finally managed to get myself a name as one of the top 2 or 3 LD's in town. (It also helps when you can do not only their lights, but also all of their sound) There is nothing professional anywhere near me.

How hard is it to get a job as an intern or a stage hand or somthing with a professional company? And are they willing to take somebody one just for the summer?


Oh yea.... I am only 15 until next augest, and i am a sophmore...
I will try and post my resume soon....
your not going to get a job on the road your way to young. you need to be at least 18 to work, and even then the chance of going on the road is slim, when you turn 18 you should call some local road houses, and try to work as a local stage hand, i do a lot of that and it's a blast, a really good learning experience, you learn something new everythime a show goes through, and make a lot of valueable contacts for the future. I know it sucks but just hang in there, and keep learning everything you can.
Your not going to find anything touring unless you are 18 and probably not even a rental house. Your best best is to find a local theater and ask to help out. I'm not sure of the laws in Chicago, but some states/cities require you to be 16 before working. At your age, I would look into learning situations rather then work. An Internship would be a great starting place.

I could give you names of places that have internsips in Chicago but Ship might be a better help because I believe he is in the Chicago area and into Lighting.
dont give up!

I live about 30 minutes from the city and i recently finished a job downtown as a spot op.
it was pretty sweet for only being a spot op job but i made AWESOME connections that got me a large amout of jobs after that.
you will probably have a hard time finding a steady everyday job.
you may want to look for shows that are going up and then call and see if they need help.
and since you are 15. i would say volunteer.
dont ask for money.
and be VERY willing to help.
most of the jobs im woring on dont pay much at all.
and im alright with that right now cause im only 18
i need to build up my resume.
and right now its lookin pretty good cause i wasnt picky.

but ya, you will definitely have some problems because of your age but dont give up.
and let us know if you find anything!
happy hunting!
if you have a friend in a rental company that helps, we dont do the lighting and sound and sets for our show by ourselves, we have a rental guy who does some pretty major shows (rock the vote tour is one of them) who comes to basically direct us in building our set, we do what he needs us to as far as that goes, we hang his lights cause ours sucks and brought in sound this year cause our new system wasnt in yet, basically hes in charge cause hes a pro, but we are still the board ops. anyway, that was a very roundabout way to get to this: we know and have worked with him before so we may intern with him this summer where he wouldnt take a random 15 year old. if you have any companies come in to do a show talk to them, get to know them and ask about internships. i always help rental guys when they are used cause its a great way to get contacts, if im running sound and they are loading in their own lights i help out in my free time, that way if i need a favor, like a job they are more likely to give it to me.
i have already contacted the guy who does our shows, a local theatre used on touring shows and a dj about summer jobs/internships.
In Chicago (likely Illinois actually), at age 15, you can work however you need a work permit, I forget if its from the city or state. I know in the city, Chicago Public Schools has them, and I'd expect suburban school districts to be able to help you with this - talk to your counselor. Given the permit, I forget if it restricts you to twenty hours a week, or if you can do more, but you have to decalre how many hours/week you will work, and I believe your employer can get in trouble should they employ you for more.

At 16, you do not need a permit, and can be employed as an adult. I don't know what hte specific laws governing working between your 16th and 18th birthday are as far as labor and that sort of thing. I drive a desk.

Unions and apprenticeships are going to want you to be 18 before you can join/get an apprenticeship and thats not an Illinois or Chicago issue.

The best person to consult on this is your high school counselor. I'm not a lawyer and thus anything I've said here about the law is solely my opinion, not necessarily fact.
one of the restrictions i know for nj, is that you can't do anything that is hazardous, espically working with hazardous materials.
by hazardous materials i hope you mean like nuclear waste, not like large amounts of electricity
depends on the state. i remember a friend telling me he couldn't work in a carpentary shop since there open blades and he can cut himself
Ya, regulations like this varry greatly state to state. (wont bore you with what i know about MA's laws, if you want to know what i know, ask or PM)

The best way i know to find out about this stuff would be to check your school's Guidance department. (that is where, in MA anyway, we get our work permit cards, which have to be signed off by the school to say that we actually attend school (jobs cant take away from school time)) They should know what the regulations are for your area, or at least be able to point you in the right direction!
yea, we get our working papers from school too.

for the most part any jobs you find with pro companies will be internships, are there regulations about what you are allowed to do if your not being paid?
There sometimes are, for insurance reasons. I know when I was interning at a theater over the summer for a 2 hour period I was not allowed in the genie lift because there was a question about insurance covering me. It turned out that the insurance would cover me, so that saved that headache. Of corse, I now work there, so its even easier.

Also, if it is a union house, there will be many stupid rules of what you can and can't do.
If it's a union house, you have to be union. For example, when something comes out of the scene shop, it is stamped with the IATSE seal, and it cannot be painted (or touched) by anyone who is not a member of the union, by law. The same is true for lights, The LD cannot touch the actual lights or, in many cases, the desk.

Some concessions are made for apprentices, but they have to be connected with the union (through the union's apprentice program). So, you would have to be eighteen to legally work in a union house.

Keep in mind, this is just stuff I've heard from friends in the area, both union and non-union. Practices might be different where you are, especially if you're in America, but I believe that is general policy.
Ok, while we're on the subject of Union's, I have a question: how much of these "rules" are acutely followed. I mean, if the board op is confused about something with the board, and the LD knows how to do it, would the LD really not get on the board. Or if the ME/Board op is in the bathroom and the LD is sitting next to the board, would he really not turn fixture X Y or Z on?
The likelyhood of the LOp being confused is highly unlikely. For him to be in the position, he would have to have had to work his way up through the Electrics department. If anyone dosen't know how to run the board, it would be the LD.

I can;t really answer your question. I would imagine that, unless the union steward was hanging around, nobody would really care. The purpose for these rules is that people don;t lose their jobs and get replaced by people who perform more than one task. If the LD turns on a light, i doubt that anyone's going to raise any eyebrows. But that practice most likely varies between different locals and different houses.
From my experience(i work freelance on load ins for the local union houses..i am 17, i also do an apprentiship with a couple of the lighting designers through my HS)

I just finished doing a show where the board op was unfamiliar with the board so the LD would talk him through the button sequences. And at one point a focus needed to be changed up in one of the Boxes and since it was one of their smaller christmass productions not many techs were around so the lbo was also the person focusing lights. So he went to fix a focus and the LD took over. But this was only allowed because we knew the head union guy wouldnt be back for 45min.

Basicly, i'm saying 90% of people dont actually care and welcome a little backup/help. 10% of the peopel are strict by the rules.

You could never get away with it with the head guy around.

Load-Ins/outs are a little different. If your an electrician anything your asked to do involving anything electrical you do. Begining of the load in and the end of the load out everyone will be loading/unloading the trucks, because there is nothing to do until you get your stuff fromt he truck or you cannot go home until everyone gets released.

I just realized i am unsure how relevnt any of that was. Let me know if you want me to focus in on any part of that.

Also, i would just like to say i would LOVE to get an apprentiship on the road this summer when i'm 18 i would be in heaven. but i know the odds of that happening are slim.
My advice is just research your craft and make good contacts. I mean, I'm just 15 and I recently ran lights for the Bette Midler "Kiss My Brass" national tour's final preformance in Minneapolis, MN. I also made some great contacts there. So basically if you do your research you will be ready for anything.
Be careful about working ins and outs when your under 18. I know in wisconsin your limited to five ours on days before school and no later than 11. Also if it is a bar gig and you will be working near/in the bar you might want to check liquor laws because casueing someone to loose their liscence is NOT a good way to get your name around.

Granted their are ways around these laws and Im sure most of you could think of some of them but when in doubt cover your bases. Check to see if you can get a job shadow from the school, I got out of class to do the in for chevelle. Then once you get the gig work your ass off. Other hands would stand around and talk while I and another guy were busting our back sides on stage. Not only did the crew notice getting me a few quick lessons on the grand ma, but the boss did to and gave me a large tip as well as said I would be on the top of the call list.
Alright, I agree, you are not going to get a road job, but as above, you will get a job helping out at a local theatre. Even though you say that there are no more theatres in your area, you need to search the internet. My friend google has a special type of search that localizes information. You can use this to seach for retal shops, theatrical supply houses, theatres, any venue. Also, open your mind to more than plays and concerts. I mean, sombody has to make sure that the star actor in Swan Lake can be seen. And here in Columbus, there are a few churches that do really large scale productions. Now while there are no major religious holidays in the summer, I now you can find a rockin' Fourth of July party.

I don't have much exsperiance, if any, but think outside the box, or stage house.

PM me your zip code, and I will do what I can.

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