We started off with every intention of writing frequent blogs but time seemed to flash by and before we knew it we'd be on the tour bus, exhausted, desperate to reach the next hotel and our beds. Within a few weeks we realised that spare time was not something we'd get to enjoy as we had a LOT to learn and deal with. Fast. Continuously. Every day, almost every hour we have some new, unforeseen issue to deal with. Here we are a year later and I can tell you we still have something new to learn at every venue with our show Tommy. Theatre staff are often cosseted by their union rules (usually BECTU) compulsory breaks, often half way through a soundcheck but always at a crucial time for the show. Minimum hours, minimum pay but no one, no organisation including the Musicians' Union can help the acts. We'd destroy the show if we took breaks, if we stopped working after a few hours, if we adhered to BECTU rules. We'd go under if any one of us was allowed to be useless at their jobs; if any of our crew weren't at hand when needed; if a guitarist couldn't change a string properly; if our LX couldn't operate the projector.
Then there are the charges some of the theatres make back to the shows - another minefield - another farce - another blog