*This past Thursday I took the train to Virginia for Farm Aid’s 31st annual benefit concert. After six years, this show has remained a calendar event for myself and hundreds of other production crew members.*
A little bit older and only a teensy bit wiser, I’ve learned how to walk but, recognize running takes time. I know nothing at all yet have absorbed more than I could imagine.
I learned to accept my position in this industry this summer more than ever. Assistant is normally this scorned title. The word you hate to say but, your boss loves to use. This summer, it slowly became the opposite for me. Proving my worth became less important compared to proving my work.
I am a product of my boss and his or her teachings.
In concert production, people can get hungry. Hungry as in, “I’m going to eat all the turkey and you’re not getting any.”
Yes, that is a metaphor for any task thrown at a production assistant’s direction.
Rough, I know.
Production isn’t something you go to school for, it isn’t something you earn a degree in, it just happens. It happens when you converse with elders when you stop begging for tasks and start asking for stories.
Converse with elders and become a part of their story. Have a lasting impact on their life the same way they had one on yours. They will be the defining people who taught you something, and you will be the young prodigies they passed on all of their knowledge to.
Working can become a routine so easily, going through the motions of a show can become mundane. One thing that will remain everchanging are the conversations you pour time and genuine thought into.
You, and when I say you I mean the young production assistant, won’t get anywhere by sharing your story. Your story is nothing but a road trip down the East Coast. Theirs is a collection of photos and unthinkable happenings from around the world.