*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 made my way to Manassas for year six of Farm Aid.
To most, the title ‘assistant’ is scorned with failed coffee-runs and over-worked and under-paid nightmares. The word you hate to say but, your boss loves to use. This summer, it slowly became the opposite for me. The title became less relevant as my worth shifted from association with a name and closer to the work I pour into my career.
I am a product of my boss and his or her teachings. As a by-product of mentors, and experience, I continue to be a work in progress.
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.
Production isn’t something you go to school for, it isn’t something you earn a degree in, it just happens. You learn ‘it’ when you talk with elders when you stop begging for tasks and start asking for stories.
Talk with elders and become a part of their story. Have a lasting impact on their life the same way they had one on yours.
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 thought into.
Your story is a road trip down the East Coast. You boss’s is a collection of photos and unthinkable happenings from around the world.