Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Road Crew

I am a road crew of one. Today I need to load up the car and drive into town to set up my booth. Sometimes I wish for a road crew. They could do all the labor involved in the loading, unloading and setting up of the booth. This is my least favorite part of the business. My car will be filled to the gills with all the things needed to transform a 10 x 10 foot space into a place to display my work, conduct transactions, and package up purchases.

This is the part of doing shows that you have to experience to fully understand. I would love to have a time lapse video of the setting up of a show. Starting with the large, empty, cavernous space, showing the initial stages of marking off the booth spaces, electrical hook-up, the arrival of the artists, and the walls of the booths starting to go up, and all the displays being set up. This transformation is really pretty amazing. It is invisible to the public. And then when the show closes, the process happens in reverse. The work and the displays are packed up and taken down. Everything is loaded into cars. And in the matter of several hours it returns to the original state. A large, empty, cavernous space.

I am not the fastest or slowest at this process. But I have learned to just go at my own pace. The scariest moment I ever had was in New York City in late November at the Armory on Park Avenue. It was about 5 a.m. I had unloaded my car and parked several blocks away. I began to set up the framework for my booth. The first stages of setting up my booth involves connecting the pipes to form the ten foot square that will be the top of my booth. Short pipes are inserted into each corner, raising this square about three feet off the ground. Then pipes that are about 5' long are inserted into each corner, raising it to it's full height.

I had connected the pipes that make up the 10' square at the top of the booth. I had inserted the 3' pipes. I began to place one of the five foot pipes in their base at each corner. That was when I realized I only had three five foot sections. The show would open later that day and the other section of pipe was back home, five hours away. Panic. Absolutely. FortunatelyA booth cannot stand on three legs. Fortunately, someone who was with the Armory came to my rescue. We found a pipe that was about 6 feet long, and larger in diameter than my pipes. That and a roll of duct tape, and I was able to move forward again. One of the worst things that could happen had happened, and I had survived the moment and moved forward. Duct tape is an absolute essential if you are doing shows. That and those plastic electrical pull ties.

If I remember to bring my camera, I will take some pictures.


Libby said...

Beat of luck Judy! I am sure your booth will look great. I had been hoping to come to the show Friday, but I've got an extremely sick kid home with me so I'll just have to experience it through your blog.

Judy said...

Thanks Libby! I will need all the luck and good wishes I can get! I hope your daughter is on the mend soon. That is more important than coming to the show.

susan said...

good luck with the show judy - though i doubt you need it. you are someone who makes her own luck happen; it shows in your work and in your blog and it is contagious.

we'll be waiting impatiently for the pictures! oh, and the time-lapse video? darn good idea, you should do it. the loop is running through my head already...