Running the Show
Joshua Rothstein ’19 is a member of the Campus Activities Executive Board, where he acts as concerts apprentice, helping CAB’s concert coordinator with booking and running shows. Josh had the opportunity to work with CAB’s fall concert, The Mowgli’s, and provided this behind-the-scenes look at running the show.
On November 11, The Mowgli’s headlined our fall concert, with Vinyl Theatre as the opener. Concert days are all hands on deck for the 11-member Executive Board, beginning at 8 a.m. Throughout the day, we are running from class to the venue and back. I logged around 13 miles by the time the day was over. We arrive at the venue for breakfast, and begin helping with load in. First, the stage is set up. This includes the physical stage, as well as the lights and sound equipment. Wizzard Sound directs this process, and we work to help them in any way we can, from moving equipment, to lifting and stacking speakers on stage.
By the time the audio/ lighting equipment is set up, it’s time for lunch. After lunch, we focus on all the behind- the- scenes aspects that go into running a great show. One of the most important tasks we have is setting up the dressing rooms. It can be difficult getting to Hamilton, and many artists arrive in Clinton on the day of the show after a long day or night of travel. As the dressing room is the first place they see on campus, it is important to have it set up exactly as the artist requested. By the day of the show, we’ve already purchased items the artists requested on their rider. This can include food, drinks, school gear, and more. Once the bands arrive they do sound check while we set up any artist merchandise as well as our ticket table. We fit in dinner somewhere in this time frame, and after dinner make our final preparations for the show. Backstage passes are distributed, security arrives, and the bands head to their dressing rooms.
By this time, we’ve been setting up for around 12 hours and are exhausted. But seeing a packed house and a lively crowd energizes us and keeps us going. During the show we take turns working the door, making sure everything runs smoothly backstage, and enjoying the show. Once 11 p.m. hits the show ends and students head out. But our night has just begun.
After a brief meet and greet with the bands, it takes us around 2 hours to take down the stage, clear out the dressing rooms, and load everything back into the trucks. By the time I arrive back in my room, it’s almost 2:30 a.m. I’m exhausted, but knowing that everyone loved the concert makes it all worth it.