Boots

Friday night and I need a fight.

Bad gig tonight. Clients tried to lie and sneak around our rules, and then kicked up a big, entitled stink when they knew they were caught out. People hire venues for one night and think that they own them – regardless of things like the law, the safety of their guests and the staff, the laws of physics…  I’ve had worse clients, but not many.

It makes me sad. Sometimes people just can’t understand that we’re actually there to help, not to just bum them out. Some rules can’t be changed though. We’d rather not kill people.

On the plus side, I ended the evening outside the back door of the venue, in a cloud of other people’s cigarette smoke, comparing notes with my colleagues about horrible injuries and diseases we’d suffered in the name of work. It’s exactly that kind of dark, deadpan conversation that keeps us going. We’re okay with killing ourselves and damn near expect that we can kill each other. If you aren’t willing to sacrifice then you’re not cut out to be there.

… Those are actually my boots. Silly, clompy steelcaps. Wearing through in places, just like me…

I do always tell my team to take care of their feet. It’s important when you don’t sit down for around 12-16 hours. Compression socks and proper supportive footwear, or else your feet will swell up like cantaloupes.

The one time I decided to pack in scenery without changing out of my sneakers, someone dropped a frame on me and broke two bones in my foot. That’s why I’m particular about my steelcaps.

… And the coolest part was that I didn’t know my foot was broken, so I just rigged the lights for the show anyway – climbed lots of ladders and gantries all day. Then when we got back to the motel later, I took my sneaker off and the whole inside of it was red. My foot was literally black, had split open and I’d bled all through my shoe. And then I sat on the floor of the motel room, twisting my foot back and forth and excitedly saying “Hey, listen to that crunch, crunch, grind noise!”… And my crewmates told me I was gross and went to sleep in the other room.

But that’s probably a conversation best left out by the back door in the cool of the night. We are strange folk, us show people.

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