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Thread: Can't seem to secure crew work at AV hire companies

  1. #1
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    Can't seem to secure crew work at AV hire companies

    I'm a sound tech by trade, I own my own gear which I hire out sometimes, I'm capable of taking a bare room and filling it with the appropriate equipment for a show, I've been told by many I'm pleasant to work with and my mixes sound good, I'm interested in lighting as well and have gotten better at that over the last 5 years. And I have enough work, mostly a venues, jobs gotten through friends or friendly connections.

    But that's not the normal path (and it's good to have diverse income streams). The normal path is get a job at an AV hire company, and in 12 years of doing this job the closest I have gotten to working for one was semi regular casual work and they've since changed the person doing the rosters and I have fallen off. Not even for their most hectic job did I get called in. I don't know if I burnt a gig (I don't think so) or I'm just not on their radar, even though I've been in touch lately.

    Today, in the thick of festival season I tried a little cold canvassing. All I have achieved is to remind one company that they need to send one of my employers a hefty bill (faaaaaaaaaaaark!!!!) And to confirm that another company knows I exist. They all know I exist now. But when they take on new crew the new crew are never me. And this might be coincidence but it increasingly feels like something is off (gender? Eccentricity? Both?!) And it would sort of just be what it is but I see my male colleagues who started later than me being head hunted by these companies. It's so frustrating. And inadvertently reminding that company they need to bill my employer is beyond frustrating, that makes me feel anxious that that employer will look less favourably upon me now (not for seeking more work, that's the nature of freelancing but for being the catalyst for the incoming bill)

    It's all a bit deflating, doesn't matter how good I get, these companies will still choose to hire someone else. The longer I stay iced out, the more stupid I feel calling up and asking if they need crew.

    So I guess that door is closed and it's not my door, even though it's a big door, the main door, the door that everyone else goes through. I shouldn't panic, I have been sustaining myself by working for other people for over a decade now but so much of getting those kinds of jobs is luck and you never know when they're going to end and it's all anxious making.

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    Forum Supporter Jibralta's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 1a1a
    And this might be coincidence but it increasingly feels like something is off (gender? Eccentricity? Both?!) And it would sort of just be what it is but I see my male colleagues who started later than me being head hunted by these companies. It's so frustrating.
    The problem with sexism (or any form of bigotry) is that the perpetrators are unconscious. They are set in a habit and don't give much thought to what they are doing. Then, when awareness does bloom, they deny, deny, deny.

    I definitely feel your pain, being a woman in a male-dominated industry. I see men ten years younger than me get hired into positions with more responsibility. Then I watch them flounder at tasks that I could do in my sleep. Girlfriends that I have in this industry complain that men talk right past them in meetings, to each other, as if the women were just an audience. I have seen this myself!!

    Nothing can be done about bigoted people. Fortunately, you are not missing out on anything but convenience. Believe me. The bigoted ones are stupider in general. There is nothing to be gained by working for stupid, limited people who will never respect you.

    There are better opportunities out there. There are people who will see past your gender. Keep searching for that better opportunity. And keep up with the side work. Who knows--You may end up owning your own company one day!

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    Thank yoooou, I think that's the validation/pep talk I needed. Have to remind myself I've wriggled my way into this industry and gained the experience despite those closed doors.

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    Platinum Member DancingFool's Avatar
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    Two things.

    First is people associate eccentricity with someone who is unreliable and volatile. So when it comes to getting hired, you need to focus on presenting an image of someone who is professional, competent, and reliable. You have to inspire confidence in the person across the table from you. Be as eccentric as you want in your personal life, but when you are bidding for jobs, you are in effect selling yourself and you'll find few buyers if you don't inspire confidence.

    Second is how much time if any have you ever invested in developing any kind of a relationship with those in charge of rosters? People tend to hire again and again those they already know. If you are new, see above. You have to overcome existing relationships and then work on developing a connection with the hiring person. You gave your own example of that. When you had made your inroads with one hiring person, you were getting hired. When he got replaced with a new person, jobs dried up because you don't have that connection. Thing is that connections are built and sometimes require a lot of work and always need ongoing maintenance.

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    Platinum Member catfeeder's Avatar
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    Why would you take it on yourself to get involved in an employer's billing? Have they withheld your pay?

  7. #6
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    instead of canvassing, why not look at each of their websites and find out who is hiring or who the person who does the hiring is and send in a resume or application. Also get yourself up on LinkedIn, etc. There are plenty of women who are successful in your field, but a lot of it is about who you know. Canvassing can work sometimes but if you are not talking to the right person, they are having a bad day, etc., it falls flat.

    If you have plenty of work - then why are you looking to be hired by an AV company?

    Also, are these guys you see being recruited have other qualifications - did they go to school for this or did they just start out as a hobby? If they went to school for it and you didn't, or they have other skills to offer/more versatility? And is your appearance professional or very edgy?


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