Last month, I questioned a vendor on why he still wants to charge me $250 per week for the Vari*Lite VL3000 spot on tour. These fixtures have been workhorses over the years for this company and have been paid off several times over. His reply was simple. “The $250 I charge is not paying for this sexy fixture. That money is applied to all the other facets of this organization to keep it running. It’s paying off those certain lights we bought for designers two years ago that nobody else wants now. It’s paying for all the non-sexy stuff I have to buy to keep you happy.” …Along with different types of gear, there are a lot of expensive, non-sexy items that it takes to put a show together. It takes a crack team of guys in the lighting warehouses to keep gear working. Certain rental houses are notorious for providing multi cables with bad circuits. Or having constant troubles with bad motor cables. Any new guy can be taught to tape cable hods together, but will they care enough to test every XLR cable, twist lock 208 and multi cable going out on a show? Good guys need to be paid accordingly.
—From “LD at Large,” by Nook Schoenfeld, PLSN, Nov. 2012