In the design world there is an occasional fad to recruit "rock star" designers. I have nothing against rock stars - I've worked with a couple, both in the design sense and real rock stars. You see, while I was making money to afford graduate school I worked as a technician - mostly doing lighting - in professional theater. Rock stars are interesting people, but I am not a rock star.

When you hire a rock star you're hiring someone who wants the spotlight, someone who will draw attention to himself. But behind the rock star is another kind of person, one you don't usually see. He's usually dressed in black, and has on a vest with lots of pockets.  He wears a toolbelt, and he knows what every tool does, and when to use it.  He's a roadie.

When you want 5000 feet of cable laid perfectly on your stage so that power gets exactly where it needs to be and nobody trips?  You call a roadie.  When you want every instrument fitted precisely in its case so it costs the least to ship, unpacks the fastest, and it is absolutely clear what you unpack next?  You call a roadie.  When you've got a problem and the sound isn't right or people can't see what they're supposed to see? You call a roadie.

Roadies wear those toolbelts for a reason. A good roadie comes with the best tools in the trade, and often one or two he thought up himself. A good roadie is not just the guy you call when you have a problem, he's the guy who sees that a problem is going to happen and makes sure it doesn't.

I have nothing against rock stars. They're great people. But if you're looking for a rock star you're probably in the wrong place.  I'm not a rock star; I'm a roadie.

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