Author Topic: Steel toe boots?  (Read 1929 times)

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Steel toe boots?
« on: Apr 23, 2017, 09:16 am »
Hi guys,

I'll be making a long distance move this summer to start a stage management apprenticeship in Chicago, and I'm wondering if it's worth shifting my steel toed safety boots. I'm graduating uni, and I bought them when I was doing a lot more tech work. Since I've shifted back to 100% stage management I haven't really used them that much and they're just gathering dust at the back of my closet.

As a (very) early career, non-union SM, is it worth keeping them to be prepared to work load-ins/-outs/rigs/etc?

Thanks for any advice!
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Re: Steel toe boots?
« Reply #1 on: Apr 24, 2017, 08:07 am »
Check the PPE requirements of the theatre at which you'll be working.  It's been a while but I don't recall the need to wear safety shoes in an SM function. 

ETA: PPE = Personal Protective Equipment
« Last Edit: Apr 24, 2017, 04:59 pm by KMC »
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Re: Steel toe boots?
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24, 2017, 11:22 am »
Honestly I think it depends on the type of performances you're working on and the type of SM you are.
Are you working in big events venues with forklifts moving equipment around, or are you working in tiny blackboxes?
And are you going to be picking up carpentry work on the side or is that something you're not interested in?

I've literally never owned a pair of steel-toes and I've never worked on a show where I felt like I needed them, but I also don't work concerts or convention-center type events, and I haven't worked in any kind of scene shop or load-in since college. Your mileage may vary.
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Re: Steel toe boots?
« Reply #3 on: Apr 25, 2017, 07:43 am »
Speaking as a veteran of Chicago non-equity, most of the big houses are all IA and the smaller houses are super tiny. In a lot of the storefronts you can't even be on book backstage because the audience will be able to hear your page turns.

If you're working non-equity your main focus will be silence while moving backstage more than protecting your feet from major damage during load ins.

The most I had to do for a load in was sorting props and the occasional piece of furniture. I did sustain some pretty major injuries but most were due to repeatedly falling down flights of stairs in the dark.


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Re: Steel toe boots?
« Reply #4 on: Apr 25, 2017, 12:52 pm »
Most of my work is as a PSM. That being said, I have a pair of steel-toes for when the situation calls for it, (most often during on-site rehearsals and tech) and a pair of comfy slip-ons so I can take a seat, take off my shoes and call the show!
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Re: Steel toe boots?
« Reply #5 on: Apr 26, 2017, 04:35 pm »
I've never owned a pair as an SM, but as others have mentioned, if you anticipate picking up any side work like electrics calls, you might find them valuable.

If you're doing an apprenticeship you might consider asking your supervisor if you'll be working load-ins, strikes, etc as part of the job.


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Re: Steel toe boots?
« Reply #6 on: Feb 04, 2018, 05:09 am »
I definitely value mine; along with the uses mentioned above there's also the question of inspecting set construction progress in the shop, having full freedom throughout the theatre during tech, and - if you're touring - loading and unloading trucks. For the actual run, though, I always wear soft black ballet flats. Even if the normal plan doesn't involve you even leaving your booth while the house is open, you still never know when an emergency is going to have you bolting down the pass to backstage.


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