CMU School of Drama

Friday, September 23, 2016

Hooked: Confessions Of A Gearaholic

Pro Sound Web: Hi. My name is Craig, and I’m a gearaholic.

I tried to find a 12-step program, but quite frankly if I have to move gear more than six steps, I’m going to need a hand truck because my back isn’t what it used to be. It’s not just that I like gear; it’s that I’m addicted to it.


Julien Sat-Vollhardt said...

There are so many people in the school of drama that I could recommend this article to, so many people, including me, who share a fascination with the gear and tech that go into shows that are not our own. In a way, this can be curiosity for a new bit of gear, or an innovative solution to a new technical problem, not only in an audio context. I also think that these are absolutely necessary observations to make for people in our field of study. I don't remember a live event I've attended where I have not analyzed every single tech element I could see, and then wonder at those that I couldn't. Keeping up to date with new gear and new practices is essential in our field and I honestly feel like this every day that I am here at CMU. I have been learning new processes and terminology, along with new equipment and materials, every single day at this school, and I know that I will always keep a sense of wonderment for all the new gear I see.

Daniel Silverman said...

I’ll admit it. I’m a gearaholic too. Only I’m a tool guy, not a sound guy. This article didn’t talk about things that I thought it was going to. I understand the need for gear, and sometimes the need for a lot of gear. But just because you have or use a lot of gear, it doesn’t mean you don’t need it. I feel for the author, and I completely understand it. Even though I’m not a lighting designer or master electrician, I am fascinated by the newest, latest, and greatest lighting technology. To expand on the article, I think we live in a time where gear is essential. We also live in a time where there are a lot of options for gear, and I think that is what truly makes a gearaholic. Going around and exploring all the different options there are and all of the new technology may make you a gearaholic, but is that a bad thing?

Scott MacDonald said...

One of my coworkers and I actually talked about this over the summer. There’s a blessing and a curse that comes with working in theatre/events/film/etc. If you’re a technical person who likes high-tech A/V/L stuff, then you’re like “Wooh-hoo! Look at all this cool gear I get to use at work!” But then you go home, and you’re sad. So when you buy that sound system for your house, you probably buy nicer stuff than your Average Joe because you’re used to working with really nice stuff. And because you’re used to (or need) an assortment of fancy tools for your job, you just *have* to buy them. And then you fall into the “pro-sumer lifestyle,” where you are not a professional entity but feel the need for buying gear above consumer-grade. This line gets even more blurry for freelance technicians and designers – you technically *are* using this stuff for work, right? But you aren’t exactly a company with the infrastructure to afford all this stuff. As technicians, the pro-sumer life is something that we all have to be aware of when buying gear, to make sure we’re not disillusioned and making a bad financial decision.