We are pleased that you have chosen to join the IATSE Local 18 Stagehand team.
The purpose of this brief memo is to help new workers get started as a Stagehand.
Assignments. IATSE Local 18 uses Call Steward software to dispatch work. It is imperative that you as a worker respond to offers as quickly as possible to secure your work and to allow our dispatchers to staff other jobs.
The shifts, which are referred to as ‘calls’, that you are scheduled for include estimated end times. You are not to leave a worksite unless you are officially “cut” by the Local 18 Steward. If you absolutely must leave a shift by a certain time, arrangements need to be made in advance with the Local 18 Scheduler and communicated to the Local 18 Steward.
What to Bring Always come equipped for work and weather. Dress accordingly. Sturdy, closed-toe shoes as well as durable clothes that can get dirty are an absolute must as the work includes pushing, pulling, lifting, climbing and crawling around. Gloves are standard and strongly encouraged. Also, a simple toolkit is important. Bare bones kit should include a crescent wrench, some kind of cutting device (multi-tool or utility knife), a multi-tip screwdriver and a small flashlight. In outdoor settings, dry socks and rain gear are often a good idea.
Before you go. Verify that you have the right time and place in mind before you depart for the call. Be sure to allow time for traffic, security, and finding your way to where you need to be. If you have credentials, including parking or venue documents, be sure to bring them along. If you are working at a new-to-you venue, bring ID’s and direct deposit information to support employment eligibility paperwork. If you require medications or other necessities, be sure to bring suitable portions.
Check In When you enter the venue, you must check in with the Local 18 Steward. Find this person ASAP and make sure you are checked in for your call. Generally, this will be when you will be given a more detailed assignment for your work on the call, potentially being assigned to a department head who will facilitate interactions with touring personnel. If you do not check in, you may not be paid for your full shift. Best practice will be for you to report to each and every shift at least fifteen (15) minutes prior to the published time. If for any reason, you are going to be late for a call, you must contact the job’s Steward ASAP. The contact info for this person should be included in the Call Steward notification for the call when accepted.
On the job Always pay attention. There will frequently be many things happening at the same time. It’s critical that you understand who you are reporting to and working with. Much of what takes place on our job sites is dangerous. Safety, caution and situational awareness are always to be kept in mind. Listen to your steward, department head, touring staff and your coworkers. This will be impossible to do with headphones in your ears.
If there is a problem, report it immediately to your assigned department head or steward.
Breaks and Meals 15-minute paid breaks will be given every 2 to 2.5 hours of work depending on the production schedule. Unpaid Meal breaks last 1 hour. Paid meal breaks last 30 minutes. One or the other will be given every 4 to 5 hours depending on the production schedule. The IATSE Local 18 Steward will call all breaks and meal times. Do not take a break or go to a meal without authorization from your Steward.
Much to learn Many of the people that you will encounter have been doing this work for many years. Some of what they will say or expect of you will be difficult to understand or execute without further instruction. Some will show great patience and others will not. The working vocabulary of each department is different, and when working in unfamiliar territory, listening and paying attention will make a big difference in doing the work safely and effectively.
When in doubt, ask!!