I am known as someone who has all the ‘toys’ in my work box.
Yes I do love to have gadgets and they may seem like toys, but more than being fun, they have also all saved my butt at some point in my career. I recently upgraded to a bigger workbox to maximize the tools I can bring with me. My workbox is my bag of tricks, I fill it with adapters of almost every kind and cables and converters, all dependent on the gig I’m headed off to. My workbox has gotten me hired, or re-hired, more than once.
So, how do you curate your own magical workbox?
1. Consider the box itself
I have three. A large and small Pelican as well as a backpack with a stealthy workbox built in.
2. Decide what goes in the box
Having the right tools at your disposal can be the difference in whether the show happens or not and if you get the call the next time.
The right tools can pay for themselves over time, and maybe even lead to extra income when you’re able to rent them out to the client.
Knowing what tools are important for the show is something you learn over time as you see what comes up and what the techs around you have with them.
3. Make sure you know how to use your tools
Just having the tools in your tool box doesn’t mean they will help you. You must also learn to use, and if possible master, the tools of your workbox for them to have a purpose other than looking good or giving you bragging rights.
4. Make sure your box can travel
Knowing how much your tool box weighs is very important. Making sure it will not cost you an arm and a leg to take with you is something to keep in mind. Having a luggage scale makes this easy.
5. Know your rental rates
Sometimes you’ll use your tools to impress, other times you’ll want to rent them out to the client to save them (and you) a trip to a local shop etc. Be prepared with what you charge to clients for each tool appropriate, and be sure you have a mechanism to actually invoice them once the event is over.
6. Claim your stuff
I’ve had more than one iPad walk away during a gig. I invest in asset stickers for my company, but you could also opt for a simple label maker (which incidentally is a great addition to a workbox). Be sure to label all of your gadgets with your name, or your company name.