Monday, September 20, 2010

Every time there is a possibility of performing at a festival with my robots, or the Hand, or whatever, there is always a period of bargaining between me and the promoters of whatever event is in question. This bargaining can have varying levels of ferocity, but the bottom line is usually the same, which is that the promoters (despite the fact that their events typically bring in tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars) always have only a few grand for art. In other words, the money they have available to pay artists like myself is typically BARELY enough to cover everything.

Some time ago, I made a decision that I would actually SAVE money by owning my own truck. (I've touched on this topic briefly before...) I think in the long run, this has proven to be true. Especially when one considers the fact that there is no truck rental in Taos, and so a round-trip to Santa Fe or Albuquerque, usually eating up a whole day, is necessitated at either end of the trip.

Herman, my crane truck

has done the job for me thus far. But Herman has some limitations. He is slow, especially when loaded, and not tremendously comfortable.

My semi truck (not yet named)

has some severe limitations too, namely that it is not yet road-worthy, and I do not yet have a Commercial Drivers License, which I would need to drive it. But with some time and work and money, the semi could really be fantastic. This is a little photoshop of what the semi might look like when I am done with it....

I think about this crap a lot.

Here is a little chart that I made to help me decide which way to go on the truck issue...

The bottom line is that I will almost certainly just work on the semi slowly, as time and money allow, and use Herman in the meantime. Then one day, when the semi is ready to roll, I will decide what to do.

Of course there is another option, which is to play such hardball in the budget negotiating phase with these festivals that there would be enough money to have the projects professionally trucked. That would be safer. But if these festival promoters really have as little money as they say they do, it's not going to go that way anytime soon. After all, I am trying to make a living here. And if 40 or 50% of my budget goes to a trucker, I won't be paying any bills! And so why perform at all?

I welcome any comments on this pressing issue.


  1. Dude your truck chart is hilarious.

  2. I think you really need to play " hardball " and demand they cover all your shipping expenses -

    after all - who else in the world has the ability to make THE HAND OF MAN and all the other cool robots that make these shows so special !


  3. Play hardball, But also sale yourself. Let them know what they are getting and how truly Awesome it is. When they tell you they have only "$X.00" amount that they can pay you, have a number letting them know that it cost more than that because.....

    Let them know "$X.00" doesn't all go into your pocket. At some point you need to pay for the Art as well as the transportation cost.