It is relatively easy to get a group to say, “Okay, do our lights!” It is not so easy to keep from getting ripped off. One problem is that most designers go into a meeting eager to show the group how much they know, so they spill their creative guts. Do not be so naïve as to think the manager is not mentally taking down every concept you throw out, even if he doesn't react verbally. All too often your ideas show up on stage, but you do not!

This is an old story. Because it really does happen, the United Scenic Artists (USA) and similarly the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE or IA for short) unions have specific rules that no member puts pen to paper or presents an idea to a prospective client until a contract ...

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