I said I'd never work a night shift job again and yet here I am

in #lifelast year (edited)

Well this is different this time. First off, I love my job. Still, it's after 6 am and I'm nowhere near getting to sleep from the night before. I've been working as a union stagehand for a year and a half now. It's a hiring hall. If a theater, arena or any contracted company needs a stagehand, they call off an ordered list and we each choose whether to accept the job. This could sometimes be on very short notice. I make myself available as much as possible. I probably accept 95% of calls. Most are during the day so this isn't as bad as a full time 3rd shift job.


My view from a tower on the stage

Last night was the load-out for Les Miserables at our biggest theater. Concert load-outs (tear downs) take only 2-3 hours. Plays actually take much longer, partly due to old building designs with limited docks for trucks and having to use ramps to get set pieces up to the loading docks. Not to mention that theatrical set pieces are hella huge. This load-out took 7 hours, beginning at 10:30 pm last night. The load-in (set-up) took 2 days. Some load-ins have gone on for 20 straight hours. By comparison, the load-ins for arena concerts typically take 5-6 hours. My sleep schedule is all over the place now, even though I'm naturally a day person, waking up usually when the sun comes up.

My old night shift job was depressing, always sleeping during the day. But this job is so awesome that I don't care at all about an overnight shift like this once in awhile. Some guys I worked with last night also worked the play itself all day, putting in 20 hours. Maybe this job isn't for everyone, but these guys are in their 60s and still going strong, in a career we all love.