Continued from January  2012 CTI Newsletter

How The Miss'd America Pagent Used SHoW Babys®


 Description:    A fun-filled “drag-queen” version of Miss America

 Location:  Atlantic City Boardwalk Hall (the previous home of the original Miss America pageant)

Show Date:     1/21/12

Production Manager:  Donald W. Earl

Master Electrician:  Greg McGeary

Dan Wright:   Lighting Director

We spoke with Robert Thorpe of Earl Girls Inc. about the show:

CTI:  What were the general parameters and design needs for the project (in this case, why did you need to use wireless DMX)?

RT:  Our loadin time is only eight hours for a show of this magnitude.  We wanted to go with wireless DMX for this show to help speed up the data runs to all the flying trusses to help bring our labor costs down within the time constraints we had for loadin. 

CTI:  How did you decide where you would use it in the show?

RT:   We had three flying trusses loaded with moving lights and effects.  Going wireless was the easiest and best choice to get the DMX signal to those locations.

CTI:  Were there specific design, budget, time, or physical constraints that you had to work within?

RT:   Budget on any show is always an issue.  Atlantic City is a Union town and anything we as the Production Company can provide to help make the setup and operation faster and easier translates into savings for the client.   Earl Girls Inc. strives to make our client’s experience a great one.  The more we can do to make our client happy, the more they will want to keep coming back to Atlantic City over and over again in the future.  The SHoW Babys saved us an enormous amount of time and hence labor by not needing to run DMX Splitters and long runs of DMX cable.

CTI:  Which City Theatrical products or services did you use, and why did you decide on CTI products or services?

RT:   Don Earl and I saw the SHoW Baby at LDI 2011.  We decided then and there that we wanted this unit.  We have used wireless DMX for years now from Interactive Technologies, Wireless Solutions, City Theatrical—we thought this is the perfect unit for us in our rental and production areas.

CTI:  Did you do any preliminary testing?

RT:   Our shop manager, Ed Keith and Cory Williams (lead production technician) tested the units in our shop from over 200’ using various combinations of consoles, dimmers, moving lights and LED units.  Earl Girls Inc. also provided a pair of units to Harrah’s Atlantic City for their ballroom.  We had zero issues with any of them and figured this was the way to go for this show.

CTI:  How did you set up the equipment?  Was there anything special, unique, or difficult about the installation?

RT:   Using the mounting brackets that come with them, the SHoW Baby units were hung on three flown trusses.  Nothing fancy or special with this aspect.

CTI:  Did you use any special accessories, such as SHoW DMX directional antennas, antenna splitters, etc. and if so, how did you set them up?

RT:   Not needed on this show.

CTI:  What was your overall experience in working with City Theatrical equipment on your production?

RT:   We used six units on this particular show.  We have now put 12 in rental stock.  We have already quoted them for a number of shows in Philadelphia.  Greg McGeary (one of our LD’s) will be using them on the Snoop Dogg show this coming weekend.  

CTI:  Would you have done anything differently in hindsight?

RT:   We should have used even more of the units on stage left and stage right on the floor.  This would have made the loadin even faster and easier.

CTI:  Anything else our readers should be aware of?

RT:  Atlantic City is notorious for being crowded with RF signals amongst all the casinos, hotels and emergency services.  We have used the City Theatrical SHoW DMX in town for years.  The new version with the SHoW Baby was rock solid.