PreProduction is where it’s at

Now the video above is the perfect introduction to this week’s coat check blog.. PreProduction or being PREPARED is where it’s at.

It’s pretty common knowledge that the more prepared one is the better the outcome/ success of any job is more of a likelihood.
Usually when I prepare for a shift in the coat check I go through my own personal prep, and then once I am in the venue I go through another prep of my coat check.
Since I most of my shifts tend to be at night and start around 7pm, my day prep is key. Here are just a few..

I revert to my usual necessities:
to be well rested : Sleep and rest is key with odd night hours and day hours it’s important to get your ZZZzzzs, or if you can’t sleep take short naps. I find I usually respond to a nap before I go to work so I’ll take an afternoon snooze I usually try to nap for 20-30 mins.
I try and do a mental rest too, what that means to me is doing other things that add to my quality of life. Like getting a massage or my nails done.

-make sure I have the right balance of food and that I have hit the gym : This is so important. You need to be feeling good and not stiff. You can’t stretch enough and doing some cardio and some weights or going outside for a walk for peace of mind is the best thing you can do for yourself everyday. You don’t have to do a lot to make yourself feel good.. 20-30 mins will get you going.
I tend to make sure I have something to eat at least an hour before I get to the venue, what I have been really into lately is having a power meal with the food that won’t make you feel like a sluggish. And I have been into juicing so I have been powering up with all kinds of concoctions but always making sure to put some ginger in that batch that is the key to energy city for me.

make sure I get my outfit together : I tend to have a busy schedule and sometimes I don’t have the energy to prepare but I always do have an idea of what pieces go together, plus what is cool is that I can always count on wearing the hoodie that has the venue logo. Making sure that I personally have black liquid eyeliner , it seems to be my go to cosmetic item I use the most is in my makeup arsenal.  For more formal events that does require a 24 hour prep schedule. Most private events want you to wear a certain color; usually black. And there is formal black and casual black.

Have somewhat of an idea of the show/event I am working. As a rule of thumb this is really important you want to know what band/artist/event/show etc. you are working. This will give you a sense of the crowd. Also you do want to check out youtube or their personal website to hear what they sound like. Believe me the audience is so different in so many ways, mainly what kind of attire does this crowd tend to  identify with. For example, you work a Reggae show. Now this crowd tends to favor having backpacks, oversized sweatshirts, coats, and will have all kinds of trinkets in their pockets. It’s an extremely positive friendly crowd but can be forgetful.When your dealing with the Country music crowd; the outfits change and you will definitely see a lot of vintage coats, vests, cowboy hats, leather pieces, denim, gloves. This crowd is a great crowd, they like to have a few drinks too so they end up being friendly/ sloppy which is great for the tips.
Also, you want to have an idea of the band’s top hit a least if you engage in a conversation about the band and you can be honest and say, I did check out their video can’t wait to see them live. Or think to yourself I heard this song online and it’s the hit so maybe you can gage how their set is going. Lastly, it helps because you do know enough and be social and that just adds to your knowledge, and your attitude about the show. And attitude is what’s going to fill that tip jar. We all have our off nights, but seriously you don’t want to be a bitchy coat checker people can pick up on that so if your in a mood change that tude! and practice smiling it’s good for your face and your tude, and chatting someone else up usually does the trick. After all folks we are social beings..we need to interact. Also a good work trick is to put oneself in work mode and get the job done, and most of the time people just want to be acknowledged, so greetings, compliments, and conversation totally make or break your night. After all working in the coat check is a SUPER social job, and the energy to output is what makes people respond. Finish your shift! and Finish Strong and with Tips!
And Last but not least, talking with your  house manager or the box office is key as well. You always want to ask about how the show/event was selling and what the expected attendance will be. That way you can do some quick thinking and set up all your hangers and racks and guesstimate what you may be checking. Be smart and work efficiently.

There will be a Part II of this Blog on Pre-Production, until next time.



I have been working in coat check since 2006 in a few live music venues. This blog is something I have meaning to do for a long time. Enjoy!

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