5 Minute set-up

sag sun

5 Minute set-up

Over the years, I’ve worked with a variety of promoters, some good, some bad, some wonderful. The current management arrangements are much to my liking, Austin and San Antonio, as I’ve finally mastered the 5 Minute set-up.

sag sun
This is a variation on a theme, and that phrase could work more than one way, given the arcane language used by the computer people, but the idea? When I installed WordPress the first time? Maybe a dozen years back? One of the “selling points” was its then-quite novel 5 Minute installation. If I recall, and I don’t, the installation could be done in 5 minutes. Usually took me about 20 minutes, to be honest, but I was working in a variety of different server (web hosting) environments, each with its own eccentricities and non-standard labelling.

As far as a software installation goes, though, that original WordPress 5 Minute set-up does hold true.

5 Minute set-up

Where I first started earnestly working in San Antonio, like these days? I’m here about twice a month, now, and I like it, but the previous promoters had left me with a sour feeling. Seems like it’s either storefronts with onerous rules and a sizable upfront expenses, or a promoter that depended on chaos instead of order.

I got spoiled, all the years in Austin and El Paso, and elsewhere, but mostly those two as those were tightly run organizations. Top-down management style. Like the way it works. In Austin or El Paso, I can show up at five minutes before the door opens, and be ready, with a table, space, location all assured. Electrical power, table, table cloth, chairs, and space, reserved with my name on it.

Early on in San Antonio, I had problems, no set space, maybe not even a table, and I had to arrive early in order to insure I had a space — that I had already paid for. Management by madness, be my guess. Arrive early and mark my space? First come, first serve?

Things fall apart…

Waxing and waning influences, shifts in the retail market, opening and closing storefronts, and real estate: location, location, location — all plays into this.

Still, what I discovered, after doing this for a few years? I want a simple, easy set-up and tear-down. For some places, I have a stand-alone sign, I’m onto my third version of this, but as a tool, it works. I rarely use it at the rock shop, but I do use it other places. Takes less than a minute to pop out of its carrying case, pole snaps itself into position and I unfurl the banner, standing at 6 or 7 feet.

Sometimes I spread a tablecloth, depends on the venue, but lately? The current San Antonio shows? I just use their table covering, simple, easy. I pull out my working tarot deck, then set up a keyboard, drop an iPad into it, sometimes I string up a battery or charger, plugs and wires, but that’s about it. Cards, business cards, bottle of water, coffee, and I’m set.

5 Minute set-up

It’s a truly portable office. In one location, I’m alongside a real Reiki person, and her table is covered with tokens, literature, flyers, certificates, crystals, incense, herbs, and other items, all for sale. Cart the stuff in, unpack, set it all up, arrange it.

My friend from the rock shop (in Austin) comes down for some of the events in San Antonio, and that involves a huge amount of set-up, as well. Flats of rocks and crystals, points, shards, and an odd collection of tarot cards. Pendulums and crystal skulls, perhaps feathers, beads, and bone.

Lot of work, and while I’ve seen him unload and get mostly set-up in less than an hour, there’s always the tear-down, at the end of the gig. That’s got to cost another hour.

5 Minute set-up

There’s a level of “professionalism” that I’ve come to expect from the people with whom I work. Pre-pandemic, at the rock shop, I would dally with the set-up, grabbing one of their tablecloths, and then, some interesting rock specimens that might — or might not — have deep, metaphysical meaning. Rocks, crystals, and so on? They can just be pretty, too.

Doesn’t much matter, I would take my time, and interact with the amazing people who work there.

I’ve had several offers, events, and places to work, outside of where I’m at these days. I would love to travel further afield, but the current — and future — constraints make it a little more tenuous. Tedious, at best.

My old favorite of El Paso, then Ft. Worth, Midland-Odessa, all of that, West Texas sprawl, missing it. Wandering, meandering amongst the countrysides, the terrains, the geographical features, sure, miss that. However, I’m more interested in single and easy, hence, the 5 Minute set-up.

What ruined me was the local promoter, my favorite Capricorn, as I can show up at 5 minutes before show time, receive a warm greeting and some treats, and in a little less than 5 minutes, I can be set up for work. No mess, no drama, no questions, just hearty “hello,” and we’re back in the saddle.

5 Minute set-up

Tarot cards are largely ornamental and ceremonial, for me. The original idea behind the 5 Minute set-up was to have it as a quick tear-down, too. One busy show, pre-pandemic, I recall being so tired, I walked out with my gear and left my sign standing — had to bounce back to get it.

“Oops.” (My bad.)

Some places I use a clipboard for a sign-in sheet, some places, no clipboard. SometimesI I use a tablecloth, depends on the moon and my mood. The original idea was that I could just sweep everything off the table into a briefcase and be ready to roll out towards some supper. Realistically, after being at this for so long, when I pack up at the end of a gig, I just load everything into the bag so it’s all ready for next time. Just add coffee and water.

The 5 Minute set-up idea? The concept originated with that WordPress installation tagline. Software, or marketing trick influenced what I do in person, how to get rolling.

5 Minute set-up

It’s a smooth, practiced series of motions — borne and bred from years on this road.


[exif id=”33156″]