A Philosophy of Service

A dear friend (we’ll call him Phineas Crispin-Hamilton) who watched us take our first steps in the industry, tells a wonderful rock-n-roll story of a Famous Musician On Tour, who was playing a gig in the Hamptons.

The story became something of a foundational anecdote for disguise, so I hereby beg his forgiveness for passing it on.

The story goes thus : Phineas, wiping breakfast off his whiskers, walks onto the stage the morning before showday to find the Tour Manager has just fired the Stage Manager. The Tour Manager, shouting “Who wants to be the next person to tell me No”, turns around, and his eye fixes upon Phineas.

The Famous Musician, it seems, has decreed that the main LED screen, normally stationary, must rise from the ground to the ceiling during the first number. The recently-sacked Stage Manager has said No, on the grounds that the increased weight loading would risk causing the collapse of the listed building that houses the show.

Phineas, whose affable demeanour conceals a keen instinct for self-preservation, sizes up the situation.

“We can do it,” he says. “We’d need to get a qualified building engineer and an architect to come in and examine the building, and then a construction company and a crane to reinforce the ceiling with an extra beam to take the load. It will cost in the region of a couple of million dollars and take three weeks to complete safely, so we’d have to push back the date of the show. But we can do it.”

The Tour Manager grunts and conveys the information to the Famous Musician, who considers the matter and decides that the screen can remain fixed for this show after all.

The story does not record what happened to the stage manager.

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