2012 USITT Convention

The USITT Convention was last week in Long Beach. Everyone from theater schools, manufacturers, suppliers and distributors that specialize in scenery, costumes, and sound/lighting technicians to properties, make-up, special effects, stage managers and all other manner of craftsperson working in the theater were drawn to the Long Beach Convention Center last week to find fresh inspiration and the newest equipment.

For many theater backstage techies it was a chance to check out new equipment and informational seminars, finally putting a face to the voices they have been working with or heard about for years.

Creating and sharing information while connecting with others, USITT (The United States Institute for Theater Technology) started in 1960. This annual convention moves around the United States each year allowing professionals and students alike to meet other like-minded individuals. Since it’s inception it has been the one stop shop for networking with others of similar interests in design and production for the performing arts.

Here’s a link to their website. If you can make it out to Milwaukee, Wisconsin next year near the end of March make sure to put this on your calendar.

R.C. Vintage

With Bright Lights and Color when you first walk into R.C. Vintage, you will be surrounded by unusual items and great vintage furniture.

Checked in on Will Carter last week at one of his prop houses in North Hollywood, California. He had called to tell me he had some new airport seats. Come over and check them out…so I did. But he also has many new Art Deco Furnishings he has added to his collection of slot machines, light fixtures, memorabilia & novelties, nodders, oversized props, restaurant furniture & dressing, street dressing vendor carts and video games. He as added a great selection of  Art Deco lamps, tables, chairs, and new art deco accessories.

He has really grown from the first time I met Willie in 1987.  I got a call to meet a guy at his new prop house in Hollywood. So I went to check out this new site. When I walked in the door a guy pops up from  behind a juke box scares me half to death and says, “Man you’re hard to get a hold of…” And thus, my introduction to Will Carter. Willie (as I like to call him) is a true Angeleno, born at Queen of Angels Hospital and football star at Fairfax High. He might be the most famous football payer around as his high school photo has been rented so many times for sets he should get residuals.

I little background on Willie some might not know. He focused on Art Direction at The Art Center but took a detour to work with a photographer and then landed a job in transportation at CBS Television Center. But, his passion for business pushed him to open a prop house. Lucky for us, he never looked back.

Bright lights have always been part of Wills life, his mother was a very famous singer and dancer, one might consider her the ‘Ginger Rogers of Japan’. She left those bright lights for Hollywood but you can tell her influence on R.C. Vintage with its colorful neon and light fixtures.

Willie purchased Alley Cats Studio Rentals in the early 90’s. A prop house full of ally dressing from dumpsters, trash cans and more. In 2000, he took over an entire building on Cherokee Street in Hollywood to house a 2-story selection of lighting fixtures for every scene from restaurant to household sets, street lights and lamp posts (more bright lights and color)

By 2005 Alley Cats was busting at the seams so he relocated to North Hollywood where he tripled in size and is still growing. Alley Cats Studio Rentals is a completely different collection of his… but that’s another story. In 2008-2009 R.C. Vintage relocated to North Hollywood. When you swing by to shop at R.C. Vintage or Alley Casts Studio Rentals and happen to catch sight of Will Carter tapping his feet in one of his colorful Hawaiian shirts know that it’s the international rhythm in his blood and all the bright lights and color.

I must admit, I’ve never heard him sing. Do let me know when you stop by R.C. Vintage if you catch him singing a tune. Try catching it on video too.

RC Vintage, Inc.
Website: www.rcvintage.com