Life on the Road: Charity Lomax’s 18-Hour Day

It’s 6:30 a.m. in Anaheim, California, but it still feels like the middle of the night. The streets are quiet. The sun isn’t up yet. The only light comes from the Honda Center letters on the side of the arena and the LCD screen on the sign near the street, which is flashing a photo of the Eagles with the caption, “Tonight. Eagles World Tour. 8 p.m.”

Besides a few scattered cars, the parking lot is empty. Crew members are running back and forth between the trucks and the arena, carrying light fixtures, beams, cables, wires, and other pieces of the band’s custom stage.

Inside, Charity Lomax has already been at work for almost an hour.

As the Production Coordinator on the History of the Eagles World Tour, it’s Charity’s job to assist the Production Manager with looking after the crew and handling the logistics that relate to their daily schedules. It’s a position that requires the 1994 Full Sail Recording Arts grad to be one of the first people at the venue and one of the last ones to leave.

“You’re pretty much the go-to person for the tour,” says Charity. “I’m not expected to know the answers to everything, but people just get so used to coming to me for things, that the crew’s first call of order when they have a question is usually, ‘Go ask Charity.’”

It’s 7 a.m., and after checking in with crew members, local arena employees and promoters, Charity finds out where she’s going to set up for the day. Her supplies are delivered to her in the form of a couple of road cases and she gets right to work making the tour’s mobile production office come to life: setting up tables and chairs, plugging the printer in, and making sure the Internet is working. Once everything is up and running, the production office will be a hub of backstage activity throughout the day.

Charity – who will be inducted into the Full Sail University Hall of Fame early next year – has worked as a tour manager and production coordinator for several years, touring with Aerosmith, Van Halen, The Pussycat Dolls, and more. She’s been on the road now with the Eagles for almost two years. It’s a gig that has taken her all over the world, and she says the travel is undoubtedly one of her favorite parts of the job.

“I love being somewhere different every day,” says Charity. “And I look at it like, I might not ever come back to these places, so I always try to get out and make the most of it.”

At 10 a.m., while crew members are out on the main floor loading in the stage, Charity is at her laptop, organizing expense receipts, giving instruction to local runners, and taking care of whatever other crew-related needs and issues come up. One of her biggest responsibilities is thinking one step ahead, so she’s already making arrangements for the show’s next stop, the following day in San Diego.

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“Our goal is to make sure we’ve got everything covered so that we can walk in to the venue tomorrow and have as minimal problems as possible throughout the day,” says Charity.

Once the stage rolls around 12 p.m. (which means the stage has been completely constructed and pushed into place), some of the crew members can head back to the hotel and take a nap before the show, but Charity has to stay at the venue all day. If she’s tired, it doesn’t show. She carries around a tumbler of iced tea wherever she goes. It’s one of her essential must-have items on the road, along with her iPod, her camera, and some of her favorite bottles of wine from the places she’s traveled.

Throughout the day, crew members are excited to see her when they walk into the production office. They say hello and ask a question or make a joke. Sometimes, they just come by to grab an Advil from one of the road cases or a piece of candy from the bowl she stocks every morning. Charity is known for having a good relationship with all of the 60+ crew members on the tour. It’s one of the most important parts of her job.

“You’ve got to be patient, and you can’t take everything personally,” says Charity. “You’re dealing with 60 different personalities. Everybody’s nice, but there are some people that are nicer than others. There are some people on this tour who don’t know everybody else. But it’s my job to know who everybody is, and I do.”

Today, the doors will open to the sold-out crowd at 6 p.m., and the show will start at 8 p.m. Charity’s day finally seems like it’s starting to wind down a bit, but there are still a few more hours to go. Around 7 p.m. she’ll send out the day sheet for tomorrow’s tour stop, which lets crew members know where they need to be and when. Then, if she has time, she’ll sneak out and watch a bit of the Eagles set. Her favorite song is “I Can’t Tell You Why.”

The production office gets packed up during the second half of the concert; that way it can get loaded back onto the truck and sent ahead to the next venue. A couple of hours later, once the show is over and the stage has been broken down, Charity will join the group on the first charter bus and head to San Diego. It will leave the venue around 12:30 or 1 a.m.

“This doesn’t get boring,” says Charity. “None of this is lost on me. I still get excited every day. I love when the house lights drop and everybody [in the crowd] goes wild. I think being a Production Coordinator is my favorite job I’ve had on the road. It’s a lot of work, but it’s the most rewarding.”

Today’s total hours logged: 18.

She’ll wake up tomorrow morning at 5 a.m. and do it all over again.

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