Whether it’s music, movies, sports, or any other variety of profession where fame is involved, everybody loves the idea of meeting a big star. Yet for someone like Clayton Hutson, this is just an everyday part of the job. But for him it’s not just about meeting them, it’s about being able to work side by side with them day in and day out. Still, even with all the big names Clayton has been honored to work alongside over the years, every once in a blue moon the universe has managed to throw a curveball that amazed even him.
Rock N’ Roll with the Changes
It was nearing the conclusion of a particularly long and grueling set of Guns N’ Roses shows during which none of the crew, especially the Production Manager, had managed to catch much rest. With just one show left on their tour, Clayton hopped a post-show flight bound for Mallorca, Spain ahead of the rest of the crew, hoping to get ahead on some of the planning and set up for the final show at a large music festival. Upon arrival in Mallorca, Clayton trudged through as much of the preparation as he could, even managing to complete a walk-through of the venue, before finally returning to a hotel room and falling into a deep, exhausted sleep.
Not many hours later, he woke to learn there’d been a big change in plans. Clayton immediately connected with his Production Assistant to gather more details and discovered that Guns N’ Roses had been asked to make an impromptu appearance that evening at the wedding of a well-known Russian executive’s daughter in Saint-Tropez, France. And Naomi Campbell’s plane was on the way to pick him up.
Immediately Clayton flew into high gear, connecting with his other crew members and drivers. Buses and trucks had to be stopped, gear and crew had to be shuffled around, and then when everything went back into motion it was all a completely different scenario. The crew would get overtime, the backline would be making a special trip to France apart from the rest of the gear, and all of it would be transported via three planes directly to the unplanned event.
When Clayton arrived at the small executive airport to meet the aforementioned planes, along with his crew and traveling gear, he expected to be greeted by the private airplanes he’d been informed would be transporting them to the event location; specifically, he expected to encounter a plane that was owned by Naomi Campbell.
What he did not expect was to be greeted by Naomi Campbell herself.
But the surprises didn’t end there. Arriving at the event and heading towards the stage area, he slowly started to pick up on the song “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams playing in the background. Clayton had the thought that this was a somewhat odd song to be playing during PA system tuning. A few moments later, as he came into view of the stage area, he realized that it wasn’t a recording; there stood Bryan Adams on stage in person, going through his soundcheck. He would be the opening act for Guns N’ Roses.
While this is certainly a more extreme scenario of changed plans, this is what it means to have a career in the entertainment industry, and it’s the single most important piece of advice Clay Hutson can provide: “Be prepared to roll with the changes, because anything can happen.”
About Clayton Hutson
Throughout his many years in the competitive and formidable music business, Clayton Hutson has steadily built a solid reputation for himself, a reputation of hard work and of a top quality final product. His extensive background in various aspects of tour production, including audio engineering and design, stage management, logistics, and production management, have left him well positioned to fully understand all aspects of event production and to successfully run live events in their entirety.
Further extending his show production expertise is Clayton’s ability to locate and hire talented individuals to be a part of his crew. Clayton attributes much of his past and present successes to some of the talented individuals he has been blessed to work alongside over the years. He always takes great pride in his crew, who he feels consistently performs above and beyond the expectations in an already demanding industry.
Clayton’s passion for music drove him to begin his career by seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Theater Design. After obtaining that, he took a couple of positions in the Midwest, including one as a designer and rigging consultant and another for a regional light and sound company. Clayton felt his first big “break” came when he was offered the position of Production Manager for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association; he attributes his time in this position as the basis for his future work and as the launching point for his career in live music.
Building A Business
Clayton still loves the work that he does to this day, enjoying all aspects of show productions. He’s always been excited to take on any role that falls under his wide belt of experience, be it in the arena of sound engineering, rigging, or management. Yet Clayton found over the years that he was still seeking a way to further flex his creative muscles and expand his production abilities. With these wishes in mind, he deliberated for years on the idea of striking out on his own. The universe finally handed him the opportunity when the United States economy went into a major recession. As the company he was employed by began to struggle and his next paycheck became less certain, Clayton finally took a leap of faith and went into business for himself. He determined that his company would offer a wide variety of services derived from his background in sound engineering, rigging, logistics, stage management, and live production; in addition, he would offer the services that fed his more creative side, primarily stage and lighting design.
This was how Ronin Event Creative was born.
Today, Clayton has successfully realized his vision of using his vast experience to create fresh and innovative ways of lighting, sound, and set design coordination. By integrating this into his entrepreneurial offerings, Clayton Hutson has quickly become one of the most sought-after names in the event production business. Additionally, as the sole proprietor of his company, he is free to take the business in whatever directions it needs to go, able to quickly incorporate new technologies without losing his core connection to more traditional theatrical concepts and techniques. This seamless integration has defined him as a leader in the event production industry, a rare and coveted blend of the old and the new.
Still a very active player in the professional realm of live event production, Clayton also strives to dedicate his spare time toward growing his business and his vision. It remains his strongest belief that he offers a unique and valuable perspective in creating truly memorable events, as well as his strongest passion to do so. As the industry of music and live events is far from an easy professional path, this passion and pride in what he does and the product he delivers has become a critical component of who Clayton Hutson is, and a signature in the work he does every day.