Uncle Bill's Remote Seminars    

The Sessions:


Wednesday, April 21 @ 2 PM EDT Finding work in Challenging Times

Registration for this session will open at 10:00 am on Friday, April 16.

There are many people out of work and many others just entering the industry. We’d like to help out with some advice on finding a job. I’ve assembled some knowledgeable folks to talk about their experiences this past year as well as their insight into what’s going on in the job market right now and what we think will be happening in the near future.

Our very special guests are:

Anne Valentino, Senior Project Manager for Entertainment Controls at ETC (retired)
Eddie Raymond IATSE Local 16, San Francisco, VP/Training (retired)
Jared Fortney, TAIT, Lititz, PA. Mechanical Integrator, worldwide
Kate Raymond, IATSE Local 16 San Francisco. Touring Show Head Electrician


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Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Fall Arrest Harnesses: What you don’t know could kill you. There’s a lot more going on than just sticking your arms and legs in and tightening the straps. This session will help you harness up safely.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020
The Fly Rail: Danger Will Robinson. It’s probably the most dangerous place in the theatre. We talked about why and how to make it safer.

Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Self Retracting Devices: Location. Location. Location. These devices are becoming more common. Unfortunately, it appears that not many technicians are being trained how to use them properly. This session will help fix that problem.

Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Working at Height Rescue: Tick, tick, tick…. Rescue is the bastard step-child of the industry. Everyone knows it needs to be in place, but very few people want to talk about it. Let’s change that.

Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Working at Height
: Rules, Regulations & Standards…. People throw regulation numbers and ANSI Standard codes around like confetti out of a cannon. But they don’t talk about how to make these rules and Standards work well for the entertainment industry. We will.

Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Wire Rope Slings: Not brain surgery. For all their simplicity, wire rope slings often seem to get a bad rap. We’ll discuss the real do’s & don’t’s.

Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Ground Rigging: Respect! Ground rigging is the hardest job on the gig. We’ll discuss why.

Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Inclusion & Equity: Session 1. There’s been lots of talk. Panel sessions. Committee meetings. But what is really being done about these issues? We’ll try to find out. This will be an open mic session for all of us to discuss the issues surrounding equity and inclusion in the live entertainment industry. Resource Links from the chat

Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Entertainment (E-series) ANSI Standards:
Pointing the way. The key word is ‘guidance’. Standards put together by industry professionals provide knowledge and guidance that isn’t available anywhere else. And it’s free!

Wednesday, November 11, 2020
Manual Counterweight Rigging in the Theatre: Working with gravity instead of fighting it

Wednesday, November 18, 2020
Motorized Rigging: 
Machines are great as long as you pay attention. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020
Equity and Inclusion:  Part 2
of an ongoing discussion to be held monthly.

Resource Links from the chat

Video for this session is available to registered participants only. The link to the discussion will be sent upon request.

Wednesday December 2, 2020
Performer Flying Winches
Special guest Paul Sapsis talks about his experiences flying Pink, Lady Gaga and others.

December 16, 2020
The Sapsis Brothers Interview. 
Together again for the first time.  Moderated by Eddie Raymond.

January 6, 2021
Chain Hoists.
  Operational safety for everyone.

January 13, 2021
Aerialist Rigging.
  The planning and the gear.  We talked with special guests, Jonathan Deull and Andy Schmitz, about the planning and gear needed to put together an aerialist act.  Jonathan is a co-founder of the Zip-Zap Circus USA and a leading trainer in aerialist rigging in North America.  Andy is the Rigging and Facilities Manager at the New England Center for Circus Arts (NECCA).  Prior to that he was a leading rigging specialist for a number of shows in Las Vegas.

January 20, 2021   
Equity & Inclusion, Part 3
.  Looking to the future.

Resource Links from the chat


Video for this session is available to registered participants only. The link to the discussion will be sent upon request.

January 27, 2021    
Indeterminate Structures.
  Bill and special guest Bill Gorlin will try to demystify this elusive principle.

February 3, 2021
Fire Safety Curtains.   
Everything you every wanted to know, and more, about these often misunderstood safety systems.

February 10, 2021
Truss. We’ll be joined by special guest, Will Todd, COO of Tomcat Truss, to talk about the myths and truths about using aluminum truss. And yes, we’ll tackle the fine art of slinging truss.

February 17, 2021
Equity & Inclusion, Part 4.   
  The discussion continues. Resource Links from the chat

Video for this session is available to registered participants only. The link to the discussion will be sent upon request.

February 24, 2021
Aerial Rigging, Part 2.   
 Special guests Andy Schmitz and Ginger Griep-Ruiz take a look at Aerial Rigging from the performer’s point of view.

March 3, 2021
Risk Assessment.
A game the whole family can play!
Eddie Raymond and Jonathan Deull will join us to discuss the processes for identifying and managing risk in the live event environment. CHAT TRANSCRIPT

March 10, 2021
Ground Support Truss Systems.
We talked with special guest Elmer Veith about the do’s & don’ts on choosing and setting up ground support rigs.

March 17, 2021
Behind the Scenes Mental Health Initiative.
Lori Rubinstein, Executive Director of Behind the Scenes talked with us about this initiative and how it can help members of the entertainment community.

March 24, 2021 
Open Mic Session  An opportunity for everyone to discuss whatever we want.



A few words about Bill Sapsis

Bill’s career spans 5 decades (48 years, to be exact) and in that time he’s seen a lot and learned a lot.  He’s been sharing his thoughts and experiences for many years and, in these challenging times, wants to continue.  Hence this new seminar program.  We hope you enjoy these sessions.  Please let us know if you have any thoughts about improving these seminars and if you have an idea for a topic Bill can talk about in the future.

These sessions are free.  There’s no expectation of payment.  However, if you enjoy the session and want to acknowledge the time Bill is spending putting these sessions together, you can make a donation, in any amount,  to his favorite charity, Behind the Scenes.   The details can be found here.



Sapsis Rigging Inc • 870 Bunting Lane, Building A • Primos, PA  190188 • 800-727-7471