Take a closer look at the props and staging at your next themed nightclub party. There’s a good chance it’s the creative handiwork of Chad Craig, owner of A Way of Life Productions.
AWOL has been both producing and assisting in the production of parties in and out of clubs since 1996, working with Club Utopia and doing “create-a-club” jobs in non-clubby places like House of Blues during the nascent years of Vegas nightlife.
Eight years ago, AWOL focused more on making props and staging for parties than throwing them, especially during Halloween—Craig’s favorite holiday—when the company was inundated with offers to craft spooky decor for various parties and venues. Eventually, the workload forced Craig to mothball his own 14-year haunted ball, Devils Night.
However, he still throws this week’s Halfway 2 Halloween, in between helping nightlife companies like SBE (Hyde) bring their more fantastical events to life. It’s a demanding slog that nonetheless manages a few motivating rewards. “I am always venting about how I hate the pressure, the seemingly impossible timelines and budget issues,” Craig says. “The truth is I love that feeling you get when the job is done, the client is happy and we survived another gig.”
“If a DJ had an issue being overshadowed [by the decorated booth], I would tell him to kick rocks. My biggest problem with the industry today is DJs ... hold most venues captive with contracts and stipulations that are utterly ridiculous. Thankfully, I get a lot of praise for going the extra mile and actually theming out an event. The biggest complaint is, ‘I wish people did this in LA or Seattle.’”
“I have been specializing in bottle service presentations lately. Someone at Hyde asked me if I could make a tank for bottle presentation, and I was all over it. I currently have a huge inventory [for] bottle presentations: a tank, a Santa sleigh, a white princess sleigh, a Jet Ski, a bamboo jungle cage, a rocking horse—you name it, I’ll make it.”
“The Snoop Dogg throne was actually my Santa chair. So [Tao] just wanted to rent it for a photo shoot this Memorial Day Weekend.”
Halfway 2 Halloween June 6, 9 p.m., $20. Candy Factory, 1400 Industrial Road, Suite D, halfway2halloween.com.