Nick Failla has spent the better part of two decades in the gentlemen’s club industry, so it’s only fitting he was the one to shine a light on the industry’s sound & lighting systems commonplace in clubs at this year’s EXPO 2018 Tradeshow Mainstage.
It is said necessity is the mother of invention. While that may be an old proverb, it certainly was the real-life case for Nick Failla, who has spent years DJing and managing gentlemen’s clubs.
“One of the things that happened over the course of time was that it was always very hard to find a sound or lighting company that was willing to come out and do the smaller jobs,” Failla recalls of the need to learn to do sound and lighting stuff on his own.
Then four or five years ago, Failla started branching out and started his company doing small jobs on the side. Over the last couple of years, that side gig has flourished into Nicky Biggs Entertainment, a promotions, marketing, event management, audio & stage lighting consulting company.“I’d say 95% of my business is the strip club industry—I spent so many years in the business, everyone knows me,” Failla says.
At the 2018 Gentlemen’s Club EXPO, Failla was in charge of producing the EXPO Tradeshow Mainstage, and did so enthusiastically.
“My goal was to bring some of the newer technology into strip clubs,” says Failla. “The one thing about the strip club business that many people don’t understand is that most sound and lighting equipment is meant to run at full power for several hours straight. The duty cycle we (gentlemen’s club industry) put this equipment through in our business is ridiculous.”
Failla’s goal with the Mainstage was to give off the feeling of being at a gentlemen’s club within the confines of the Tradeshow, even including a roof on the truss they brought in to give the stage an enclosure.
But, as Failla says, his goal was about introducing new technology. And while the Mainstage provided a pleasurable aesthetic, it’s the toys Failla will had at the Mainstage that were the meat of his presentation.
THE “WOW FACTOR” OF PROJECTION MAPPING
One of the big unveils at the Mainstage was projection mapping, which Failla succinctly describes as projecting an image or design or effect on a 3-D surface. The technology has been around for probably the last five or six years, but it’s been used almost exclusively in bigger settings, like the Staples Center or massive concerts. It hasn’t necessarily been something that’s accessible or affordable to the small venue. But as is the case with technology, as advances are made, prices come down as what’s “top of the line” creeps down the totem pole. Failla says some of the software for projection mapping is starting to become affordable.
He compares projection to video walls: “Projection mapping is a fraction of the price and you can get a high-quality projector and a cool effect that nobody else in town has,” he says. “One thing I want to do in the future is create an interactive stage—imagine the surface of the stage looks like water. Now you have the girl walking around the stage and wherever she steps, you see ripples spread out underneath her feet.”
GET READY TO “DISCO”
Failla also revealed a U.S.-based computer-control lighting system called DISCO. Many times, at a typical big nightclub or concert, there are guys whose sole job is to run the lights. However, in gentlemen’s clubs, oftentimes the DJ is also responsible for running the lights.
“(DISCO) is very intuitive and user-friendly in that the DJ can set it and forget it or jump in, take control of the lights for a desired effect, and then go back to setting it and forgetting it, granting the DJ more time to DJ,” explains Failla. “You wouldn’t believe out how many clubs out there spend a bunch of money on their lights but they didn’t put the right control system in,” muses Failla. “So they’re only using 10% of what their lights are capable of doing.”
For more information, call (1-866) 462-4447 or visit nickybiggs.com.