Professional Lighting & Production - Winter 2022 | Page 24

So , for promoting yourself , you ’ ve got to find that right balance between bragging , having the big head and dropping names , which people don ’ t like , and yet not being too humble . Be proud of what you ’ ve done in the past and share that with people . I go into that a little bit more in the book describing how to find those points and that medium range where you ’ re not bragging and being over the top , but yet , you ’ re not being too humble and holding too much back .
PL & P : Lastly , in terms of mental and physical health , especially for those in touring , what do you advise about staying healthy in this field that doesn ’ t always promote work / life balance ?
Schiller : Well , in terms of personal health , first is looking at your rest and your sleep . It ’ s hard sometimes , particularly in the lighting world where we ’ re given the late-night hours for pre-production , programming , and all that type stuff . Then when it comes time for the band to come in , or the show to rehearse , you switch your hours to work with them . But then you ’ ve got to stay late to update cues . And so , it ’ s really easy to fall into sleep deprivation on any production . In the book I talk about how to look for that , how to fight that off , and how to have good quality sleep . This includes things like making sure your hotel room is truly blacked out , and taking care of your body in the right way to get good sleep . Other things to think about include melatonin and different types of natural supplements that you can take , and staying away from drugs and alcohol . Sleep deprivation also make you want to eat starchy sugary food , so you ’ re going to be craving them . Realizing that and preparing yourself with the right snacks at the front of house or backstage are important considerations that I detail in the book .
It ’ s also very important to manage your relationships with others . That ’ s something very , very important to consider for good well-being , both for yourself and those around you . So , take the time to call home when you have a 10-minute break instead of just searching the internet on your phone . It ’ s very important , not just for those at home , but also for you , ultimately .
PL & P : Any other major points you want to end on ?
Schiller : Yes , I really stress in the book that there ’ s a lot you can do in the lighting industry ; you don ’ t have to just be a lighting designer or a programmer or crew chief . There ’ s so many different elements and directions you can go .
What ’ s also nice is it doesn ’ t just have to be theatre or concerts . We have events , immersive situations , and different types of installations , from interiors to exteriors to lighting up buildings to doing mega events like ceremonies and product launches — there ’ s so many avenues that lighting touches and thus many different positions throughout a career path one can have in lighting . It can be so much more exciting than just being a lighting designer . That ’ s one of the key things I explain when I talk to any young person , because most of them simply want to be a lighting designer . That ’ s a good goal , but there ’ s so much more you can do in this business . You can also start a lighting company or run a lighting shop , you can work for a manufacturer , you can do many different things . And you still can have that creative love and find where you can design lights for shows or trade shows or for whatever is desired . In the book I explain the many different avenues one can pursue in an entertainment lighting career .
Everything needs to be illuminated in this world . Without illumination , nobody can see what ’ s happening and I always remember the famous saying , “ Without lighting , it ’ s just radio .”. Working with light is a fantastic career and I hope many people continue to find pleasure working in this field .
Excerpt from Living the Lighting Life : A Guide to a Career in Entertainment Lighting
The following excerpt was provided to Professional Lighting & Production with permission by Taylor & Francis Group . From Living the Lighting Life : A Guide to a Career in Entertainment Lighting , First Edition by Brad Schiller , Copyright 2021 by Routledge / Focal Press .
CHAPTER 2 : LIGHTING GENRE The entertainment lighting industry has many facets within
which you can find a home in one , or work through many . Most in our industry will find that they work across several genres , but specialize in one or two . For instance , a concert lighting designer may engage in some corporate and festival work but never work in television or theater . There is great crossover of skill sets and procedures between the various genres , but the nuances of each are important to understand .
Theater Many people start in entertainment lighting through theater . It is , after all , where all this started , and the very root of our industry . Theatrical performances occur in various venues and include plays , musicals , readings , and performance art . Generally speaking , the theater is often the lowest paying genre for lighting professionals . The echelon of theater is of
course Broadway and the West End , and some lighting focused practitioners can make a good living working in theater in these environments .
Typically , theatrical production is a bit slower paced than others , while also being highly detail oriented . Theater performances are usually temporary , and the magic of the craft can be an allure for many . Theater can be held within many different types of venues and theatrical productions can also tour .
Corporate / Industrial Many businesses present staged events such as product launches , press releases , sales meetings , shareholder events , and more . These can range from small events in a ballroom to stadium-sized productions . The genre also includes tradeshow booths , video presentations , showrooms , and other business-focused production
environments . Entertainment lighting is usually a large part of these events requiring workers in all positions imaginable . Generally corporate events have larger funds available regarding budget and salary . Many will also generously pay overtime during long production hours . In addition , the actual shows cross bounds between theater , concert , television , and more . Corporate events are a wonderful learning environment , and can be a single genre for one ’ s entire career .
Touring One of the great standards in our lighting industry is that of touring . Touring commonly refers to concert touring , but there are also many other touring-style events . By definition , a touring production is designed and constructed to move from one location to another , while presenting a similar
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