I have been spending so much time in travel limbo lately that I have had so much time to think – about anything, nothing, everything, the meaning of life, why Cheetos are so addictive, all of that jazz. When I think back on all of the roads I have traveled in my life and career, I keep finding myself asking the same old three question:
“Holy cow, how the hell did I get myself back into lighting theatre again?!”
I always seem to keep coming back to theatre again. It’s like an addiction or something. I had an easier time quitting smoking than I have ever had not doing theatre. Not that I want to quit, mind you, but you understand the analogy, I hope. It’s my favorite place to be in the world – I’d rather see anything in a theatre rather than an arena, amphitheater, or what-have-you. The theatre is a place that everything in the entertainment business emulates: convention centers are like theatres with endless configurations; arenas are the same, and all of those mid-sized rock and roll venues like House of Blues and The Granada in Dallas are essentially in old theatres or shaped like theatres.
So what relevance does that have on this ramble? Who knows.
I gotta believe that other readers in the JimOnLight.com Community have this crazy obsession with lighting theatre. I mean, many of you make your livings doing theatre, and others are like me – I make my design living lighting corporate events and music, but I have a master’s in lighting design with a theatrical emphasis. I do theatre whenever it comes my way, but I do the other work and consulting so I can support my theatre habit. Freaking lighting designer theatre junkies, they’re all the same.
I feel like theatre as a form of art has shaped many of us into the designers that we are today. When I was young I remember stumbling across a video of a concert style production of Jesus Christ Superstar. 120K PAR rig, some amazing performers and singers who blew the lid off of it, and some person who must have been working a manual preset board of some sort. Amazing. Since then, I have been hooked on this thing we call “theatrical” lighting design. I see this in every work that I design – it is so important for me during the corporate events to get a solid feel of the experience the client wants to provide for the attendees, and a lighting designer can create that outstanding experience with light. It’s theatre, after all!
What’s your story? Why do you like lighting theatre? Please leave a comment below, wouldja? Share your story with everybody!