I am not a designer. And I am not a technician.
What I am is a creative partner. I've called my role a technologist, a visualist, a mediator, but ultimately I think I am a great editor. I take the genesis of the designer's concept and make it thrive in the chaos of production.
I grew up in San Antonio, TX and left for Marlboro College in Marlboro, VT with a bit of a Theater Bug and a deep love of Physics. I was dreaming of a career at CERN, but my interest in theatrical lighting won out. I participated in programs like Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival as an intern/stagehand as well as convincing my college to let me be the TD of the theater so I could pay for school. (Lesson learned: I have zero carpentry chops) I also spent a year at Cornell University as the Assistant Electrician in their Resident Professional Theater Program, mentoring other students in the craft of being a stage electrician.
I landed in New York City in 1993 and started working as an electrician at places like the Joyce Theater and DTW as well as places like The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and at special event halls all around town. I managed to get a freelance gig with Vari*Lite's NYC office around 1994 which was essential to shaping where my career is now. At Vari*Lite, I built relationships with designers as well as production professionals from Radio City Music Hall to Broadway and met top moving light programmers from all over the country.
I was fortunate to start programming moving lights in the late 90s when there were still few people with this skill set. With Vari*Lite's support, I was trained on the Artisan control console in '94 and many other control systems followed from there. If you are interested in learning a lighting control desk, I still recommend the experience of programming moving lights on a conventional desk as nothing informs the programming practice like dealing with piles of anonymous numbers to shape how you organize this kind of data. During the summer of 2001, in response to developing products like LSD's Medusa and Catalyst, I took six weeks off to train myself in Photoshop & After Effects and built the first version of this website. This has been a slow evolution and education over the past decade to a schedule that is now dominated by video gigs.
I'm grateful to have a career with so many challenges and opportunities to learn new things. For me, it's crucial to balance the demands of this industry with the gift of personal growth. If that means taking time off to explore a class or learn new software, where ever you find yourself driven to explore, do it! I don't have a career so much as a path that feeds my passion for cutting edge entertainment geekery, and regular stops on a beach somewhere to recharge. And the small fantasy continues that I may work at CERN one day yet, but maybe just answering phones....