My ultimate career goal is to be a lighting designer for live theatre—perhaps someday for Broadway musicals.  I have been interested in the technical aspects of theatre since middle school and have been passionate about lighting design since my first year as a technical theatre major at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts.  At City Tech I have continued to study lighting design and technology, along with concentrations in show control and stage management.  I worked as lighting designer last spring on Fallen Sparrow, directed by Professor Sarah Standing—an interesting challenge, because the lighting had to work on stage and for the camera, as the production was being filmed.  I also served as master electrician on Wing-Man, with lighting design by Professor Susan Brandt.

Outside of City Tech I have held several short-term professional jobs, most recently as lighting designer for a one-woman play directed by Ally Sheedy.  I’ve helped load in and out both electrics and scenery for several shows at Gateway Playhouse and Patchogue Theatre on Long Island and worked for two summers as a venue production assistant for the FringeNYC Theatre Festival.  Last spring I worked as designer, light board operator and programmer at the National Black Theatre in Harlem.  In earlier years I worked as lighting designer/master electrician/sound technician on the off-Broadway production of Brownsville Bred; as an electrician on the off-Broadway show Power Balladz and on the Drama Desk Awards; and as a follow spot operator at National Dance Institute (NDI) performances. And of course in high school I served as master electrician on two big musicals, A Chorus Line and Hairspray, and as lighting designer on our all-school variety show, a two-and-a-half hour production with more than 25 acts, including big Broadway production numbers, guitar duets, modern dance, burlesque, dramatic monologues, and a couple of comic jugglers. In the end the show had more than 200 lighting cues, and I realized again how much I love this work.

For my culmination project I am eager to further develop my skills as a lighting designer.  Fortunately LaGuardia High School has recently been approaching me for a variety of professional jobs; this fall I designed the lights for a series of One-Act Plays performed by the senior drama students.  I’ve been offered the opportunity to design lighting this spring for the Music Department’s annual Show Choir Concert, a production in LaGuardia’s Concert Hall, an 1100-seat proscenium stage theatre.  I believe that being the lighting designer on a production of this size will enable me to practice my skills and gain additional real-world experience in working with a director, performers, and crew.  The challenge for me is that this is a large-scale concert, not a drama.  Unlike some concerts that are cued live in real time, this one must be carefully planned and cued in advance.