Career Changing

Cronosin

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Location
Silver Spring, MD
I've been working in community theatres working both as a lighting designer for small one-act productions, and as a lighting technician. It's the standard community theatre life of computer technician by day, lighting guy by night.

However, my day job as a computer technician is killing me. I'm not half-bad at the smaller projects, and I know I'd do well with larger projects. I don't have a degree in Theatre Arts, and having recently graduated college (where the theatre community was so insular, if you weren't in the program, you couldn't get within 10 feet of a control booth). Aside from working lots of shows and building a portfolio, is there anything I can do to help start a career as a lighting designer or technician?
 

farmerjo1111

Member
Joined
Jun 23, 2005
Location
Arena, WI
I would look up your local Theatre union and see about getting on the call list to help with shows. If any thing you might make a few contacts and a least get you started. Another option is to try and work at as many different theaters as possible. In this industry it is all about who you know. Or you could even try and get hooked up with a local rental/install shop and start there. Best of luck.

Dustin Strobush
ETC Systems
 

icewolf08

CBMod
CB Mods
Joined
Jan 11, 2007
Location
Lititz, PA
If you have a good portfolio and resume from the work you have done in the past and you can make a good presentation of yourself, there are places that will hire you. There are a lot of people in the business who didn't go to school for theatre, or dropped out. Check out http://www.backstagejobs.com or TCG's ArtSearch. See if there are any positions that you are interested in or feel like you have the skills for and start calling people.
 
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Van

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CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
yeah, what those two said. In addition, unless you have a Killer Freakin Portfolio, and a list of credits out the Wazzoo, don't expect this to be a transistion from Programmer to designer overnight. Get on an overhire list and get hooked up with the local scene. make contacts and remember everyones name. Start hitting every local theatre company and production company you can.
 

avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Howell, NJ
It appears that Local 19 in Baltimore and Local 519 in Hagerstown-Frederick may be possibilities.
 

Van

CBMod
CB Mods
Premium Member
Joined
Jul 27, 2006
Location
Portland, Or.
As awesome as that would be, I am totally realistic in this. I'm looking for the local union, and coming up short. I'm in the Washington, DC metro area, so it shouldn't be that hard.

Y'all have been a great help, Thanks!
Wow You're in a great are for theatre work! Run a google on "IATSE Washington,D.C." you'll find your local. get on the 'extras" list and have a blast.

EDIT- Oh yeah, and I gotta admit I laughed my butt off when I read your original post. Here I've been doing technical theatre for years and working on computers as a hobby, my statement is always," this job is killing me I have to find a computer job."
 
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avkid

Not a New User
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Location
Howell, NJ
If it's Washington D.C. Local 22 is your best bet.