Glad to find this site

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
Hello,
I am new to this site; I stumbled onto it through a search for college programs.
I am a junior in HS and have been involved in tech theatre for 3 years. I am the lighting director for the drama club and I am also a musician. I would love to combine my love of lighting and music and eventually become a lighting designer for concerts.
 

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Welcome. A broad range of folks here. Students of many levels. Teachers, pros out there doing it, and even a lawyer who does it as a hobby. Teenagers (I don't think pre-trip??) To at least 65 - me - or probably some older.
 

Colin Bishop

ValleyPoint Church AVL Tech
Joined
Nov 24, 2015
Location
Delaware
Welcome to the booth!

Similar story here, junior looking for college programs for technical theater. I'd look through the college demographics thread and message some people who went to colleges near you or are interested. Also ask where your director or lighting instructor person, see where they went and what they learned. Just asking can get you a long way, I asked a very large regional Theater for a tour and got a great exclusive tour, asked the lighting guy at my school for a tour of his college and all he did in theater, asked my youth pastor for a new lighting console and now work on that console every week.

Anyways welcome and use all resources available to you in your search. Let me know if you find anything cool.

Colin
 
  • Like
Reactions: NCS

Kelite

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Sep 23, 2005
Location
Fort Wayne IN, USA
Welcome to the ControlBooth NCS, glad you found us!

As a lighting guy by day and a musician by night (me too!), you'll find yourself in good company here.
The rich, diverse backgrounds of the folks who regularly post here, as well as those who step in for a cameo appearance now and then, offer a treasure trove of workable solutions and, just as important, cautious insight.

The only silly question is the one not asked!

Welcome- :clap:
 

TuckerD

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Location
Rochester, NY
Hi @NCS

I too joined CB when I was in high school and considering a career in lighting. I'm going to graduate from college this year and fortunately I have found one! Admittedly I won't be working as a lighting designer, instead I have found myself a really enjoyable spot in research and development of lighting products. Control Booth was a major MAJOR help for me to get to where I am today. Like Kelite said, the only silly question is the one not asked! I'm looking forward to seeing you around!
 

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
Welcome to the booth!

Similar story here, junior looking for college programs for technical theater. I'd look through the college demographics thread and message some people who went to colleges near you or are interested. Also ask where your director or lighting instructor person, see where they went and what they learned. Just asking can get you a long way, I asked a very large regional Theater for a tour and got a great exclusive tour, asked the lighting guy at my school for a tour of his college and all he did in theater, asked my youth pastor for a new lighting console and now work on that console every week.

Anyways welcome and use all resources available to you in your search. Let me know if you find anything cool.

Colin
Thanks, Colin. I am currently looking at the program at UoA (my home state). I am hearing positive things about it.
 

ruinexplorer

Sherpa
CB Mods
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Location
Las Vegas
Don't count out rival ASU. Many good opportunities there. While I wasn't a student of theater, that is where I got my start and am in contact with some of the amazing faculty that run the program now.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NCS

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Wow, you've really gotten the full welcome treatment. I always tell my students here at the high school, If there's ANYTHING else you think you would enjoy doing, go do that as a career and let tech theater be a hobby. There are many opportunities out there where you can volunteer and do tech (community theater, church, schools, etc..). Get yourself a nice high paying day job and then have fun doing tech on the weekend! It can be a wonderful life. Having a career in tech on the other hand is often difficult. There are MANY people around here on CB who are barely scraping together a living, no insurance, no retirement plan, out on the road for months at a time never seeing their family, or maybe they have a nice stable job but they work late 5 or 6 nights a week and have very few opportunities to see their children and spouse. It's not an easy life and you will NEVER get rich doing it.

So I encourage students to read the following discussions several times and have an adult you really trust read them as well, then discuss them with that person:
Getting a Job in the Industry

The FAQ Recommendations about college Education

How important was your College Degree to your Career Path?
 
  • Like
Reactions: TNasty and TuckerD

RonHebbard

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2004
Location
Waterdown, ON, CA
Wow, you've really gotten the full welcome treatment. I always tell my students here at the high school, If there's ANYTHING else you think you would enjoy doing, go do that as a career and let tech theater be a hobby. There are many opportunities out there where you can volunteer and do tech (community theater, church, schools, etc..). Get yourself a nice high paying day job and then have fun doing tech on the weekend! It can be a wonderful life. Having a career in tech on the other hand is often difficult. There are MANY people around here on CB who are barely scraping together a living, no insurance, no retirement plan, out on the road for months at a time never seeing their family, or maybe they have a nice stable job but they work late 5 or 6 nights a week and have very few opportunities to see their children and spouse. It's not an easy life and you will NEVER get rich doing it.

So I encourage students to read the following discussions several times and have an adult you really trust read them as well, then discuss them with that person:
Getting a Job in the Industry

The FAQ Recommendations about college Education

How important was your College Degree to your Career Path?
Many people do tech theatre because they're internally driven / compelled rather than for any sensible reasons.
Toodleoo!
Ron Hebbard. (Who knows whereof he speaks and has since the mid fifties.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: NCS

BillConnerFASTC

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2010
Location
Clayton NY 13624
Well, compared to acting, tech might seem like a good choice. But I agree, it's not a choice of careers based on economic interest.
 

gafftaper

Senior Team
Senior Team
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jan 2, 2006
Location
Seattle, WA
Many people do tech theatre because they're internally driven / compelled rather than for any sensible reasons.
Well, compared to acting, tech might seem like a good choice. But I agree, it's not a choice of careers based on economic interest.
Exactly. I try really hard not to discourage young technicians but to open their eyes and make it very clear that it is not an easy path. I want them to know that getting an expensive degree is not a golden ticket to making more money as it is with other careers. Finally, I stress that there are MANY ways you can enjoy tech theater as a hobby or part time gig for the rest of your life without it being your career. That way you can put food on the table, have a happy family life, and play lighting guy once in a while for kicks.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
Well, that is concerning but I don't see myself doing anything else except music composition. Toured both UoA and ASU-not sure my choice will be either one. I am assuming college choice matters due to the connections faculty have?
 

TuckerD

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Location
Rochester, NY
That's funny. Just a few months ago you said you wanted to be a lighting designer. Life changes fast. :)

One of my mentors early on in my college career told me that the biggest difference between schools is the inherent networking opportunities schools have, otherwise it doesn't really matter. With that said, even that difference can be surmounted with some extra effort. I go to a very small school with no inherent networking opportunities into the theatre industry but I've managed to make those connections with a little more effort on my own part.

I would pick the school where you feel most connected to the faculty and other non-academic factors. You can make up the other differences with hard work, and hard work is necessary no matter where you go to school. As someone else said, going into entertainment is not an easy path.
 

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
That's funny. Just a few months ago you said you wanted to be a lighting designer. Life changes fast. :)

One of my mentors early on in my college career told me that the biggest difference between schools is the inherent networking opportunities schools have, otherwise it doesn't really matter. With that said, even that difference can be surmounted with some extra effort. I go to a very small school with no inherent networking opportunities into the theatre industry but I've managed to make those connections with a little more effort on my own part.

I would pick the school where you feel most connected to the faculty and other non-academic factors. You can make up the other differences with hard work, and hard work is necessary no matter where you go to school. As someone else said, going into entertainment is not an easy path.
Hmmm...I didn't say I changed my mind. Lighting Design is what I want. What I did say is that is all I see myself doing in lieu of lighting is. As mentioned previously, I am the lighting designer in HS and I'm also a musician - my preference is to combine both by doing concert lighting. Not sure where the change is?
Thanks for you input.
 

ruinexplorer

Sherpa
CB Mods
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Location
Las Vegas
Well, that is concerning but I don't see myself doing anything else except music composition. Toured both UoA and ASU-not sure my choice will be either one. I am assuming college choice matters due to the connections faculty have?
What did you find lacking at those schools? Being able to identify what you are specifically looking for in a program will help you find your ideal school. Unfortunately, it sounds like you are looking for a program like Full Sail, which is not always the best first choice out of high school. Schools like that can be very expensive, and with a lack of real world experience, you can't always maximize the learning vs. cost.

Connections you make while in college will directly help your success. It isn't just the faculty, but the opportunities you get working events and concerts. When you have the general knowledge from class, then you will need the access to places to apply that knowledge. It will likely not be a part of the school. The nice thing about college is that you have the opportunity to take risks, because you are paying for those risks with your tuition.

So, make a list of exactly what you want to get out of your college experience. Look at job listings and see what employers require in degrees or applicable skills (you might have to cold call some to see what they want). Check and see what they pay and see if it will pay back any loans. Start hitting up local bands to see if they have a designer. If they do, see if you can work with them. If this is something you really want, you are going to need to work your ass off to achieve it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NCS

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
What did you find lacking at those schools? Being able to identify what you are specifically looking for in a program will help you find your ideal school. Unfortunately, it sounds like you are looking for a program like Full Sail, which is not always the best first choice out of high school. Schools like that can be very expensive, and with a lack of real world experience, you can't always maximize the learning vs. cost.
I have to say I'm a bit concerned about the assumptions some make on this site. I never mentioned Full Sail nor would my tours of my state schools indicate a school like Full Sail. I am not interested in Full Sail at all and not sure how you made that assumption. But, thanks for the other feedback. This summer, I will be making a list of the schools that I feel will be the best for me and what I am looking for. My state schools are still in the running.
I don't mind working hard.
 

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
Don't count out rival ASU. Many good opportunities there. While I wasn't a student of theater, that is where I got my start and am in contact with some of the amazing faculty that run the program now.
Ruinexplorer- I toured the School of Theatre, Film and Dance yesterday at ASU. They do have a lot of good things happening there and it seems like that school thinks "outside the box." Even though the campus itself didn't quite feel like a fit, I will not rule it out.
 

TuckerD

Active Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2012
Location
Rochester, NY
My mistake NCS. I miss understood your post, try to understand that forum communications are not perfect and people make mistakes. We are just trying to offer you the best advice we can. Besides the first part of my reply was a light hearted joke, it was the following part that I actually meant for you to read and consider. I hope you didn't take it too seriously and ignore everything else.

No one here would purposefully misguide you or purposefully misread something you write.
 
  • Like
Reactions: RonHebbard

ruinexplorer

Sherpa
CB Mods
Premium Member
Fight Leukemia
Joined
Jul 16, 2005
Location
Las Vegas
I have to say I'm a bit concerned about the assumptions some make on this site. I never mentioned Full Sail nor would my tours of my state schools indicate a school like Full Sail. I am not interested in Full Sail at all and not sure how you made that assumption. But, thanks for the other feedback. This summer, I will be making a list of the schools that I feel will be the best for me and what I am looking for. My state schools are still in the running.
I don't mind working hard.
The assumption of Full Sail is that their program is touted for people who want to go and be things like concert lighting designers. I personally feel that they are a waste of money for most of their students while a great opportunity for a few of them. I based my suggestion on your previous statements. As @TuckerD pointed out, remember that forum communications are less than perfect as any written communication in a similar vein. We are here to offer advice, which you can accept or ask for clarification.

I just did some workshops at Mesa Community College for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival and they may also be a good start, especially as you get your general education out of the way. They may not have the biggest facilities, but I think they might offer you a good start as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: NCS

NCS

New Member
Joined
Feb 14, 2017
Location
Arizona
My mistake NCS. I miss understood your post, try to understand that forum communications are not perfect and people make mistakes. We are just trying to offer you the best advice we can. Besides the first part of my reply was a light hearted joke, it was the following part that I actually meant for you to read and consider. I hope you didn't take it too seriously and ignore everything else.

No one here would purposefully misguide you or purposefully misread something you write.
Thank you for the clarification, I appreciate it. I am reading the advice you all are giving. Sometimes it gets overwhelming and choosing a college is overwhelming as it is. I found a great list of schools that are tops in tech theatre and will comb through their curriculum and consider the tuition (yikes! and gulp!) of each of them plus my 3 state schools (GO AZ!).
I hope no one minds that I share this link to the 2016-2017 Top Ten BFA Theatre Design Tech Programs here:

http://www.onstageblog.com/columns/2016/8/27/the-top-10-bfa-theatre-design-tech-programs-in-the-country-for-2016-17

The Top 10 BFA Theatre Design & Tech Programs in the Country for 2016-17
10. Coastal Carolina University - Conway, SC
9. Helmerich School of Drama at Oklahoma University - Norman, OK
8. SUNY Purchase College - Purchase, NY
7. University of North Carolina School of the Arts - Winston-Salem, NC
6. Leigh Gerdine College of Fine Arts at Webster University - St. Louis, MO
5. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor, MI
4. Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University - New Brunswick, NJ
3. Depaul University - Chicago, IL
2. California Institute of the Arts - Valencia, CA
1. Carnegie Mellon University - Pittsburgh, PA
 
Last edited by a moderator: