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Live Design Master Classes

Discussion in 'Lighting and Electrics' started by rochem, Mar 2, 2009.

  1. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Hey all,

    As I keep receiving more and more emails from Live Design with information about the Broadway Lighting Master Classes in May, I have started looking at this and getting more and more interested. Has anyone gone to these classes before and could give me some information on what it's like? From the descriptions it sounds amazing - the top designers on broadway walking you through their design process and answering questions and such. But is this really how it is?

    Also, the more important question. I'm still only a Junior in High School, but Lighting Design is something I love and will be doing in college and beyond. I have a fairly large amount of design experience on shows and have worked in many different venues, from tiny high school stages to the local road house on major touring shows. Basically, would a high school student fit in at the BLMC, or is it mainly for industry professionals? I think it would be awesome for my education and would also look great on resumes and applications, but I don't want to go if I'm treated differently the entire time for being a high school student. Anyone got any insight?
     
  2. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    I have no idea about these Master Classes, but what could it hurt? Sounds like fun for a young student. I am not sure why industry professionals would be interested in something like this? Why could I get there that I couldn't get just from chatting with the designers? Why would I want to learn someone else's process when I have one that works perfectly for me?

    Keep in mind where you go to college (or what you do instead) will set the course for your career.

    Mike
     
  3. naharnahekim

    naharnahekim Member

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    Took a look at the website, $400 is pretty steep.
    Generally most of what you'll hear in these master classess you can either glean from interveiws in the various trade magazines, or you'll learn in college. They can be a great way to network, but that most likely will come later for you. Not saying you can't start now, it couldn't hurt, but there probably will be a significant experience and age difference between you and the other designers there.

    My advice is to read, read, read, and work, work, work. Get your hands in as many pies as you can. Offer to ALD for some local designers, if there are any, and pay very close attention to their process, what desicions they make and why. Ask lots of questions.

    Don't limit your reading to theatrical lighting design books. Look into psycology, industrial and architecural lighting, visual illusions, art, history, basicly everything.
     
  4. jmac

    jmac Active Member

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    Michael, I have not been to the classes either, but they look worthwhile to me (relatively new in the stage lighting world), from what I've read, and I am considering attending, but it is a considerable expense with travel and lodging. It would be good to get a report from someone who has attended.

    I would not worry, being a HS student, about fitting in with the pros. From what I've seen of your posts here, you've made good use of your HS years so far, and could make your own valuable contributions to any class. I'm an old engineer who is happy to learn from anyone of any age, and hope I can help others (young or old) in my areas of expertise. If anyone looks down on you for your age, shame on them. They probably just missed out on a learning experience, and on meeting a nice person. But my guess is, people are usually glad to have a variety of people attend classes like these. If you want to go, go for it, maybe I'll see you there...


    Mike, I realize you may travel in different circles, and I am obviously not a seasoned pro (as you can tell from all of my posts) but I know there are a few of us who do not get the chance to chat with top Broadway designers in our normal everyday life.

    I think we all can grow from seeing how others do things, no matter how well we think we do things. Again, from my view point in the engineering world, I have been at it 30 years and think I'm pretty good at designing building electrical systems at this point, but today I learned something notable from someone about one of my kid's age.

    I think in both engineering and lighting design, there is often more than one "perfect" way to accomplish the same goal, and I think we (and the industry as a whole) all benefit from seeing others' perfect ways, and showing them some of ours. One of us may discover something even more perfect.

    My two cents..

    Finally, let me say I've learned alot from both of you, since I joined here a couple months ago. Thanks!
     
  5. Esoteric

    Esoteric Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, if you don't have access to chat with these guys outside of events like these, then certainly it is worth your while.

    Also, if you have not worked up your network yet, then these events can be invaluable to begin building up your network.

    I am with you jmac. There is certainly more than one way to "get to Mecca" as my college professor put it. Technically I learn new things every day (the other day I repaired a PCB board on a component level for the first time!), but my design style works for me, and it would create more chaos in my world to attempt to change my design style than it would do good. So I stick with my "perfect" way and let others stick with theirs. Although I am always open to leanring new technical things (and even new ways to create effects, etc) I will say I am not very open at all to changing my design style, because mine works for me.

    Anyway good discussion!

    Mike

    PS To the OP if you do go, keep your head down, listen a lot, and pay attention is the best advice I can give you.
     
  6. jmac

    jmac Active Member

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    As a follow-up, I attended the BLMC last week. Glad I went. Didn't find any other CB'ers, but I may have missed someone...?

    Yes, exactly.

    Of the 100+ attendees, very few old timers such as myself. Most were probably between 18-30 years old. I would say definitely mostly amateurs, and only a few, if any, professionals, besides the teachers. Several college students, and at least a few high school students. Rochem, you would have fit in just fine, and as a HS senior next year, you would certainly blend in comfortably. All attendees were treated with the same respect, regardless of age, and I'd say most of the thoughtful questions came from the younger crowd.

    Some students had name tags indicating they were being mentored by one of the mfrs. (e.g. ETC). I don't know if that means the mfrs. were helping with tuition, but it's worth investigating..

    If there's interest, I will be happy to post a list of the classes, along with a brief discussion of the highlights, and/or what I took away from them, as time allows...
     
  7. rochem

    rochem Well-Known Member

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    Yea, a while ago I emailed someone at LDI and got an email back from Jules Fisher saying that I would definitely fit right in and such. Unfortunately, it turned out that I simply couldn't afford to do it on such short notice. However, I fully intend to go next year!

    And yes, if you wouldn't mind, please do share as much as you can about it!
     

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