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Lighting Training/ Shadowing

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I was lucky enough in high school to have a couple of local professional techs come in for big shows. I certainly learned a lot working with them, however I will certainly admit I couldn't put together a professional level show on my own. Now I am in college studying engineering (bridges and circuits... not audio). I just finished a show where I was shadowing/volunteering on a show with one of them. This show was quite an experience... a lot of hard work, but also a lot of fun. Unfortunately because most of their shows are in corporate land I can't go on those.


I'm hoping to gain experience in ML programming/design as well as general LX while I'm in college. I still don't really know what I want to do with my life, but technical (mainly lighting) is a definite consideration. I'm wondering where some of the young or more experienced pros on here got most of their experience/training? I'm also looking for ideas of where I can get some (more) experience on professional shows (keeping in mind I'm a full time college student, so a full time job at a shop is not possible) as well as ML programming.


Thank you very much.


PS: I also considered the "next generation" but it was mostly students asking for design advice, not so much career advice. If the Mods would rather move this to Next Generation or Training go for it.

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Hi. "Next Generation" is quite definitely the place for this post. "Training & Qualifications", possibly. But not "Lighting".


Try a search through the BR archives (Google box top-right of the page) - questions like this (some almost identical) have been posted, and comprehensively answered, before.

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From the sound of it I'm a few years behind you (just finished A-levels, heading off to do an industry related course this year).


This summer I worked on a small tour with a local youth theatre, we travelled around several theatres in the county and then went to the Fringe Festival for a week. As I was travelling through venues I worked with several technicians and technical managers, all of whom suggested things to me about how I could make my life during the show easier...let's say by the time I got to the Fringe I was pretty much relaxing compared to the first shows on the tour!


One venue, the closest to where I live, sent me an e-mail the other week saying that they'd been impressed with the way I took their advice (and in one case, criticism) and ran with it, learning and improving what I was doing in the process. The head technician has now invited me to shadow him whenever I am back home from University.



So my advice, try and work on a performance with any group in a professional or semi-professional venue and if you impress them, they may well invite you for a bit of work experience or shadowing. This is the same for the group you are working with, if they like you and your work, they'll ask you to do more projects with them, giving you more chances to work in venues and to gain more experience with a variety of equipment.


Good luck, and I hope that was of some use!



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