DRAMA 101, INTRODUCTION TO THEATRE, MODULE 1 – Lighting Supervisor
[SOUND]. Basically any time someone turns on a
source four in this theater, either I or someone who, who works with me will be
around to make sure that we represent ourselves the best we can.
Hi, I’m Dan Montano. I’m the lighting supervisor.
[MUSIC]. The role of the lighting supervisor, at
least in the in this theater is basically to facilitate the, the lighting designs.
for any one of our, main stage shows, anyone of the shows that we do in our
black box theater. any rentals that may also come along, any
educational shows. but I think the most important part
though is to really be the, the facilitator of the design and to work
with the designer and make sure that the that they have everything they need as
far as the nuts and bolts of what we can give them in this theater to make their
design a success and to work within the framework of the play.
I’m actually a recovering actor, and I spent a lot of time around the theater.
Allow me to demonstrate. [MUSIC] Oh.
What do we have here? Better than the original.
So I had some background. I had run some lights in, in college, and
but that was a while ago. But, but I came here to work as a
carpenter with my neighbor, which was, for a job that was supposed to be 10
days. And they asked me to stay and run the
rail for a show, and I stayed for a build and I saw an opportunity here, so I tried
to learn as much as I could. I came in when the theater was dark and I
learned as much as I could about the equipment.
We are fortune enough here to with designers over and over again a lot of
times, and sometimes there are new designers.
I’ll generally be at, just one of the first production meetings, that really
for me is really more of a meet and greet.
Those meetings tend to be more about the design of the show.
and that’s not something that I have a lot of input with, input towards.
I’m more of a nuts and bolts kind of guy. So I don’t start to get involved with the
lighting. Especially, to a little bit further down,
down the line. at some point there will be a plot due,
and I’ll work with them. If they haven’t been here before they
will come and do a walk through, and we’ll talk about hanging positions and
places they can put lights. And I’ll get them an inventory.
and they’ll get back to me with a plot and that’s when I basically take over.
[LAUGH] Lighting designers come with a lot of crazy, I don’t want to say that
they are crazy ideas. They are creative ideas, and sometimes
they work phenomenally well. we were lucky enough last year when we
did You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. And there’s a big production number where
Snoopy’s doghouse rolls forward and the stairs come out.
And the director said, wow, wouldn’t it be great if, if when he stepped on those
stairs they would light up. And we said, how are we going to do this?
This is crazy. There’s no way, we would need remote
control DMX devices, we would need all this stuff that we don’t have the budget
for. But we knew someone who was tinkering
with these LEDs. He, he came and did it for far less that
what it was worth, and loaned us the stuff, and it was a phenomenal scene.
And it brought the house down every time. Today was a very kind of a simple day for
us. We’re, we’re simply just striking the
plot that was here from the last show. The tech crew and the carpenters got the
set out the other day and we got our lights down and, and we’re going to get
organized for the lighting hang tomorrow. we’re going to make sure the, the
instruments have the right lenses and we have what we need.
And so we’ll hang tomorrow. Once we get into the tech process, it’s a
pretty much 12 to 14 hour days for, for, for, you know, the week or so.
So we’ll be in this theater for many, many hours you’re all in it together so
we’ll get here, we’ll get here early in the morning, we’ll fix the things that
didn’t work the night before, we’ll start to work through the show.
And that’s when the actors are on stage and, and, and lights and sound and
costumes, when it’s all going to come together and it can be very, very slow at
times. And really in a nutshell what hap, what
happens during tech is the lighting designer will program the board through
the lighting board operator. My assistant Melissa programs light board
and runs the light board and designers will spend a few minutes telling her what
instruments need to be at what intensity and where.
And she will program that making sure that he has the look that he wants.
Once you start to run the show then the designers will kind of sit back.
The, the stage manager will call the cues to the lighting booth and and then
they’ll, they’ll just take the cues. It’s, it’s a matter of hitting a button
when the stage manager says go. When I was acting I said I wonder
sometimes how I came across to the technical crew.
I always hope that I was nice and respectful, and I was[LAUGH] one of those
actors that they talked about[LAUGH] when they turned their back, because I’ve
walked in those shoes. And that first day, when I know they’re
coming into the set, one of the things I really like to do is look around and see
what is it, you know, I would kill myself on trying to rush to make that entrance
or trip over. Or I think that anybody in any work
situation, if you have some kind of If you have knowledge of what that other
person goes through, it’s going to make the day go easier in the long run.
I think what I love most about this job is that I’m constantly challenged.
It can also be one of the things that’s most tiring about this job as well.
But it’s always different. It’s problem solving.
It’s puzzles. And it’s it’s going to keep you on your
toes. It keeps you thinking.
At the end of the day you can hopefully be proud that you were part of something
that, that people took great pleasure in. [MUSIC].