Past working experience: I’ve worked mainly as a lighting director throughout my career, but I’ve also covered spotlight and tech for performances. I’ve had a lot of different roles; I was even an electrician on shows, working with national acts and local bands. I’ve toured all over the United States, all the way up to Canada — a lot of shows in the last 40 years.
How I began my career: I’ve worked in the stage-lighting industry since 1984. It all started when I was playing bass guitar with some friends who were in a band. They mentioned to me that I needed to run the lights during their show because they didn’t have anyone else to do it. Even though I didn’t know how, I somehow figured it out. That first show I ran I thought, ‘woah this is cool,’ and it didn’t stop from there; it just grew.
My current role: I’ve been working at The Villages Entertainment for 16 years as Lighting Director. I program lights for shows at Savannah Center and special events at the squares within The Villages. Sometimes I’ll jump out and do a few gigs here and there when friends call from the past. I’m also a metal fabricator and certified welder so I do custom trussing and build custom lighting fixtures. I like to build things that I would want but haven’t seen.
My biggest achievement: Staying on top of everything that’s thrown at me! Every year with lighting and sound work, there’s something new and different. It’s always growing and getting better. When I started, it was nothing like it is today; it’s a totally different world and you need to stay up to date with new technology.
My workday: A typical day in my career involves working with different acts. Some provide specific instructions for their lighting needs, while others rely on my creative input. My job is to program lights based on cue stacks, ranging from 100 cues to 500 cues. Someone will call the cues during the show, and you must hit those, while also making sure a person is within that set lighting at the designated time.
In my free time: Every now and then I get some time to go fishing. Then you know, you’ve got to make time for the real fun stuff like cutting your grass and doing housework.
My goal within my career: I strive for 100% in every aspect. I want to hit the ball out of the park on every show. I take it personally.