I have dedicated a great deal of energy into creating a nurturing and creative space for young designers at Pace University here in New York City. Six years ago, I was tasked with creating a new program, BFA in Production and Design for Stage and Screen. Working closely with my fellow educators we devolved an extremely nimble and inclusive program. The program has become popular recently breaking into the top 25 of the nation. The program includes a comprehensive foundation for undergraduates who wish to enter into the field of design for stage and screen.
I have created lighting systems for new performing arts buildings, filled them with the newest and most up-to date equipment. The horizons of creative and technological potential are expanding quickly, but at the center of this expansion is the text. The story, so often lost by the gloss of technology, is what remains most important to me as an artist and educator.
I have a strong background in organic storytelling. I've learned from a small summer stock theatre in the mountains of Colorado (Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts Camp) to mine the text for the "truth" of the piece. If we couldn't find a story we wanted to tell, we would create our own. This special spot in the mountains is where the spark of creativity within me was kindled. Since then, I've always tried to find the story in my projects, even if they are thin. It's what has helped me get through the process of lighting other events and the edifices of buildings. However, it is the power of storytelling through the visual arts which always brings me back to the performing arts. Its effectiveness of examining and commenting on the human condition gives me the feeling of being part of something greater than myself. That is the feeling I strive to convey to my students. I teach this through the close observation of the natural world; being present and cognizant of the moment, observing the play of light and shadow on objects and people, understanding the visceral emotional connections to color and angle. To be able to take the fresh mind of students through the design process is a great joy for me; strapping on our deerstalker hats and delving through the text and research to find and be able to be able to convey the essence, the intent, and nature of the story. My wish is to stoke the fires of my students’ imaginations to find their own voice and their own stories to tell.
Throughout my career, I have explored the many divergent paths within the lighting industry. As an architectural lighting designer, I worked for two years at an acclaimed firm in Philadelphia. While there, our team was awarded the IES award while developing and upgrading the lighting systems of many historical and national landmarks. I also have experience in event lighting and have assisted in designing and presenting several corporate events. I have excelled in these endeavors because I always go beyond the clients' expectations.
While working on any production, I pride myself in the ability to collaborate fully with each member of the production team. Working together with a team of artists to tell compelling stories is why I chose to become a lighting designer. Over the course of my professional carrier I have developed my voice, and process with great success. Now teaching others to tell stories in their own way is has become my passion.