CueUpcontinued frompage 5.
money, two babies and all of that, and discovered Iwas really strong and good at carpentry. Fromthere I just discovered the beau- ty of backstage. Thewell-honed choreography of set changes, and riggingmoving. The love of the blue lights reflecting off of the steel cables, and the showrunners scurrying thru the darknessmaking magic.Al
l of those things drewme in andmade technical theatre my life.No
wit ismuch easier to explorewhat I love andwhat drawsme to it since both ofmy boys are grown. I have a lotmore time,while simultaneously have absolutely no time!
TB:Are youcurrentlyworking onany projects/ performances?
LH: I just finished the run ofDonkeyBeachwithDanielleGeorgiou DanceGroup (DGDG) as the Set and LightingDesigner/Technical Director at theAT&T PerformingArtsCenter for the Elevator Series, and nowI amworking as the technical director forCryHavoc’s upcoming showTheGreatAmerican Traveling Sideshow.Of course I havemywork atEastfieldwhere I amamember of theArts Collective and the PerformanceAdvisoryCouncil, and preparing for the next school year.
TB:What organizationshave youworkedwithbefore?
LH:While inDallas I haveworkedwithDallas TheatreCenter, ShakespeareDallas,CryHavoc,DGDG, and some community based theatres likeGarland SummerMusicals andMesquiteCommunity Theater, and theEisemannCenter for PerformingArts,Eastfield College, I knowthere aremore, but I don’t know, it’s a lot of years.
TB: Is teching for dancemuchdifferent fromany other staged art? If so,what are the challenges?
LH: It is definitely different. I have found that I enjoy designing lighting for dancemore than other types of theatre.Dance chal- lenges you because it is not necessarily set on paper.Evenwhen/if there is a script it is awork that continues to growand change until opening, so it is harder to be predictivewith cues, youmust be more adaptive, and I loveworking on the fly, or asmymother says, just “flying by the seat ofmy pants”. I can have a design and plan for a set and have to scrap it lastminute due to the nature of the work. I think thatmight be the largest difference. In theatre I am able to read a script, speakwith the director and get a sense ofwhat they see, and then design a set that theywork and block around, and in dance it is the opposite the designerworks around the per- formers. It ismuch easier forme to have a plot, butwork the cues on site number by number, transition by transition, and itmakes it amuchmore nuanced design.
Pictured: Set design and photo by LoriHoneycutt.
TB:What advice do youhave for someonewho is interested inpursuing this profession?
LH: Just do it –Go out andwork, even the crappy jobs, and get your foot in the door.Work in educational theatre youwillmeet so many professionals.Work over-hire jobs, these jobs in professional houses teach you a lot about theatre that you don’t learn in college. Work jobs thatmight not be in yourwheelhouse, becausewe all continue to learn, and none of us, nomatter howmany letters come after our names, knoweverything.
Workwith people – This profession is, above all else, collaborative, so youmustworkwith people, not just for them, not just around them. I can learn fromyou and you can learn fromme. Themore you get to knowpeople youworkwith themore your namewill be bandied about as a possible solution to someone’s problem.Kn
ow the names of the techs in venues that your company rents, and make friends, one day theymight say your name to the right per- son.
Treat peoplewell – It is a tiny, tiny community and if you aren’t good to peopleword gets around.We all talk,we all gossip.One day theymight say your name to thewrong person.
Neverwork for free – I amnot referring to volunteerwork,which is necessary at times. I amtalking about being asked to do a job that is both time consuming and knowledge based. You don’t have to require a huge contract, butworking for free sets a precedent that youwill, and peoplewill take advantage of that because there isn’t awhole lot ofmoney in this profession. If I offeredmy carpentry skills for free Iwouldn’t be able to eat or feedmy family.
Always present the highest production value you can-Don’t settle just because your budget is low.Ma
ke every production and every company feel like you are presenting the best solution, the best pos- sible value for them. If companies knowyou can get themaximum for theminimumthatmakes you a commodity. It also shows that you are passionate about giving your best. Sometimes (especially in dance) less ismore, and less is beautiful. (I amnot saying this as clearly as Iwanted!)
TB:Any other additional comments/advice?
Pictured:DGDGdancers. Photo:DanielleGeorgiou page 8
LH: I already touched on it in a couple of other answers, but always learn asmuch as you can as you go. Theatre and dance technology change daily. People try newthings andwant to go higher, farther, andmore dynamicwith every newproduction.Do
n’t listenwhen people tell you that you aren’t capable of this because you are: too small, too big, a girl, a boy, an undergrad, anything really. It’s literal- ly because they aren’t capable, and has no bearing on your abilities.
DANCE!NORTHTEXAS a publication of the dance council of north texas vol. 20 • no. 3
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