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A day in the life of a lighting designer

A day in the life of a lighting designer


Heidi Annand is a 20-year-old Theatre/Media student at Charles Sturt University, Bathurst. She is about to finish executing her role as a lighting designer for the second time this year. Yep, that’s right – Heidi designs, plots and executes lighting effects for theatre shows as part of her degree.

5Currently Heidi is working on a show produced by Cycle Productions titled, ‘Stick it to me’. I asked Heidi a few questions about what it’s like to be a lighting designer and boy did she come up with some interesting stuff!

In theatre, the light designing process starts from the very beginning stages of the show, “it’s a six-week process, and we work inside and outside of class time – even on weekends” said Heidi.

During the process, the lighting designer progresses through various stages in order to turn the directors vision for the show into reality.

“My days start with just chatting to the assistant lighting designer, the directors, the cast, mentors etc. and doing some research into what we were actually doing and what we might be trying to achieve,” explains Heidi.

There are many aspects to a lighting role that are very attractive to some, especially Heidi – “I love all of it! There is SO much to learn and devour which is really exciting, and I love the science and logic which you don’t find elsewhere in the theatre making process.”

However, it’s not all fun and games. Heidi mentioned that the job can be quite stressful at times, especially when things happen beyond your control.

“You can’t do everything! We had to cut some ideas and projections, just because we already had so much other stuff to manage.  Some additional lights bought online only arrived this week too which was annoying.”

Aside from that, Heidi says she would recommend the role to anyone – “Do it! It is so much fun, and you get a lot of creative license and that can actually make or break the show”, said Heidi.  “Don’t just settle for the standard rig, what else can you do? In the end it’s still design as part of a greater show so don’t view it as separate from the action, but also let it become more than just helping the audience to see stuff” she added.

So there you have it, it’s a role I am sure many of you were unaware even existed and I must say it sounds pretty freakin’ cool!

Be sure to check out Heidi and the rest of the TM’s amazing work at SPRUNG Festival of Creativity, happening in Bathurst this September!

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