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 I’ve been lighting up the industry since 1998. After growing up playing guitar in bands, I thought my professional interest would be studio engineering. I came to realize that it was incredibly boring and frustrating spending so much time in a small enclosed space saying to bands, “that sounds great, but could you try it again.”

I thought creating atmospheres for bands, honing in a new sense of art, and developing a new craft in an interesting trade, would be a path of countless avenues. Paired with physical activity of setting up and tearing down the shows and fact that every day would be different, I felt that my future was on track.

I started out with a highly reputable company, Upstaging Inc. where I learned my chops in how to build a show, the appropriate mechanics and techniques involved.

Which also included the formalities on how to work and interact with people. A lesson I learned that holds a high percentage over ability.
After a couple of major tours (Metallica. Korn and Sevendust) as a technician, I came to the point where my true ambition was to get behind the console and create atmospheres for live bands on my own accord.

I moved over to House of Blues Chicago so that I could cut my teeth into lighting live performances. Which in turn lead me into more interaction within my production community and not only lighting bands but a diverse multitude of events.

One of which was lighting for televised performances. This lead me to a gig on the side working at Channel 11 WTTW Chicago. Working on such shows as Chicago Tonight, Check Please! and the televised live band performance show Soundstage. (Which my first day on the job was September 11th 2001)…Ended up watching a lot of  TV that day.
Another path HOB introduced to me was Electronic Dance Music shows. I never realized I would have had an interest in it. I was unaware there was an entire world of clubs that solely adhere to this kind of show.

So the next step was Crobar Chicago. The city’s most notorious dance club at the time. It wasn’t my comfort zone at first, but I loved doing lights to the music. Complete Light and Shadow contrasts. Free Form Art of Contour and Accents.

Years later my ambitions grew heavier and realized I needed to move forward. I decided to go full freelance and take all of these worlds I encountered and apply them to other companies’ needs.

Sound Investment Chicago was my first introduction into freelancing. A growing company that was in their first to second stages of their development, was the perfect fit to help, learn and grow from. And are now a full on powerhouse of a production company including a branch out in New York.
Within this, I developed the skills and stature for corporate events and how to work with and also appease clientele.

I spent a few years programming for dance club installations and within that network, helped launch the first year of  Wavefront Chicago Beach Party. I designed both stages with the help of being backed up by Audio Integration Services.

After many festivals, events and installations (I’d mention the clubs but they turnover like pancakes in this town and are done and gone)....I longed for touring again.

One of the companies I freelanced for, Windy City Music worked with the band ICP. I know it sounds horrible but it actually was a beautiful experience. 4 years worth. It was a SHOW! It was a hot mess..but definitely a show. I had the freedom to experiment and do whatever I wanted with this act.

Through an associate with this company, I was offered a gig for

Panic! at the Disco.

The trial run was a European tour were I was able to get a feel for the band and their dynamic. We hit it off great and they were into my particular style of lighting. They asked me what I was doing for the next year and signed on to be their guy.

Amazing shows, experiences, band, and crew....
I’ve always said it’s the perfect balance of Bros, Pros and Killer Shows.

This in turn launched a new level into my career.

 Doors of opportunities were opened in the off seasons to work with other bands that I have had the privilege to light…

Pierce the Veil allowed me to showcase a dynamic aggression full of elaborate scene transitions.

New Politics range from a dirty rock show basement party throw down to an ethereal new wave experience.

Front Line Assembly brought me back to feeling like a teenager listening to Industrial Music.

And the game continues. I’ve seen the world, with purpose. It’s not the part of the globe that matters. It’s how you relate to it and find your interest and appreciation.

I’m the most comfortable within my production setting. It’s a community that resonates with each other. Everyone with the same goal.

The Show

Daily interactions can be one liners, jokes and quick quips that refer to the end result. Almost saying nothing, but everything is explained in a few syllables. It’s a common unspoken bond.

Once I’m in show mode, that’s all I care about…. the show and the people involved. This is the beauty I’ve found in this industry. Just a nod to somebody can replace a half hour conversation.

Then there’s the show....That is the reward. Watching as all of the ideas you had to create a backdrop, dynamic atmosphere, and visual experience, come to fruition before your eyes as you’re controlling it in real time.

Every beat and every cue is a constant momentum of action and reaction.

That’s only from my perspective. The other side of that view is the audience.

There is a collective pulse that binds the audience with the band.

The idea is to create a world in that venue that amplifies that pulse and encapsulates the sonic imagery of the music.

It is however, a subconscious art. As you’re providing the experience, nobody knows you’re doing it.

They just feel the accentuated moment. You can make the greatest lighting cue this side of the sun....and everyone sees it as the band got better.

I love being the man behind the curtain. I don’t want to be in the spotlight, just have control of where to direct it.

Recognition is very humbling to me. Whenever a patron actually is aware of the lighting and it’s affect, I am very appreciative of their accolades they give me after the show.

No gig is too big or too small for me. My only focus is on making a show come to life and creating an experience for others so they will always have that moment that lays a marker in their life and hopefully  sets a path in motion.

One single moment of a show can make a stamp in a person’s life....

If I’ve had a hand in that moment, then I did my job and can go to bed smiling.

And this is why I love what I do.

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