Have you ever spent time behind a lighting desk for a club or rave? I can tell you that it’s a really great experience, though not easy, it’s very,very, fun!
Today I am so honored to share with you a interview I had with Dante Ison.
Dante is an up-and-coming club LD in the San Francisco area, and he’s got a lot of great tips and reminders for those of you just starting out in lighting – enjoy!
Starting in EDM Lighting – Dante Ison
How did you get started with stage lighting? How did that lead to where you are today?
I started doing lighting my Junior year in high school. After about a year or so, I became the new TD, LD, ME, anything lighting and technical, I became the go to guy because of the departure of my teacher. I continued in lighting and began at San Francisco State University and a job doing lights for a nightclub in Downtown San Francisco.
At what point did you know you got bit by the “lighting bug”, or the love for stage lighting?
During my senior year, I was bit, hard, by the bug. I only (and still do only) thought about lighting and about designing for concerts and festivals of particular genres (where I decided to hone my skills primarily in).
What’s the most important skill someone can learn to be successful in production?
The most important skills (can’t think of just one) one can learn have to be patience, a good attitude, and an eagerness to learn and apply. All must be present to garner the most success.
What is your greatest daily challenge that gets in the way of creating excellent lighting? How do you get around it to make your art happen?
The most frequent challenge that stands in my way every weekend at City Nights (nightclub) in SF is there isn’t room at all for a re-designed light plot, all my fixtures are positioned from hanging truss.
I like and try to make the most use of versatility as I can while preserving complete control of the situation. Like switching between 6 or 7 pages of cue stacks each containing different intensity, beam, color, position, and effect parameters, and utilizing my Blind function, and Flash buttons/Faders for example.
What inspires you on a daily basis to create excellent work?
What keeps me unconditionally and so ardently inspired to create and be a part of excellent work is the vision and opportunity to do more and set bars and design, create, and build for artists that I listen to on my way to do lights at the nightclub. Ambition for greatness keeps me going.
What is your favorite piece of gear right now and why?
I’m really excited for the Vari-Lite VL4000. It can do a lot for a spot fixture. Even has a Studio mode so it’s quieter and offers less lumen output. By far my most anticipated fixture release.
A lot of Learn Stage Lighting readers are part-time at lighting, either working with bands, churches or small production companies, so they don’t have tons of extra time. What is one simple tip that the LearnStageLighting tribe can use this week to improve their lighting?
Always get your name out there and keep it out there, in a good light of course. It has a very important knowing a lot of people, but it’s who knows you that ultimately gets it right.
What projects are you currently working on?
I am currently stationed at City Nights, Club X, and EPR in Downtown San Francisco.
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