Nightmares of a lighting Engineer

Yes I am a Lighting Engineer for 20 years and went through all those nightmares and still trying desperately to enjoy them. I love my profession and I am lucky enough to have worked and working with all those wonderful people. I always try to forget all those ugly faces with whom I was compelled to work but their acts always haunt me.

Although I have a smiling face, I laugh very little. It does not mean that I do not enjoy things that make human beings laugh. I enjoy every bit of all those. Here are some of those moments in my profession where I laugh and those moments which make me weep:

I laugh………..when

#somebody cuts an original joke in a tense moment
#my electrician tells me that everything is well and all the lights are connected 3 hrs before I expected
#The Director is not tense, well prepared and coolly tells me all the best in the beginning of the show

Very few moments and rare occasions. isn’t it?

I weep………when

# The Venue is 3 mts high and artistes are 2 mts tall, the ghost shadows play more beautifully than the artistes
# The venue’s electrical systems are most modern and best in the world with useless ELRs with a very intelligent/theoretical (?) electrical in charge
# The organizers want the lights to be without any wires
# The director asks me to hide the lights from view and want the light come out magically
# The amateur artiste on the stage try to escape the light
#The electrician comes running in the middle of the show and tells me that one of the wire is getting hot
#All of a sudden during the show, the director asks me to make a black background look blue and arguing WHY it is not possible
# A moving head (Light) refuses to listen to me
#The boss’s personal secretary (or yes man) watching me instead of watching the show…in search of a sensational story
#None of the audience expect me looking at the stage when I am changing light scens one by one very artistically for nothing

So many…

I do not know whether to laugh or weep…….when

#A spectator ask me whether I am a DJ?
#Another spectator asks me what are the buttons on the controller meant for
#A boy comes and ask me how the lights are changing colors and moving from the controller
#One nice lady comes and ask me to give blue light on the dance floor and her dearest friend ask me for Yellow at the same time
#An angry man asks me to reduce the sound volume pointing at my controller and more angry when I am not acting and sound man is behind the stage a kilometer away from me
#The director tells me “good job” after a two hrs shouting
#The marketing guy explains about the lighting in his own way to the organizers in front of me

At the end of the day, whether I laugh, weep or smile…I enjoy every moment of it and I enjoy my profession and all the things are part of my job.

Next time when you attend a program, look at the lighting man.

Raju Ramana