It’s Episode #50!!! To mark this milestone, host Cory Pattak gets in the hot seat as this week’s guest. Former guest and girl-you-wish-was-your-best-friend Jen Schriever cracks open a bottle of bubbly and takes on the reigns of exposing the man behind the mic. Jen and Cory leap frog across a multitude of topics including the creation of the podcast, rejected title ideas, the reaction after nearly 40k downloads, and Cory’s hope for the future of the show. Cory chats about growing up an only child theatre kid which involved building elaborate scale model theatres, being a “moving light designer” in high school, a foray into film acting, and all manner of bizarre activities kids do to amuse themselves. They also chat about their current design processes, the moments that excite them the most and the ones that terrify them, and why cooking and design are two sides of the same coin. Enjoy this special episode and thanks to everyone who’s been listening. Here’s to 50 more!
If you’ve seen even a handful of Off-Broadway shows in the past 15 years…chances are you’ve seen the great work of this week’s guest, lighting designer Tyler Micoleau. Tyler has a ton of insight into the non-profit world having worked at essentially every major Off-Bway company and many of the regional theatres around the country. Cory and Tyler chat about his work in shows like ‘The Invisible Hand’ and ‘The Wayside Motor Inn’ and how he has become a master at lighting box sets with limited lighting positions. He also gives us a window into his process for ‘Be More Chill’ at Two River Theatre, how he uses limited resources to his advantage, and the kinds of conversations he has with directors and scenic designers. And finally the topic you’ve been waiting for…we do a deep dive into the world and usage of LED tape!
This week’s guest is one of the busiest designers on Broadway, it’s Lighting Designer Howell Binkley! Cory and Howell touch on many of his recent and past work including his award winning design for ‘Hamilton’, revisiting ‘How to Succeed…’ again 15 years later, and how his dance background informs his designs. He also discusses whether there is such a thing as a “Broadway lighting design”, how he interacts with his longtime Associates and Programmers, what his process is for laying out a new plot, and the emotional toll of creating art that can so easily be washed away in an instant, as was the case with his recent work on ‘Dr. Zhivago’. And learn how a different path nearly led Howell to become…wait for it…a mime!
The podcast is going international this week with British Lighting Designer and current duel-Tony nominee, Paule Constable! Paule chats (while Cory geeks out) about her designs for “War Horse”, “Curious Incident” and “Cripple of Inishman.” She discusses the difference between US and UK lighting approaches, her love of large, single source gestures, why she doesn’t get hung up on making designs symmetrical, and her country’s love of haze! Hear how all the technical elements of a monster of a show like “Curious Incident” came together and why there are no gobos in “Warhorse,” a show that takes place almost entirely in a rural landscape. And Paule talks about being a female designer in the UK, the stigmas and biases that still remain, and what it was like to be the first woman ever to win the Olivier for lighting. Grab a pint and enjoy this bloody good chat!
Welcome to our first LIVE episode as we team up with ETC to bring you the Young Designer’s Survival Guide! Cory chats with Jon Collins (Scenery), Jason Crystal (Sound), Travis McHale (Lighting) and Tristan Raines (Costumes) about the nuts and bolts of being a young designer working in New York City. The panel has lots to say on topics ranging from assisting to designing on your own, when to join the union, whether you need an agent, how to remain passionate and how to pay that pesky rent. Being a “young” designer often means having to work harder to get noticed or be taken seriously among a team of seasoned pros and the panel shares their thoughts on maneuvering those obstacles. We take some questions from the audience, everyone names their favorite tech food, it’s a party and you’re invited!
Welcome to episode #40 and today’s show with Lighting & Scenic Designer Justin Townsend. Justin is spearheading a brand new program at Brooklyn College to train Broadway Associates and he’s here to tell us all about it. Cory and Justin also dig into many corners of his design process from the plotting stage, to meetings with directors, to his almost whimsy like process of discovery in the theatre. He also shares his thoughts on the responsibility of the LD to be energy efficient, his stance on the ‘save Tungsten’ debate, the influence of one of his mentors, Chris Akerlind, and his current production of “Hamlet” at Classic Stage Company. And Justin teaches Cory about sailing!
Lighting Design in America has a long history of pioneering women and we sit down with one of those women today…it’s Vivien Leone! Vivien is arguably the most experienced, sought after Associate working on Broadway and she brings with her a wealth of knowledge from her 30 years in the business. She and Cory discuss her ongoing relationship with ‘Phantom of the Opera’ and how much of the Broadway production remains the same from the day it opened, the personal and psychological effects she experienced being in tech for a year on ‘Spiderman’, and her experiences with both sexism and ageism in her field. She also shares stories from ‘The Last Ship’ and ‘The Bridges of Madison County’, tells us about the fork in the road that led her to pursue the Associate track, and of COURSE talks about her lighting paperwork, which is considered by many to be the best paperwork in the business.
Don’t adjust your dials…it’s a Thursday BONUS episode with Anne E. McMills, author of the The Assistant Lighting Designer’s Toolkit. Anne is west coast based so she and Cory had a cross-continental chat about the new book. She tells us about the inspiration for the book, her favorite parts, and the new things she learned while interviewing dozens of working lighting designers and assistants. Much of the teachings, hints, and insider lingo in her book has never been documented in a textbook, but has only been taught through on the job training. Listen to her talk about the life of a working assistant and then go pick up a copy for yourself. It’s short and sweet so enjoy!
This week’s guest is Lighting Designer Mark Stanley. Mark is one of the founders of the Hemsley Lighting Program and someone who knew legendary designer Gilbert Hemsley personally. He tells us about Gil’s legacy, his unique and one-of-a kind personality and how in the past 32 years the program has grown from a single internship to an array of programs including the Portfolio Review weekend, Mentorship Program and other outreach initiatives. Mark and Cory also have a lively chat about the challanges of teaching design from paper plots to research to concept statements and tech rehearsal nuances, and the philosophies Mark bases his curriculum on at Boston University. And he shares insightful stories from his current job as Resident Lighting Designer for the New York City Ballet and his past work with New York City Opera.
Happy Thanksgiving! Your waistline isn’t the only thing bursting at the seams this year. Welcome to part two of our doubled-stuffed episode with Moving Light Programmer Tim Rogers. This week, Tim is joined by friend of the show Jason Lyons! Jason and Tim tell us how they first started working together and how they’ve established a shared language and style over their many years of shows. They also discuss the process for their current hit, ‘On the Town’, why they like sitting next to each other at the tech table, how they drive associates crazy, the artistic devision of labor when it comes to lighting a scene, and common mistakes young lighting designers might make when working with a new programmer. And learn what your show has been missing this whole time…a little color called “slalmon.”