LOOK UP POINT DESIGN: Lighting Design and Lighting Direction


At Look Up Point Design LLC lighting designer Kristie Roldan combines artistic vision, technical prowess and a serious track record in a variety of entertainment formats including theatrical, corporate, live event and televised productions. Look Up Point Design LLC provides lighting designs, design consulting and on-site supervision of design implementation.



…other duties as needed, part one

Production work does seem to have a lot of those, doesn’t it? Going into a production job often seems to entail “scope creep” meaning you’ll be asked to do more than what your job strictly defines.

Now there’s a line to be drawn here, and it’s up to us as professionals to determine where that line is on each job. On one hand CARING ABOUT THE SHOW is important, and that may drive you to give a little more of yourself than strictly called for. On the other hand, some producers can and will push you into doing extra work for free, and you need to take care not to be taken advantage of by such people.

As a wise professor of mine once said “Do not let them make you the victim”. It’s easy to fall into the trap as a young lighting designer of thinking you HAVE to do something you are asked for, because you want to keep the job.

Sometimes that’s true.

Sometimes it’s not worth it.

You have to decide, and more importantly know that you are MAKING A DECISION.

…and so I’m not misunderstood here and inadvertently put a chip on anyone’s shoulder, if you signed up for it, DO THE JOB.

Especially the assistant work, including tedious research, model building, cutting color, note taking, and drafting, drafting, and re-drafting. It’s not glamorous, but you should be learning something while you are doing it, and if you are not…you are doing it wrong.

To me as a lighting designer it means I meticulously take care of my design, my department and the work done there, and that I care about the entirety of the show. The above and beyond work I do is what I choose to do, not what is foisted upon me. Bitterness at doing work you don’t want to do without proper compensation is no one’s friend. Bitterness at doing work you don’t want to do WITH proper compensation is also no one’s friend.

If you are willing to take the money, be willing to do the job and do it well.

We’ve all worked with crews who are just there for the paycheck, and with crews who take pride in their work, their venue, and their reputation. I’ll give you one guess which crew is better to work with.

I think it’s better for people to think of me as a talented designer who does beautiful work and is great to work with, rather than think I’m a talented designer who does beautiful work they never want to speak to again. I’m funny like that.

The Beauty In Lighting Design For Dance

One of my favorite types of performance to light is dance.Dance is physical poetry, there is beauty to each work, each choreographer creating a language from bodies in motion to convey their message. Two audience members can sit next to each other and have wildly different reactions to each piece, having read a meaning into the choreography personal to their own understanding of dance and the world around them.

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How do we Change the Face of Lighting Design Education?

I just finished teaching my first class at a university. It was a software class for both undergraduate and graduate design students in the theater department.

Perhaps by writing this I am jumping the gun, however working with the students and hearing their concerns and experiences has prompted me to think about how we as design professionals could adapt what we teach young designers about the marketplace of today in our theater design classes.

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