Who Lights Our World: Sarah Johnston
We are asking lighting experts around the world, in the “Who Lights Our World” series, some key questions about their job. Here is Sarah Johnston based in Brooklyn, NY.
1. What lighting console do you prefer working with?
ETC Eos-based anything, usually the Ion for theatre; Hog 4 machines for corporate; GrandMA for concerts.
2. What do you always have with you at your console?
Coffee! My script. Notepads. Ticonderoga pencils. Electric pencil sharpener. Laser pointer. Gel swatch books. Computer.
3. Mac or PC?
4. What may be surprising that you don’t use?
Mechanical pencils. Hate them.
5. Coffee or Tea?
6. What is your favorite genre of entertainment to work in?
Always theatre: I love making a good, new play. I also love to light a big smashing concert.
7. What is your favorite color combination and why?
I love indigo and green together. When they layer together in the air you can see all these other colors in between, kind of like a peacock feather.
8. Who is an lighting designer that you admire and respect?
Two: Jane Cox. I love her work and she’s so so kind and lifts up women along her journey.
Mark Henderson. Hands down classiest person I’ve ever worked with and an absolute genius artist.
9. What are the top 5 skill sets that a Lighting Designer/Technician should have?
Organization – Improvisation – Listening – Storytelling – Flexibility/Adaptability.
10. What is the best type of client/boss/director?
Open, inviting, sharing, collaborative, calm, collected.
11. Do you prefer a window or aisle seat?
Depends. Three sets in a row – aisle. Two seats – window.
11. What advice do you have for those who want to become a lighting designer or a lighting technician?
Be kind. Especially to yourself. Be patient. Take breaks. Stretch! Leave the theatre for meals. Find a hobby and dedicate some time to it. Stand up for your work place rights. Walk around your town or city and find inspiration. Travel. Learn to draw, even if it’s badly at first. It cracks open a new way of seeing things. Don’t let yourself get taken advantage of if you become an associate. Your life and career is just as important as theirs.
Other Who Lights Our World:
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