I was born in New Zealand and my interest and passion for the lighting industry began when I was still in high school and I started working on shows from about age 14.
I started designing and programming shows before leaving high school, and even won an ‘Award in Excellence’ in Lighting Design for the school entry into the Smokefree New Zealand Stage Challenge in one of my senior years.
After finishing high school, I then went on to start from the ‘ground up’ in a local lighting company, working in their warehouse doing everything from making pre-wired lighting bars/cables, through to testing returned hire gear, prepping hires, and going on shows. I was also asked back by my high school to light their musical production of “Romeo and Julia”, which ended up being an good experience and opportunity to pass on knowledge to other students at the school.
In 2003 I started with Staging Connections in Auckland as a general AV technician, but with a bias towards lighting. Within 2 months, I was programming HOG 1000 consoles in the Hyatt Regency for 500 seat banquet dinner events, awards shows, and Christmas shows. I was moved to the SKYCITY Auckland Convention Centre when that opened – and once fully commissioned, I had my first experiences on GrandMA Series 1 consoles.
Over the years I honed my programming and experience on the MA, and was the ‘go to’ person for big shows which needed an added aspect of lighting design, or more complex programming/integration with the rest of the show.
I decided to try the freelance world out and continued working for Staging as their main lighting designer/programmer for large events, but also got into bigger corporate and touring work with other lighting companies around Auckland, including being the sole lighting technician on a month-long tour around New Zealand for legendary Scottish comedian, Billy Connolly. In 2009, I decided I wanted some new challenges and other opportunities, so made the decision to move to the UK!
Since being in the UK, I have had moved onto the GrandMA Series 2 Consoles, and am always teaching myself new tricks and techniques to advance my knowledge! I’ve had the opportunity to work with other great designers/programmers, and be the Head Lighting Technician/Relighter on numerous tours for them. I have also designed many shows, both in the UK, and for tours which have been all around the world – a lot of the time, touring with the show as the Operator for the duration of the tour.
In 2016, I had the amazing experience to be able to design and program 2 shows for Intelligent Lighting Services, based in Romford. The first show was ‘Keep Dancing’ a new dance tour which went on to do a 6 week tour around the UK, followed by 4 versions of ‘Broadway Christmas Wonderland’ which had 2 concurrent tours in the USA, with other operators touring the shows for me. I then went on to design/program/operate the next 2 versions of the show in Dallas, Texas and Biloxi, Mississippi. A big THANK YOU to Paul at Intelligent Lighting for trusting me with these shows for his company!
In 2019/2020 I was the Head Electrician for a USA national tour of “An American In Paris” which was unfortunately cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In October 2020, I decided to head back to New Zealand where I have now been working on the 36th Americas Cup Village in a senior technical role, including lighting the 2020/2021 New Years Eve show.
Whilst I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to return home to New Zealand, I am looking forward to being able to get back to touring, and hoping that there will be the opportunity to continue touring, especially in the USA!