My name is Joshua Wakley and I am targeting a career towards lighting design, approaching this venture through skills in lighting, rigging and gaffing for a broader understanding of technical and creative applications. Broadening my understanding at this stage enables me to get a feel for every role and search for various routes into gaining the role I want to inherit.
Having built upon my experience of lighting I feel well equipped when approaching the job market. Along with an understanding of my field of specialism required is good electrical knowledge. When considering live event work having extended knowledge on basic audio technology can only be beneficial as many roles advertised suggest the idea of an ‘A/V Technician’. This further suggests the ability to work under pressure and quick problem solving abilities, adapting to the fast pace nature of working live. Heavy manual labour and basic DIY knowledge (e.g. rigging) work further into the skills set of the role, all tied together with social and team skills as leadership can vary from command to following instructions.
An entry role into this working environment is often an ‘A/V Technician’ requiring working knowledge of all stage technology, from here you are able to progress into your specialist field. This can vary on the scale of production; smaller venues may only hire one individual to run everything whilst larger companies require independent specialists. An alternate is starting with a hire company (e.g. Stage Electrics) gaining knowledge and hopefully finding work through clients.
Challenges will arise when learning new technology or proving competence of existing systems. This will be the case of teaching myself beyond what the job offers, constantly keeping in the lighting network. Competence can be proven through additional qualifications and training, personally I feel electrical knowledge is where I need to improve in order to make myself most employable.
Professional placements up to this date have made me confident in pursuit to work in live events and theatre. I have a strong set of skills and knowledge through employment at North Somerset and Timber Lake Camp, but I can continue to build upon this. I feel I still need to seek more experience in larger operations such as music festivals. Current I know where I can confidently pitch myself, I am hoping to better understand larger operations so I can learn specific requirements the industry is asking for.
I am confident in my pursuit and am actively going to be seeking opportunities in the UK. Having explored the US market I feel at this stage of my career I am best to find professional experience inland so eventually I can take these skills to a larger worldwide market. Expanding upon electrical trade skills is a possible avenue to explore in order to make myself more employable. By continuing to explore opportunities in the UK I hope to better understand the professional environment and the experience required.
I am definite in shifting my interests to live events and theatre; it is a form of media I thoroughly enjoy due to the fast paced nature and instant response of the platform. Lighting continues to be my career pursuit, but I am open for adjacent opportunities that can better my professional experience to cater for this path. My current marketing strategy is strong as it demonstrates a wealth of skills across multiple platforms, I hope as I continue to pursue an opportunity in lighting I can shift my specialism through gaining additional qualifications and experience.