ETC (booth #1200) has once again selected six graduate-level students to attend LDI with the company. The all-expense-paid trip is meant to be a bridge to the future, opening up doors and extending new horizons. The students not only go behind the scenes of a global entertainment-technology company's tradeshow effort, but they gain first-hand knowledge of the latest product innovations throughout the industry, meet mentoring professionals in the field, and take away invaluable inspiration for their creative careers. Meet this year's ETC LDI Student Sponsorship recipients:
Rebecca Beasley is a graduate student at Austin Peay State University in Clarkesville, Tennessee. In 2009, she graduated from Austin Peay with a bachelor of science in Communications with an emphasis in Technical Theatre and Performance. Her primary concentration has been lighting design for dance, and she acknowledges being inspired by the example of designer Jennifer Tipton who helped break open a formerly male-dominated field. Rebecca has been a nominee for the 2010 Barbizon Lighting Award and a Workshop Clinician at the 2010 Tennessee Thespian Conference on Color Theory. Rebecca anticipates graduating with her master of arts in spring of 2011.
Michigan-native Melanie A. Berg recently earned her bachelor of arts in Theatre with an emphasis in Design and Technical Production, from Western Michigan University, in Kalamazoo. She is currently working in regional theatre and dreams of working someday on Broadway as a professional lighting designer, board programmer, and stage technician. Melanie's resume already includes work for the Music Theatre of Wichita, KS; the Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC; the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Ann Arbor; Joe Louis Arena, Detroit; numerous productions at her alma mater Western Michigan, and extensive journeyman experience as a certified IATSE member (#395, Ann Arbor).
Victoria Hendrix is a master of fine arts candidate at The University of Texas at Austin. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, her zeal for lighting design emerged while working with Quinn Pierron at Foothill College. She earned her bachelor of arts in Drama (emphasis in Technical Theatre and Design) from San Francisco State University in 2006. After freelancing in technical theatre work and before graduate school, Victoria gained a position at ETC, in console software. Other accomplishments include lighting design for the 50th anniversary of The Fantasticks, and special effects control work for the 2010 Winter Olympic Opening Ceremonies in Vancouver.
Justin W. King is a master of fine arts candidate at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. In 2007 he earned his bachelor of arts from Virginia Commonwealth University, with a degree in lighting design. Justin was inspired to pursue the art when he worked behind the scenes as a youth volunteer at Faith Landmarks Ministries in Richmond, Virginia, and says he hasn't “turned back.” He aspires to work in all fields of professional lighting design--TV, film, dance, theatre--as well as 3-D digital production. Justin has been the recipient of various fellowships and awards and anticipates his degree in 2011.
Rachel Levy is pursuing a master of fine arts degree at the California Institute of the Arts (2011). She holds a bachelor of fine arts (2005) from Tulane University, where she discovered her passion for lighting while majoring in dance. Taking up lighting design, Rachel has now worked with top designers like Don Holder (Come Fly Away, Marquis Theatre, New York City), Paule Constable (War Horse, Royal National Theatre, London), and Bob Barnhart (So You Think You Can Dance). Besides assistant lighting design and other production credits, she was a resident lighting designer at the New Orleans House of Blues in 2007.
ETC's annual LDI Student Sponsorship is open to international candidates, and Billy Wong will be traveling the farthest this year, from Asia. Completing his university studies at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, Billy intends to pursue a career in lighting design, theatre consulting, and multimedia, looking to integrate “the elements of western and Asian cultures” in his professional work. His experience includes electrician work as well as lighting designer roles in dance, drama, musical and film productions. His young resume also includes videography and an award-winning documentary film project. He anticipates finalizing his degree in 2011.