30 Under 30: Luis M. Garcia, Lighting & Video Designer

In celebration of LDI’s 30th anniversary—1988-2018—Live Design gives a shout out to 30 Under 30: thirty young movers and shakers who are changing paradigms, looking at things from new angles, and rapidly rising to the forefront of their field. From scenic, lighting, projection, and costume designers to technicians and programmers, as well as those who work for manufacturers, production companies, or rental shops, our 30 Under 30 are the harbingers of tomorrow.

He may be only 22, but Luis M. Garcia is wracking up honors and other recognitions within the entertainment design industry, including 2018 USITT Rising Star Nominee, 2017 Oregon Shakespeare Festival's (OSF) Richard Hay Lighting Design Fellow, a 2016 USITT Gateway Program recipient, and of course, one of Live Design/LDI's 30 Under 30! Presently a video technician and programmer for OSF, he is also a freelance lighting designer, who assisted Alan C. Edwards on The Vineyard's production of Harry Clarke, for which Edwards won the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Lighting Design. Garcia is a proud member of USITT and IATSE Local 154.

Garcia will be an LDI2018 speaker and present a session on lighting and video in Spanish as a part of LDI en Español on October 19.

Name: Luis M. Garcia

Age: 22

City, State of residence: Ashland, OR

Current position/title: Video Technician/Programmer

Current Employer: Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Current Projects: Video Programmer for OSF’s productions of Manahatta (world premiere), Romeo and Juliet, and The Book of Will

Most notable achievement: I have two big achievements in my life that have impacted my career. The first was being a 2016 USITT Gateway Program Recipient. This program helped me make valuable connections in the industry and helped me see the diversity our industry has. If it wasn’t for this amazing program, which I highly suggest you look into, I wouldn’t have known about Oregon Shakes’ FAIR program, which is my next big achievement. Being the 2017 OSF Richard Hay Lighting Fellow allowed me to be the assistant lighting designer for four of their productions (Merry Wives of Windsor, Beauty and the Beast, Henry IV, Part 2, and Off the Rails). The three designers I got to work with were Jen Schriever, Alan C. Edwards, and Christopher Akerlind. Seeing how they worked shaped me into being a stronger artist. I loved OSF so much, I came back this year as their video technician/programmer!

When I started in the industry: 2008

How I got into the industry: I did my first show in middle school as the light board operator for their production of The Little Prince. The technical director of the program, Randy Cochran, inspired me to pursue technical theatre and helped me apply and attend the local art school for high school where I earned my diploma in technical theatre.

Influences: There have been so many mentors in my life, but there have been four that I personally want to thank from the bottom of my heart in guiding me in the right direction to who I am now as an artist: Randy Cochran, Tom Davis, Krista Franco, and Alan C. Edwards.

Worst advice I’ve ever heard: “Take the offer with the most money.” At the end of the day, I do all this because I’m passionate about creating impactful art and helping the next generation of artists. Life is about taking risks, and there’s more to making art than just the money.

Best advice I’ve ever heard: Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Be real with yourself, accept that mistakes happen but learn from them so that you can become a better artist.

My favorite thing about the production industry: My favorite thing is that no matter what space and equipment we are given, we as designers have the freedom to sculpt the environment to impact the story we are trying to portray to the audience.

Favorite design/programming/technical trick: Inspiration can appear in any shape and size so take photos of anything that can help with any future design concepts.

Plans for the future: I ultimately want to be a professor and give back all the knowledge I’ve gained in my life to the next generation of artists. So in the next few years, I am planning on applying for grad school.

Other interests/ side gigs: I love to take photos of anything in my life. It has definitely helped me learn more about lighting and its ability to shape an object. I’m also a freelance lighting/ video designer and a lighting technician at Universal Studios Orlando.

Awards, honors: I was a 2018 USITT Rising Star Nominee, and in 2016, I was featured on USITT’s August Edition of College2Career Newsletter.

Organizations, memberships: I am a USITT member and member of IATSE Local 154.

Other: I actually was a member of For Display Only, an improv team from Chicago-based company One True Mind, during my time in college! I also want to thank my family for all the support and motivation they have given me to continue my passion for the arts. VIVA PERU!

Website: Luisgtech.com

Check out Live Design/LDI's other 30 Under 30: