Hi, I'm Neil and I am only 16 years old!
I am an enthusiastic amatuer at the moment, however want to take it to a professional level after A-Level completion, onto Uni I guess.
I have been involved with mainly stage lighting for about 3 years, starting off at school with a manual analouge strand console, and 3 analouge dimmers. I begun by lighting a Christmas Concert, then the school band (that was alot of fun - press a flash key - no programming and it worked very well). I then moved up in the world and got a new strand 300 series desk which I was later to find out to be an awful desk.
I joined my local amatuer theatre (quite lucky as it is a fairly big organisation that have some funding - we are not flush but they can spend enough to have a decent show). My local theatre was Bolton Little Theatre where everyone is an amatuer http://www.blt.org.uk and I begun using a Zero88 Sirius 48 Console, on some old powermaster DMX dimmers and some Zero88 Betapacks.
I joined the little theatre about August last year, and after reading lots of books, taking advice on different aspects and lots of practical work in March 2004 I was made Head of Lighting. (There had not been a head of lighting since I started, I believe she walked out after a dispute).
Our Sirius 48 sadly died a few weeks back, and I now have on order one Fat Frog (for the main stage) and one Frog (for the studio theatre).
Within 3 years I intend to replace the old Powermaster dimmers with 6 Chilli Jrs, add to my intelligent lighting collection (at the moment I have 2 scrollers - not much but its a start - and 2 more on order). Depending on future requirements we may go for some Macs. I also intend to purchase some Source 4s to add to our collection of Parcans, Floods, Fresnels and Profiles. We have alot of Generic lighting.
I am beginning to turn the department around, with new guidelines for working on shows and the new equipment.
Also - In Sepetember I start at College, and someone has promised me a slot on the team with himself to start using more advanced equipment.
Oh - and I've also done Sound work - however its not my forte!