Will Potts

You can’t beat the feeling of standing in the middle of the crowd operating the show that you have conceived – its completely addictive.

Job Title

Lighting, Set, Show Designer & Director

Subjects

Technical Theatre

Education

Having gone though advanced higher Art and Design, Graphic Design and Music routes in secondary school, I looked at Interior Design as an avenue into lighting. In 2006 I graduated with a BA (Technical and Production Arts) specialising in Lighting Design and Technical Stage Management from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (formerly Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama).

 

Career Highlights

My first paid jobs, specifically in lighting, were at the Arches, a multi purpose arts venue in Glasgow. There I was given the opportunity to light concerts, clubs and theatre, gaining valuable creative experience while working closely with performing artists in general. This was definitely a key in my career as it gave me a love for anything theatre or music related.

I started working with SM Lighting in 2005 designing and operating for music events in the UK including festivals and regular concerts in all the major venues.

Soon after graduation in 2006 I was asked to become Production Manager for the Arches theatre festivals. I jumped on the opportunity and soon became a key member in planning and execution of the festivals. In 2009 I was asked to become Production Manager of New Territories (incorporating the National Review Of Live Art), a highly regarded global performance art festival, and worked with Theatre Cryptic in the same role.

Having freelanced in Scotland for 6 years since graduating, I moved to London to concentrate on lighting and show design specifically in music. A few months later I took an opportunity to work full time for a lighting design house – Spirit Design Ltd. Being part of a design company gave me time and resources to move forward in the industry. Two years on and I am still making progress in a highly competitive market and and am designing shows regularly.

 

Inspiration

I constantly seek to find inspiration from the artists and performers I work with. This is key to my creative process now, especially when working in music. Sometimes its difficult to find a match but if you steer yourself towards the right opportunities you can end up working with people that make your work glow in the same way that you find their’s does.

 

Best thing about working in set and lighting design

Being able to make a reality out of your dreams and ideas (and with someone else’s money!). You can’t beat the feeling of standing in the middle of the crowd operating the show that you have conceived – its completely addictive.

Advice for someone wanting to break into the industry

Work hard and as much as you can, but also stay focused on what your ambitions and goals actually are. Its easy to lose track so take time to analyse this and think carefully about your next move.

 

When I was a student I wish I’d known…

I really wish I had known exactly where I wanted to be and how to get there. That’s virtually impossible at that stage in life but having a more definitive focus would have helped me gain more from the facilities and experience around me.

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