Today we are featuring Lighting Designer Maureen Berry! Maureen’s work can be seen at berrylightingdesign.com. She received her MFA from San Diego State University in Lighting Design for Theatre, Television, and Film in 2008. Maureen is a member of Local USA 829 IATSE.
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
I am one of the odd ones that didn’t do theatre in grade school or high school. I was actually drawn to theatre through lighting design. In my early twenties I used to travel with bands and one of my friends was a lighting designer for a relatively big band so he used to let me mess around with the rig. At the time I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do as a career so I decided that I would love to do that, but I was not interested in the horrible schedule that rock n’ roll LDs have to deal with so I went to school for lighting design for theatre; and so it began.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
I had a Broadway lighting designer, once tell me that if this is what I love I should never give up. He basically told me I would be poor for a long time, but in the end it would be worth it. I still think of that a lot when this business is a struggle.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
I almost had a lineset run away with me once. It was the most terrifying and crazy experience I had ever dealt with in theatre. Unfortunately, the lineset had already been pulled in and was terribly out of weight. I was told I could take it out, but little did I know that it was out of weight. I held on and screamed and luckily another person was right next to me and grabbed on, helped me pull it back in, and then we locked it off.
Q: What is your dream role?
I don’t really have a dream role, but I am certainly doing what I love to do and I am probably happiest when designing lighting for ballet.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
Hollywood Medium with Tyler Henry. I also love The Real Housewives of New York.
Grace Austin is an STL area director and educator. See her work at gracemaustin.com.
**DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of THE SCENE SHOP.