Switching to a career that lights the way

Last updated 05:00 12/12/2013
Daniel Wilson
Daniel Wilson, 20, has returned to work at the Civic Theatre after the city council sparked his lighting career.

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He used to follow their lead, but now he's lighting the way.

Daniel Wilson has just returned from the New Zealand drama school Toi Whakaari to work at the Civic Theatre after working there as a teenager.

He has joined old hands John Hodges and Garnet Ashbrook in the lighting team. The pair had encouraged him into the industry, but it was love of the theatre that initially sparked his interest.

A keen singer, Mr Wilson first set his sights on the stage as a pupil at James Hargest College. However, it was backstage work that really lured him in and he has not looked back.

After doing sound and lighting for his high school events, Mr Wilson was introduced to Invercargill Musical Theatre. It was there he landed a casual job with the Civic Theatre.

He spent six months learning from Mr Hodges and Mr Ashbrook in an apprentice-style situation before they suggested he studied entertainment technology.

The council backed his application for Toi Whakaari in Wellington and covered his tuition fees on the understanding he would return to the theatre for at least two years.

Mr Wilson, 20, said it was an offer he could not refuse.

"When they offered me the opportunity I jumped on it."

The bright lights of bigger centres did not attract the Southlander because Invercargill's Civic Theatre was one of the best in the country, he said.

Working in such a great facility was one of the highlights of the job, but meeting a wide range of performers was the best part, he said.

Lighting is not the only aspect of the theatre Mr Wilson can turn his hand to; he learned to do everything from sewing costumes to building sets at the school. Mr Ashbrook said Mr Wilson had been a great asset to the team, although they were yet to make him work a gruelling 24-hour shift. "He's still got that to look forward to."

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- © Fairfax NZ News


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