My First Technical Training: Timothy Kelly
My first tech training was a lecture on basic lighting ideas as part of my BA at the University of York. It was part of a module where I’d elected to direct, so I didn’t think at the time that it was information I would use a lot.
Half a year later, I found myself doing lighting design for several productions, so I was very glad of having had that introduction.
I had chosen my GCSEs with the writing, directing and performance course in mind precisely because of the opportunity to try out a bit of everything. I don’t think I would ever have thought of trying out working in tech if I hadn’t come across it on this course.
My first few weeks of doing lighting design was in a group of three of us who were doing lighting that term, having workshops with one of the department’s production technicians. I was lucky enough to have an assistant lighting designer with me, to learn alongside and also to share the stress with.
Looking back on the course, if I were doing it again I would definitely have taken the chance to do more tech with the drama society before I got to the third year, as after that it became more difficult to fit everything in.
I think the mix of practical work and academic study has really encouraged me to think first and foremost about why I’m making an artistic choice, and to make sure those choices fit dramaturgically with the text and also with the rest of the production.
It’s a cliche, but, post-graduation, the key to getting work in any area is networking. Keep in contact with the people you come across in training – there is a very good chance they will be able to offer, or direct you to, opportunities in the future.
CV: Timothy Kelly
Training: University of York, BA (hons) writing, directing and performance
Theatre includes: The Forgetting, TakeOver Festival, York Theatre Royal (lighting designer); The Suitors, University of York (lighting designer); Mancub, York Drama Society (lighting designer); Hyde Park, University of York (associate lighting designer); The Wheel, University of York (set designer/puppet builder); Making Tracks, National Railway Museum, University of York (director)
Film includes: Mad to Be Normal (lighting)
Timothy Kelly was talking to John Byrne