Emily Bornt, Lighting Director with Metric

by Debi Moen • in
  • November 2018
  • On the Road
• Created: November 12, 2018

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Emily Bornt

THE DESIGN: “LD Meagan Metcalf is open to her design growing organically, so as lighting director I keep her aesthetic while she gives me some freedom. The music is dynamic, so for the summer tour we played between dramatic shadows and the intense nature of the fixtures, as we couldn’t use haze. The upcoming European tour has a new design, but still embraces some of those elements.”


HOME BASE: “Los Angeles, though I grew up in New York.”

CAREER SPARK: “My first play was in middle school, and I was a theater nerd and band geek in high school. I went to college to pursue audio, but the tech director kept me in the lighting department because he saw my skills. I graduated with a BFA in Theatre Design.”

EARLY DAYS: “I worked local crew in venues and warehouses, working my way from the dock to FOH. As a petite woman in a warehouse, I was constantly told, ‘This work was hard.’ To prove I could do it, I learned to tech lights and use consoles. When I began touring, I wore baggy cargo pants and cut off my hair to be taken seriously as a woman in this industry.”

Metric on stage

FIRST TOUR: “Big Time Rush, summer 2012, with LD Butch Allen.”

WHAT I LIKE ABOUT WHAT I DO: “I love running the show and creating an environment for the audience and the artist to share. My goal: To create a moment when everyone’s hair stands up on their arms.”

DESIGNERS I PAY ATTENTION TO: “A few Rob Sinclair shows, Cory FitzGerald’s ‘On The Run II’ (Jay-Z and Beyoncé), and Aron Altmark’s latest Logic tour, ‘Bobby Tarantino vs. Everybody.’ I’m lucky to have worked with them on different projects. I’m inspired at how they find new ways to look at things and push production designs to their limits.”

BEST ADVICE: “First, don’t give up, If this is something you have a passion for, others will see it, believe in you and support you. Second, don’t let the naysayers keep you from believing in yourself or your product. Third, always be that person that you would want to sit and have drinks with after work. When people enjoy having you around they are more likely to hire you back or recommend you.”

Metric performs






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