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PLSN Interview

Myles Mangino

Richard Olson • PLSN InterviewJanuary 2018 • January 11, 2018
We caught up with Myles Mangino last month as his longtime friends, The Pixies, finish up the last couple months of a touring cycle that’s lasted over a year. In 2016, they celebrated their 30th year (though there was a lull for a while) and have been gigging consistently. Myles has been with them every step of the way. And a twisted beginning it was. Read More...
Don Earl Proprietor of Earl Girls

A Chat with Don Earl

Nook Schoenfeld • PLSN Interview • November 9, 2017

Don Earl has been involved in show business for close to 50 years now. He was born in Buffalo, NY, but raised in Old Greenwich, CT, where he was introduced to show business at a young age.

Dianne Fleming's passion for stagecraft led to a career in pyro and special effects

Pyro Profile: Dianne Fleming

Mike Wharton • PLSN InterviewSeptember 2017 • September 9, 2017

Dianne Fleming knew at an early age what she wanted to do when she grew up. Armed with an acute sense of how to get there she gravitated towards that goal with intuitive choices that began in her early teens. Her involvement with theatrical stage productions in junior high school sparked her first passion; lighting. Throughout her career, she has realized the potential of each experience she encountered. More importantly, Dianne places value and respect on the people around her, as PLSN found out while talking about the path she carved to where she is today.

NAMM CEO Joe Lamond and Parnelli Awards Executive Producer Terry Lowe

The Parnelli Awards Move to NAMM

Kevin M. Mitchell • PLSN Interview • May 12, 2017

Strategic Alliance to Benefit All Sides of Music and Live Entertainment

As announced last month, NAMM is expanding their January Anaheim trade show to further include the live event production industry, and a big part of that strategy is bringing the Parnelli Awards to it. One factor making this possible is Anaheim Convention Center’s 200,000 square foot expansion, which will allow pro audio, lighting, staging, video, and all related manufacturers to have space available to them to exhibit at an international trade show that already pulls in over 100,000 professional registrants.

Allen Branton

Allen Branton

Debi Moen • PLSN Interview • April 14, 2017

The LD on Moving from a Touring Show to TV

So, you’re directing the lights on a tour and somewhere along the way, management decides to document the show on DVD, or perhaps shoot it as a TV special. At this point, a lighting designer specializing in capturing shows on camera may be brought in to help. A fixer, so to speak. Lighting designer Allen Branton has made the “Tour to TV transition” his specialty for the past 40 years. If you don’t know him personally, you know his work visually.

Pearl Jam at Chicago's Wrigley Field last summer. Photo courtesy Nimblist

From ‘PEDG’ to ‘Nimblist’

Kevin M. Mitchell • PLSN Interview • March 13, 2017

Spike Brant and Justin Collie Rebrand

Performance Environment Design Group (PEDG), noted for their creative work in the live event and installation world and currently designing the Bon Jovi tour, has rebranded.

Paul Guthrie and the VL-6000

1000 Words With Paul “Arlo” Guthrie

Richard Olson • PLSN Interview • March 9, 2017

We’re chatting while peering into a spanking new Vari-Lite VL6000 at the Heroic Productions facility in Minneapolis, where production designer Paul Guthrie, (nicknamed Arlo) resides. He’s an Aussie who fell in love with an American girl and settled here back in the 1990’s. He’s pretty much covered every aspect of lighting in his career, including a huge sold out show at First Avenue’s main room last week with Poliça, a local band. His light rig consisted of six Chroma-Q Color Force 48 strip lights and six Martin MAC Auras.

Paul Sonnleitner keeping warm at his console position in Times Square for New Year’s Eve.

1000 Words with Lighting Director Paul Sonnleitner

Michael S. Eddy • PLSN Interview • February 9, 2017

Well-respected programmer and lighting director Paul Sonnleitner recently spoke with PLSN about how he started his ‘is this really a career’ career, and how he approaches his work. Sonnleitner’s credits range from Broadway to live television, from national historic events, including the Presidential Political Conventions to international sports, for which he shared Emmy nominations with LD David Grill for the 2007 Pan Am Games and the 2014 Central American Games. He also has marked New Year’s Eve for the last 13 years working in Times Square. Read More...

Jonathan Smeeton and one of his favorite pals

A Chat with Jonathan Smeeton

Nook Schoenfeld • PLSN Interview • January 13, 2017

Not many people can stake a claim to being in the lighting business for 50 years. I sat down with my friend Jonathan, who recently passed this milestone, as he explains to me how he got fired from his latest gig just last month. “I just finished designing ARW, an offshoot of Yes members playing Yes songs. This is my fourth go around of sorts with different Yes projects. Singer Jon Anderson fired me for some difference of opinion, but it took me three more weeks to finish tightening up the lighting before I could actually go home.” Make no qualms about it, Jonathan is a unique individual. He started at a time when there was no manual for his occupation.

Michael Golden, Bandit Lites VP, marks 40 years in the business.

Michael Golden

Kevin M. Mitchell • PLSN Interview • December 12, 2016

One day in 1976, Dr. Billy Golden, a chief of staff surgeon, came home with three Alice Cooper concert tickets, which he had bartered from a patient (apparently that’s how they rolled in Eastern Tennessee in those days). He not only made his 15-year-old son Michael happy, but inadvertently set his son on a career path neither knew existed. “I took two friends from high school, one being Steve, younger brother of Michael Strickland,” he tells. “That concert turned my complete focus toward working in the entertainment/concert field.” The motivated and presumably persuasive teen immediately got a job at the Freedom Hall Civic Center in Johnson City, TN. Thus his live event industry career was launched, though inauspiciously: He started at the bottom, if not a few elevator stops below that. “I mopped, swept … I literally popped popcorn by day and ran a spotlight at night.”

I-Mag helps Paul McCartney connect with the huge crowds attending his shows.

1,000 Words with Video Director Paul Becher

Michael S. Eddy • PLSN Interview • November 10, 2016

Recently, PLSN had the pleasure of catching up with the concert touring video pioneer Paul Becher for a quick talk about how he started in the industry 30-plus years ago, his long working relationship with Sir Paul McCartney, and what he enjoys about being a video director.

Rob Koenig

A Chat with Rob Koenig

Nook Schoenfeld • PLSN Interview • October 16, 2016

They say it’s a “Long Way to the Top, If You Want to Rock and Roll.” If that entails playing in a garage band and spending years of your life trudging through every back alley loading dock and taking what they’re giving to make a living until you finally get a few breaks in life, you just may win a Parnelli award. LD Rob Koenig has paid his dues, with over 20 years of schlepping gear and banging faders he has worked his way up the ladder to become one of the most sought-after lighting professionals in the touring world.


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