An Interview with Lighting Technician Sean Wykoski

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An Interview with Lighting Technician Sean Wykoski

November 12, 2020

sean wykoski

What do you do?

“I work for a company called Elite Multimedia as a Service Lighting Tech. Elite Multimedia is an audio/visual production company in Nashville, Tennessee.

Artists will hire us to provide additional equipment and staff to help support their shows and tours.

I started out repairing equipment in our facility and helping with tour prep. It wasn’t until 2018 that I was able to actually go out on tour.

I’ve primarily toured with Luke Bryan as a Lighting Technician, but this year I was supposed to be on tour with Cole Swindell as his Lighting Director.”

When & how did you decide this is what you wanted to do?

“Lighting was something that chose me, rather than me choosing it. I’m also an audio engineer, but there were limited opportunities at the time for that with Elite Multimedia. I mainly just wanted to tour, so lighting was the best avenue to be able to do that.”

During COVID-19, a lot of shows have shifted to live streams. What’s different between live streams and live shows when it comes to lighting?

“It’s so different. The concept is the same but for live shows you need to make sure it looks good for the audience. For streams, you need to make sure it looks good in the shot for every angle so you need to consider it from all sides because you don’t know when the video director will switch to a different camera. You also need to work with the video director on color schemes and brightness levels. One thing I’ve learned is that the camera doesn’t like the color blue which is terrible because blue is one of my favorite colors to use.”

Have you done any drive-in concerts over the past few months?

“I haven’t done any drive-in concerts but have done 1 socially distanced concert. In Murfreesboro, TN there’s an outdoor venue doing socially distanced concerts where each group gets their own pod. This is similar to a normal show when it comes to lighting.”

Does the size, height, or layout of the stage affect your job when planning a show?

“The stage definitely affects what we’re able to do. Going into a venue, we have different sized productions we can go with. We can do the full one or can do a scaled down version that only uses the half rig.

When touring with smaller acts, we also need to consider the weight capacity of the stage. This helps us determine what we can and can’t put on the stage when it comes to things like set pieces or power distros. Venue staff member are usually very helpful with providing this information.”

What does your average day look like when you’re on tour?

“When on tour, it’s a different world everyday but with the same routines. Every morning starts with coffee. I then go check out the stage to plan our set up for the show. After doing that, I find the catering for breakfast.

sean wykoski

At 8 or 9, we start loading in. This takes 4 – 5 hours. After that, I take a nap until around 5 and get ready for the show. On the last tour, I was the Lighting Director for the opening band, so I always had to be show ready much sooner than the rest of the crew. Luke is usually done with his set by 10:30 or 11 so we begin load out as soon as the last band member walks off stage. Load out usually takes 1.5 – 2 hours so after that I head straight to bed.”

What do you like most about your job?

“The best part is meeting new people and making new friends. I’ve also been able to meet a lot of artists that I never thought I’d get the chance to meet.”

We’d like to thank Sean for taking time out of his busy day of doing live streams to speak with us!

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