Favorite Quote: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away." Pablo Picasso
Why did you choose your college major? How did it help (or not) lead you to where you are now? Originally, I was a chemical engineering major. However, during my first semester, the theatre school’s lighting program caught my attention (I did theatre/lighting in high school). After my first semester, I realized I was much happier outside of my science and math classes. I talked to my lighting professor and switched into the BFA program.
Did your major change from freshman to senior year? Why/how? Yes, my major changed. Ultimately, what led me to make the switch was realizing that it is possible to have a career and make a living as an artist/designer. If I had the connections/knowledge that I have now, I would have started my journey as a lighting designer earlier.
How have your career aspirations changed over the years? Throughout my career, I’ve explored different areas of the lighting industry (theatre, opera, concerts, broadcast). I enjoy learning different skills and making an impact in multiple areas.
What impact/influence did ZF have on your academic career? Your professional career? Frank was an invaluable part of my academic and professional career. His continuous advice and wisdom were always valuable tools in my toolbox. I am thankful for his kindness and guidance during such a formative part of my life.
What drew you to ZF? Why did you choose to apply? My high school counselor connected me with Frank Zenie (Lance Bergman at Pine View School). He thought that I would be a good fit for ZF. After speaking with Frank about my academics and aspirations, I felt that I could benefit from the program as I moved on to college.
We are just beginning to develop our ZF alumni community. Please share your thoughts or ideas on what you would like to see this community become or what you would like to get out of it. I’d love to connect with more people and have the ability to talk to others in similar industries.
What services and/or resources were most helpful to you? (This can be at ZF, your school, or somewhere else!) Connections/knowing people. A large part of the lighting industry is just having the right connections. My friends, colleagues, and mentors have been invaluable in my success as an artist.
What is a misconception that you had as a student about your career and the professional world? The myth that someone can’t live happily or comfortably as an artist was something that held me back for so long.
What are some roadblocks you have encountered during your career? How did you get through them? COVID was a challenging time for my educational experience. During that time, I decided to occupy myself by learning more computerized skills. This led me to work as a freelancer as a digital lighting artist/creative technologist.
What is your favorite thing about your job? I love the "magic" of lighting. It’s a straightforward concept but can make or break the entire performance.
Any exciting projects that you’re currently working on (that you can share publicly)? I have been working on some of CNN’s new shows here in NYC (CNN New Central, The Source with Kaitlan Collins, and much more).
What piece(s) of advice would you give to your college/high school self? Learn about things that you don’t think you like. I can guarantee that you’ll find something that sparks your curiosity.
What is something that you have learned about yourself since starting your career? Success can be measured in an infinite number of ways. I’ve found that what’s most important is being proud of my growth and contributing to making the world a better place for my community.
Tell us about a time you made yourself proud. Finishing my undergraduate thesis. This was the most intensive piece of writing I have ever completed, and the experience I gained from the project made me appreciate the world of academia.
What hobbies/interests do you have outside of work? Tell us about them! Why are they your passions, and how did you get involved? I am a huge fan of revolutionary and progressive history! I love discussing world events and how to make the world a better place. Volunteering and connecting with my community are very important to me; I’m always open to talking to anyone.