Book of the Week!
The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit makes Stage Directions Magazine's coveted "Book of the Week!" (Week of July 14th, 2014.)
Find this and other awesome live event production books on their Bookshelf.
It's popping up everywhere!
Now that The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit is finally published, it's beginning to pop up everywhere! It's very exciting!
I feel very lucky that some good people are looking out for me. They've been sending me photos of my book on the shelf. I'm so grateful! This first one was taken by Conor Mulligan at Drama Books (officially The Drama Bookshop) during his summer stay in NYC.
Drama Books has always been THE quintessential bookstore for me.... the most important bookstore in the theatrical design realm. Every time I am there I empty my pockets and empty their shelves. It is an absolutely magical place. To be on their shelves means more to me than anything! One bucket list item -- check!
This second photo was taken by my dear friend, Rob Halliday, who was instrumental in making the book happen in the first place. Rob lives in the U.K. and took this picture at Foyles London, "London's finest bookstore." An international seller!!!!! I can't believe it!
I feel very lucky to have this book pop up all over the place. A big thanks to my publisher, Focal Press, known for some of the best theatrical design books in the biz.
I have released an excerpt from The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit on Focal Press's sister imprint's website (Routledge).
The excerpt is from Chapter 14 entitled "Working as an Independent Contractor." It discusses marketing yourself with resumes, cover letters, business cards, etc. Although geared towards assistant lighting design, its topics are relevant to many of the other disciplines in entertainment design and management. In the book, the chapter continues on with information regarding tracking income, write-offs, and tips for paying the bills in a freelance world. (Sorry, this part is not included in the link.)
Please check it out: http://bit.ly/1yj1Ywp. I felt that with all the recent graduates at this time in the year, this section would be particularly helpful to release. I hope you find it a valuable resource.
Examples of the cover letter and resume discussed in the excerpt can be found in the Appendices of the text. Buy yours today!
I wrote to my publisher yesterday. Apparently e-books take another four to six weeks to produce after the print publication date. Who knew?! (Ahh.. the things you learn as a new author.)
She also told me that "once created, [it] will be available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, [Focal Press's] website, and a number of other, smaller resellers’ sites. We aim to be 'platform agnostic', so it should be available for pretty much any device someone wants to use!"
So those of you interested in an e-version keep an eye out for it some time in July!
For the past three weeks I've been in Vegas working on the new Mamma Mia company assisting Ed McCarthy (who is Howard Harrison's associate for this show). Each day as I work through the production process, I've been thinking about my book, The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit, which publishes this month.
It has been very cool to compare notes in my head of things I included in the book as I move through the process. After the last year and a half of trying to organize this very complex profession into a straight-forward textbook, it has helped me become even more efficient.
Things to remember run through my head all day long. Things like:
- Remember to get extra coffee stirrers, napkins, and sugar with each coffee order.
- Update magic sheets, but keep the old ones in case I need to refer to them.
- Keep the designer happy by always refilling the M&M's.
- Check off work notes each day with the production electrician.
- Never be off headset as the assistant.
- And so many others.....
So many notes from the book run through my head daily that I can hardly begin to even tabulate them. These thoughts above may seem like little things but it's the attention to detail that makes the most successful assistants. Assisting requires keeping track of both the lighting related items as well as the personal issues needed to keep everyone happy. It's really a thrill to keep all the cogs running smoothly.
I truly think the ALD Toolkit is a useful book to have out on the market. I began it as an exercise to document the process for myself -- as a simple checklist for prepping a show. It quickly evolved into something that I wanted to get to the masses so that aspiring LDs and ALDs had this info before working on their first major show instead of tripping and wading through it on the job like I did.
Now that I have the chance to truly beta test the process and its concepts, I'm happy to say that the book means more to me than ever. I can see how it will help others when they are learning this profession from scratch, and it makes me proud to have written it. If I were a relatively new assistant, I would keep it in my assistant's kit or my bag and refer to it repeatedly for each segment of the process. (Although I would do this in secret when the designer isn't looking, like a proper Lighting Ninja should.)
I hope those 15 of you that have advance copies have enjoyed the book and found it to be a useful resource so far. Those of you who don't have a copy yet, I hope you order one soon. Good luck using it on your next show! Please visit the comments page and let me know how it goes. :)
On a side note, this is my favorite Starbucks coffee name to date. With a name like Anne, not everyone can hear you over a busy and loud coffee counter so I never know what name I'm gonna get written on the cup. However, this may be my second favorite to when Pollo Loco gave me back an order with just the letter "N" written on it. LOL!
I light, therefore I.....
The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit is officially being published on May 30, 2014! Thanks to the great team at Focal Press, I'm proud to say that's pretty much right on track with what we had planned. I'm so glad because so many other books that I've pre-ordered on Amazon keep getting their publication dates pushed back repeatedly. I'm thrilled not to leave my potential readers waiting!
Be some of the first to receive yours by pre-ordering today. Visit Focal Press's website, Amazon, or BN.com to order. I look forward to your feedback/reviews on Amazon! See what advanced copy readers are already saying here.
Check out the great count-down widget I added to the bottom of the main page on the website! As of this blog's date, we have only 40 days to go! I'm very excited. Thank you to everyone who has been a part of this process, and I look forward to forging new relationships with my future readers. Can't wait to hear what you think!
ALD Toolkit USITT 2014 recap
The debut of The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit was a raving success! Not only did we sell out of the 15 advance copies that were available at the conference, but many pre-orders were made that will be shipped after the book is published in May. Thank you to all of you who showed interest in the book, came up to say hi, and helped make the book's opening successful. I owe it to all of my readers -- and future readers (when their books arrive).
While at the conference I was asked (impromptu) to be added to a session. Our session was called "Pre-Prep Tech: Are You and Your Console Ready?" Speakers included: (from left to right) Paul Blakely from ACT Lighting, Chris Carter - a grad student from CCM, Anne E. McMills, and Nick Gonsman from ETC. The session was chaired by Nate Parde and Sean Savoie.
What a great experience this session was! My favorite part was being able to share tips and tricks that I had put into the book for those who hadn't been able to get a copy yet. Most of what we talked about during the session is covered in Chapters 5 and 6 of The ALD Toolkit. (See the video below for a small clip.)
I was flattered throughout the conference as many people who had copies of the book came up to ask for my autograph. It was a thrill to sign them, but mostly it was a thrill to know that my hard work had paid off and the knowledge that I've been wanting to share was now out there for students to read. As the first line of the intro says, "This is the book I wish I'd had when I was in school." That's so true! It means so much to me to be able to share what I learned through trial and tribulation on the job with others so that they can avoid the mistakes I made while learning the business. I truly think this book fills a void in the literature of our field. I hope that others feel the same.
I hope next year at USITT to have an official signing.
Again, thank you to everyone who helped make this week a success. Thank you especially to Stacey Walker, Meagan White, and Mike King from Focal Press for all your help and encouragement during the conference!
For those of you who purchased a copy, please visit the contact page and let me know if there is anything you think is missing, you have questions about, or you wish had been covered. I would love to hear your thoughts. And, of course, I would love an Amazon review if you have the time. Most of all, I hope you all enjoy the book and find it useful!
ALD Toolkit SWAG at USITT
At USITT next week not only will the first 15 copies of The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit be available for purchase at Focal Press's booth, but also you can get this awesome SWAG!
These 1" mini-buttons come in two varieties: "Lighting Ninja" or "Proud to be an ALD!" If you see me walking around the floor don't be shy. Ask me for a button! I'd love to share, but quantities are limited!
The Assistant Lighting Designer's Toolkit showed up on the expo floor today at the Southeastern Theatre Conference (SETC) at the Focal Press booth! I had no idea it would be ready -- must be a bound copy made especially for the conference. A big thanks to Steve Shelley for his eagle eye!