Big Apple Lights, the New York-based supply house, has announced another season of the Big Apple Institute, a series of free seminars designed to keep LDs up to date with the latest products, as well important information about larger career issues. Many of the seminars are co-sponsored by companies and organizations such as ETC, City Theatrical, ESTA, Lex Products, GAMproducts, Rosco, and Nemetschek.

This seasons’ schedule includes the following seminars:

Sept. 15: Working With a Rental Shop

A reprise from a seminar at the USITT conference last spring. Panelists will discuss the difference between a lighting designer’s shop order and an electrician’s shop order, the kind of information that a rental shop requires, how to deal with substitutions or unavailable equipment, equipment prep, and a host of other issues. Representatives of a variety of rental shops will be present to discuss sample orders and rental situations.

Oct. 6: ETC and CAST Lighting WYSIWYG Training

The WYSIWYG software package by CAST Lighting enables one to design, plan, and visualize your lighting in one easy-to-use integrated software package. Learn to draft your plot in 2D and 3D simultaneously, view the stage from any angle, even patch and cue your entire show before going in the theatre.

Oct. 20: Assisting

A Broadway lighting designer/assistant team will discuss the roles and responsibilities of the Broadway assistant.

November 17: High End Systems Product Showcase

High End Systems presents a demonstration of its line of automated luminaires. Topics will include luminaire capabilities, system design, and controlling fixtures with the Wholehog and other DMX console. After a general overview, separate hands-on sections will address information specific to both designers and electricians.

January 12: What Does Uncle Sam Want?

A representative of Trudy Durant and Associates discusses some strategies for W-2 and 1099 income deductions, and some dos and dont’s regarding taxes and the freelance designers. Trudy Durant and Associates is an accounting firm that specializes in taxes for members of the entertainment industry.

Feburary 16: Other Lighting Related Careers

Theatre lighting design is only a small part of the lighting universe. This seminar presents a few people who are making a life and earning a living in other parts of that universe. Discussion will center on how they got started, what they do, and what you should know if you’re considering a career change, either now or in the future.

March 9: Protecting Your Ideas

What do you do if someone steals your design or accuses you of stealing their design? Representatives of United Scenic Artists Local 829 will talk about how to protect your work. Learn about the various legal safeguards that are afforded to the holders of copyrights and design patents, and a host of other issues that will help you to defend your intellectual property.

April 6: Using ETC Consoles to Control Moving Lights

Learn about creating and loading fixture personalities, patching, focus points, and more.

April 20: Protecting Yourself

If a light falls on an actor (or an audience member), are you responsible? Are you personally liable for equipment failure? What types of insurance do you need to safeguard you or your company? Find out what steps you can take to protect yourself.

May 4: Who Represents You?

Contracts and negotiations are a part of life for freelance artists. In this seminar, find out what you can expect an agent, an entertainment lawyer, and the union to do for you in contract situations.

Seminars will be held, free of charge, on Saturdays at 10 am and will last one to three hours. Due to overwhelming demand, reservations are required. To make a reservation please call Sarah at (212) 226-0925, fax her at (212) 941-9803 or e-mail her at

Big Apple Lights is located at 533 Canal Street in New York.