I can’t say that I have made it. However I would like to share some lessons I have learnt or experienced over the short period of time I have been involved in the rental & staging business.

How good do you want to be?

On one of the Creative Stage Lighting webinars, Richard Cadena asked these questions and to be honest they have shaped me in a sense.

  • Do you want to be the best amongst your peers?
  • Do you want to be the best in your country?
  • Do you want to be the best on your continent?
  • Do you want to be one of the best in the world?

There are no wrong answers to this question and of course no guarantees that what you decide will come to fruition. However this will indeed determine the number of hours you put in and the sacrifices you will have to make.

If your goal is to be the best lighting programmer (if there is such a thing) on your continent don’t expect to log the same hours on the board as someone who wants to be the best amongst his peers.

Clear goals, small steps & consistent action.

So you have figured out where you want to be in the grand scheme of things, now it’s time to take the necessary steps to get there. Entertainment technology, be it software or hardware can have an immense learning curve so it’s important that you are really focused.

Clear goals and small steps toward them mean nothing if you are not consistent. I can attest to having to start from scratch with a software because I abandoned it for a month while still learning.


I know in the age of YouTube videos and widely available tutorials (which I love) many people feel like they do not need the counsel of someone who has more experience. If you are fortunate enough to have someone take you on and show you the ropes, do not squander the opportunity. You can learn stuff no course, degree or certification can teach you.

Be amiable

It does not matter how talented or gifted you are, if people cringe at the mention of your name you may not get very far. You may be the best programmer in the world for all we know, but if people don’t want to work with you, your amazing skills probably won’t be utilized.

You don’t have to be an a**

Forgive my language but this is the only word that fits. This is for the future you. You know, when you have “made it” or “have arrived”, regardless of whether it’s true or just in your head. I am not referring to people who yell (“positive reinforcement”) or insult (“words of encouragement”) others at the slightest hiccup.

I am referring to people who go out of their way and spend considerable amounts of energy diminishing the self-worth of others. A good place to see these people in action is forums and some industry Facebook pages. Do not become that guy/girl. If you have to beret others to feel good about yourself, you need help.

I hope this is helpful to any newbie like myself.

Victor Hatega, CTS® is a Freelance AV Professional|Lighting Designer /Programmer. Feel free to send your “words of encouragement” to victor@victorhatega.com

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