No more lighting in the church

Hello everybody. Since 2010, I’ve been on a journey. A journey I didn’t know or think I’d embark on in my life. I’ve been doing lighting for a long time in my church.

I am done with it.

I had some good times, but, overall, it wasn’t a pleasant experience. It was frustrating. Painful. Confusing.

Nah, I had some fun. To be honest, the golden years were from 2012-15. That’s when I had my core members who really helped me reach my peak in lighting. This was also when I was doing lighting outside of church. I was working weddings and charity events. I expanded my skillset. I met people. Did some things. My YouTube channel got some views.

After 2015, things started to deteriorate, and quickly. Members of my team left on bad terms. Not only my ministry, but they left the church. My family left the church. Yup, my actual family left. I have been alone for a while.

Right now, I have two members who have been with me since 2013 about to leave for college. I’d been holding on for a couple of years simply because they were still around. Now that they’re leaving, I have no emotional attachment to anyone.

Plus, the lighting equipment has fallen apart. Nothing works, and I’ve spent years trying to get some help. However, due to various people also in the church with their own agendas, I never had a…

Now we enter the main reason why I am done lighting for my church. I never had a real voice.

For those of you that watched me on YouTube, all of the equipment you saw, I had nothing to do with. I wasn’t given a seat at the table. “Hey, Dante, what do you advise we purchase?” Nope. I’m literally a professional, and it still didn’t matter.

I was given equipment that wasn’t compatible. I was told to make it work. You can’t use a canoe on the freeway. It’s going to be a bad time. Yet, I was given improper tools to make things happen. Despite my attempts to educate (and I do a lot of that on YouTube), it’s like nobody really wants to listen.

Lighting in general isn’t very well respected, especially compared to camera and audio. Everybody knows what a cameraman is. Everybody knows the audio guy works the mic and speakers. But, when you hear “lighting technician”, it’s not as big. It’s not a household name. Yet, we live with lighting.

I think I am tired of trying. I am tired. And, with me being alone, I definitely don’t want to keep up the fight. I have nobody else to relate to anymore. Family, lighting, whatever. It’s over.

It comes down to a difference in expectations. I am a designer. I design lighting. I create the vision. My church didn’t want that from me. They wanted a technician. They wanted someone to just make it happen. But then, in an uneducated opinion, they made purchases. Ill-advised purchases. They purchased things they should have rented because they had no real use. It’s just been a big mess.

I want to be somewhere where my design eye is wanted. Welcomed. A place where someone will take me seriously. That’s what I want.

But, more than that, I want to be the boss.

I have been working on starting my own business. Two areas: retail and consulting. Both, of course, lighting related. I’ll sell lighting from light bulbs to followspots. I’ll also consult you on how to use lighting. Building a house or business? I can help light it up. Sell you the stuff then set it up for you. Something like that.

I have some background. Been working in the retail environment for several years (currently in it). Of course I have lighting experience. Accounting degree gives me a little business background as well. So, I think have enough background where I can get myself started, but I always learn. Go back to school. Get a couple of certifications in the lighting world. So, I want to grow a little more.

I’m just currently figuring out my business plan. I will need a loan, and I need to make sure I present a strong case for why I should be invested in. I’ll need the numbers. I’ll need the background. I’ll need the drive. But, I can do this. That’s what I’m going to do.

At first, I was going to seek another church. But, forget that. At least, for now. I want to see if I can make it.

In the meantime, I plan on building my own personal lighting rig to use for further YouTube videos. I want to continue to educate. Spread my knowledge. Help however I can. There won’t be anymore videos from my church. Unless my church just completely turns things around in terms of my role, I have to leave. It just isn’t a good fit, that’s all. I’m sure someone else can handle it. I can’t. Not anymore.

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