“It’s funny how a kid from a small town with some hard work and determination can make it to this point.” The point that Craig Richter is talking about is being the lighting director for Miranda Lambert, arguably one of the fastest rising stars in country music today. Craig landed the gig in late 2011 after two colleagues threw his name into the hat when Lambert’s production team came looking for new talent.
“It just goes to show you that it’s not just what you know in the live production industry but who you know as well,” Craig says. Having connections was helpful but Craig also was well-prepared by the time this opportunity came along.
Since graduating from Full Sail’s Show Production program in 2006, Craig has worked on many large and small productions including touring with multiple different artists, most recently with Seether as their lighting designer/director. “It was the best gig of my life and I’m glad to call them my friends,” he recalls.
Craig is currently on tour with Miranda Lambert in what the industry calls a “weekend warrior” tour. “We leave Nashville on a Tuesday or Wednesday, do three or four shows, then back in Nashville Sunday or Monday for two days off. I’ll do that for about four months as of now.”
Craig is responsible everything lighting-related in the show, including setup. “Once the show starts, I operate the console and call spot cues to four spot lights. After the show is over, I pack up my front-of-house stuff then head back to the stage and start taking down the lighting rig we put up earlier in the day.” Then everything gets loaded into trucks that roll into the next city to do it all over again.
Not that you’ll ever hear Craig complain; he loves his job. “Yes, I work long hours and it is an odd job, but I get to hang out with a bunch of great people and make a bunch of new friends. I get to have fun, share laughs, and at the end of the day, maybe even make someone’s concert experience the best one of their life.”