Graduate Brian Carico recently visited campus to share his experiences on the road and provide insight to students. With a resume that includes touring with Hank Williams Jr, Sir Paul McCartney, and Neil Diamond, Brian has extensive experience as a lighting director for live productions.
Brian discussed how to keep a gig, how to stay cool under pressure, continuing self-education, and how to specifically handle the freedoms of the touring business.
While focusing on lighting during his time at Full Sail, Brian began to pick up gigs on the weekend and used those opportunities to make the connections that eventually lead him to his current career path.
Brian stressed the importance of being someone that people would want to work with. “It’s hard to teach work ethic, but it is easy to learn,” he said. Building a reputation as a personable hard worker helped Brian land gig after gig.
He also emphasized that learning shouldn’t stop once you graduate. “In school, you learn enough to get started,” he said. “Then, it’s all continuous learning.” Brian encouraged students to try to learn something new from every gig.
“After years of touring, no matter what, the day before the tour starts, I am always a bundle of nerves,” Brian said. But his lighting knowledge, routine, and preparation for every possible scenario always helped Brian stay cool under pressure.
Brian discussed the unique freedoms that come with tour life and freelancing. He emphasized the importance of saving money, filing taxes correctly, and considering the costs of equipment and its payback rate.
“When you graduate, consider yourself your own business. You are responsible for yourself.”