by Morgan Yeatts
Tyler Herron knew from a young age that lighting design was the career he wanted to pursue. He remembers telling his parents that, someday, he was going to be a lighting designer for a mega church. Growing up, he gained experience working with the lighting design crew at the church he attended in Hope, Arkansas, and at the age of 12, was invited to go on tour with David Phelps, Christian southern gospel singer, and work with his lighting team.
Tyler attended Ouachita Baptist University in Arkansas, with the intended major of theatre with an emphasis in technical theatre. Part way through his degree, he got a job at as lighting designer for a mega church in Little Rock, bringing his youthful predictions to fruition. When he got the opportunity, he left school to work there full time, and stayed for over 5 years, gaining invaluable experience through hands on work.
A time came when Tyler felt that he needed a change, a new challenge, so he began applying for lighting design jobs all over the nation. “I needed to find someone who would take a chance on me,” he said. Although he had tons of experience and knowledge, he’d only had one lighting design job and knew that this might not be enough for some employers.
When Tyler found the job posting for Technical Director here at the Academy Center of the Arts, he knew he should apply. He’d been hoping for a lighting design job for a theatre, so it seemed like the perfect fit. As he did more research, he was also attracted to the Academy. “I got this overwhelming sense that the community of Lynchburg has really embraced the Academy and what they are doing, and that appealed to me”.
He applied, got a phone interview shortly thereafter, and was offered the job. He’s been Technical Director since early September and is excited to begin this new chapter of his lighting design career here with the Academy.
“My motto in life has always been to help people and serve them through art. Knowing what art has done for me in my life, I want to be able to provide that for others”.
Tyler’s personal mission marries the Academy’s mission to serve the community through arts and culture so well that it seems to be a match made in heaven.