Professional Lighting & Production - Fall 2017 - Page 34

34 PL&P Michael Herkimer By Megan Beam B eing the tourism hotspot that it is, one would think that Niagara Falls, ON would also be a hot- bed for the live entertainment industry; however, as Niagara native Michael Herkimer explains, that’s not necessarily the case. He says that in a town full of struggling musicians, working in the entertain- ment industry was more of a pipe dream for most than an attainable reality, but that never dissuaded Herkimer from chasing after the dream. “I couldn’t seem to stay out of trouble from a young age,” he says, reminiscing. “Music was everything; school was an inconvenience.” After graduating from the recording program at Metalworks Institute in Mississauga, ON, a 21-year-old Herkimer started down the path of producing and recording music and believed he’d found his calling. After some success with radio play and a few awards and accolades, he thought life was great; the only concern was his bank account balance. He decided it was time to pursue a means of income outside of freelance recording and wound up at the now-closed Kool Haus in Toronto, working as a stagehand. It was during his third week there that a lighting technician who worked in one of the smaller clubs within the complex at the time approached and informed Herkimer he was going to be filling in for him. “He told me, ‘I am going to be sick next week, and you are going to fill in.’ I told him I had never seen a lighting console in my life and would not know the first thing about oper