Touring Success: 10 Tips from a Nashville Professional

Last month, after our first editorial blog called “Let’s Blog This Out,” we got lots of great responses from some really great people. To each of you who reached out to us, we are so grateful to be resonating with such quality people as you!

Over the next few months, I’m asking some of these quality people some questions that are important to work, life and career. And today, I have the privilege to share an interview with one of those super-quality folks, an industry great, Chris Lisle.

Professionally, Chris has risen to heights in his career working with such artists as OneRepublic, Miranda Lambert, and Robert Plant just to name a few. He also has done the Music City July 4th production which this year was nationally recognized as the largest in the U.S. These are among his many other professional accolades. All of that to say that Chris is an astounding Lighting Designer. But even more than that, he’s a great person.

He gives to others with his time and expertise. He collects donations for Toys for Tots each year. He regularly serves as an Adjunct Professor at Belmont University in Nashville, where he imparts his experience to young aspiring touring professionals. Chris is a co-founder of the Touring Career Workshop, which has a mentoring and networking component. The Touring Career Workshop is designed to serve and educate those in the touring music industry. I am blessed that Chris is a friend and colleague who goes above and beyond in his support for us and for our business. Without further adieu....The Interview

Q1) Having worked in this industry over many years, what drew you into the live event industry in the beginning of your career? Chris: After a failed attempt at college, I sort of stumbled upon this industry. Immediately I was taken in and knew it was the career path for me. Lighting Design encompassed three things that I loved dearly: art/creativity, music, and travel. The absolute perfect fit!

Q2) What keeps you staying in this career tour after tour? Chris: The constant challenges and changes in technology. There are no "Groundhog Days" in our industry, and every day is different. With the developments of entertainment technologies, we are finding fun new ways to keep the audience enthralled during performances.

Q3) How have you seen the industry changing over the years? Chris: Without a doubt, LED technology has been a great asset to our industry - it has changed the worlds of live video and lighting for sure. Also, the touring industry as a whole has changed - Artist are not selling records like they used to and must tour to make real money - so things are busy!

Q4) What are the biggest challenges you face in your line of work? Chris: The ability to not be repetitive - to not copy something you (or someone else) has done before. We are always striving to find ways to do something new and exciting visually.

Q5) What do you do to stay ahead of the curve and to see what's coming up next, keeping things fresh and current. Chris: Really, just keep a pulse on the industry - keep in contact with the lighting, video, and scenic manufacturers. Make sure that I know what new is coming out, and the potential for its uses. I watch other designers as well and try to challenge myself creative to keep doing new fresh stuff.

Q6) As far as scenic element