When we first met Will Flavin in 2014, he was a junior at Caddo Magnet High School in Shreveport, La., who also ran his own lighting design business. He expressed an interest at that time about going to InfoComm 2014 in Las Vegas to help him learn more about the industry and make connections in it. We included him on the inaugural 40 CI Influencers Under 40 list in 2014.
In the three-plus years since then, Flavin celebrated his 20th birthday and has traveled the world with Christian rock musicians Casting Crowns, serving as lighting director for their tour, encompassing 82 dates in 2015, 32 in 2016, and 20 this summer.
After graduating from high school, Flavin moved to Boca Raton, Fla., for about nine months, calling it “a big culture shock,” before hitting the road with Casting Crowns. He moved briefly to Nashville but has since returned to the Shreveport area.
With the Casting Crowns tour over, Flavin is weighing his next move, including a possible enrollment in a community college in Shreveport before eventually going to Louisiana State University or another large university where he can study computer science. Going to college, though, could take Flavin away from what he knows is his calling and represents his future as a touring lighting director.
“I love traveling,” says Flavin, who made it to Germany, Denmark, Switzerland and other countries as part of the Counting Crowns tour. Flavin and his team didn’t have to carry their own gear from show to show, leaving it to the local lighting engineers to set up the rigs. Flavin brought his show file on the road and cloned it to the different rigs in the various concert venues.
“I love doing what I’m doing,” says Flavin. “I don’t necessarily want to quit, so I might try to take college classes online so I’m able to do both.”
When Flavin launched Flavin Lighting Design as a teenager, he remembers hearing from veterans with whom he was working about how he had plenty to learn, but he never let that discourage him.
“It’s amazing to see how different people design in different ways,” says Flavin. “It’s important to make it your own and come up with a clean look. If you’re young, when something goes wrong, you have to play it off and handle the situation. You just have to be confident about what you’re doing.”
Flavin went to InfoComm 2014 when he was still in high school and has plans to eventually attend LDI to learn more about the lighting design craft, but “I’ve always got something going on when that show is happening.” Flavin hopes to head back to the InfoComm show at some point “and plan out a little more what I’m doing so I can get more out of it.”
As for his place on the initial CI 40 Under 40, he’s proud of being included but isn’t sure he deserved it at that time.
“I really didn’t know anything three years ago,” says Flavin. “All the technology is always changing so there’s always something new to learn and keep up with.”