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Inspired in Self-Isolation (12)

Inspired in Self-Isolation (12)

With Covid-19 lockdowns worldwide and health authorities urging people to self-isolate and practice social distancing on a massive scale as part of an enormous effort to #FlattenTheCurve of this global pandemic … we are reaching out to industry friends, colleagues, associates, partners, etc., and asking them to share their #StayAtHome and #QuarantineAndChill activities with us during this extraordinary time.

A Heads Up with Leonid Poznianskiy

Leonid’s lighting ‘magic touch’ can be seen on numerous famous national television shows (The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, One to One, Amazing People, You're Super! and several others) and he also lights festivals and works closely with a diverse mix of superstar musicians.

Robe: Where are you right now?

Leonid: At my home in Moscow.

Robe: What are you doing to fill the time whilst isolating / on lockdown?

Leonid: I work on some TV shows – less than usual of course, and I am studying a new console.

Robe: What’s the most creative thing you’re able to do in isolation?

Leonid: Practising on the latest show software.

Robe: Are you looking after anyone else during the Covid-19 crisis?

Leonid: My family.

Robe: Has anyone inspired you since this started?

Leonid: Faith in the future.

Robe: Favourite book / movie / Netflix series / viral video.

Leonid: I watch a lot of movies although I haven’t watched a movie for a long time.

I’m not into games or TV shows and I listen to music on a car radio only in those rare moments when I drive!

Robe: What’s the first thing you’d like to do when we are through this?

Leonid: Get off on a sea cruise.

Robe: Own question / answer / message of solidarity or something you’d like to say?

Leonid: Everything will be fine! Believe in the best only!


Leonid Poznianskiy

A Heads Up with Sam Harris

Sam was part of the NRG (Next Robe Generation) programme whilst studying at the University South Wales and enjoys going back to NRG networking socials whenever possible since graduating last year. He now works for an AV company based in South West London, normally focusing on corporate and expo theatres, which can range from video systems to sound and lighting along with networking-based technologies including streaming systems.


Robe: Where are you right now?

Sam: Locked down in Kingston-Upon-Thames in south west London, UK.

Robe: What are you doing to fill the time whilst isolating / on lockdown? 

Sam: I have a passion for music, so I have been picking up my bass, learning new songs and going over my skills.

I am also looking into expanding my knowledge of lighting desk pc software. There is a hurdle as the cost to buy the hardware and some visualisation software is getting in the way of getting the best experience … but I am doing my best to learn what I can.

Robe: What’s the most creative thing you’re able to do in isolation?

Sam: Music, it is easy to just put headphones on, and start to create music.

Robe: Are you looking after anyone else during the Covid-19 crisis?

Sam: I live with my family, so if someone needs help, we all team up and look after one another, minimising the number of times people leave the house and return. If someone can do multiple things in one outing, that minimises the risk involved and exposure to the outside world.

Robe: Has anyone inspired you since this started?

Sam: Yes, those putting their lives and their health on the line to get this nation and the world through this hard and strange time.

What has also been on my mind are all the freelance, self-employed people, and their will to get by – they are so strong. These are hard times but more so for the self-employed. So, I’d like to say: You are doing amazing. Hang in there! 

Robe: Favourite book / movie / Netflix series / viral video

Sam: I have been trying to avoid TV during the day. I’m trying to stay creative and productive with every day that goes by. Music has been the main thing getting me through things – with the occasional game.

In normal times I like reading factual books, the most recent one I have read is London’s 100 Strangest Places by David Long (off the beaten path and under the skin of the hidden city that is modern-day London) … so I’ve been reading some of that too.

The music I have been listening to includes (American rockers) Fever 333, (some of the UK’s finest) from Enter Shikari, (British metalcore) from Architects, (American hardcore punk) by Beartooth, (attitudinal indie rock) from Nightlives …  plus many, many more.

Robe: What’s the first thing you’d like to do when we are through it?

Sam: To get back to working on events. I am a person who doesn’t like to stay still much and I love travelling around to all the different events on which I’m working.

I would like to increase my overall knowledge base and in doing that to be a better person. It would be nice to move on up, change roles, see something different. Basically, not to stay in one place, not to get complacent. Try new things see how I can better help the industry and be there for my colleagues.

Sam Harris


Robe: Own question / answer / message of solidarity or something you’d like to say?

Sam: With this time we have, I believe we can make the most of it. We should all be getting good rest and be full of energy. It may feel like cabin fever. We all need to help each other out and push through this. We have the time to try new things, learn new skills, so, when this passes, we can say that it was time well spent and time for us to be better people at the end. Rather than look back and think we wasted this time we have had.

There are people to talk to. No matter what you are going though, send a message out to someone, we are all going through the same thing. When you make what is inside your head out, it is out. There is less built up tension inside of you.

Knowing your own mental state is a key to happiness.

Releasing any pressure you may feel by talking to someone, you discover there are others who have been through or are going through the same thing. The moment you start this is the moment you will start to get better. If you are all good – then see if someone needs help, give them a message as some people are shy. You might learn something about yourself. At the end of the day we all need to do something that makes us happy, we are all different, so let’s not start to judge people.

Will you be able to look back at each day and say you are happy you did something that made you happy?

A Heads Up with Ned Siuipys

Ned is originally from Lithuania but has been living in the UK for 3 years. He is a final year Technical Theatre student at Falmouth University and will be coming to London in the Autumn to do his master’s degree in Lighting Design at Rose Bruford College. He’s been working as a lighting designer for many local bands and artists, including Hockeysmith, Milo Gore and The Velvet Hands as has also worked closely with companies Red Van Records and Cloud 9 Events.

His LD career has included a placement for one of the biggest Lithuanian lighting companies Stage Lite, which was great for honing his practical skills, and he’s worked on shows like X-Factor and Du Balsai Viena Sirdis. Before the pandemic, he also worked on events for Falmouth Week which hosted groups like SClub 4, Martin Kemp, and DJ Craig Charles.


Ned Siuipys


Robe: Where are you right now?

Ned: For most of lockdown, I have been in the UK, but I am now back home in Lithuania, visiting my friends and family. And I continue to attend Robe NRG meetings on Zoom each week, whilst also doing loads of online training.

Robe: How are things emerging from the lockdown in your region / country?

Ned: Because I was in the UK when the lockdown took place, I can't say much about Lithuania. To my knowledge, they closed the borders quite fast, so the numbers were reduced immediately and are still very low. Everyone is enjoying the freedom!

Robe: How did you spend your time during lockdown?

Ned: Mostly taking several online training courses and getting used to the industry-standard software such as Vectorworks, WYSIWYG and GrandMA2/3.

Robe: What are your biggest concerns / considerations as lockdowns ease worldwide?

Ned: One of my biggest concerns is how busy life will seem post lockdown, and how hard it will be to adjust being back in a social setting again?!

Robe: Do you have any thoughts / predictions about how and when live events and the industry will re-start?

Ned: No one knows when the industry will come back… I hope it will be as soon as possible! It will take a while for audiences to be confident that attending a show or a festival won't kill you! It could be months away. It could be more than a year.

Robe: Going forward, how do you think live events and the entertainment technology industry will change in a post-Covid 19 world before there is a vaccine widely available?

Ned: It will be difficult for lots of people to feel comfortable in large crowds for a while and especially whilst there is no vaccine. And this will directly impact the entertainment industry that relies on crowds of people attending events.

Robe: How sustainable do you think these changes will be?

Ned: This could be incredibly unsustainable for entertainment providers who are now catering for much smaller crowds than previously. They are therefore getting less money coming in, whilst having to put more funds into cleaning and providing single-use equipment such as masks and other items.

Robe: Has anyone / anything particularly inspired you since this crisis started?

Ned: Attending the weekly meetings and being a part of NRG has inspired me so much! During these hard times, we have had loads of incredible guest lighting designers talking to us and giving the confidence boost we have all needed.

Robe: Own question / answer / message of solidarity or something you would like to say?

Ned: The main key to get through this pandemic is just to keep positive and optimise the time wisely! Live in the moment and enjoy it! We will get through this together!


A Heads Up with Menga Cruz

Menga is based in sunny California and is a lighting designer, programmer, and director from Brazil, now living in the USA. He is CEO and director of Image4u, a design studio based in Brazil; lighting designer / programmer / director of the Mexican band Maná; co-designer / programmer and system administrator for the Festival de la Canción de Viña del Mar, Chile and lighting director of American bachata band Aventura. If the pandemic wasn’t happening, he would be out on the road with Aventura and Maná.

Robe: Where are you right now?

Menga: Huntington Beach, California, around 30 miles south of Los Angeles.

Robe: How are you spending time whilst isolating / on lockdown?

Menga: Doing lots of training and webinars, checking all my programming / advancing my festival shows and studying! Just trying to keep my mind busy.

Robe: What is the most creative thing you’re able to do whilst in isolation?

Menga: Recreating my Maná design – originally created in WYSIWYG – but using different design software this time to learn ALL the various design platforms like Vectorworks, Capture, Depence2 and L8.

Robe: Are you looking after anyone else during the Covid-19 crisis? Like neighbours or others in the family?

Menga: Luckily all my friends and family have been staying healthy and okay during this time. Although my family is in another country, Brazil. We remain very close and are always looking after one another.

Robe: Has anyone particularly inspired you since this crisis started?

Menga: My Grandfather! He has a different view and religion then everybody in my family and its inspiring to see him going against the grain. He’s 80 years old and the one who is teaching me the most on how to live through this crisis and keep my mind at ease.


Menga Cruz


Robe: What has been your favourite book / movie / Netflix or TV series / viral video / Games / music?

Menga: “Formula 1: Drive to Survive”! I race Go-Karts professionally in Brazil. Racing and fast cars have always been a hobby and love of mine.

Robe: What’s the first thing you would like to do when we are through this crisis?

Menga: TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL, most importantly to see my mom in Paris and visit my friends and family in Brazil. Touring is a necessity!

Robe: Own question / answer / message of solidarity or something you would like to say?

Menga: I know this is a pretty crazy time right now, just know that this won’t last forever, and I am absolutely ready to get back to how my life was before. Just remain patient, we will all get through this together. Stay Safe and Stay Healthy!