Star on the Rise
At 25 years old, Argentinian Yamil Charis of Everlast Productions is widely considered to be one of the industry’s up-and-coming lighting designers. He has kept a low profile while building his talent and reputation throughout North, South, and Central America with Everlast and with his father, Daniel Charis, a renowned lighting designer. He recently sat down with writer Shari Lynn Rothstein-Kramer for a Q & A interview.
Shari Lynn Kramer: How long have you been doing lighting design?
Yamil Charis: My dad does this for a living, so I have been going to shows since I was a little kid, but I began doing this for real after I graduated high school, so I’ve been doing this for seven years professionally.
SLK: What was your first real gig?
YC: Wow! It seems so long ago…I think I was assisting my dad. He was touring with Anita Baker. Then I did the Isley Bros. That was way back!
SLK: Tell us about your dad.
YC: He’s really famous in his country – and around the world. He’s been a “name in lighting” in Argentina for years. His company is one of the biggest.
SLK: Was there a lot of pressure to be like him?
YC: Yes, everybody expects you to be as good as he is. I do not know if I am good or bad; I just know that I do what I love. Everyone keeps congratulating me, giving bigger and better jobs, and they let me do what I want to do. They seem to trust me. You learn from everybody. Each show, you learn something different, something new.
SLK: How does your family figure into the equation?
YC: I am really lucky to be able to do what I love. I am lucky to have such a great family, who are all so supportive in my choices. My wife, Belen, is great – she never gives me a hard time. My father does what I do, so he knows all about what it takes, and how much time you have to dedicate.
SLK: Tell me about the shows for Miami Music Week. How’d you come up with the design?
YC: It was a team effort. We are lucky that we have great engineers, riggers… everyone. I mean, I’d come up with something, and I’d show Wash or David and we’d go back and forth and it would morph and change and before you knew it, we had it.
SLK: The best part about being a lighting designer is…
YC: The best part of this job is that you always have different jobs, and they are always in different cities, and you meet new people. You are never bored. I’d rather be on the road than in the office any day. If I am out, I get to do what I love doing.
SLK: What would you do I you couldn’t be a lighting designer?
YC: I can’t ever remember not wanting to do this. I can’t remember ever wanting to do anything besides lighting design. So that’s tough, but I don’t know, maybe an architect.