Rogues on the side for April Fools comedy
Thursday, 13 April 2023
aprilfools3The April Fools Comedy Jam at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre
USA - The owner of 3 With 1 Grab Productions, Mark Wasserman knows a thing or two about comedy, having plied his lighting skills for comedians like Nick Cannon (Wild N Out), Mo’Nique, and Rip Micheals’ Fall Back Comedy Tours. Hitting the artist on stage with light from unexpected directions, and keeping it all fresh, underscores the element of surprise, which, when you come right down to it, is at the heart of the best punch lines.
On 1 April, Wasserman got a new appreciation for the importance of side lighting when he lit the highly anticipated (and sold out) April Fools Comedy Jam at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre. Produced and hosted by Rip Micheals, the show featured an all-star line-up of comics and musicians led by Tiffany Haddish, Donnell Rawlings, Emmanuel Hudson, Conceited, Bill Bellamy, Adele Givens, Melanie Comarcho, Faizon Love, HaHa Davis, DJ Envy, Rob Stapleton, and Justina Valentine, as well as musical guests DaBaby and Bobby Shmurda.
Wasserman relied on side light from a rig supplied by DS Touring out of Nashville that featured Chauvet Professional Rogue R3X Wash lights. Drawing on the quick moving and wide (12ﹾ to 49ﹾ) zoom of these RGBW moving fixtures, he was able to accentuate the performers on stage with a broad variety of different side lighting looks.
Wasserman arranged his Rogue R3X Wash fixtures across the width of the stage. Although these units were sometimes used for aerial effects, the primary impact came from the way they made each comedian and rap artist stand out from the background through side lighting from varying directions and at different height levels.
“I like to think that as a designer, you learn something new at every show, or at least expand on your knowledge in some new way,” said Wasserman. “At this year’s April Fool’s Comedy Jam, I got a new appreciation for side lighting. I learned quite a bit about its importance and how it can quickly and easily change the way fans interact with the artists on stage. This was important given the number of different performances we had at this show. I wanted to reflect the unique personality of each one of them.”
Side lighting was also critical to helping Wasserman and lighting director Jason Junior Porter texturise the stage and endow it with a greater sense of depth. They often created a multi-dimensional look by intersecting angled down lighting from their two rows of flown fixtures with crossing patterns of light from the Rogue units on the ground.
“I’m really impressed with how the Rogue washes can stand up against any beam fixtures or video wall,” said Wasserman. “They have the depth of colour and brightness to make a statement.”

Latest Issue. . .