Growing up, Robin Alvis, 50, dreamed of becoming a rock star, and in fact played guitar in a band for most of his 20s. Today, he feels he's got the best of that fantasy, leading a successful firm that supplies lighting for concerts and corporate events.
Toucan Productions provides the lighting effects across the floor at Oklahoma City Thunder games, last year lit the statue of former Sooners quarterback Sam Bradford at its unveiling, and handled the lighting at the National Governors Association. It has done countless band tours including with George Thorogood, “Hinder” and “Shiny Toy Guns,” and furnished stage lighting for the 2012 Oklahoma State Fair.
Alvis founded the firm 17 years ago with Misty Myers, 40, who he met as a fellow contract worker stocking groceries at the commissary on Tinker Air Force Base.
Today, the pair store parabolic aluminum reflector (PAR) can lights, trusses, fog machines, dimmers, backdrops, consoles and automated moving lights in a refurbished 50,000 square-foot former Sara Lee warehouse they bought three years ago north of the Capitol.
Toucan employee Brad Meyers, a 22-year-old former drama school student at the University of Oklahoma, said he enjoys running, advancing and maintaining lights.
“Running lighting in the concert world is more about the latest technology, versus in drama, where it's all about artistic design,” said Meyers, who got his start in high school, handling lights for a megachurch in Texas.
The emerging firm serves as many as 20 concerts a week; 1,200 a year, Misty Myers said.
For Alvis, that's more than cool.
“I get to hang out with bands and get paid to go to concerts,” he said.
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