Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Jen DeGolier, 1975 - 2012


I honor the memory of Twin Cities lighting designer and friend Jen DeGolier, who recently passed away at the age of 36. That such a lovely soul has departed this world so young has been sad news indeed.

My work of late has been more often for the screen than for the stage, so I hadn't seen Jen for a while, maybe even a year or two. And I wouldn't say we were bosom buddies or anything like that. But it wasn't difficult to bond with Jen. I have many fond memories of spending long nights with her on ladders, in a tech booth, and of course at a bar or three. I'll never forget her smile, her laughter, or her wit. Even when I knew the work would be long and hard, I always looked forward to it if Jen was involved. Everything was a ton better when she was around.

Widely acclaimed, Jen's lighting design was uniquely diaphanous. Productions she lit always had something of an unearthly glow about them, a sumptuous, otherworldly atmosphere. It was a gorgeous sight.

She was a devoted Star Wars fan, and she sang some mean Bon Jovi karaoke. She loved animals too. And she was one of the first people I ever successfully rickrolled.

Jen also loved dinosaurs. I decided we had to have a movie night when I discovered she'd never seen the original Willis O'Brien "Lost World" or O'Brien protege Ray Harryhausen's "Valley of Gwangi", my two all-time favorite dinosaur movies.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel both nights we arranged to do this-- I was sick once, and I don't remember what the other dealbreaker was. So I'm sad that it never happened. But if there's a heaven, I know Jen's there, and I know there'll be lots of real dinosaurs there to play with. And she'll finally know for sure whether they had feathers or not.

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