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Columbus McKinnon Entertainment

David Carmack, Global Hoist Trainer

I have had the pleasure of working with Eric for 10 years. His background, his experience, and his teaching methods are second to none. In my years of teaching, I have crossed paths with many trainers. No one has the knowledge and talent that he brings to classes.



Kristi Ross-Clausen, Vice-President and Education Chairperson

Eric is simply one of the best instructors I’ve ever seen. His presentation included the ubiquitous Power Point but also included videos of destructive testing followed by passing around the piece that had been destroyed and explaining exactly why it had broken as it did. He also passed around samples of wire rope, tools, swages, et al. so those tactile learners in the class were able to get their hands on things. His clear explanations using real applications helped us to meld theory with practice.

Toward the end of the second day he offered to review anything, cover some theatrical rigging or let us go since he’d covered everything he needed to. Now my IA local prides itself on getting the job done so they can grab a beer and still be on the clock, but no one in the room wanted to leave! We spent the last hour going over counterweight systems and other theatre specific rigging items - again with many real-world scenarios as examples of what to do and what not to do.


 Claire Walker, Former Rigging Specialist

During my time working on a well-known cruise ship company, I had numerous trainings with Ed, first as Stage Crew and then as the on-board Rigging Specialist.

We would spend a week working from stage directions to safe working loads and trigonometry, and at every step he kept us engaged. Ed made training enjoyable and extremely fun without losing the seriousness of the sessions. Rigging on-board a cruise ship is whole different ball game; Ed made it relatable and had a great insight into the cruise ship entertainment industry. Training sessions were an open dialogue, where we felt able to talk about our own experiences and concerns.


Center for Performing Arts at Penn State

Lea Asbell-Swanger, Assistant Director (Past USITT President)

If Eric can teach me how to understand and enjoy rigging math, then he can teach anyone. We chose Eric because we knew he was well-qualified and he worked with us to adjust the content, process, and scope of his training to best fit the needs of our participants. The content was comprehensive and for some of us challenging, but he made sure that everyone was comfortable enough to ask any question.  He helped us use examples of our own real world situations so that we connected with what we learned.  


Atmosphere Lighting

Debra Harrison, General Manager

You have one incredible trainer in Eric. He has a level of professionalism, experience and knowledge that I have rarely, if ever, seen in a trainer. Both classes were tremendous, all participants walk away safer and more knowledgeable. The four-hour class participants now have a better understanding of the scope of what rigging involves and when they need to reach out to more skilled riggers.

Our two-day class included a few highly skilled guys who know when someone is dazzling them with brilliance rather than trying to baffle them with BS.


IATSE Local 4 Education Committee

Kevin McCarthy, Lighting Director/Gaffer

Eric's class is excellent. I would recommend it to anyone in our industry that wants to learn from one of the best.

Over the two days, he walked us door-to-door through the terminology, equipment hardware, safe practices, and math that make up rigging. HIs style is an easy-to-digest format that helped me put theory into practice.

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