Introducing Kevin Levis, Technical Director
As Technical Director, Kevin Levis is an engineer, technician, manager, and designer committed to implementing the artistic visions created daily at Evantine Design. Which means, he’s BUSY. Every day, all day. His responsibilities include technically translating design concepts to the screen (all three computer screens, in Kevin’s case) and then from them to construction and installation for all event productions produced by the company. No pressure.
All scenery, props, electrics, lighting, and sound fall under Kevin’s roster of duties; ensuring all departments are informed about designs, changes, technical planning, and scheduling for each production. His extensive experience in theatrical and event production, working with prestigious companies from New York to Philadelphia, makes Kevin a valuable member of Team Evantine. It’s been incredible having Kevin on our team but as with everything, we want you to get to know him a little bit better… so, here goes!
Okay Kevin, let’s start with the basics. Can you share where you’re from?
The forests and lakes of far north New Jersey. Yes, this area of Jersey really exists, and nobody knows about it. We had no “exit” from the Turnpike or Parkway – it took 30 minutes to make it to either of those highways.
Okay, and you left there to…
Pursue my professional career in New York City.
What was some silly or interesting event or title that was given to you in your early years?
And, what’s your current role or title at Evantine, anything similar?
Totally different, but you know we had to ask! How long have you worked at Evantine Design?
I have been full-time since May 2018, though my relationship with Evantine spans back to 2014 when I was employed by a local event production company.
Can you share more about your work experience before you started working at Evantine Design?
As a kid, I worked as a computer repair technician; a swimming instructor and deck Supervisor for the YMCA; and as the Head Lifeguard for a US Army aquatics facility. Then, as an adult, I have been the Technical Director for a couple different regional theaters, an account executive for an event production company in Philadelphia, as well as the Lighting Designer for a lighting and staging company in New York City. It was the position in New York, which I held for 10 years, that offered me great personal and professional growth. I was the lead person responsible for technical design and sales within some of the grandest event venues in the city – The Plaza Hotel, Cipriani Wall Street, Cipriani 42nd Street, Gotham Hall, and the United Nations to name a few.
What are you known for professionally?
Being calm and even-keeled in high-pressure situations. Keeping colleagues, event partners, and clients calm even when things aren’t necessarily going according to plan or on schedule. Amongst my peers, I’m known for my understanding of structure, engineering, and electricity. I still get questions from previous coworkers who I haven’t seen in years. From my many years designing for regional theater, concerts, and musicals, I’m also known for my playful use of lighting and scenery and thinking outside the box.
What would you say you have a knack for?
Finding organization in the chaos. When things don’t make sense, it’s important to step back and look at the bigger picture – decide what the end goal is and then determine the most efficient way to get there.
Do you have a favorite kind/type of event to collaborate on?
A milestone birthday or anniversary event for because there’s no pre-defined template for these types of events. The attendees are typically a bit more appreciative since there’s less obligation to be in attendance. There’s also a more refined element of taste with these events – in everything from design/décor to quality of food/service.
What three words would you like to hear your friends use when describing you?
Friendly, intelligent, insightful.
Professionally, what are you most passionate about?
Symmetry, special relations, lighting.
Personally, what are you most passionate about?
Carpentry and building things, making things work (smart home things, etc), and DOGS.
When you’re not working where can we find you and what might you be doing?
Enjoying life at home, typically working on one project or another around the house… well, more like five-and-a-half projects at the same time.
What’s your guilty pleasure meal?
Lasagna WITH meat, but then again, it could be tortellini or ravioli, but more likely than not it’s lasagna. Pasta, pasta is my guilty pleasure with plenty of bread for dipping.
Do you have any organizations you support or volunteer with?
I get most passionate about equality issues of any sort – race, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc, etc. because I’m appalled by unjustifiable hate toward others. To each their own.
What can’t you live without?
… and if we peeked inside your desk drawer we would most likely find, what?
Mentos, a quad notepad, uni-ball 0.5mm black pens, my multi-tool, an electric meter, and ideally a variety of things to make people laugh.
You know we want to know what those “make people laugh” things might be. Do you have a favorite hangout spot in Philadelphia?
My home, or at the local hardware store.
What about your life would surprise us?
That I’ve traveled completely around the globe in one very long, very exhausting trip. For some reason, the concept of this takes people by surprise. It started with planning a smaller trip, but got out of control with “well, if we’ll be there, we might as well go there, too” and so forth. Although I’ve done plenty of traveling, there was something very different about flying out in one direction and flying back in from the other direction. Life changing perspective.
Sounds amazing, Kevin. Good for you! Last question. What advice would you give to your 25-year-old self?
Everything happens for a reason. Be your best self, relax, and enjoy the journey.