Rocky Paulson to Receive ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award

by Stage Directions
Rocky Paulson
Rocky Paulson

Rocky Paulson will become the third recipient of the ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award on March 20th in Louisville, KY. The award will be presented at the conclusion of the New World Rigging Symposium at the Hyatt Regency Louisville at 5:15pm, and attendance is open to all.

The ESTA Board of Directors and Technical Standards Council created this award in 2017 to recognize individuals whose technical contributions have had a significant impact on our industry. The criteria include significant and sustained technical contributions to the entertainment industry over at least 25 years.

After being discharged from the Navy and while in college, Paulson worked for the stagehands' union, rigging at the Cow Palace arena in San Francisco and other locations. In 1973, Paulson took a job with the NBC network as a production rigger for Peter Pan and toured the world with them for several years. After returning to the Bay Area, he founded Stage Rigging in 1977. Stage Rigging, with Paulson at the helm, has become one of the preeminent rigging companies in the world, providing services to such shows and events as the Super Bowl, the RNC Convention, Pink Floyd, and The Who, among many others. Along the way, in an effort to standardize and normalize rigging techniques, Paulson became an extraordinarily generous teacher. He has trained thousands of entertainment riggers making the industry safer. 

Paulson was one of the co-chairs of the original ETCP Rigging Certification Subject Matter Experts. In addition, he was a founding member of ESTA’s Technical Standards Program, and authored its first ANSI Standard, E1.1, on the construction and use of wire rope ladders in the industry.

In 2000, Paulson sold Stage Rigging to Freeman Decorating staying on to help run the company until he retired from full-time work as a rigger. He continued to teach and do an occasional gig for many years after retirement. These days he mostly pursues adventures around the world.

ESTA and the TSP are pleased to recognize Paulson for his many contributions to the industry.

For more information on this award please visit ESTA Lifetime Technical Achievement Award
Further information from ESTA: