Mr. Team Mister Saturday – Jeffrey Ralston

Jeffrey is the mastermind behind all of the dynamic and wonderfully whimsical lighting design that we set up for special occasions. Using the simplest materials, Jeffrey consistently innovates and astounds us with each passing party.

MSN: Where are you from originally, and how long have you been in New York?
Jeffrey: I was born in Atlanta, GA and spent my early childhood in Hartford, CT before moving back to Atlanta (just in time for puberty!). After high school, I moved to NYC in 1995 to attend Pratt Institute. I have lived here ever since.
MSN: How did you get into the lighting/design business?
Jeffrey: As a kid, I had this really big train set. I would imagine that  “shows” were coming to town, and construct these concert stage venues between the tracks and light them using flash lights, tin foils, and colored gels. This secretly went on for ages, until around 2009, I was working at a bar in the city where I was allowed to hang and play with lights within the space. It was there I met a lot of amazing artists, promoters, curators, etc.  whom all embraced what I was doing. Soon enough, I was asked to start doing lights and installations at parties and art institutions, and have been continuing this path since.
MSN: What are your inspirations as far as your own design preferences?                            Jeffrey: As you probably have guessed, I love! love! love! using plastic. The more I use this material, the more fascinating I find it. It is extremely versatile, and has this incredible ability to be transparent, opaque, glossy and reflective,  even textural and excessively abundant, all at the same time. I feel that I am inspired by the theme of the event that I am working for, and the challenges of figuring a way to make it all work together. It’s fun for me to discover new tricks using the same materials. 
MSN: When and how did you get started working with Justin and Eamon?
Jeffrey: I met Justin and Eamon thru my buddies at SPANK. Mister Saturday and SPANK collaborated on an event called “New York Just Like I Pictured It” where I did lights for. I believe after that first event, they asked if I could start doing lights/decor for them. I remember them saying to me “You are what we are missing” – and it still makes me smile.
MSN: What has been your most memorable gig, or one which you are most proud of?
Jeffrey: It’s funny, I feel like every time I do a major install for Mister Saturday, that it bumps all previous gigs out of first place. With that theory, I am really loving the last Mister 99 party.  I think it was using the height of the room that made it dramatic and interesting for me.
MSN: What are your hobbies, other jobs, interests, etc?
Jeffrey: Ice cream, doughnuts, gummy bears…I have a major sweet tooth.
MSN: Given your experience, in what direction would you like to see parties NYC head?
Jeffrey: Double rooms! I miss the days when you could jump from room to room and hear multiple DJ’s, and experience multiple environments at the same time. Maybe in today’s iWorld, we should figure a way to have virtual rooms. People need options and they need it fast!
MSN: Parting words to the Mister audience?
Jeffrey: Sorry to the girl that initially had the silver Mylar tube fall on your head [from the Mister 99 party]…I know it must have shocked you coming out of nowhere – but you rocked it! And thanks for all the support, everybody!  xo

Photo by Sean B