Hospitality Supervisor & Art Director
When asked to describe her role at One Foot, Rainbow Dickerson is likely to reply, “I make things pretty and buy snacks!” This tongue-in-cheek simplification is a running joke within the OFP ranks, particularly in the Hospitality Department, which Rainbow oversees. As OFP’s Talent Hospitality Supervisor and Art Director, it’s true that Rainbow makes things incredibly pretty, designing customized green rooms and peaceful backstage retreats. It’s also true that she buys a whole lot of snacks, and whatever else is stipulated by performers’ riders, preferences, and minute-to-minute needs. But it’s equally true to say that Rainbow Dickerson is singlehandedly helping to set a new standard for talent hospitality in live event production.
“The whole talent hospitality/design thing didn’t really exist before. I just kind of fell into it,” Rainbow says, “It wasn’t until I started working with One Foot that we began honing in on what this little niche actually was. We made the idea of taking care of talent important, we made the idea of making green rooms nice, functional, and well-designed important. Now productions will specifically ask about hospitality and design.”
Rainbow’s road to working in live event production was anything but linear. She’s studied acting in both London and New York City, and is also a trained stunt performer. She’s worked as a pastry artist, rides both horses and motorcycles, and has moved a total of 28 times in her life. As a woman of Thai and Native American descent, Rainbow preserves her connection to her heritage through the practice of mindfulness and mediation. And it’s the unique combination of all these experiences that makes Rainbow so well-suited to her job as OFP’s Hospitality Supervisor.
“I try to bring my mindfulness practice to the job, and it really helps me,” she says of the intersection between her work and spirituality. Recently, Rainbow has introduced a “mindfulness alarm” into her team’s workspace during rehearsal and production. Every half hour, a recording of a Tibetan singing bowl rings out through the space, reminding everyone on Rainbow’s team to calm their minds.
“It does kind of annoy you at first,” she acknowledges with a laugh, “But it also makes you realize what a go-go-go mentality you’re in, and for a couple of seconds you just breathe, feel the chair your sitting on, look at what your hands are doing, reconnect with the moment. It definitely helps me be grounded and calm, which filters throughout the whole environment.”
Before and after shots of the Tony Awards green room, designed by Rainbow Dickerson
Maintaining a sense of calm is at once essential and super challenging in a department like Rainbow’s. Not only is the Hospitality team usually the first one in and last one out on any given production, they’re also responding in real-time to performers’ very human needs—whether that means tracking down a hard-to-find beauty product or whipping up a dozen personalized peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Hospitality also ends up being something of a catchall department for production as a whole, filling in any art or design-related gaps if they arise.
But Rainbow doesn’t mind the ever-shifting nature of her department. If anything, she’s someone who thrives on variety and excitement in her work. Live event production can be chaotic, even for the most streamlined of teams, and Rainbow’s ability to keep a cool head in the midst of the craziness is essential to any given show’s overall success.
“I really believe in the art of listening,” she says, “And for anyone who works with talent face-to-face, literally just being able to stand quietly, breathe, be present, look at someone and just listen, is so valuable.”
It’s in this respect that OFP and Rainbow’s philosophies are perfectly aligned. As a company, One Foot strives to take the stress out of production, leaving as much room as possible for creativity and positive energy. By streamlining the rehearsal and production process, anticipating problems ahead of time, and working with a flexible and unflappable team, OFP does its best to minimize behind-the-scenes tension. But it’s when some chaos inevitably sneaks through (this is live event production, after all) that Rainbow and the other OFP department heads really shine.
“I love One Foot because everyone is so even-keeled,” Rainbow says of her teammates, “We really provide a sense of calm in the storm. We’re able to just say, ‘It’s all gonna get figured out, it’s all OK, don’t worry’. The dominant energy in the room is what ends up getting adopted by everyone else in the room. So you provide an energy that’s positive, constructive, inspirational—just being a positive dominant vibration in the room is so valuable.”
In her work for OFP, Rainbow continues to explore the ways in which design and hospitality intersect. Live TV production is all about fleeting, spontaneous moments—but those moments are longer in the making than you might think. Those magical appearances and performances won’t really land unless talent is taken care of, respected, and in the right head-space to truly rock it. As an artist herself, Rainbow understands the connection between environment and creativity, and strives to help every performer live up to their full artistic potential onstage. And it shows, too.
You can learn more about Rainbow's work by visiting www.rainbowdickerson.com and