Theatre Sound Personal Statement
From the moment that I saw my first West End show, I knew my ambition was to have a career in the theatre. Originally, I wanted to pursue a performance path, however during the Sixth Form I have developed a greater interest into what occurs backstage and the process that the production has undergone.
During the BTEC Production Arts course I have learnt to appreciate the hard work that is undertaken behind the scenes. The course has helped develop my knowledge of the necessary technology and organisation that a performance requires. Last year I took on the role of sound designer technician for a musical version of 'A Midsummer Night's Dream'.
The production had backing tracks for the songs and dances as well as numerous sound effects. I used software such as Audacity to design sounds for the performance, editing a dance track to make it sound as if it was taking place during a storm and Qlab to play the sounds. I collected sound effects from the internet from Freesound.org and then collated them using Audacity to overlay them in order to create a soundscape.
The experience was a steep learning curve but invaluable as I expanded my skills and knowledge of sound equipment and sound design. Currently the school is working on Willy Russell's Our Day Out in which I am the technical supervisor and an ASM; being the technical supervisor allows me to enhance my management skills as well as teaching and assisting younger students.
I have also been the sound technician for a rock night at school where I assisted in the set-up of three SM58 microphones as well as monitor wedges and amps. After testing the equipment to ensure everything was working I operated the desk during the performance. I have also been involved in the lighting and video technologies as a further progression of the course.
This involved me creating sub-masters and FX stacks for a dance showcase as well as operating the board during the performance. For video, I used a camera to project a live video feed onto a screen and a vision mixer to transfer between the live feed and a PowerPoint on the computer.
I have also had to create a video in Adobe Premiere that was appropriate for a family Christmas concert. For my Extended Project Qualification, I will be arguing for and against the use of acoustically multi-purpose venues versus a dedicated performance centre specialised for specific genres of performance.
This will involve extensive research and a developed understanding of acoustics to create a 5,000 word essay and deliver a presentation to my peers. Performance Studies has extended my knowledge of practitioners and helps enhance my technical theatre as it allows me to be able to make the most informed decision about what a performance requires as I can see it both from the technical view point as well as the viewpoint that the performer wishes to convey.
Performance Studies gives me a broader knowledge of types of performance and different methods that may be used to give the audience a certain viewpoint or understanding of the piece. Whenever help is required for a performance, whether it be technical, set or ASM, I will offer my assistance and pitch in so that things will be finished on time.
I am normally quick to resolve any issues I may have individually but I know when I have reached my limits and will ask for assistance and then learn from the experience so that next time I am prepared.
An education at your institution would allow me to achieve a lifelong dream and step towards the professional theatre industry. I know I will profit from the rigorous and expert training your institution offers as well as expanding my knowledge of technology.
For example, I am very comfortable with using analogue sound desks and have used several, such as a 16 channel Soundcraft Spirit Studio and a smaller Behringer 2 channel desk, however I have never used a digital desk, and feel that I would benefit from learning everything your establishment teaches.