Internship Spotlight: Carrie McDonald
Audio Engineering & Production
Arts Technology & Administration
A Look into Her Experience at New Salem's Theater in the Park
1.) What is a typical day like for you in your internship.
A typical day at my internship includes putting and taking off microphones of the shows cast member. Before the show starts I do a microphone check for each member. I ask them to give me a couple lines from the show and if its a musical I also ask them to sing for me so I can set levels and see if the microphones are working. Then after these things are done I help around the theater and make sure everything is ready before we open the doors. When the show is ready to start, I sit in the sound booth and follow along with my script turning on and off the actors microphones when they enter and exit the stage. If its a musical I will mix each song on the fly to make sure the sound experience is the best. After the show I clean up and turn off all the equipment before locking up and heading home.
2.) How is this experience preparing you for your future career goals?
This experience will help me in my future career because it gives me the opportunity to practice and understand sound equipment. If things are broken I have to fix them in a timely manner. I hope to one day use the knowledge and skills from this internship in an actual job setting. I was able to learn and adapt to a plethora of situations. If I was not getting sound out of a microphone during a performance, I had to be able to identify the issue within a couple minutes so the next time an actor was on stage we could hear them.
3.) What do you like most about your internship? What has been your biggest challenge? What have you learned?
My favorite part about my internship this summer was when we were doing the musical All Shook Up. There were many full cast numbers where I had to mix the vocals to get a nice blend. Each night I would listen intently to make sure there were no sore thumbs sicking out. Every time I found that sweet spot and I would gleam with excitement. This experience just made me more excited about my future career. The biggest challenge however, was dealing with the demands of the directors. If they wanted a monitor or more microphones I had to be able to adapt and sometimes improvise to make sure I gave them exactly what they wanted. I learned a lot over this summer from working with directors to getting a better grasp on how sound equipment works and how to fix it.
4.) What do you like most about Millikin?
My favorite thing about Millikin University is the idea behind performance learning. I love working on different projects whether it’s with other students or by myself. This idea helps me keep engaged in my curriculum and makes me excited to learn more.