Posts Tagged ‘Cymbeline’

“A Tale of Two Designers” from Cynthia Booker

In Assistantship, Cynthia Booker, Sound Design on May 21, 2013 at 1:02 PM

It’s been a whole week, however, I feel like I’ve lived through a month. Every evening I have been in techs for the three Elizabethan productions for this season. I have the opportunity to work with two different designers. I’ve never teched three shows simultaneously, so that in itself is interesting. Further, I am working with two different designers. The most fascinating observance I have made is how both designers are polar opposites and how each production environment is completely different. The two designers I am currently working with are Sarah Picket and Paul James. Paul James is sound designing Cymbeline and The Heart of Robin Hood. He is very independent and seems to have all his thoughts written on an invisible black board directly in front of him. He is very intriguing to watch work. He kind of reminds me of how Tony Stark works in his laboratory with his digital information floating around. He just sort of reaches up and pulls what he needs out of the air. Each of his designs he approaches differently. With Cymbeline, he has a very close and open relationship with the director, so he is able to work more organically. He seems more at peace with this approach. With Robin Hood, he has to be very prepared and precise due to the large number of cues and the director knowing exactly what he wants. I was surprised at the difference in one artist in the same space with a different production. It really illustrates a great example of why we as artist must stay flexible with each production process in order to best serve each production fully.

Sarah is designing A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She is much more controlled in her design than Paul James. She was very quick to assign an immediate task in order for me to assist her. I believe she truly enjoys investing in my sound design knowledge. I wasn’t surprised to hear that she is a professor. Paul James is also really great at telling me why he made certain choices within each design and sharing his development as a theater professional. It’s interesting to see the differences between the academic and the freelancer. I’m learning much from both designers. I can also feel myself settling in and feeling more confident with my work here. It’s very relieving. J Douglas and the sound staff have also been really encouraging and instructive in the engineering and technical side of things. I’m definitely adding more skills into my rolodex of knowledge.

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