Today marks three weeks since I started working as the Master Carpenter/ Electrician for Endstation Theatre, a summer stock theatre company located in Amherst, Virginia. I haven’t been able to post anything about my internship because I have been working close to 12 hour shifts every single day since I arrived. Because I am working for two departments in this company (Carpentry and Lighting/Sound), I have a different schedule than everyone else. There are days I work as just a Carpenter in the shop making sure the carpenter apprentices are making progress in the sets we build for our productions and then there are other days where I am loading in a light plot with the lighting/sound apprentices.
Endstation just finished a run of a show actually last weekend called “The Two Gentlemen of Virginia”. My role for this show was being the tour manager/tech. This show is very unique in that we performed in two different outdoor venues the past two weekends. Being a tech for an outdoor show is quite an experience because the weather plays a very important role. We had a couple of shows where it rained very lightly but that didn’t stopped the actors or the audience from not watching. Everything about the run taught me how to manage myself in unplanned situations because of how the weather can change unexpectedly. Last Saturday there was a bad thunderstorm that occurred prior to our show and I had to run all over the space making sure all of our equipment was covered so that they wouldn’t get damaged from the rain.
Just as we finished our first show of the season this past Sunday, the next day we had to start loading in for our second show of the season “Counter-Top”, which is a show where the setting takes place in the Texas Inn, a local restaurant here in Lynchburg, Virginia. Because Endstation doesn’t own their own venue to perform, they like to perform in local venues to create partnerships. This show is going to be performed at the Miller Center, Lynchburg’s renovated Park and Rec center and we are the first people to ever perform in the space. It a very small venue but we have created this massive set that is taking up the entire stage. It took us two weeks to construct in the shop and three days to install. The process for hanging the lights and also the set was very long but every step has been a learning experience, especially when it comes to rigging heavy objects. Tech week starts tomorrow with our first cue-to cue which is a day where the stage manager takes note of every lighting, deck and sound cue that is needed for the show.
Attached are images of “Two Gentlemen of Virginia” and also load-in images of “Counter-Top”.
I have a couple projects that I’ve been assigned that I haven’t started on yet. Mostly because I don’t have the materials I need yet. One of my bosses who does marketing stuff for Lexicon, has asked me to make some video clips of the Lexicon Reverb Plug-in bundle. It’s basically a third party extension that is added to a DAW which has digital versions of Lexicon reverb effects.
He originally gave me a Nikon camera and wanted me to to take some video of the screen while I was changing some parameters in the plug in, which would be used to show people what the plug in looks like, and a brief overview of the different sounds you can achieve. I then had the idea to get a screen capture program, and turn it into a full tutorial that could be posted to YouTube. A lot of people do these kinds of things, where they capture their screen in a video as they’re explaining how to do something in a DAW. I’m currently working with the plug-ins as much as possible so I know what I’m talking about when I go about these videos. I’m excited but also a little nervous, as my voice will be on YouTube on behalf of Lexicon explaining how to use their products.
There’s a few other ideas as to what I can do for the marketing team that haven’t been too explored yet. There’s so many things that they need help with that I’m just picking up whatever they throw at me. Which is fine with me, and often I get it done in much less time than they expected. I’m so used to working in a high stress environment that I keep asking them to throw more stuff at me, and I’m getting it done faster than they can give me tasks. I guess that’s a good thing, as they have all seemed impressed with my work so far.
It’s now week 5 at Harman. I’ve been doing a lot of various different things, but mostly the same types of material that I mentioned in my last post. I’m mostly working with audio clips for the marketing team. I record samples from different guitar pedals, effects processors, and mic preamps which will be posted on YouTube in the near future. All of the guitar pedal audio is on DigiTech’s soundcloud. I’ve also been managing their Instagram account which has been interesting. Since I became in charge of it we’ve gained nearly 400 followers which is kinda cool.
Last week I went to the company’s warehouse to grab a drum set that they had in storage. The bad news is it’s missing a lot of pieces and we don’t have any cymbals, but the good news is it’s a really nice Pearl kit. One of my bosses wants me to use a full mic setup on the kit and record a bunch of audio samples with the dbx 676 mic preamp. The 676 is one of dbx’s (another company managed by Harman) flagship rack units. It’s an amazing mic preamp and it’s been cool to work with physical units instead of doing everything in the box. I made a list of what the drum kit needs to be record-able, and once the order comes in I’ll be recording as much as I can on the kit. I’m incredibly excited for this because recording drums is something I don’t have too much experience in. In high school I played drums in a band for a couple years and we used drum mics, so I know how to mic a kit, I just don’t have as much experience with drums in a studio setting. The plan is to post all of these audio clips along with some videos online.
So far it’s been an interesting summer, but I look forward to future projects.
This week I have continued to work on the research project that was given to me last week. I am waiting on my mentor Anna to let me know if anything needs to be added or fixed. Basically I have collected research based off bat/bar mitzvahs….. creating a word document that can help designers with future designs. This week I also have finalized the Montessori School logo! above is an attached picture of the logo they will be using. I am very excited to know that they will be using my logo that I created along with the help of my sorority sister Val who is the one interning at one of the Montessori schools. I am overwhelmed and humbled !!! This could be a great opportunity for me in the future and a great resume booster 🙂
Having one week down feels great, now I am completely aware of my duties and responsibilities during this internship. While it may not be exactly what I am looking for, I have no doubt I will learn a copious amount during this internship. After my full week at the Humane Society, I’m basically a main leader in organizing and running a summer camp with kids ages 8-12.
I, along with three other interns, manage the activities for the kids from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. We incorporate the animals in as many ways as possible, for example we have the kids do crafts to give to the animals who are at the Humane Society. We’ve given peanut-butter “pupsicles” for the puppies and dogs. We have members from the K-9 police unit come in to share information about their dogs in training and on the job. We also take a trip to the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet to explore all of the exhibits; specifically fish, turtles, and birds.
The Humane Society has scheduled a break until July 6th when everything will pick back up in full swing. Having some time off has allowed me to really research my next moves as far as education or career opportunities go. I have been looking into programs and education for a management or operating position at a non-profit organization. I also have been really interested in a masters program based on education, using my involvement with kids during this internship as a stepping stone, I am becoming more interested and can realistically see it in my future.
This week at dme I worked on future wrapping paper, I also was given a research project to come up with bat/bar Mitzvah party themes and what is “trending”. I actually learned a lot more about the Jewish community ! I was surprised to see how much time, effort and money is put into it. It is much like a wedding but for girls and boys ages 12-13. I put together a word document of party themes along with some pictures. This week I was also able to help one of my sorority sisters out by creating a logo for her. This summer she is interning and a Montessori school. She told me about how they are expanding and becoming more known. A Montessori school teaches kids how to learn with harmony, respect others and love others. My sorority sister Valery said that the school was in search for a new logo and she gave me the opportunity to create one for them. I took the schools idea and colors and came up with a logo that is simple and clean. I incorporated the school initials, colors, and how they are becoming international ! Later on this week I will find out if they will use mine! I am hoping that they will choose mine because it can lead me to future opportunities and look awesome on my resume.
June 12th || I had another meeting with Susan Ryan—dean of the DuPont library—about the work ethics of a librarian. The interesting thing I discovered was that a librarian job differentiates based on the subject he or she wishes to work in. For example, a librarian who focuses on politics can work in Congress (or better yet, the White House) or, a librarian who has vast knowledge of medicine can work in a hospital. Depending on where a librarian works, he or she is assigned to archive and manage all of the historical and current information in a database. In a way, a librarian’s job is similar to a museum registrar’s job and, sometimes museums do have librarians. However, if there is a difference amongst the two, it is that a librarian does more in the administration work. For Dr. Ryan, she explains to me that her job is to manage the facility such as agreeing and allowing parts of the library to be used as work space such as the Writing Center and next fall semester, Student Success Center will be found on the second floor. Sometimes, she manages the book collections (such as which books must be added or discarded off the shelves), she makes publications of her own work and, she has to attend annual conferences. Her greatest work however, was creating the digital archives at Stetson University. When she first worked in the DuPount Library, the previous dean assigned her the job of creating the online archives. And for Dr. Ryan, she had no idea what to do. But over time, she managed to get more than 1,000 files—from the school yearbook to current memorabilia of the artist shows—into the digital archives where students on campus (or anyone else) can see for free.
May 29th || Larry Cahall—a semi-abstract artist from Philadelphia—donated over 100 paintings he made to Stetson University between 2001-2006. One third of his paintings are displayed currently on campus. However, this collection was never inputted into the Past Perfect database so, Tonya has assigned me to add an accession number onto each piece. An accession number is like a recording number for the museum records. The first set of numbers is usually the year the artist or donor gave us the piece; however, if there are no records to when the piece was donated to the museum, then we would put the current year. The next set is just categorizing the piece into section such as XXXX.01.XXX means it is “part 1” of the collection. Finally, the last three numbers is numbering each individual piece in order from 001-999. After adding their accession numbers for most of the collection, I had to arrange and make sure each piece was stored in a proper location. Once that was over, I had to input all of the information of each individual piece in the PastPerfect program.
May 22nd || The PastPerfect Database—a software where the art collection the museum (or school) has is archived. Currently, the database needs to be revisited and reedit since either the collections such as Oscar Bluemner’s work has been filed in a different home location or, photographs of the art piece must be added in the database for it can be easier for the curator and staff members to know how the piece looks like. Then, in the end of the week, Tonya and I met with Susan Ryan–dean of duPont-Ball Library– to discuss a future digital archive in the library’s page for Oscar Bluemner from the Vera Bluemner Kouba Collection.
So I’ve now been at Harman Signal Processing for about 3 weeks (honestly these posts slipped my mind a bit and I will pick up the frequency of them after this). I am now a small part of the marketing team for Harman. This team manages the promotion of sales for DigiTech, DOD, BSS Audio, dbx, and Lexicon. Harman owns and manages many other companies but the corporate stuff for the other ones happen at different locations.
Over the past three weeks I’ve been working closely with one of the main marketing coordinators for DigiTech. He put up a soundcloud page a while ago but it has been nearly empty since it started as no one has time to post any content. Tom, the marketing coordinator asked me to record myself playing guitar and bass through various different stompboxes from DigiTech, and post the audio on the soundcloud page. The goal was for customers to be able to hear audio of what a pedal sounds like before they buy it. By now I have made audio clips of every stompbox effect that DigiTech and DOD makes, and they are all posted here: https://soundcloud.com/digitechfx
In between these pedal demos I’ve also been working with another marketing coordinator, Jason, who manages things for dbx, a pro audio equipment company. dbx makes a wide variety of rack units that range from mic preamps, compressors, subharmonic synthesizers, loudspeaker management systems, graphic equalizers etc. He has asked me to do various tests on a brand new mic preamp from dbx called the 676. I have been using it on all kinds of different instrumental and vocal tracks, compiling my opinions, as well as comparing it to other competitors preamps. I have also been recording audio from the preamp and assembling sound libraries for other members of the team to hear my tests and comparisons. The next thing he has asked me to do is to start making short videos that could be used for tutorials, and demonstrating the changing of different parameters on the 676, which will later be posted on their youtube channel.
It may sound like I’m just playing with pedals and some studio equipment, but as a result I’ve spent every single day in a recording studio, working with Pro Tools, patch bays, microphones, and a lot of other high end studio tools that I otherwise would not have been able to learn about. Everything I’m doing so far is related to my field of interest and I’m having a great time.