It takes a team of talented and hard-working individuals to seamlessly pull off a live event, and the career opportunities within the world of show production are diverse and far-reaching.
Sound obviously plays an integral role in concerts and live events, and many professionals have built careers in making sure that an event’s audio is at its best – not just for the audience, but for the people on stage as well. A venue’s front of house engineer mixes the sound that audience hears throughout a performance, applying various effects and processors to each instrument or voice onstage. Meanwhile, the monitor engineer adjusts individual custom mixes that are played through monitor speakers or in-ear systems for each performer onstage.
But audio is just a piece of the entire live experience. Equally important is the visual component of what’s happening onstage. Far from simply illuminating performers, Light Operators operate the lighting console according to the various cues within one show, whether it’s changing the color gels or triggering specific sequences within the rig. Of course, those rigs require hours of setting up, cabling, focusing, patching, and dismantling, all of which is done by Lighting System Technicians.
There are also many careers in the video portion of live show production. Video Design Programmers will work with artists and performers to design, program, and implement a themed multimedia experience for a live production, from on-screen visuals that match song cues to videos that capture the onstage experience so that even the furthest seat in the house can get a good look at what’s going on. The entire video production and playback is guided by the Video Director, who gives Camera Operators direction as to where to focus their shots, and works with the Video Switcher to cut between different angles to capture the highlights of the event.
Not every professional in the show production industry lends his or her technical skills to the typical live show environment, either. As more churches, temples, and other houses of worship incorporate technology into their services, many professionals have found careers as House of Worship Technical Engineers, maintaining any in-house sound, lighting, and video. Design associates for attractions and theme parks build the schematics for these locations and are responsible for installing the on-site sound and lighting systems.
Grad Martin Santos has worked as a monitor engineer for artists like Faith Hill and Tim McGraw.
Full Sail grad Jeronimo Carbi worked as the Assistant Head of Lighting for Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion Tour. The shows were an intensely visual experience, combining the prowess of the performers and compelling set pieces with dynamic lighting sequences.
Since graduating from Full Sail, Marcel Cacdac has provided the audio and lighting design for events such as the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Steampunk Treehouse display at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival.