Aiden Cloney – Number 2 Sound Engineer
This was taken from the Priscilla On Stage Website – priscillaonstage.com
We are in charge of all the backstage sound, the radio mics, the pit, the on stage sound and the general running of the sound elements in the backstage area. Then for 4 shows a week I do the mixing of the show from the sound desk at the back of the stalls.
We run off the dialogue and music clues, but in certain sound situations like the bus breaking down we are cued from cue lights by the assistant stage manager. This is so the sound effect, the lights and the automation are all in sequence.
On a typical day I’ll get in at 4.30pm to do a sound check for about an hour and then we break for any maintenance that needs doing after that. We are then ready for the half hour call of the show.
Priscilla is a fairly complicated show from a sound front. A lot of shows are driven by the dialogue, where as this show is driven a lot by the music. The first 2o minutes are the most intense, as there are some very quick scene changes and four or five musical numbers. Dynamically it’s all over the place, you have a full number, then a dialogue scene, then part of a number, then a dialogue scene, etc. so there are a lot of ups and downs.
I’ve previously worked on the Sound of Music, Joseph, Blood Brothers and Chicago. Having some kind of educational basis in sound is good if you want to work in this department in theatre. I did a BTEC in Performing Arts, which allowed me to do a lot of live recording and sound. It’s important to get into a local theatre as a casual member of staff and state that your preference is sound. You’re then quite likely to be put on sound get ins or be working with other sound engineers. If you are in London, hand your CV’s to the number one sound engineers at the West End, because often we’ll get people to come in and cover a show when someone is on holiday. A lot of people get in that way, it’s how I got into the West End.
My favourite numbers to both listen to and to work on are Colour my World, Kylie Medley and We Belong. Priscilla is just an amazing feel good musical, which is full of great numbers. It’s hilarious. It is pink and fluffy in some places and a little thorny in other places.
December 1, 2011 sound engineer