Sound Design is the process of acquiring, manipulating or generating audio. It is employed in filmmaking, television production, theatre, live performance, and video game software development.
       Sound Design most commonly involves the manipulation of previously composed or recorded audio, such as sound effects and dialogue, to create a desired effect or mood.
       Or rather, I make awesome noises for a living!

Here are some of the latest reviews of my work. Check out the links below!

Crowns by Regina Taylor
A Coming of Age Story
A Majestic Theatre Event

The Green Duck Lounge by Michelle Tyrene Johnson
'The Green Duck Lounge' aims to be more than a play
'The Green Duck Lounge' successfully links the past and present

It's a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play by Joe Landry 
Christmas classic gets fresh frame in TheatreSquared’s ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

Here Lies Joyland by Mitchell Ward
The Melancholy of Abandoned Places

An Octoroon: Design Concept 

Straddling our modern sensitivity to PC culture and the prejudice of 19th-century entertainment is a difficult place to find yourself. Ordering CDs of minstrel music is not my normal afternoon activity. The melodrama of An Octoroon could have very easily been scored from start to finish, but in the interest of also hearing actors as well as being a show that could, in fact, be called consistently, this was not the case. The player piano of the saloon helps elevate the jokes and pauses that the melodrama depends on, making this show feel a little like an early talkie rather than an antebellum play. Of course, that means that each cue must have an in and an out that that is musical as well as purposeful. The set and quick changes became my problem children, as they were either too long or too loud for the player piano theme and so we deviated into a bit of the romantic underscoring harkening to Gone with the Wind. I greatly enjoyed the research to find an authentic steamboat from the 1880s and creating a vinyl sound for my piano rolls like tunes. The audience did not get a break from the black-face, white-face and other dated theater staples when the preshow also contained snippets of recorded minstrel shows. But oh the satisfaction when I hear audience members talk about race, culture, and theatre in a way that they hadn't before. SaveSave

Hand To God Design Concept 

Seeing Texas through the eyes of those who have never lived in Texas is a strange, strange thing. Of course, we're not quite as backwards there as we play, and we really don't have the big hair that Texas has been known for in the past. Even so, it was fun to return to my roots and dredge up some country music (pretending all the while I don't listen to this regularly anyway) Tech was about energy, speed and razzle dazzle. We clipped through moment to moment at a blistering pace, but truth be told, the show does the same to the audience. Hold on to your hats as the twang of the guitar whirls us from car to home to church with just a hint of the real world to remind us that this comedy has some moments of reality. Not much mind: we wouldn't want to give the wrong impression.

Heathers: The Musical: Summer Sound Tech 

The Heathers was a tumultuous experience that spanned from May 23rd to July 3rd. We had two dry tech and two wet techs. I was the Sound technician, which was an unfortunate title because it meant no one knew what I was doing or who I answered to, and I was doing a lot. Fifteen actors on stage with the band was an intense process and I definitely had to be focused for every page. I never had a perfect show, but I did my best. I learned a lot about what I can hear and what various effects can do for a show as well as how to communicate errors and concerns to the correct people. The greatest difficulty was bridging the gap of what the theatre thought I knew and what I actually knew as well as being able to multitask when things went wrong or something didn’t sound right. Trying to focus on actors who decide to deliver their lines differently every night is a demanding job. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but it was stressful. Previews were a nightmare as I had only run through the show once prior to that and I was still working on my book and my notes. This was the worst part of the production by far, much of that due to my inexperience. However, I was able to find the Heathers soundtrack, and I practiced to that with my book and board. Once I was able to practice, I was much more confident.  I wish I would have programmed scenes for the band so that each song could have been handled differently, I think that would have helped our ballads and rock songs be more distinct from each other. I was also running cues on top of my other duties.
 I think this was a positive learning experience for me. There were a couple people who were extremely difficult to work with, and the previews were definitely stressful. I wish that I had had an A2 because I was definitely doing enough without having to worry about the monitors, mics and things breaking. I understand a little why some sound designers really like musicals and why some do not, I think I would like to design one someday because it seems like there is a lot of room for creative ways to support the story. I was surprised to go to a prominent show in town and hear the same problems I was having at the Unicorn and realize that perhaps it doesn’t matter so much what the budget is, but how you use the equipment. Now that I understand some of the fundamentals much better, perhaps I’ll be able to design one myself.

Marilyn/God Design Concept 

This was a very weird show. There were voices and sounds and music and only one actor on stage, so at no point could the sounds overwhelm her. This was also the first show I worked with someone on; I didn't have the time to go to all the rehearsals, so my co-designer took copious notes and we worked together on gathering sounds, reverbs, and then we worked on the recording session together. For an hour long show, I had over a hundred cues: a busy time for the stage manager! The sounds supplement, attack and confuse Marilyn on her way through the afterlife. This show only used two speakers and in some ways was an exercise in Qlab, making changes on the fly, fading effects and panning wildly, well, as wildly as one can with only two speakers. 
In the end, of course, the sound supports Marilyn. We create a sonic space to live in and enjoy, or horrify as the case may be. 

The Island Design Concept 

The Island was my first work with Kansas City Actors Theatre, and it came during a strangely turbulent time in my life. The Island is a barren, hopeless prison where Winston and John are incarcerated for political ideals and spend their days working thankless tasks. The sounds are bleak and clean. Digging, waves: what is the barest of the scene, what is the essence of this hollow place and how to we take our audience there. The warder is represented by a carrion fly, a man larger than the shadows the men jump at. At the end of the play, the men are greeted with shouts and cheers, which devolve into the siren: back to the beach, back to work. But a little hope is left behind: South Africa is no longer crippled by the apartheid and perhaps our own country can break free from the same prejudices.
Interested? Check out the review by Pitch Magazine:

The Island is not Escapist Theater

And Justice for Some: The Freedom Trial of Anthony Burns (1858) Design Concept 

The new year of 2016 started with a gavel hit and a bang with And Justice for Some at The Coterie. It was a little spoiling to have a show without having school as well because I could spend my days at the theatre and my nights as I chose. Children's theatre is very different than much of theatre that I have done; kids have no problem falling asleep in a show, and we can't have that, can we?
This show was about punctuation. Each of the scenes, each of the locations had parenthetical musical notes. Many people thought it felt like an episode of a serial crime drama, and in someways, the show had exactly that feel with the announcement from day to day. The director had a very specific idea of the melding of then and now. The Ferguson and Baltimore riots are fresh in our minds and the trial in 1858 is still relevant for these reasons. The sound design reflected this link from the past to the present with the period language and gavels, and the electronic music that I created and used for the show.
All in all, this was a very interesting show to work on as I did a lot of research on protest songs, then and now as well as the sounds of riots, crowds and the world of the protest.

Mr. Burns Design Concept 

This play was crazy! It's still playing at the Unicorn until the 27th, I would highly recommend it (and not just because it's my design, but because it's story and message is pretty interesting)
Mr. Burns: a post-electric play is about making connections. Reaching out to talk to people, hear about loved ones, and even, experiencing unimaginable loss in the company of strangers. People have always used stories to protect us from the dark: protect us from our fears of the unknown. From the first note in preshow to the last bit of HMS Pinafore, the sounds in the theatre were designed to create an atmosphere of isolation and weirdness that brought the audience along in this apocalyptic madness that our characters lived in. This strange, stormy world was their new normal, and we, with our cellphones and intermissions, have a difficult time imagining such a place. The Simpsons, while not everyone’s cup of tea, symbolize entertainment that on the surface, has no value or use, but also has the opportunity to do more than entertain, but to reflect society’s quirks, fears, and problems in a way that people can understand. Mr. Burns is a wild show that needed to breathe along with the actors, and to be as fluid as time flowing eighty-two years to Act Three.

Wittenberg Design Concept 

Wittenberg is a show with a foot in two worlds; the world of 1518 and the world of 2015. Despite nearly five hundred years, there are many aspects of life that haven’t changed. The Church, while not quite the world power that it was before, remains relatively unmarked by the passage of time. Specifically, liturgical music of the period is still readily identified as such. As for the secular side of music –and the play- the world has undergone drastic changes and would be nigh unrecognizable to a sixteenth-century man. While the instrumentation stayed in the past, the music content was all readily identified as twentieth-century music, allowing the audience to also identify with it. We sympathize with what we understand, and in many ways adding the fantastical sounds of Hamlet’s dreams created a rift in the play that was audible; his dreamscape do not exist in the sixteenth or twentieth centuries, but rather out of time, baffling and confusing us.

Fringe Fest 2015 Design Concepts 

What a crazy month! I worked on five designs and was the assistant stage manager in another show. This festival, at least for me, was all about adapting. I became the go-to sound person for a space I had no previous experience in. My computer was in one show running Qlab 2 of all things (a bit dated, like 2008 dated) I was patching mics and speakers and learned a lot about communicating with directors and technicians. There's a reason we're all in separate fields; there's a lot that goes into putting theatre in a space! I don't know much about lights, or spiking the set, or filling blood capsules, but I sure learned. 
As for the sound design specifically, my focus was on keeping it simple to run and simply augmenting the show as a whole. They didn't need me muddying up their work on stage, sound, in many cases was an accent. In BOND, I had gunfire and radio chatter and explosions, with a little soft singing at a vulnerable point. In THE SNAKE THAT STOLE THE FLOWER, sound design was the primary way to represent the auditory hallucinations the main character experiences. THE PENIS MONOLOGUES wanted a bit of sound to move their journey and not lose energy and LOVE ME TINDER just needed dings. Sometimes sound design is simple. SELF-EASE was a remount from February and required a little more finesse, but overall it was my old design polished up with some new scenes. 
Overall, I learned so much about my own capabilities and ideas and how to adapt to the needs of a show in three hours of tech (sometimes less!) I am glad that I was a part of such an interesting experience seeing crazy theatre.

Neighborhood 3: Requistion of Doom Design Concept 

This play gives the initial impression that video games are benign, but as the characters lose their grip on reality, the sinister nature of Neighborhood 3 comes alive. I used a combination of growling tones and computer blips to create the strikes that separated reality from the game.Inside the game, movement, vocal choices and even music takes on a plastic quality. Is this real? Is it not? The lines blur when the characters try so desperately to escape their suburban life, embracing the violence, cruelty, and horror of The Neighborhood. 


Previous events

The Green Duck Lounge

 —  —

Rhynsburger Theatre, Columbia, MO

The Green Duck Lounge explores how the contemporary #BlackLivesMatters movement parallels the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s by focusing on the life of Leon Jordan, a Kansas City police officer, MO legislator, and civil rights activist. The play is a swift sixty-minutes with a first act set in 2015, a second act set forty years earlier, and a third act comprised of a post-play discussion.

The Green Duck Lounge

 —  —

Rhynsburger Theatre, Columbia, MO

The Green Duck Lounge explores how the contemporary #BlackLivesMatters movement parallels the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s by focusing on the life of Leon Jordan, a Kansas City police officer, MO legislator, and civil rights activist. The play is a swift sixty-minutes with a first act set in 2015, a second act set forty years earlier, and a third act comprised of a post-play discussion