Caragan Olles: How I Became an Audio Engineer

Caragan Olles, Staff Writer, Journalism I

December 2016 I received a phone call from my older brother, Carter Olles, who was at school setting up for Mr. NDA.

He asked me if I wanted to run the emcee mics for the show, as the person they were supposed to have do it was no longer able to.

With no prior tech experience, hesitantly, I said yes, which ended up to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

After learning more than I could’ve imagined from Carter, Jake Gerlikovski, and other techies such as Ben Hathaway, I took over as lead audio engineer my sophomore year for shows such as the Academy Awards, the musical, and Cabaret Night.

As the long journey to work on Bye Bye Birdie begins this January 2019 for those involved in tech, I prepare myself to spend around 80 extra hours at school in just one month.

One might ask: Why would someone want to spend so much more time than what is necessary at school? Why would anyone want to spend countless nights sitting in the auditorium?

There is only one logical answer to these questions and that is because I enjoy it.

So maybe I don’t love eating dinners at school that I packed at 7 in the morning as much as I like eating dinner with my family in the comfort of my own home.

Although I cannot see myself pursuing a career in audio engineering, I treat it like it is my job.

Fortunately I find that job really interesting, and it has taught me a lot of lifelong skills to take to college and into my future career choices.

This year we have 25 wireless mics for the cast.

That’s a lot of sticky face tape on makeup-filled faces and a lot of concentration on my part to know when the actors are coming on and off of the stage.

Side note to the photographers of the musical: most of the tech crew do not want their pictures taken, and if we did want to be in the spotlight, we would’ve auditioned for the musical.