The Lesser Known Heroes of SING!

Lela Ni, Senior

Name and Grade?

Lela Ni, Senior.

 

What is your title for SING!?

Director of Lights & Sound.

 

Can you explain what you do for those who don’t know?

I’m in charge of the lights and sound crew, which takes of, well, the lighting and the sound design of the show. I handle the lighting side of things, and my co-director takes care of sound. My specific responsibilities for SING! are to train crew members in how to use the lighting system, design and program the lighting for the show, and operate the lighting board during the actual shows.

 

What do you love about this?

Lots of things. In the past, we used to have access to the catwalks, where we had a lounge with couches, a TV, video games, etcetera. All that’s been taken out, and we’re not allowed up there anymore without supervision, and I definitely miss the freedom we used to have in the theater. But I also love sitting in the booth in the back of the theater and being able to watch the show come together from a distance. The best part, however, is the crew itself; there’s nothing like being holed up for hours in a tiny booth with an eclectic group of people. You learn to love it.

 

How do you think your job influences the show overall? How do you use your power to improve the production?

The lighting and sound design of a show is a huge indicator of its production quality. When an otherwise good production looks and sounds bad, it’s incredibly frustrating to watch, because poor lighting and sound detracts from the viewing experience so much. Most people don’t notice the lighting or sound of a show unless they’re actually looking out for it, and they shouldn’t. The lighting/sound should be organic to the scene. When people become conscious of the lighting for a scene or the sound in the show, it’s usually because something seems off or unnatural. The best way we can improve a production is to be as clean as possible and focus the audience on the actors and dancers, not the lighting or sound.

Amanda Piasecki, Sophomore

Name and Grade?

Amanda Piasecki, Sophomore

 

What is your title for SING!?

Lights and Sound Director.

 

What do you love about this?

I love the rewarding feeling of seeing my work light up the stage during the show. Also, I find the machinery involved to be really cool, and I really enjoyed learning about how to work it.

 

How did you get involved with SING!?

I joined lights and sound for SING! last year, and I realized that I really enjoyed doing it, so I stuck with it.

 

How do you think your job influences the show overall? How do you use your power to improve the production?

I’m not trying to brag, but I think that my job is very important, because lights and sound is something that is essential to the success of the show. This improves the production because lighting allows you to actually see the action as well as provide mood and ambiance, and sound lets the audience hear what is being said.

 

What was the highlight of the season for you?

The highlight was during the actual show when I was in the booth above the balcony overseeing my crew working the show. Seeing all the hard work come together was such a rewarding experience and feeling.

 

What was it like to be involved in such a big production?

It was somewhat stressful because I knew that a huge aspect of the success of the show was resting on my and my crew’s shoulders, but honestly, nothing is more rewarding than seeing a successful show. So, I feel so happy that I was a part of this production because it just gives me such a unique wonderful feeling.

Jacqueline Cao, Junior

Name and Grade?

Jacqueline Cao, Junior.


What is your title for SING!?

Stage Director

Can you explain what you do for those who don’t know?
In Stage, we coordinate everything that happens backstage. Being on stage involves being responsible for alerting actors, crews, and chorus of their entrances, maintaining and placing props before and after scenes, alerting band of their compositions and when to play them, and coordinating the timing of lights and sounds.

What do you love about this?
I love how my position allows me to work with so many different crews all at once. My role allows me to meet with every member in every crew because I need to communicate with everyone on their progress and how they will coordinate backstage during the show. I also love the bonds that my crew creates. Stage is a small crew, and by the end of SING!, we’re always a lot closer than we were before.

Dawn Zeng, Junior

Name and Grade?

Dawn Zeng, Junior.

 

What is your title for SING!?

Makeup Crew Director.

 

What do you love about this?

I love how much control we have over the course of the show.  It’s really a community effort.  We decide what happens and how, everything is really up to us.

 

How do you think your job influences the show overall?  How do you use your power to improve the production?

Though it is a large stage and the main characteristics of the actors that most audience members see are the costumes, I feel that sometimes, makeup can really make or break a look.  For our theme in particular, I think the makeup and hair is particularly important, as it was such a large part of the era in general.  I want to make our cast look glamorous and really get them into their characters, so they can give the best show possible.

Irene Yuan, Senior

Name and Grade?

Irene Yuan, 12th grade

 

What is your title for SING!?

Makeup Director

 

How did you get involved with SING!?

I first got involved in freshman year when I realized SING! season started, but a lot of crew sign ups were over, except for makeup crew. I never was too involved in makeup crew during freshman year, but during sophomore year, I was more involved and chose to sign up for makeup crew director junior year and continued in senior year as director.

 

How do you think your job influences the show overall? How do you use your power to improve the production?

My job helped make the small ornamentations of the show possible. In previous years, makeup just seemed like a small crew that didn’t make much of a difference—there was no recognition from people watching the show, or from the comments made with The Spectator, because makeup is such minute detailing, it’s hard to see in the audience. I pushed my members to make the small details bold and creative. I did so by giving them the ideas of decorating the characters with rhinestones, gold flakes, etc. When they did do so, that’s when it really stood out, and people realized that makeup can really make the characters pop. I often tell my members that we are doing stage makeup, and if you want your work to show, it can’t be the makeup you do on a regular basis. When they gave me ideas and I thought it was not enough to stand out on the stage, I pushed them to add more to the designs and gave my input on what they can use to add onto the makeup.  

 

What was the highlight of the season for you?

The highlight was definitely the weeks of and leading up to the show. It is the most important time for makeup crew. Buying all the makeup was done the week before the show after finalizing the designs. The show days were chaotic, with over a hundred people rushing to get their makeup done in the course of a few hours and people rushing into the makeup room backstage frantically trying to get their makeup changed for the next scene. All this hustle bustle really pumped me up, and I thought it was the highlight of the season for me.

Luola Chen, Junior

Name and Grade?

Luola Chen, Junior.

 

What is your title for SING!?

Props Director.

 

What do you love about this?

Even though SING! can be a bit stressful at times, there’s a sense of pride when you see everything that a handful of sixteen-year-olds managed to accomplish. It’s pretty cool that SING! is an entirely student-run production, because it really shows how talented and diverse the Stuyvesant community is. For props specifically, being able to take abstract concepts that the producers want and creating tangible items is pretty impressive.

 

How do you think your job influences the show overall? How do you use your power to improve the production?

Props definitely enhances the show overall. Imagine any play or musical without props; not only would it be incredibly boring, the audience would be unable to actually see any of the items that the characters refer to. To improve the production, I try to facilitate communication between different crews. As I said before, props crew isn’t just about making things, it also works with other backstage crews to make sure the production runs smoothly. This may entail painting a part of the set that tech created, or working with art to figure out how to incorporate certain details into the production.

Lois Wu, Sophomore

Name and Grade?

Lois Wu, Sophomore.

 

What is your title for SING!?

Art director.

 

What do you love about this?

I like how it’s calming, and you get to just paint stuff after school, and I really like how you can meet people, like especially for freshmen. Personally, as a freshman, that was really important, and I met a lot of people and got involved with STC.

 

How did you get involved with SING!?

So my sister actually graduated the year before, and she was involved in art and was art director for all four years, and as a little sister, I wanted to follow in her footsteps, so that’s how I knew about it.

 

How do you think your job influences the show overall? How do you use your power to improve the production?

I think once the curtains open, the set is the first impression that you get, and I think that being in charge of how we paint the sets and the platforms really affects the feel of the overall show.

 

What was the highlight of the season for you?

I think the first time when my entire crew bonded was during the weekend on our lunch break, and we started painting random stuff and like each other, like I have this pair of sweatpants that are like my paint pants, and they painted their names on them, so that was really fun, and I’ll remember that.

 

Sage Demopoulos, Junior

Name and Grade?

Sage Demopoulos 11th Grade (Go Juniors!).

 

What is your title for SING!?

I am one of the four directors for art crew.

 

What do you love about this?

I love directing art because with all the work at Stuy, this is my one time to really enjoy something that I love. It is also a way for me to meet new people and make a ton of close friends, because by the end of the year, our crew is like a family.

 

How did you get involved with SING!?

I have been in SING! since freshman year, when I first joined art crew as an assistant director. My Big Sibs told me it was something that I would really enjoy, so I gave it a shot, and ever since then, I’ve directed art crew!

 

How do you think your job influences the show over all? How do you use your power to improve the production?

Directing art is a crucial way for me to use my abilities to really improve the performance. I pass my knowledge onto others, allowing everyone in art crew to paint to their full potential. I use my power as a way to get creative ideas to Ray, in addition to telling crew members about what they could do to improve their painting. However, I do not overemphasize my directorship position because I could not have done everything without the help from my crew.

 

What was the highlight of the season for you?

The set looked amazing, and we all rejoiced together. When we were all gathered together and finally took our crew pictures, we were all smiling and laughing, and at that moment, I realized that not only had we rocked the set, but that I had also made some great friends.

 

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