How To Be A Sound Technician With Michael Poon, Sound Technician for War Horse, Chicago and Company

How To Be A Sound Technician With Michael Poon, Sound Technician for War Horse, Chicago and Company


Hi, I’m Mike Poon, I am 32 and I’m a
sound operator. I was born in London and I moved to Singapore when I was three and I only came back to London when I was 18 to study and that was when I was
exposed to theatre really for the first time properly. I started working
front of house at a theatre actually and I met the head of sound who was working
on the show at the time that was working on and eventually I asked him for a
job, and of course it wasn’t anything full-time but he
luckily gave me a job as a casual member of backstage staff, and that kind of
led to this career. I worked on War Horse and on Lazarus the David Bowie musical.
I’ve even toured both within the UK and internationally such as I’ve been to
China with Chicago (musical) and now I’m one of the company at the Gielgud Theatre. The staff, the people you work with very quickly become your family and the
feeling of creativity, it is seen as a very technical role but realistically it
isn’t just being technical. There’s a huge amount creativity in it as well. I
think coming from my background the biggest obstacle for me going into
theatre was I was always very very pressured academically and I did perform well but it was to go into your standard real jobs working in finance that sort
of thing. So when I eventually did move into theatre it was viewed very much as
that ‘this isn’t a real job’ and the easiest way of
overcoming that is by being really good at it. Work hard and buy nice things and
pay your rent and actually have a career and that’s how you prove them wrong. If I
could give advice to someone just starting out I think it would be
enthusiastic, really listen, really pay attention and don’t take criticism too
hard. I think two things you could do is if your school or anywhere nearby offers
work experience opportunities really go for it and take those and another thing is
if you’ve seen a show and you enjoy it, write to the sound
designer, write to the sound team. If I could turn back time I would have
started sooner. I didn’t start late by any means but I’m
glad I did lots of other things but I would jump straight in

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