For my X4 project I decided to go with the informational interview option. You can say I lucked out on this project quite a bit, because I was able to interview one of my best friends, Steven Zeller. To give you a bit of back story, Steven and I have been best friends from HighSchool when I used to live in Vegas, so we have quite a history together.
Steven is currently traveling for his job with the company Cirque Du Soleil, who is touring their show Kurios in multiple cities across the United States. He works for the company under the title of Sound Technician technically, but his tasks include much more. On any given night he could be running the front of house, running backstage monitor, which is mixing the bands monitors. He is also in charge of running and maintaining video and communication for the technical tracks of the show. He also uses headset com packs to receive stage cues from the stage manager. So essentially in a nutshell he is running the whole show, under the title of Sound Technician.
Usually Cirque only does one show a night on Tuesdays through Thursdays. On these days he arrives four hours before the show to fix or maintain all of the presettings for the audio levels. On days where he does two shows he shows up 6 hours early, to test mic’s, do soundchecks for the bands, and make sure everything is operational before showtime.
Steven went to school for recording arts, working in recording studios, and then sound studios for tv and film with his focus in Automated Dialogue Replacement. Automated Dialogue Replacement is raw dialogue that you would shoot for film and rerecord it in a studio. He was study this at LMU.
Unfortunately he got broke and came back home to Las Vegas. He enrolled at the University of Las Vegas Nevada. He was undeclared for a year, and in the meanwhile started working at the radio station on campus to continue within the realm of his interests.
In Spring of 2012 he realized he could major in theater arts/ design in technology, and learned all aspects of technical theater. He graduated in Spring of 2014, which was when he was offered a job with Cirque Du Soleil: The Beatles Love, at the Mirage hotel and casino. The Mirage is the home to that famous tiger that mauled Roy, from Siegfried and Roy. Love is actually in the Siegfreid and Roy theater now, after they reconstructed it. He worked for The Beatles Love for three years, until he got an offer to go on tour for the show Kurios. His favorite part of tour is getting paid to travel the country, and in 2018 the world when the show goes international.
He said it can be difficult working for an international company. Working with coworkers from other countries where English is their second language, you have to convey certain goals that you have to accomplish. Especially when it comes to high stress situation like loading in, and loading out the show.
In his spare time he played with Shayna Rain which is his band. He has gone on three tours with them, and did the mixing for their last ep. He started off playing bass and moved over to drums and programming, toured the west coast three times, and the entire country one time. Enjoyed the fact that they got share their music with complete strangers, and that music could bring complete strangers together. Unfortunately he had to leave the band in order to go on tour with Cirque Du Soleil. He feels like leaving the band in order to go on tour is the right choice, but he does miss it. In order to succeed with his goals, he does felt that it was the right choice.
Cirque Du Soleil is coming to Portland in Fall if you would like to check out the show. Posted below is a music video of his band that he directed and edited, and a promotional video for Cirque Du Soleil’s Kurios.