Chanelle Dau Pino has found her niche in theatrical technology. Dau Pino, a 2018 graduate of John Harding High School, said that during her junior year, she was “placed to be a spotlight operator for Hardin County Youth Theater’s production of ‘Totally Modern Millie’ .”
“It was great to hear the stage manager call the cue and see how many elements had to work together backstage to make the show go well,” said Dau Pino.
Accustomed to being a singer on stage, backstage work aroused Dau Pino’s interest.
“My senior year, I became an assistant at the (Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center), which allowed me to work on productions year-round and learn about theater maintenance and technology,” Daupino said. “I gained experience in landscape architecture, sound design and lighting design. I even got to sew a dress together. Programming on the light board is always the most fun for me. I always jump at the opportunity to operate the lights board, even if just to test that the light is working.”
Aaron Taylor, Technical Director of the Performing Arts Center at Hardin County Schools, said, “Chanelle came to us as a PAC assistant my senior year. I knew her and had seen her in many JHHS productions and choir concerts. I knew her Is a gifted actress with an amazing voice, but what I didn’t expect was that Techno Theater and Chanelle were a natural match. She took a keen interest in learning everything she could.”
Daupino, who plans to become a choir director, said she has been accepted to Northern Kentucky University as a music education major and had originally planned to minor in drama.
“Two weeks before my high school graduation, I decided to swap two degrees, majoring in theater and minoring in music,” Daupino said. “Even though I knew next to nothing about stage lighting, I stuck with my decision and graduated knowing I made the right decision.”
“I was so proud when she told me she wanted to pursue a degree in technical theater after graduation,” Taylor said. “I love seeing where her choices have taken her; doing shows, movies with famous actors all over the country, and now running her own show in high school. She’s amazing. My mother-in-law always said to her kids, ‘You They have to be given roots and wings. That’s my Chanel. She’s so grounded and relatable, but because of her tenacity and expertise, she flies high.”
Dau Pino said she first worked as a soundboard operator at the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center in 2017 for “The Nutcracker” and has been helping since.
“If there’s work to be done, fixtures to be built, rewiring to be rewired, props to be invented, she’s right there, number one,” Taylor said. “For example, we were teaching the making of The Nutcracker a few years ago. , one of the tracks hissed. Chanelle offered to study it to try and eliminate it. I emailed her the track and when I got home from rehearsal she had edited it and emailed it back Give me.”
“Now I call light cues for shows,” says Dau Pino. “It’s always interesting to see how The Nutcracker has evolved over the years. With new students and elements added, The Nutcracker brings something new every year.”
Dau Pino currently lives in the greater Cincinnati area and works as a freelance lighting designer and technician.
“I recently traveled to Columbus, Ohio as the lead electrician for Short North Stage’s ‘White Christmas’ production,” said Dau Pino. “I also worked as a designer and lead electrician at a high school in the area. In the spring, I will be returning to NKU as a guest designer for “Big Night of Sing.”
Dau Pino also started to dabble in film work.
“I had just been working as an electrician in Cincinnati for a few weeks, working on a movie,” Daupino said. “It’s crazy to see the scale of a film. For example, the lights in a theater typically have a maximum power of 2,000 watts; however, the lights in a film go up to 20,000 watts.”
Dau Pino says most of her work comes from referrals and referrals from previous projects. COVID-19 has forced a mass shutdown of theaters, and since many technicians haven’t returned to work, new opportunities are available for those with the skills Dau Pino acquired.
“What I find most interesting about theater lighting is the collaborative aspect,” says Dau Pino. “We’ve been working with different departments to bring the director’s big idea to the stage. It starts with one person’s idea and is influenced by everyone on the production team to create a fully realized show. The show you start is forever It’s not going to be the same show you ended up with.”
Dau Pino says the satisfaction of overcoming a challenge without the viewer knowing what’s going on behind the scenes is the most valuable.
“The most challenging thing about theater is figuring out what the show needs to do,” Daupino said. “People often feel that more time is spent solving problems than performing; but when problems are solved without the audience knowing, it’s all worth it. Knowing how much work goes into a show, no matter the show No matter how long it takes, it will be very satisfying.”