The Sound Designer
"My dream job is to be a sound designer for Broadway musicals."
Bailey discovered her love for live theater sound design in high school. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater design, technology and management and a Bachelor of Science degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. Bailey was the first person in her family to graduate from college, and now she’s studying at Yale to earn her Master of Fine Arts in sound design.
During her undergraduate years she earned multiple Meritorious Achievement Awards in Sound Design for her work. These awards come from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, an organization that offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships. Bailey first earned one of these awards after designing a production of Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare. “It was the first time I remembered being proud of original composition and the overall design of the piece,” she said of her favorite project. “We were sitting in a tech rehearsal, when the lights shifted, the transition music swelled, the actors moved through the space with grace and I was completely swept up in the magic that was presented on stage.”
How did you discover your passion for sound design?
I was first introduced to sound for live theater in high school. I had the opportunity to learn from students older than me.
Why do you love what you do?
The world we live in does not exist in silence. Sound and music exist all around us and I find solace in taking time to observe the pulse of the Earth. The art of sound design is constantly changing, so there’s always something new to learn and technique to improve upon.
What motivates you?
My family has always been a massive source of motivation for me. The amount of support I receive from home is humbling and it is my hope to make my family proud through my continued education and future career.
How do you define success?
For me, success is finding joy in your work and being able to appreciate life surrounded by loved ones.
What shows have you worked on since arriving at Yale?
Since at Yale, I’ve worked as the front of house mix engineer for Shakespeare’s "as u like it" (Adapted by Emma Weinstein and Michael Breslin, directed by Emma Weinstein, sound design by Liam Bellman-Sharpe). I am currently working as the assistant sound designer and engineer for "Seven Spots on the Sun" by Martín Zimmerman (directed by Jecamiah M. Ybañez, sound design by Andrew Rovner).
What is your degree at Yale?
Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design.
What was your undergraduate degree?
I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in theatre design, technology and management and a Bachelor of Arts in ecology and evolutionary biology at the University of Colorado (CU).
Why did you choose to study at Yale?
The program at the Yale School of Drama was the best fit for me and my education. I’m lucky enough that they felt the same way, but there’s a definite sense of community here, where we want each other to succeed. The program is rigorous, and I’ve always loved a challenge!
Where did you grow up?
Where do you live now?
New Haven, Connecticut.
Who is your role model?
What are four things you can't live without?
Headphones, coffee, my friends and Harry Potter.
What has been your favorite project you’ve worked on?
I designed a production of "Winter’s Tale" by William Shakespeare (directed by Lynn Nichols) at CU a few years ago, and it was the first show I’d worked on that the production elements really seemed to come together. It was the first time I remembered being proud of original composition and the overall design of the piece. We were sitting in a tech rehearsal when the lights shifted, the transition music swelled, the actors moved through the space with grace and I was completely swept up in the magic that was presented on stage.
What accomplishment are you most proud of?
I am the first person in my family to graduate from college.
For those not familiar with it, can you explain what the Meritorious Achievement Award in Sound Design from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is?
Through state, regional and national festivals, Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival (KCACTF) participants celebrate the creative process, see one another's work and share experiences and insights within the community of theater artists. The KCACTF honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in play-writing, acting, criticism, directing and design. Meritorious Achievement Awards are given to students based on their work presented in the show via an individual outside of that particular educational establishment. For example, adjudicators from CU Denver or University of Northern Colorado will come, watch the production, provide feedback to the cast, crew and creative team and then grant awards, if they feel they are deserved.
What is your goal after graduation?
I’d like to move to New York after graduation and start working with designers to gain more professional experience.
What’s your dream job?
My dream job is to be a sound designer for Broadway musicals.
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