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Artist Q&A: Head of Audio Timothy K. Schmidt

ArtistQ&A
Timothy K. Schmidt has been touring the country for 15 years. He returns to Appleton having visited with
Twelve Angry Men and Rent: The Broadway Tour in the past now as Head of Audio for Lincoln Center Theater’s Production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The King and I. See what life is like on the road and behind the scenes of this stunning revival in this artist Q&A!
 
Q. You are head of audio for this tour of The King and I. Can you tell us what that means?
A. I am in charge of all things related to sound with regards to the show, including but not limited to mixing the show (which includes 37 actors’ mics and 35 mics in the orchestra), maintaining the equipment, moving the show from one new city to the next, hanging all the speakers, tuning the room, and managing the crew given to me to help me with all of those tasks. And more.
 
Q. How did you get involved in that role?
A. I started studying sound in college. I went to Western Michigan University, and studied theater there learning under my professor, Matt Knewtson.
 
Q. What makes you most excited about traveling with The King and I?
A. Well I’ve been on the road for almost 15 years. I’ve been to a lot of places and seen a lot of things. Getting away from the comfort zone of home and experiencing the world is something I recommend to everyone.
Maybe not for 15 years, but to each his own. But the thing that makes me most excited about traveling with this show is that I got married right before the tour started, and we were able to get my wife hired on as one of the Child Wranglers for the show. So I get to see the country all over again, this time sharing the experience with someone who is very important to me. It’s like doing it all again for the first time. It’s the best.
 
Q. What is your favorite song or scene in the show?
A. I love any scene where Anna is holding her ground against the King. She knows that it won’t be tolerated, but she also knows it’s for the best. If the King truly does want change, then this is what she has to do to get him to realize it. Also, I always thought “Something Wonderful” was kind of boring until now. Now it’s one of my favorite songs in the Rodgers & Hammerstein catalogue.
 
Q. You’ve been to Appleton before! Is there anything you are looking forward to about returning?
A. I’m a huge nerd and I like playing board games and reading comics, so there are a couple of shops I can’t wait to go back to. I’ve been to Power House Comics a couple times in the past and Chimera Hobby Shop is a great place as well!
 
Fill in the blank….
My favorite part about traveling with a touring company is… You become family. Whether you like them or not! Haha! You always have familiar faces in a strange land. Somehow it makes it more bearable to be away from home for so long.
The hardest part about traveling is…Well it used to be being away from family, but I brought my family with me this time, so I’ll have to go with staying healthy. Either eating healthy or just the changing from hot weather to cold from city to city. Trying to keep from getting sick is a challenge on its own.
When I get to a new city the first thing I look for/do is…We like aquariums and zoos.
I can’t travel without my… Portable speakers. I’ve been carrying around a set of speakers in my luggage for as long as I can remember. Movies and Music are a VERY big part of my life, and of course I got to have good sound.
The one thing I really want people to know before they see the show is…No matter if you have seen this show before or you haven’t, this is not to be missed. It’s a show in which the subject matter which was written in the early 1950s still carries significance today. Most importantly, theater is the best form of escapism. Rarely do we get to sit and be entertained for three hours and forget about all the things going wrong in the world, no matter what your views are. And if perhaps we showed you something that makes you think on the car ride home, then that’s a bonus.
 
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