Tianna Mason, senior theater major, sat on a bench and listened to the sounds that surrounded her, making notes of them on her notepad and phone.
For someone who did not enjoy being on stage in front of an audience, her recordings of sounds that make the listener pay attention made her stand out.
Though not typically filled by a student, Mason’s job as sound designer is to recreate various sounds and put them on the stage of California Baptist University’s latest show, “A Christmas Carol.”
The roles are typically filled by faculty and students — except for the roles of set designer, costume designer, the director and the tech director.
“You have to train your ears to listen to everything that’s around you,” Mason said. “My first experience was over the summer. I sat there and I heard the wind, the little birds and sprinkler systems going off, and there was a lot of stuff going on that you don’t necessarily pay attention to.”
One thing Mason said she was looking forward to is the audience’s reactions to the sounds.
“I want each moment and each sound to make them think,” Mason said. “I want them to question everything they thought they knew about this play.”
Mason impressed faculty and staff with her talent. Lee Lyons, professor and directorof theater and the play’s director, said it was Mason’s ear and attention to detail that got her the position.
“There’s a lot of things that I don’t have to tell her,” Lyons said. “She can watch a play and realize, ‘I need to put a tone here,’ or find a piece of music that defines the mood at this moment. I don’t have to find that for her. She does that and it takes a big load off.”
Dan Robinson, theater technology director and Mason’s personal mentor, said it is Mason’s talent and growth that makes her stand out.
“She’s amazing. She has a big future ahead of her if she decides to go down (that path),” Robinson said. “She has a real understanding of how everything works and has grown immensely.”