Currently, I am the Entertainment Technical Planner and Facility Crew Chief for The Arena at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Disney World Resort. I plan the audio, video, lighting and broadcast elements for events including NFL Pro Bowl, Varsity Cheerleading, RunDisney Marathons and many more. I am also a Broadcast Video Engineer for many of the press events, nighttime spectaculars and shows at Magic Kingdom and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Being in “the biz” is definitely not glamorous but I do it because I love it and I can’t imagine doing any other job outside of the entertainment industry. The phrase that we like to use around Disney to describe it is “We work while others play.” Early mornings, weekends, overnights and holidays, rain, shine or hurricane, we’ve got a job to do and a tight timeline to complete it. At the end of the day though, there is nothing more rewarding than hearing tens of thousands of guests cheer as they watch the fireworks go off at the end of the night and knowing you were a part of it. It’s a labor of love.
How did EAM help me get here? Well funny enough my parents pushed me to go to a Drexel information session in 10th grade. I will never forget when the opening slide flickered up onto to screen in the Main Building Art Gallery, it showed the top companies that students worked with on their Co-Op. Disney was one of the first on the list and I was instantly hooked. Throughout my entire time at Drexel and all the different career paths I dreamed up, the EAM professors always pushed me to stay focused on my original goal of making it to Disney. They never let me give up on my dream.
Due to a complete lack of free time my current TV shows are all seasons of older shows, New Girl, How I Met Your Mother, The Good Place, and 30 Rock.
EAM is an amazing degree to have and an even better program to be actively a part of. My single most important piece of advice to any EAM student is no matter what your career goals are, Try It All. You will never know what you truly enjoy or don’t enjoy until you try it. I am surrounded by professionals at Disney that are in roles that they never would have expected, broadcast engineers that now design fireworks shows, Broadway directors that were performing on the castle stage just a few years ago, and even a former security cast member that had such a knack for entertainment that the company created a role for him as an equity performer. Never be afraid to try something new.