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Interview with Alumnus Charlie Alves ’08

Charlie Alves ’08 reminisces about his experiences with the Lake Forest College Theater Department.

What kind of work are you doing now?

Currently I’m a Production Stage Manager/Tour Manager. I travel around the world with Swedish DJ/Producer AVICII. I maintain the quality of production in every country and city we play from Las Vegas to Tel Aviv, Israel. That includes lighting, video, sound, stage design, and pyrotechnics. When I’m not with AVICII I work for a company called PRG-Nocturne productions, which sends me out on tours as a Video Engineer where I oversee with scenic video and Media servers that control video surfaces on various rock and roll tours around the world.

How did your Lake Forest College experience help prepare you for your career?

The Lake Forest College Theater program taught me how to improvise—not in the terms of performance, but in terms of how to accomplish tasks. Anybody can go into a state-of-the-art facility and make a beautifully designed show, but can you go into Hixon Hall’s Allen Carr Theatre with a limited budget and a limited amount of resources and make a great looking production? That’s a skill that not every school can teach. And what makes me more valuable to big productions is that when there is a problem, instead of just throwing money at a situation to correct it, I can come up with a solution that can save productions lots of money.

What’s your favorite Lake Forest College theatre memory?

It’s opening night of Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was my first college show as a Video Designer. It was first time I had spent months planning, designing and teching a show. It opened up to a sold out house. Professor Dennis Mae, Professor Eli Robb and I had all worked together and really push some boundaries in live video for performance. I still use techniques I learned on that show. All of my friends worked on different parts of the show, it was completely student produced, and the people that worked on that show are still some of my closest advisors to this day.