Q&A: South Western grad interns at Hersheypark
Hanover native Josh Hughes is interning at "the happiest place on Earth."
The 2013 South Western grad works as a sound technician at Hersheypark's largest theater. He can also play all kinds of instruments, and he has a CD coming out in August.
Q: Where do you go to school now?
A: I'm a student at the University of Maryland Baltimore County majoring in interdisciplinary studies. With that I do a lot of video editing and copywriting. I focus a lot on the production side, doing pretty much everything except audio. Because I'm not doing a lot of audio editing at school right now, I'm being aggressive and trying to do it through internships and practicing on my own time. Right now, I'm a sound technician intern at Hersheypark.
Q: That's a pretty big internship. How did that process go?
A: This past fall I was volunteering at a theater, and a lady that volunteered there worked at Hershey. She mentioned to me something like, "If only we had more sound engineers," which got me interested. In February, there were open call auditions for performers, and at the same time they had walk-in interviews for sound technicians. She was there for that too and put in a good word for me and we just kind of went from there. About a week after the interview they called me and offered me an internship.
Q: What are some of the things you do for that internship?
A: I'm assigned to one of the in-house shows, "Dance, Dance, Dance." I'm the sound technician at the Music Box Theatre, which is the largest theater at the park. My job is to maintain all of the audio equipment and to run and mix shows, among other things. Basically, all of the tracks and performers all have to mesh somehow, and it's my job to figure it out. I have to balance the levels and take the frequencies.
Q: It seems like you have a real passion for the production side of things.
A: I spent most of my childhood in Hanover looking to do sound things. I'd sneak into our church and would try to work on the soundboard there. I enjoy being able to push people forward. They worked really hard on their crafts, and I'm the step for them from good to great.
Q: What are some other things you do for fun?
A: I'm very passionate about my faith and spend a lot of time at church. I'm also a writer. I write music and books, but the books more as a hobby. I'm not looking to publish them or anything. Besides writing a lot, I like to perform and can play a ton of instruments. I have a recording studio in my basement. I also really, really enjoy art, like drawing and painting, and paintball.
Q: How many instruments can you play?
A: I can play the piano, guitar, bass, saxophone, ukulele, flute, a little bit of the drums and can make sounds come out of a cello. I think that's all I know for now. The drums is really the next instrument I'm working on. I played saxophone in middle school but didn't play in high school because I wanted to pursue solo work. I got bored in ensemble. I found it much easier to teach yourself when you don't have to learn one set. Knowing one instrument can help you learn another one. Like, I would play a note on my saxophone and then try and find it on the piano. I would teach myself that way.
Q: Have you ever recorded anything?
A: Last year in February I released an EP called "Painted in Red." In June 2014 my label CD was released, "Psalms of a Lyricists." The CD wasn't all that great because I was new and didn't always know what I was doing. I've grown a lot since that album as an artist.
Q: So do you have more music in your future?
A: I'm releasing a new CD later in August. It's going to be kind of a trip for me because it's an endeavor of music I've never played before. There's some rock, hip-hop folk, a little bit of everything. I should also add that when I perform, I use the stage name "Anagen". It's greek for "New life" or "To Begin Again," which lines up with my goal of bringing new life and a positive message into modern music. The CD I'm releasing in August is called Between Growing Up And Growing Old.
Q: You seem to be a man of many personalities and talents. How would you describe yourself?
A: I'm a "why not" person. When something comes up, I always say, "Why not?" and go for it. I'm probably described as passionate or overzealous. I'll pursue too much. I'll find something I like and I'll work all night at it, maybe sleep two hours and then get up and go to work.