Under the Spotlight: Laura Dougan

Laura Dougan, Production Technology & Management graduate (2015), is currently on a world tour with American arts company Blue Man Group. Her career has taken her across the globe, from fitting microphones at prestigious events for Jaguar Land Rover and Rolls Royce to operating the sound desks of UK and international touring musicals, as well as working closer to home at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

It was great to catch up with Laura to talk about her career highlights, how the degree programme at RCS helped her gain the skills needed to be successful within the industry and how she believes Glasgow is the cultural hub of Scotland with endless opportunities.

What do you believe are good lessons to learn to work successfully within the sound industry?

You really need to learn about the theatre as a whole and all the different parts played in creating the work that we do. It is important to learn how to work as part of a team and respect everyone’s role in it. The best skills to have in technical theatre are being honest and friendly, along with having good communication and problem-solving skills.

What did you most enjoy about the degree at RCS?

The degree gave me the knowledge of how theatres are run and experience of working with a diverse variety of like-minded creative people. We worked on a wide range of productions throughout the programme and it truly gave me the building blocks I needed to support my development and decide where I fit in the performing arts environment.

RCS nurtures everyone’s creativity and lets them express their individuality. The opportunities to collaborate with other art forms and people from all over the world is unique. Their focus is on gaining practical skills and musicians, actors, filmmakers, costume makers, set builders are all working on the same end goal to produce work that will inspire its audiences. With Glasgow being the cultural hub of Scotland, RCS is perfectly placed with the national performing companies on its doorstep. There really is nowhere like RCS and the opportunities for students are endless.

What has been your career highlight so far?

It’s hard to pick one highlight as my jobs vary and each come with their own highlights! From silly interactions with the cast while you are fitting their microphones and finding the fun in loading a truck in the snow at 5am to solving a complicated problem five minutes before the show goes up and the euphoria of standing at the sound desk and experiencing the energy of the audience at a sold-out show. If I could sum it all up, it would be knowing that I’ve had a part in making people happy.

Some of Laura’s many jobs to date”¦

Laura stood at a sound mixing desk with a view of the Edinburgh Tattoo behind her

Laura mixing sound at The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Visit our website to find out more about the Production Technology & Management degree programme.

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