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FSU Tag Line

Eric Martin

Creating a night club atmosphere,
Martin delves into what it takes

By Megan Alvarez

On select Thursday nights throughout the 2016-17 academic year,  Frostburg State University students, along with the general public, are invited to enjoy live performances in a club-like atmosphere in the Manicur Assembly Hall. CES has titled this event series On The EDGE: a new underground club with the laid-back atmosphere of a back-alley room which has been converted to a club hangout where cutting-edge performers stretch the boundaries of their art. The Mexican jazz band, Troker which is billed as a “funk meets hip-hop meets mariachi meets metal” will perform Thursday, October 6 at 8:15 p.m.

The atmosphere and decor of the Manicur Assembly Hall for On the EDGE events is unlike any other. Walls completely covered from floor to ceiling in black drape surround a raised stage, a cash bar at the rear of the room, comfy couches, and paint-splattered tablecloths set the vibe for the evening.

However, creating this type of atmosphere does not come easy. Senior Eric Martin, Technical Service Manager for Lane University Center, provides insight into this in-depth process.

Typically, a crew of approximately eight student workers supervised by Tony Broadbent, Technical and Events Services Coordinator for the Lane University Center, begins to transform the hall the day before the event starting around three in the afternoon.

According to Martin, “The hardest part is draping the entire room. The drape makes the room feel more like a nightclub. It’s what makes On The EDGE so unique, but it’s the most time-consuming part of the setup.” 

On the other hand, Martin explains the floor plan “starts to become a habit” because the crew has “almost the same people working the flip” for these events. However, Martin explains that the stage setup is different for every event and the lighting and sound design are centered around [each] performance. When it comes to lighting design, the crew tries to “complement the artist, but not draw too much attention away from them.”

Martin further explains, “A comedy show will have more of a single look and no moving lights. A band, on the other hand, will have multiple moving lights. For a sound design, it's the same way. A sound design for a band requires a long sound check to make sure all mics work correctly and that the artist is happy with what’s coming out of their monitors. For a comedian, all we have to do is make sure their mic is on.”

Once the technical needs of a show is completed, Martin says, his favorite part is getting to watch the performance.

Martin closes by saying “After spending hours setting up and preparing for the event to start, being able to watch the event gives a sense of completion in my eyes.”


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