Alex Kerns is young. He’s multi-talented. And he’s focused.
“As a kid I would listen to music that my dad loaded onto an iPod for me," recalled Kerns. "Mostly '80s. I always wondered how these songs were recorded, and I became infatuated with a love for audio. I wanted to record my favorite artists in the studio, where I could meet them and help them capture the sounds they imagine. I never really took into account how related the world of theatre is to audio and production until now.”
Today, Kerns is the technical director at Marion Palace Theatre.
“Having some experience with theatre productions,” he continued, “I now realize the studio is not the place to work with my favorite artists but rather in live sound, at concerts and on tours with those artists. Being at the helm of live production has shown me how rewarding it can be to work with established performers and artists.”
Kerns, 23, grew up in Westerville, graduated from Oakstone Academy, then Capital University with a degree in music technology.
“High school was my introduction into theatrics and fine arts,” he said. “I performed in a few plays and musicals and worked on the stage crew for a few more. All that was fun to be a part of, but I always found myself more interested in the sound and lighting production.”
“Before I came to the Palace, I had a couple of different jobs that didn’t really align in skill," noted Kerns. "I grew up with a family of teachers and education workers, which naturally led me to work at a kindergarten for a while as a teacher’s aide with a hint of IT. But in mid high school, while walking around Westerville passing out my resume to local shops and businesses, I decided to stop into a clock shop that I had always seen but never acknowledged. Long story short, I became a clock master’s apprentice and learned how to clean and repair mechanical clocks like the big one you’d find in the corner of your grandpa’s dining room. Of course, all that has nothing to do with the theatre, but I definitely enjoyed everything I learned doing those jobs.”
Kerns came to the Palace in February of 2022. As the technical director he’s in charge of “lights, sound, projection, rigging, drops, electrics, and anything else that’s on-stage for our productions.”
“Alex is a hard worker with an eye for detail,” assessed Kitty Rassmussen, the event coordinator at Marion Palace Theatre. “He’s a great addition to our staff!”
“Audio is my passion,” Kerns responded, “but I enjoy learning new things. For that reason, this position was very attractive since I’d be running sound, which I specialize in, but also learning how to do new things like lighting, pin rail, projection, etc. Something about being hands-on and technically savvy with such awesome equipment is why I do this job. I really do enjoy it.”
“Every day I’m thankful for how far I’ve come in my life,” he concluded. “There aren’t many people who can say they’ve had such an important career at my age, and I never take it for granted. I’ve put in the effort and made careful and intentional steps to be where I am now, but I plan on going even further. My aspirations are high, and I’m focused to become better at what I do.”
Marion Palace Theatre is located at 276 W. Center St. in Marion. For more information, call 740-383-2101 or log on marionpalace.org.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs — whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article originally appeared on Marion Star: Alex Kerns gets technical at the Palace Theatre