From Making Music to Audio Production

July 21, 2014

Mike Mehesan has been a part of the JHE family since 2008. He currently serves as production coordinator overseeing audio needs for all of JHE’s live events. He has previously worked for MGM Las Vegas, Disney World and freelance audio engineering in Los Angeles.

I’ve been a musician for as long as I can remember. When I was eight, I created my first set of drums out of trashcans and performed around the house. I eventually began drumming in a few different local bands. I learned how to set up the sound systems and that led to me becoming the sound engineer for my bands as well as other local bands.

Along the way, I got hired as a technician at MGM Las Vegas. I worked with audio, lighting and special effects. After work I would stick around to learn more about lighting and other various technologies. This helped me achieve the lead technician role.

A couple of years later, an opportunity to work at Disney’s MGM Studios in Florida presented itself and I had to take it. While there, I became the special effects crew chief at the Indiana Jones show. You can’t beat burning things and blowing up 1,000 pounds of propane every day. While in this role, our team did a full theater rehab on the show in which I designed a new operation control console (OCC) that would control all of the show’s physical effects. After a few years in that position, I moved to audio crew chief at the Indiana Jones show for a new challenge. I was working the first iteration of the LCS system and we individually triggered the punch sound effects. I was also working on a lot of the large-scale special events around the park. The best part was the team and the crowd interaction; it never got old seeing how excited the fans were during the show.

After my time at Disney, I moved to Los Angeles to freelance in post-production which included audio engineering, mixing, music editing and sound for film and TV in addition to some session work on drums. After a short stint back at Disney as audio production planner for special events in the Magic Kingdom, I followed my family to Charlotte.

I found JHE in my job search and took it upon myself to email the HR department. When I didn’t hear anything back, I stopped by to personally introduce myself to Jay Howard and set up an interview. I guess I made an impression. A few days later, I had the job! Today, I get to work on a lot of cool stuff although my favorite jobs are opening ceremonies, audio post-production and music editing.

The jobs prior to JHE taught me a lot of technical knowledge in addition to the importance of maintaining quality control during a live event. The same mindset I had every day during a live show is the same you have to have during opening ceremonies; you have one chance to get out and make it work.

– Mike Mehesan 

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