Steve Younkins describes himself as a storyteller “whose stories are usually three panels long.”
The sound designer and creator Q2Q Comics told a few longer stories as speaker at the 2016 Young Designers & Technicians Awards at USITT 2016 in Salt Lake City.
Younkins was there to unveil the first book of his popular theatre tech comic and host a book-signing. Invited to speak on risk-taking in theatre tech, he obliged by sharing his humor and his experiences in the trenches of technical theatre.
“Sometimes you have to take a step back and laugh at the absurdity of what we do,” he said. “I have sat for hours squishing wet peanut butter in my hands and recording the sound. I mean, that’s ridiculous! And I get paid for it!”
He also shared a couple of life lessons, including his first failure and the time a Tony-winning producer chewed him out in front of the crew. When things like that happen, he said,he recalls a quote from his friend Matthew Koch, sound designer at Stages St. Louis.
“Matt says, ‘We’re not at war. We’re not taking lives. We’re making musical theatre in Missouri.’”
Afterward, Younkins went home and drew a comic about the peanut butter story.