My experience with the Sunnyvale High School choir department was one of the fundamental reasons I pursued a career in production. The tech department was nonexistent when I came on board and I became the first ever full time crew member working as a sound operator, photographer, and videographer. Over the course of four years I continued to work with the top varsity choir "Daybreak" as well as additional school choirs. I traveled to UIL Contests, TMEA Conferences and many other trips performing a variety of jobs along the way and receiving multiple awards for technical excellence.
I worked with "Daybreak" and the other choirs for the next four years creating concert movies, photo shoots, promotional material, interview segments, social media content, pre and post show videos, and other material. In addition to being the primary content creator for the department, I was also the head of the sound and lighting teams for all of the concerts and performances. This position included recruiting and training multiple teams to assist on different projects and leading the entire tech department when it came to shows or events.
I was given a large amount of leadership and responsibility in this position and was trusted as technical director to not only build a team to produce shows every year, but also to create content for the different groups throughout the year. Another big responsibility I was given was training the next generation of tech crews to fill my role after my 2017 graduation. I agreed to volunteer in this capacity after I graduated and I trained and oversaw the crew as they grew and took control and to this day that legacy is something I'm very proud of.
My work with the Sunnyvale choir department was something that really shaped my future and pointed me down the path that I'm still following today. Leading and training crews was a large part of what motivated me to want to be a production assistant once I got to college. The freedom to learn and evolve as a producer and technical director in such an open learning environment really helped me gain confidence in my abilities. If it weren't for the director that had faith in me to produce and lead, I probably wouldn't have this site today.
"Cameron Justice was part of the foundation of the tech department at Sunnyvale Choir. He was responsible for all things video. Cameron took photos for our show programs and ran cameras during the shows. He has done editing with the videos and stills to make sure that final products were professional quality. I’m grateful for the work that he did to begin a tradition and set high standards for technicians of the future."
- Megan Senter: Sunnyvale High School choir director
"Shakespeare said it best “though he be little he is fierce.” And Cameron Justice is both little and fierce. He does many things but the things he does best (and most fiercely) are sound, house management and recording our shows. You might not always see him there but he’s always a helping and willing force with anyone and any department that needs him. Because of this dedication, I am more than happy to induct Cameron Justice as a member of Troupe #7532."
- Candace Clarke: Sunnyvale High School theatre director
I was inducted into the International Thespian Society at the end of my junior year in 2016. At the end of my senior year (2017) I received a 1 Star Thespian Award as well as a House Management Excellence Award.
My career in the Sunnyvale High School theater department launched my sophomore year with the musical production of "Mary Poppins". I mainly served as a sound designer and board operator on this show. I was in charge of making sure all of the actors were properly mic'd and I was also running sound effects and music during the show itself. In addition to working sound on that show, I also was apart of the set construction crew during preproduction which included installing a rig in the ceiling to make Mary Poppins fly during the show. Additionally, I video recorded the show and was in charge of making over 200 dvds during postproduction.
My next production was the fall of my junior year when we performed "Neil Simon's Rumors". With this show, I was given a new task of being the head of the house management crew. This was a job I had never done before but took it in full stride and even earned a Thespian Award my senior year for house management excellence. As the house manager I was in charge of all of the publicity for the show as well as selling souvenirs and snacks. Additionally, I was tasked with the responsibility of the ushers for the show and overall with making sure all audience members had a pleasant experience before, during, and after the show. Lastly, my responsibilities included the video production on this show.
My final two productions at Sunnyvale came during my senior year with both a musical and the UIL One Act Play. The musical that year was "Shrek" and the one act play was "The Book of Everything". I was the head of house management once again on both of these shows as well as the video producer.
My journey in production work for Sunnyvale ISD was launched my 6th grade year. I joined the 5th/ 6th grade football team as an equipment manager in addition to taking charge of videoing the games. This work gained me praise from the middle school coaches and I was asked to move up to the 7th and 8th grade teams as the official videographer. I continued this work throughout middle school traveling to all games with the team filming and uploading the film for the players and coaches to review.
This work continued into high school and my freshman year I was the video director for all of the player and coach films from practice and games. After my freshman year I turned my focus more towards choir and theatre work but my time with athletics wasn't over yet.
The remaining three years of high school I shifted my focus away from doing film for the players and coaches and looked more towards what the crowd sees. I started working very closely with the video production teacher at my high school and began running scoreboard video at football games. I didn't know it yet but this training and experience would prepare me for the video director job I held with Lion Athletics throughout college.
Athletics gave me the first real experience running cameras and working with a crew. This experience would be what sparked my love of being behind the camera and would lead not only to my work with fine arts in high school, but the work I continue to do to this day.
Return To SHS Fine Arts
After my time working with SHS choir and theater in high school I thought that my graduation in May of 2017 would be the end of that chapter of my life, turns out I was wrong. My freshman year of college I stayed local attending community college so that made me available to consult and help oversee the new tech team with SHS choir. Some had been there with me and trained under me my senior year and some were completely new faces. It was a pleasure for me to help oversee them as they grew into a fully formed team all working together to make the best production possible.
Throughout my sophomore and partly into my junior years of college I still helped out as much as I could offering advice and communicating with the choir tech team as much as I could to see how they were doing. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the bigger shows of the year and be able to work alongside those teams and helping guide them through their shows. It wasn't until early 2020 that a blessing in disguise came my way.
In early 2020 much like the rest of the world the Covid-19 pandemic began and as a direct result I found my college courses moved online and myself moved back home. It was through this that I was able to go back to working with SHS choir on a more regular basis. Most of my original trainees had graduated themselves by this point and the ongoing pandemic was making in person shows more difficult. I assisted them with setting up a few remote shows where people could still enjoy the talents of the students in a safe and controlled way.
In mid 2021 once things started getting back to normal a new opportunity presented itself when both the choir and band directors and booster clubs came to me in hopes I could design them websites to use for the upcoming 2021-2022 school year and beyond. The band website was created and is used to this day as a way to communicate directly with parents and students about all things going on with both the middle school and high school bands. The choir website while accomplishing the same goals as the band website offered me a unique opportunity unlike any other. Through the choir website I was given the opportunity to go back through almost 10 years of archive from both myself and my trainees and build a section documenting the history of the Daybreak Varsity Choir for parents, students, and alumni to enjoy.
My work with SHS fine arts but more specifically choir has given me an opportunity to watch my production skills grow over a long period of time and has let me be in an environment where I have the creative freedom to work and try new things. I plan to continue working with SHS choir as long as I can and urge anyone wanting to check out not only the choirs history but mine as well check out sunnysingers.com and check out the full media archive. Putting that together was a true passion project for me and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out.