It’s 1996. Freshly-hired Harry McEnerny is holding auditions for his first production, Dark of the Moon. Amid the chaos and the clamor of the auditions, a sophomore approaches the new professor.
“Who are you?” McEnerny asked.
“Chad,” he replied.
“No, I’m your sound guy,” Voghell said.
“Oh, okay,” replied McEnerny as he walked off to tend to the other students, not making much of the seemingly insignificant piece of information.
In 2012 McEnerny is in his office recalling the story from so long ago and smiling, “he’s been my sound guy ever since.”
Chad Voghell started his academic career at Castleton State College in the fall of 1995. Four years later he graduated, and before he could get his feet off the graduation stage he had his first job: director of Technical Services, Castleton State College.
“I think his job title and job description don’t do him justice,” says Assistant Dean for Campus Life, Victoria Angis. So, then what does he do?
“The better question,” said Voghell’s assistant Louis Riquelme, “is what doesn’t he do?”
“I provide technical support for all the events on campus,” Voghell said.
“What he does is make the rest of us look good,” said Angis.
Voghell, who has been with Castleton for 16 years, is leaving, and starting a new job with Atomic Professional Audio.
He starts this Friday.
Follow Voghell around for a few hours and you’ll get a rough idea of his myriad responsibilities. It’s Thursday night, during a rehearsal of Chicago, and Voghell is explaining what “Door Syndrome” is.
“When you’re working on a show like this, when there’s so much going on and you realize you need to go get something from somewhere – say in the production booth. Well on your way there, someone comes up to you and asks for something, then something else happens, and by the time you get to the production booth, you walk through the doors and have no idea why you’re there in the first place,” Voghell said.
actors, technicians, and other staff approached Voghell 18 times with 18 different questions and problems.
He addressed and solved them all without breaking a sweat.
“He’s the calmest human being you’ll ever meet,” said McEnerny, “I think he’s absolutely unflappable.”
Ask for stories about Chad and you don’t get a lot; most people just cite the many times he’s been so good at his job. He’s almost always the first to show up and the last to leave. He has unparalleled professionalism.
Paradee recalls a night when she called him out of the blue, at last minute, because a performing band didn’t tell them they didn’t have their own sound guy. Chad showed up without question.
Voghell also takes on students for independent studies.
As a part of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Voghell has connections for the students who work with him.
“I work over-hire for him all the time,” said Riquelme. A show will come to the Paramount Theater in Rutland, or the Flynn Theater in Burlington and they’ll be looking for some help, and Voghell will send over some of his students.
“It helps my friends,” said Voghell, “because they’re looking for labor. And it helps students to work in a professional environment.”
“I think you can measure his success by where the people who have worked with him are working now,”said Robert Gershon, the department head of communications. “You see them all over the state and as far as Los Angeles. People who’ve worked with Chad probably learned as much from him as they did in a classroom.”
“I think he’s going to be missed,” says Paradee before correcting herself. “I know he’s going to be missed.”
Voghell has been at Castleton for 16 years.
“I’m just in love with Castleton,” Voghell said. He remembers that first audition, when he first met McEnerny. It was in that theater, during that production that he met his wife Jennifer Voghell.
“The people who work at Castleton are part of what make Castleton the best place to work. The hardest thing about leaving is leaving all of my friends,” laments Voghell.