Stephenville High School senior David McCarley has been doing lighting and sound design as the technical director in varsity theatre for three years and has plans to continue down a design path transitioning to video games.

“I’ve been in varsity theatre since sophomore year and I do the lights and sound for our shows,” he said. “So anytime we do a show I’m the one who determines what sounds we play and it’s actually really cool.”

Though McCarley didn’t attend Stephenville until his sophomore year, he participated in theatre at his prior school in Burleson.

“The shows are always really big for everyone here and it’s a lot of fun,” he said.

McCarley said it takes quite a bit of practice to get the right lighting and sound down for a performance and he will typically watch a few times while brainstorming before he begins designing.

“If the lighting isn’t right then it gives off the wrong kind of tone so I have to make sure I’m doing that,” he said. “Sometimes I’ll set the wrong one and then I’ll have to go back and change that for one whole scene.”

After high school McCarley plans to attend Ranger College to get his basics finished before pursuing a degree in video game design.

“Whenever I was a kid and ever since then I’ve wanted to go into video game design. I always thought that was really cool, but when I got my hands on this computer stuff with lighting and sound it threw me for a loop because I wasn’t sure which one I wanted to do,” he said. “I decided I wanted to stick with video game design, but a lot of that choice was because of the computers I’m working with now and just knowing that I can get familiar with these programs and use it, boosted my confidence about video game design.”

After Ranger College, McCarley wants to attend Tarleton State University.

“They have a game design program, which caught me off guard because I thought I was going to have to go somewhere far like New York or Boston or California,” he said. “And hopefully overtime after I get my degree and a job and start working, I can go back to school somewhere and bring up my degree a little more.”

There are many options for McCarley as far as video gaming companies.

“So if one company says no, then there are 10 more I can apply to,” he said. “There are also a lot of small companies, like there was this really big game that just came out that was made by a team of 15 people. That’s the whole company and they made one of the biggest games of 2016.”

But for now McCarley is focusing on his grades and gearing up for the theatre’s bi-district One Act Play performance.

“My sophomore year we made it to bi-district as well and that was as far as we got so I really think that this year we can make it to area,” he said. “That would be a really cool whole new experience.”