HomeCity NewsLocal Scholar Embraces the Sound of Her Passion

Local Scholar Embraces the Sound of Her Passion

First published in the Sept. 3 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

Zoe Cannon held a camera for the first time at 6 years old. Each moment she pointed the device’s lens and pressed the shutter, the young girl captured more than just photographs — she also cultivated a longstanding interest in various aspects of media.
Taking photos in her childhood set the stage for Cannon to eventually explore the process of recording and editing videos, which sparked a desire to delve into a niche area of study she wasn’t as familiar with: audio.
“I didn’t always have a passion for sound, but I had a passion for getting to know what sound was and the more I learned, the more I liked it,” said Cannon, who is currently a Loyola Marymount University senior majoring in recording arts.
“I think all the skills I’ve developed stems from growing up in a time when technology is being rapidly developed and combining that with my passion for media,” she said.
Cannon, a Crescenta Valley High School graduate, was one of 40 students nationwide chosen by the Television Academy Foundation to participate in its 2022 summer program, which matched her with an eight-week, paid sound internship at Smart Post West, a post-production audio company.
“It was an incredible honor to have an internship with the Television Academy Foundation,” Cannon said. “To me, the academy represents excellence on- and off-camera. I am blessed to know that the people who recognize this excellence also see it in me. I feel like all my hard work has paid off.
“Being selected inspired a lot of confidence in myself, my work and my skill set knowing that they saw my passion and my drive,” she added. “I felt privileged to be part of such a competitive and prestigious program.”
Cannon said the program gave her a glimpse into the world of entertainment that school doesn’t always teach.
“I’ve learned a lot of technical skills at school, but there’s a lot of stuff students don’t learn in the classroom like how the industry works, the importance of building relationships, the depth of responsibilities in each role and the work that goes into each task,” Cannon said.
“I also learned how to brand myself while I’m giving an elevator pitch, what it takes to make a film from the pitch to the distribution phase and what networks and studios do behind the scenes,” she added.
Although a career in media might have seemed like a clear path, Cannon said up until she applied to colleges in high school she was on track to be a nurse practitioner.
“It seems like a total 180, but not really because I’m able to help people, just in a different way,” Cannon said. “I feel like my leadership style is more supportive than directorial, so being that support for films and being able to add another element of creativity to someone’s project really appealed to me.”
Cannon’s ties to her identity as an Asian American woman in a male-dominated field fuels her drive to be successful and represent the communities she holds closely.
She was born in China and was adopted as an infant by an American family who moved to Southern California and currently resides in La Crescenta.
“I represent all of these identities that I align with but those don’t define me — but they are a part of me,” Cannon said. “Being a minority in the industry, it makes me very aware of my own communities. Within the freedom I’m given, I’d like to uplift the voices of others as well.”
Cannon recalled being nervous about joining her host company. However, she said her positive experience empowered her to embrace her abilities in an industry that she may not always she herself reflected in.
“As a woman and woman of color, I know I’m a minority entering an industry notorious for being white-male dominated,” Cannon said. “I was a little apprehensive, but going into the internship, my co-workers made me feel welcome.
“I think I’m very lucky that I’m coming into the industry at an age where people are aware and trying to change the industry for the better, especially when it comes to hiring women, highlighting their talent and realizing the added value they contribute within the workplace,” she added.
Cannon said she looks forward to making her mark in the industry after graduating from university. She has her sights on becoming an automated dialogue replacement supervisor and aspires to one day win an Emmy.
“I’m exactly where I want to be,” she said. “I can see myself being happy doing this down the line years and years from now.”

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