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Sob story and question.

Member for

17 years 4 months
I really feel wierd with this post:

Well I got laid off today from my day job and sole income. My last day is December 3rd (me and my girlfriends anniversary). Crappy huh? Does anyone know of any studios in the Chicago area that will give me a fair shake at employment? I already tried talking to Studio Chicago a few months ago and that went over like a lead balloon.

I'll scrub toilets with my bare hands if I have to! I'm dead serious! I don't care if I never see a single piece of gear or work on a single project...I just want the opportunity to work in that environment and hopefully overhear useful pieces of info that I can apply in my home setup. I've been passionate about music since I was a little kid playing air guitar to my dad's Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd albums.

Sorry for the sob story. If you do have some advice or a direction to point me in and don't want to post it. Please email me art AT therecordingart DOT com

I'm also sorry to the moderators for this post...you can delete it if it isn't suitable for the forum. You can stop the violins now! :)

Art

Comments

Member for

17 years 2 months

LittleDogAudio Fri, 11/12/2004 - 19:18
Wow that's a shitty thing to happen. I guess quite a few people are hurting. I'm in Cleveland, officially the most impoverished city in the nation, so I see it everyday.

You have the passion and if you make yourself known, you will prevail.
Remember, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. It's a stupid old saying but, of all the many, many interns I've interviewed over the years, It's the one's that kept calling and calling and calling that got the position.

Here's hoping the best of luck to you.

Chris

Member for

17 years 4 months

therecordingart Fri, 11/12/2004 - 19:28
Yeah....an especially crappy day today. I feel so let down with Christmas coming up. The real kicker is that I'm only 22 and my mother is my dependent....not vice versa. I'm the one that brings in most of the bread and she gets paid cash so can't claim an income. She doesn't have insurance (can't afford it) and was diagnosed with a cancerous lump in July. She is my dependent on my tax return, and I still can't get grants for schooling! I see people who have parents that make great money and they get grants...go figure.

I was counting on making this Christmas a great one....I was going to buy my mom a new stereo because she loves blasting Frampton through the house every Sunday when she is cleaning. I was going to have that choir CD mastered for my girlfriend for our anniversary (Dec 3rd...the day of doom). Ah well....enough belly aching....I'm going to keep my head up and be the squeekiest f'ing wheel I can possibly be. I'm sorry for letting all this out in the forum guys....but I don't have anywhere else to let it out.

Thanks LittleDog!

Art

Member for

17 years 4 months

therecordingart Fri, 11/12/2004 - 20:04
I was looking around to master a recording of my girlfriends old choir. They did a tour through Canada and were recorded in a small church...bad recording, but probably one of the best performances I've ever heard hands down. She doesn't have the time to sing anymore and when she listens to this CD she just falls apart because it was such a huge part of her life. She hasn't taken the CD out of her CD player in over a year.

One person was kind enough to give me a great offer before this happened today, and I'm just going to wait out getting this mastered until her birthday in May rather than our anniversary.

Either way it will be just as special to her, and then I could pay a full price on mastering and not haggle a deal out of anyone. I hate haggling deals out of people.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Fri, 11/12/2004 - 21:13
Art, it might not be what you're looking for long term, but Chicago has a pretty busy Audio/Visual market for all the hotels and meetings there. (Been in that city a few times, plenty of great hotels with big ballrooms & convention areas.)

They may not advertise in your local yellow pages, but there's plenty of private AV companies that services these accounts and more. The hotels each have their AV departments as well; although they pay slave wages and make you work ridiculous hours. (Usually 6 a.m. crew calls for 8 a.m. meetings....)

I know you're looking for studio work per se, but you may be able to parlay your skills in a sideways move at least for now... AV companies still need good sound techs, lighting techs, whatever. It could be something to keep body and soul together - for now, till something better comes along.

With the holidays coming up, it might be a good time to get on board with some of these places, even as a day-hire, or outside contractor for hire. Day rates start at $200-250 per day, vs. lower hourly rates for full timers.

Good luck, man; keep us posted.....

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sat, 11/13/2004 - 10:47
I'm not intentionally piggybacking on your topic, therecordingart, but I have a question for Chris: you said that you live in Cleveland, yes? Have you heard anything about a place called Scorpio Audio based out of there? I have an opportunity for an internship that I'm still undecided on, so any feedback you'd want to give me will be appreciated.

Member for

17 years 2 months

LittleDogAudio Sat, 11/13/2004 - 11:45
I only know about them 2nd -hand.
I haven't heard any of thier work and I don't know the owners so I can't really say anything about them, good or bad.

I guess I would say in general- proceed with caution. The Cleveland recording studio scene has seen much better days. I've owned 4 different studios here over the last 22 years and things don't look very bright.

But, Cleveland is a cheap place to live and there are some nice neighborhoods to live in near downtown. It is a quickly shrinking city with many people leaving for the burbs.

If you need any referals, give me a call, I know most of the studio owners in town and I can give you an inside scoop.

Hope this helps,

Chris
888-LIL-DOGG

Member for

20 years 9 months

AudioGaff Sat, 11/13/2004 - 21:09
therecordingart, I would suggest that you take a look at mabe a job at one of the three Guitar Center's around there. Were not talking big money and it is a brutal job, but the resources for contacts and the potential for side business that can be done all under the table and without the IRS can lead you to something wonderfull given enough time and effort. Just a thought...

Member for

17 years 4 months

therecordingart Sat, 11/13/2004 - 22:48
Audiogaff....I was actually considering it because I live less than 2 miles from the one in Arlington Heights. I'm a regular there and they even know my voice over the phone...I know that's pretty sick! I've been stalking Guitar Center since I was 13. I have a few friends that work there so it is one of my options.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 11/14/2004 - 10:16
therecordingart -

I'm sorry to hear about all the negative things going on in your life right now. However, you sound like you're hangin in there and keepin your chin up and I think that's great! I wish you the best of luck with everything.

I was glad to see the responses that you received. These guys are great!

The music industry is not my field of expertise, so I can't help you there; I do deal with a lot of clients in Chicago,t hough, and I'd be glad to help you out in any way I could.

Tell me more about your schooling -- where you are wanting to go, what you are majoring in -- and what it is that is keeping you from getting funding. This is an area that I may be able to help you with.


:)

Member for

17 years 4 months

therecordingart Sun, 11/14/2004 - 13:09
I want to go to Columbia for Audio Engineering. My girlfriend goes to Columbia and I've been down there a few times and love it. The commute is easy (I'd just take the L). The instructors at Columbia in this field are awesome (so I'm told). I agree that everyone in this forum is awesome. I've never "met" such supportive people in my whole life. It really renews my faith in society.

Member for

21 years 2 months

Pro Audio Guest Sun, 11/14/2004 - 20:40
therecordingart wrote: Audiogaff....I was actually considering it because I live less than 2 miles from the one in Arlington Heights. I'm a regular there and they even know my voice over the phone...I know that's pretty sick! I've been stalking Guitar Center since I was 13. I have a few friends that work there so it is one of my options.

I'm also in the Chicago area, but just over the Indiana state line. There's a few places on the South Side, but it's very cliquey and political when it comes to getting intern, engineering, or contract work through them. It's very much a case of who you know, not what you know. But if you can get the connections, you can get set up pretty nice.

I second the Guitar Center recommendation, as I used to work at the Cicero store. I don't really know anyone up at Arlington Heights, unless Aaron is still up there.. but I haven't talked to that dude in over two years. The first month is pretty rough, because they have a really high turnover rate, and they really don't bother training you or helping you out, since they figure you're going to quit within three or four months anyway. The pay sucks in the beginning as well, because you're not able to do as much in commission as the vets. But if you stick with it, generally within two to three months, it can start to pay off. And you can't beat the networking you're able and encouraged to do.

It's just a little bit late to get a job there right now, but they still might be hiring anyway. The holiday season brings many things to GC.. lots of new hires, lots of money, and then a LOT of turnover. It's a madhouse, especially in the older stores, and they generally like to hire people by October so they're prepared and capable for the holiday rush. Of course, if you already know your stuff and you're able to pick things up quickly, you can probably pull it off.. but don't waste too much time with your decision, unless you're planning on starting after the New Year.

-TF

Member for

21 years 2 months

Guest Mon, 11/15/2004 - 07:14
Tigerfolly wrote: It's very much a case of who you know, not what you know.

You have no idea how much that statement bothers me... it's a pussy excuse for a job not done. It's all about who knows what you know and how well you present what you know to the people that need to know. If you don't meet the people that need to know just how the fuck do you suppose they're going to know that you exist or are competent?

Yes, there are a whole lot of incompetent motherfuckers rolling around that are "connected"... but it's because they present themselves in a manner that shows confidence. With that kind of presentation you can kinda snow anyone that you know what you're doing... and if you happen to actually know what you're doing you'll generally rise through the ranks even faster... know why? Because by knowing what the hell you're doing you make your employers look good, and the better you make your employers look the better they'll take care of you [if they're smart... if they don't take care of you their competitors will].

The better the work you do, and the more work you do, the more the word on you gets out on the street without you pushing it. This takes years of patience and persistance and a never ending quest to be better... but if you work your balls off, are diligent about learning, paying strict attention to detail, and doing the best work you possibly can... guess what? You get a career.

To "therecordingart" I don't know what your last gig was or how much you were making but I will guarantee you that you won't make enough as a "general assistant" / go-fer / "piss boy intern" to support a mother with health issues... and unless girlfriend is incredibly supportive, you can kiss that relationship goodbye as well.

Damn near every "full time" engineer I know has gone through at least one divorce. Your girlfriend/family is going to have to get very used not seeing you. You need to be prepared mentally and physically to work 15-18 hour days for months at a time with few to no days off [which ain't as easy as you think]. The people around you will have to get used to you missing things. I know one brother that missed his surprise birthday party because a session ran late... those kinds of things happen all the time.

While this somehow looks like a great "glamour gig" on the outside lemme tell ya that with the exception of maybe 1% of the engineers out there, it's a demanding gig with little or no thanks and pretty shitty money [for the 1%'ers it's an even more demanding gig but they make some pretty steep money and get heaps of praise].

I'm not trying to piss on your dreams... but sometimes a little reality goes a long way. If being an engineer is really something you feel you "have" to do... go for it. Call around to every studio and get a gig. If you show persistance [without becoming annoying... it's a fine line, learn to walk it] you'll get where you want to be. If working in a studio is what you really feel you want to do with your life, go for it... but remember, you pretty much get one shot, so don't fuck it up, and walk in knowing that the chances of actually sitting in "the chair" in under 3 years is somewhere between slim and none. If you don't mind being poor, uninsured, risk losing the little lady and not seeing your friends for the next lord knows how long... go for it.

If you think that you're going to be distracted by your Mom's health thing, then maybe you might want to wait before giving it a go. If you have any ideas about doing the nice suburban family life thing get a computer gig or something else that will have you home at night. At the moment engineering may seem to be something that would be a cool idea for a career, but very often it's better kept as a hobby that wraps around a more lucrative career

Sincerely, I wish you the best of luck with all you do.

Member for

17 years 5 months

JoeH Mon, 11/15/2004 - 08:05
Really enjoyed that one, Fletcher. (almost did a spit-take with my morning coffee over some of it! ;-)

I'm long-ago divorced, (18 happy yrs now!) and a veteran of many blown-out relationships from gf's who mistook my attention to details and getting the job done right as competition to them.

You're right about the timeline (3 yrs at best). It's been a cold sobering fact for decades, and it's only worse now. (Wanna sit in the big chair? Open your OWN facility, if you've got the $$$.)

I don't want to throw cold water on the guy's hopes, but it's dog eat dog out there even once you "make it," (whatever THAT is) and getting a toehold somewhere is only the start. Networking, good contacts, and perhaps even an 'indie" approach is better for those who have the belly for that kind of lifestyle. (One project following another, that is, without a net....)

Once in a while, ya catch the brass ring in this biz, and it's wonderful when it happens. But those who have won't be sharing much and aren't talking (cause they're holding on tight to it) and the rest have a pretty tough time. There's only so many "Big chairs" out there anyway.

Ya gotta love this biz, and love the projects you're working on, one at a time. Hopefully, you can at least make a living. Hopefully with a mate/spouse who's also making a living, so you don't nec. have to crawl & grovel most days.

Very few full timers can cut it, the rest, unfortunately, should have a good day job/parachute to cover 'em when things get lean.
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