Monday, March 5, 2012

Handing It Down

I got a call from a woman I work with in the theatre scene a couple nights ago.  She had stepped up to direct the annual musical at my Alma mater and the kids mixing it were in need of some help.  Let me get into the back story a little.

When I was in school, teching the show meant pushing a very limited set around on a very limited stage; or if you were in lighting you were either on the follow spot or turning on the fluorescent strips over the stage.  That was it.  Eventually the school got some grant money and built a proper theatre but the money ran out before the sound system was complete.

So for quite a few years they used to hire me to mix their stuff and I would always grab some kids and teach them a few things.  After a while they got some more grant money and hired me to finish installing the system and that was it for me for a while.  But here's where things got interesting to me.

The kids I taught took it upon themselves to not only instruct the kids coming up behind them, but also to learn additional tricks and techniques and pass those on as well.  I dropped in last year to do a quick fix and the TD (technical director) at the time hollered for all her techs to follow me around and learn what they could.  I explained the trouble and how I fixed it and then went on to walk through the system with them and outline some of the finer points of mixing.  Every step of the way they already knew what I was talking about.  The kids I taught had taught them well.

How gratifying.

I got a call for another quick fix and found that the girl mixing the show was one of the last kids I taught about six years ago when she was just starting junior high.  She was right on top of things and when I laid out some fairly hard to grasp concepts about busing and compression she got right a hold of them and even drafted an assistant to watch the thresholds for her.  

So yeah, this is basically a call out to all the young, aspiring sound dudes I've ever encountered.  Two high school girls just got their wings on busing and comps in fifteen minutes!  Time to get on your game men.  Till next time, wishing all my Brethren of the Knob and Fader a happy trip down memory lane.  (Got any to share? Hit me up!)

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