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Live performance Work experience

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Live performance Work experience

Postby dsk1990 » Tue Apr 10, 2012 2:45 pm

Hi guys first poster here.

I am currently finishing my third and final year in music at college and im taking a year out due just to get some full time work and money.

I want to work as an audio technician with live performances such as festivals, gigs and theaters but also in TV. I know there is a lot of areas i can just go look and ask but i've tried places and they're turning me down flat. i just dont know where to apply.

I currently live in the Bolton/Manchester area. has anyone got any good suggestions or advice to help me where i want to go?

Thank you in advance

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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby Peeb » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:52 pm

Why not do a search for function/party bands in the NW and offer your services? You'll get great experience of a range of rigs and you never know you might earn a bit of pocket money!
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby Polaris » Sat Apr 14, 2012 10:45 pm

Greetings

Getting work experience in this industry is getting harder and harder. When I started out I approached Local PA companies doing big shows, think 1500 cap venues. I worked for them for 4 years while learning the ropes once they were confident in me and needed staff they then hired me (on a freelance basis, had to set up my own business and maintain my own accounts etc). I also worked for a club band doing the club circuit while gaining experience and building my reputation.

I was lucky. I was in the right place at the right time. Go to local shows, meet local PA people and offer to help out.

These days most of the bigger companies wont take on "Free workers" because of the insurance issue. If they let you work and you do something and someone gets hurt your not covered under their insurance. most PA company workers are freelance and carry their own Public liability insurance. It may be a step to get some yourself and tell them you have your own and would work shows to gain experience. This would get you passed that big issue. £5million coverage is the normal these days. I have been asked for up to £15mill before though.

There is another route you can take. Look for local venues and start on crew...... get to know the PA company people that way be the best member of crew who is always there. Ask questions and have some business cards to hand out to them. Make friends, add people on facebook and make a reputation for yourself as being good at your job. Be attentive and helpful and people will remember you.

Most crews are willing to offer advice and teach you a few things.

Good luck out there!

Kim Watson
--------------------
www.polarisaudio.co.uk
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby Beat Poet » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:26 pm

Is actually doing sound your ultimate goal dsk1990? I've seen a number of guys make it through teching, from which they've progressed to monitors, then FOH.
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby The Red Bladder » Sun Apr 15, 2012 1:48 pm

The fact that you are only NOW starting to look for links within the industry does not fill an employer with confidence, TBH.

You also have not mentioned what you are studying and what aspects of audio you want to work in. Systems engineering is a hot topic right now, as digital distribution becomes the norm.

I have friends in the P.A. and lighting industry and they all speak of a skills shortage, but not in fader pushing! They also speak of a flood of CVs from students attending inappropriate courses, such as music technology.
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby Moses » Sun Apr 15, 2012 4:12 pm

Edinburgh festival?
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:41 am

Moses wrote:Edinburgh festival?

We want to see the travel agent!
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby aekoi » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:14 pm

I think you have a good chance of getting work experience. Thats how I started out. I worked for one venue for several months, and one big company on a big festival. This lead to paid work from both.

The skills you need are those you need for any job: common sense and being presentable, punctual and polite.

The company I work for allows work experience (not near you) but there seems to be more stoners and dreamers than genuine candidates, so make sure you're not one of those. Good luck.
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby clube » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:11 pm

Just as for performers, churches are actually terrific training grounds for this kind of work experience - and you'll be welcomed and appreciated far more than elsewhere.

Whilst this may not seem to be an ideal match, it will give you genuine experience in live band and speech mixing - most modern churches are getting quite heavily dependent on hi-tech audiovisual and have bands with drums, bass, keys, wind, string and guitars as well as singers. Speech micing includes fixed and radio, and much of all this will need to be recorded, so there's great scope. The music is often pretty good and there are some great musicians out there serving churches.

You should look to the less traditional churches and perhaps the bigger ones. Contact them and tell them what you're looking for. A good attitude will reward you with invaluable experience and an opportunity to develop some good stuff to put on your CV. And if you're fortunate enough to find a good Bible-teaching church, the sermons will be interesting too!
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Re: Live performance Work experience

Postby The Red Bladder » Mon Apr 16, 2012 2:31 pm

Harpo and Chico Marx learnt to play music in New York brothels. Chico was the better pianist (and at 15 a year older) so he went in to do the audition, but Harpo played the gig, as they looked almost identical. Because Harpo only knew two tunes, he got fired on the first night and was paid off for the whole week.

The days of live music in such institutions are sadly gone.
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