Within the last year, I have asked myself many times if I’m too old for this. Sure, I’m not 21 years old any more but am I too old? Should I be concerned about my age? Should I be bothered if others think I’m too old?! Well, many of my co-workers who were around when I started out 20 years ago are still touring and still dedicated and enthusiastic about their job as a sound engineer. I even know of some that are close to sixty and still touring.
At times I do feel a bit out of place, when I find my self being a lot older than my co-workers. But it helps to focus on the gig. Currently at Brit Row, I’m surrounded by a bunch a youngsters but when I walk into the classroom and it’s all about sound and I am able to forget about age, gender etc. So whenever I start to feel that I am too old or worry that others think I am too old, I look around and ask myself “Are you enjoying this? The answer is yes and I stop stressing about my age. I go out there and have fun with the things I am passionate about. And remember – Being the older one can have it’s positive sides as well! I mean, look you have all those years of life experience. You know more about what you want or what you don’t want etc. In addition, you can be more relaxed about certain things. Certain things that would have upset you 15 years ago, you now just let go of. You have learned what battles to fight and which ones to just leave alone. My advice is to have fun and follow your passions.
The first two days we were introduced to RF (Radio Frequency) and let me say this – RF Coordinators will not be out of work. Big productions often carry their own RF Coordinator to handle all wireless. Working with RF can be a challenge and that’s why every sound crew carrying a lot of wireless would love to have a RF Coordinator on tour. But don’t forget: If you are touring in Europe you need a RF license in both the UK and Germany. A well-known act recently received a 10,000 pound fine for not having a license in the UK.
Day three and four were dedicated to monitors and started simply with this sentence – “A monitor engineer has to be a people person”. You can be a very good monitor engineer, but if the band doesn’t like your attitude, they might not ask you back. Sometimes, if it’s not
working out with a band it may not be your technical skills, it could just be a lack of chemistry. In the lecture we went through a typical day on tour for a monitor engineer and we learned one important thing: Pay attention to the band – Watch the band – Not the console.
The last day of the week was band day. We had a five piece band come in, and we were divided up into pairs and worked either as a stage tech, ME, or FOH. I was stage tech together with Miguel. It was fairly normal for me, but it gave me an opportunity to pass some of my experience of to Miguel who hasn’t done stage before. It felt great to be able to share knowledge, and I hope Miguel is able to use the tips I gave him. And that was week six – now we are are halfway through the course.