When I was young and just beginning to think about who I wanted to be in the world I settled on the idea of becoming a sound engineer. I loved listening to music and to a lesser extent playing music. Even at a young age I knew I didn’t have the commitment or talent to become a professional musician, but I loved the whole idea of working in a creative field with people who loved music as much as I did.
Unfortunately I lived in a smallish city in Australia and the options for becoming a sound engineer were limited to say the least. There was only one recording studio and jobs in the music industry were few and far between. Somewhat naively, I sent off a few letters to all of the film companies and television and radio stations in Perth asking if they had a position for me. I was 15.
Funnily enough, I received two job offers. One was as a telecine operator at Channel 9, a job which I later found out was extremely boring. I didn’t even consider that taking job because it was located in a suburb way out in the sticks and I didn’t have a drivers licence.
The other position was for an editing assistant at a small production company in the city, and this was the job I took.
I soon found that the job entailed not only film and sound editing, but typing invoices, doing the banking, getting lunches and hauling around cameras and recording gear on location. It was an interesting way to start my career.
My interest in sound came to the fore again several years later when I took a position as a sound editing assistant at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation in Sydney, Australia. This job involved replacing dialogue, recording sound effects and laying music tracks for television dramas. It was fun and in those days it was all analogue which meant that every track was a physical entity and had to be created and carried from the editing room to the sound mixing studio. The tracks were then laced up on big machines (dubbers) and mixed down into a single sound track. This is all done digitally now.
Since then I’ve had a lot of other jobs, some creative and some less so, but my recent foray into podcasting represents a return to something I’ve always had a yen for.