Part 2 Sennheiser PRO TALK with Colin Pink and Gareth Fry
Colin and Gareth give their advice about what it takes to “make it” as a sound engineer.
Gareth: “I think there’s no one path into becoming a sound designer particularly in theatre. I think lot’s of different people have arrived there for different paths whether it’s coming in from the sort of music recording world or coming in from other aspects of theatre or from rock and roll or whatever is every everybody seems to have come in slightly differently which means there’s a real sort of diversity and vibrancy to the community of sound designers because that everybody does it slightly differently and uses the technologies differently and has a different sort of approach and different interests into what sort of work they’re trying to do which is really good. I think for anybody who’s interested in coming into the field the best advice I can give is to be nice to work with that there are loads and loads of really talented people out there. If you’re not a nice person to work with then people won’t employ you and so that’s the key to getting, to making a career in the industry is to be a good collaborator. Be somebody who’s nice to work with passionately, yeah it doesn’t mean don’t be passionate, but it means you have to invest that passion as somebody who is a good collaborator to work with.”
Colin: “The industry is full of very many different people and as you say that’s a great thing and what tends to happen is teams are formed throughout your career. You know there are certain people you work well with and certain people you don’t, be it you a style issue or just a character thing and people form quite close-knit teams and then you get a whole shorthand that’s why experienced teams seem to get on very well and can work quickly together and therefore make a better product. It’s because they’ve all learned how to respect each other and each other’s views and I think the important bit to that is it’s important to know what you’re not very good at. We all have our skills and they’re sort of known but it’s really important to know what you’re not good at and what you should try and trust other people with or delegate to, and not be scared of that. I think when people start off in the industry obviously they want to prove a point and they want to be seen to be very good. Actually the older you get the easier it is to admit I’m really bad at that bit, you know whatever that is and that doesn’t matter because everyone’s a specialist and as long as you’re really good at something you know you’ll be fine and I just say do not fear being bad at things and admitting that because that way you end up doing the things that you’re really good at and you end up not doing the things you’re not very good at and that’s better for everyone.”
Colin: “ You know being easy to get on with is exactly right because most people you will want to work with have already established their teams. To be able to get into those teams you need to be easy to get along with. The problem for anyone up-and-coming is how do you get your foot in the door and you won’t get your foot in the door by being you know an opinionated rigid thinker. You’ll get your foot in the door by going I want to work with these bunch of experts and I’m going to bring the little that I know to that and I will try and get on and learn what I can from them. That way you get your foot in the door and then people start to get to know you that helps your CV so that other up-and-coming directors producers or whatever who haven’t formed teams go well this guy’s working with these guys therefore they’re probably worth taking a punt on.”
Gareth: “Those people come in on work experience and they’re able to demonstrate that they’re a nice person to work with that you know they’re able to keep relaxed in a pressurized situation and so when people are looking a new team member you know because somebody’s unavailable or whatever that is, then they will start looking around and because they’ve seen yeah they’ve experienced that person in the flesh and know that they’re a nice person that they will give that person a call over a complete stranger because there is that personal connection there there’s that knowledge that they’re a good person to work with so getting work experience is a really good way of being able to demonstrate your ability to work within a team.”