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Author Topic: "Age-ism" In Live Sound  (Read 13257 times)

John Roberts {JR}

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2015, 05:54:00 pm »



Like I said earlier, I know him and the company pretty well, so that isn't the issue, and I still do work for them, in A1/A2 positions, but there always seems to be a bit of trepidation on their end about me taking the call, and every so often, I run into the scenario like in my original post. As I said, this is only with one of the companies I work for, and actually one specific individual, so I'm not sure how to handle the situation without doing any kind of damage.
Sounds like a personal problem.

JR
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Cailen Waddell

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2015, 06:25:45 pm »


Sounds like a personal problem.

JR

Agreed -

The adult way to handle this is to call the guy and ask to stop by say "hi I've noticed that there seems to be some trepidation with giving me certain work.  I wanted to ask if there is a skill set that you feel I need to further develop or a specific concern I need to address in order to get the work".  If the boss man gives you a straight answer then you have things to improve on (if you want to improve yourself).  If he obfuscates, then he isn't going to give you a straight answer and nothing on your part is going to change that and you need to move on. 

I generally have a group of pretty young people working for me at any one time.  I have worked with 19 year old a who act 30 and 30 year olds that act 19.  I will not always match a young person up with a high school group.  Sometimes the age gap makes it hard for the person to have the authority they need.   That said I always try to match the person to the gig who will do the best job. 


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Tim Tyler

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2015, 07:32:24 pm »

Haha...

Maybe Evan Kirkendall will see this post...

Young guy about 16 all full of p*ss & vinegar posted here some years ago... might just have the road map for you.

Cheers,

-Tim T
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Brandon Scopel

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2015, 08:33:56 pm »

I am 18, (started at 12 with some mackies) and I do a lot of freelance work too. In June I started as a general hand for a local AV company doing non sound stuff like building screens and drape. I then got friendly with the people who normally did sound and assisted them. After awhile they trusted me, and they call me quite often to A1. Some of the higher profile stuff they will want to have an adult running because no one trusts kids😀.

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eric lenasbunt

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2015, 08:43:55 pm »


Agreed -

The adult way to handle this is to call the guy and ask to stop by say "hi I've noticed that there seems to be some trepidation with giving me certain work.  I wanted to ask if there is a skill set that you feel I need to further develop or a specific concern I need to address in order to get the work".  If the boss man gives you a straight answer then you have things to improve on (if you want to improve yourself).  If he obfuscates, then he isn't going to give you a straight answer and nothing on your part is going to change that and you need to move on. 

I generally have a group of pretty young people working for me at any one time.  I have worked with 19 year old a who act 30 and 30 year olds that act 19.  I will not always match a young person up with a high school group.  Sometimes the age gap makes it hard for the person to have the authority they need.   That said I always try to match the person to the gig who will do the best job. 


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I like this response. I think the approach is "what skill(s) am I missing and do you have any suggestions or recommendations on how I can get there?" Saying this, meaning this, then proving that you hear it and are going to get after it on your own can be big. I too would suggest you ask if you can shadow on a gig you were turned down for or similar gig. And when I say shadow I mean that, keep quiet and do whatever is asked.

You are young and still relatively inexperienced. I have great freelancers and staff, but that being said I am thoughtful as to who I put on what gig. I have a great engineer that looks very rock and roll, I don't send him to high end corporate stuff as an A1. I have a tech that loves gospel but had literally never heard of folk music before working for me, he is not my first call for folk street festivals. All of my guys are willing to work whatever, but sometimes willingness does not equal best fit.

As someone else said though, keep being available and there will be the day all the "best fit" guys are unavailable and you will get your shot.
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Rick Powell

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2015, 10:50:45 pm »

My son is a 20 yr old audio engineer who has been doing it since he was 14 or 15, but having the benefit of dad's system to be able to hire out.  Most of our work is with my band, but I get calls now and again to bring the rig or do walk-ups, and I always bounce them to my son if I think it's something he's capable of.  Personal referrals and relationships are everything in this business (at every level) and the more people who know you, know of you, or have seen you in action, the bigger your network is.  With the particular issue at hand, other than the advice you've gotten so far, an endorsement of your work from a 3rd party who "anonymous boss" knows and trusts might be the thing to chip away at his distrust.  The next time you do get a gig from them, you might kindly ask the client to drop a good word or 2 to "anonymous boss" if the client was pleased with your work.
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Luke Geis

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2015, 01:46:57 am »

It's a tough business for two types of people.

1. Young people of unknown experience and training.

2. Unestablished individuals of unknown experience and training.

Point #2. pretty much blankets everything. You have to keep in mind your playing with other peoples investment and Millenials are not exactly building the best name for themselves work ethic wise. So a large investment sent out to a gig where professionalism and level of craft are important, don't often get newer talent placed on the gig. You also have to take into consideration your age and type of venue or event it could be. If there is any form of drinking involved, this may age you out? Keep in mind, a lot of doing sound is essentially adult babysitting....... The adult part being the key operative. A gig with a bunch of middle aged showboater's are probably not going to do well with a younger adult ( lets face it, a kid ) directing them. A hob nob event where the patrons are more aristocratic, will also not be as comfortable with young adults running the show. It has nothing to do with talent at that point.

Of unknown training is also another big deal. Most employers like things to be done their way, be it the best way or not. Ask five A1's how they would do it and you could get five different answers? The guy paying the wages probably thinks his way is the best and sending another out for a gig that needs covering while not trained the way they would prefer, may get looked over?

I luckily get hired by pretty much every sound company in my area and I think it's mostly cause they don't have to worry about how tidy I am and they know I will get the job done to the best it can be with what I am given to make it work. I am trained to a known degree and in most cases more qualified to do the job than those employing me. It took about 10 years to get to that point!
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Steve M Smith

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2015, 01:52:13 am »

I always pass people over to my son (who is now 21) for quotations.  He is much better with business negotiations than me.  I would probably do every event for a cup of tea and a couple of biscuits!


Steve.
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Bob Leonard

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #18 on: December 10, 2015, 06:47:14 am »

Sounds like a personal problem.

JR

I agree John. Personality plus age = only if we desperately need him. The OP needs to have an open and honest chat with his one time mentor.

In the case of the high school job I could see not hiring him based on his age for a number of factors that have nothing to do with him personally.
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David Allred

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Re: "Age-ism" In Live Sound
« Reply #19 on: December 10, 2015, 06:54:02 am »

Are you willing to intern to prove yourself, rather than not work?  On a passed-over-for job, ask if you can shadow the hiree.
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