My first paid job was a real challenge. I know how a PA system works and how to make it if it doesn’t, but being put responsible for the construction, deconstruction and operation during one of the biggest folk festivals in Europe, is a big weight on the shoulders.
It’s actually a former teacher that got me in. Most of the class had applied for the job but I’m the one who got it. Needless to say, this guy rather digs me.
He’s been at it for years and years, though. He works with festival-size systems, using digital PA tables that are smarter than you and I combined. For him, 6 active speakers with a 1990 Soundcraft table attached is nothing, so I don’t think he really knows what the big deal is.
Me, I’m a 26-year old kid who just learned how a mixing desk works. It may look like it, but when I’m building this thing, I don’t really know what I’m doing. When seven musicians climb on stage and I’m supposed to mic, wire, test, problem-solve and mix that bitch by myself, I don’t really feel like I can handle it. So, I always take a moment to tell myself “Chill. You can do this.” and get busy.
The organizer of the events on my floor was very impressed so I suppose I did okay. He recommended me with my contacts there and wrote down my number in case he’s ever a techie short.
To have tackled this challenge so soon after wandering out of school certainly gives an immense confidence boost. It was a 6-day journey from “I’ll just get started and see what happens” to “another day at the office.” I performed well under extreme time pressure and didn’t have to call my teacher with any stupid questions, who had better things to worry about. All in all, I think it went just about as well as it could have.
…Give or take.
So this is where the favors end. I’m on my own now. A kid with some knowledge on stage technics, sitting in his living room: A career man. Doesn’t have a system, or even a driver’s license. What he does have, is an insatiable lust for knowledge and challenge, and a passion for work and music. Those are my advantages and I’ll have to exploit them to the fullest.
What might prove a problem, is my perpetual laziness. I’m not lazy in the sense that I find it difficult to lift my ass, but taking the initiative has always been an issue for me. Sending around resumes and harassing people might pay off in the long run, but it’s not really my style.
Also, I like my free time. I enjoy the times where I can just do what I feel like (like, nothing) and not have to worry about a single thing. Once this thing kicks off, those days are pretty much over. I don’t want them to be over. I want to laze around and chase skirt and do stupid shit. In short, this is grown-up stuff and I don’t want to grow up.
We all have our lives within our hands, but I never had to deal with this kind of concrete decisions. Good thing is though, I’ll get in as far as I choose: I can always ease up if it gets too much. I like that.
With the vast amount of possibilities and the big difference between them, there’s no telling where I’ll be in 3 months from now, let alone next year. But here’s something I promised myself today: I’ll enjoy it. I will like my job because if I don’t, I’ll do something else- start from scratch if I must.