Every practitioner is still learning their craft until the day they stop doing their job.
Sound Designer, Composer and Lecturer
After studying science at uni, I went on to do a course in sound engineering and production at Glasgow Kelvin College (formerly Stow College). Having been involved in theatre for years as a kid this was the obvious career direction for me. I got a job as a casual technician in a council venue then taught myself how to light shows. Lecturing part-time means I can still pursue a freelance career and still regularly sound design and compose under the banner of Off Beat Sounds, as well as production managing.
I have worked on a lot of really cool projects with some awesome people. Also made some of my closest friends through my job, but one of the highlights has to be being asked to compose and sound design for a festival production at the National Theatre in London. It is still my favourite theatre venue, and it was a massive honour to have my work put on there.
For me it’s not a case of a specific person that inspires me, but more the people who are willing to take risks in the work they produce. I have had the pleasure of working with a lot of young up and coming theatre producers in Glasgow who have fresh ideas and really challenge the way you think about your work.
As far as lecturing is concerned it’s the moment when you can tell you have really inspired someone to produce something great. You can almost hear the penny drop. It’s a pretty similar feeling to seeing an audience getting really into a show that you have been part of creating. There’s a huge amount of satisfaction there, and it makes all the long days and late nights worth it.
Don’t take everything you are told for granted! As a technical lecturer it is never my intention to spoon feed my students all the information they will ever need. Every practitioner is still learning their craft until the day they stop doing their jobs. Take what your told, and use it to develop your own style. Also, respect your elders. This sounds really patronising, but don’t think because you have spent a couple of years training that that automatically makes you a designer. The only way to get that title is to earn it through practise and experience. That experience comes from watching the people who have been doing it for years already.
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