Meeting Topic: Careers in Audio: What's your connection?
Moderator Name: Jay Dill
Speaker Name: Ted Chandler, Markey's Rental & Staging; Lesley Ann Fogle, AES Columbus Section Chair; Paul Kavicky, Columbus Association for the Performing Arts
Meeting Location: virtual (Zoom)
This joint virtual meeting of the Indiana and Columbus, OH sections began with introductions from the diverse group of panelist. Paul Kavicky serves as the head of audio-video production at Columbus Association for the Performing Arts (CAPA), where he serves as department head for audio at show sites where audio is produced internally. Ted Chandler worked his way through the hierarchy of Markey's, ranging from driver to on-site audio technician, and most recently as Training and Development Manager. In addition to her work in location sound and audio post production, Lesley Ann Fogle also serves as adjunct faculty at Capital University's music technology program where she coordinates student internship experiences.
The discussion began with Markey's internship program, which focuses on immediate hands-on application of audio skills, but quickly expands to other trades such as video and lighting. CAPA's internship program typically places participants at a smaller (500-seat) theatre where production is handled in-house. Both allow interns to learn the intangibles of work pacing and inter-department coordination. Certain audio skills are assumed, but an intern shines through a strong work ethic, contentiousness, people skills, and a focus on accomplishing the task at hand. For Markey's having a secondary knowledge in staging, lighting, video, or others can also be a huge asset. All agreed that applying knowledge to new situations and troubleshooting were also important.
Preparation for an internship is critical, as well. Leslie starts students by conducting research about companies before reaching out about an internship. Persistence and proper self-presentation are key components, as well. A well-formed resume and cover letter showing effort are important, and presenting a professional image with appropriate dress and punctuality is critical. For Paul, applicants may be brought on for a single gig to showcase both hard and soft skills.
An intern's duties vary, as well. For both CAPA and Markey's, interns not only focus on their production specialty, but will also expand in their range of experience to other disciplines. Hands-on work begins on day one with the expectation that interns both work and observe, and may quickly find themselves serving a role within a production, given the right attitude and skillset.
The session concluded questions from the audience. Questions touched on topics such as unpaid internships, opportunities for military veterans and less client-facing roles within the industry, and ways to make yourself stand out on the job.
Written By: Brett Leonard