In an industry with such fierce competition as professional
audio, most of us are quite thankful for all of our achievements,
and opportunities, which come our way. In almost any situation,
even situations where we think we have it tough, there are
a myriad of aspiring and out of work engineers just salivating
for the chance to be in our shoes.
To my absolute amazement, awhile back, I ran across a post
on a pro audio web site where a touring engineer with over
25 years of experience, proceeded to complain endlessly about
work. He also spent a great amount of effort insulting a certain
segment of our industry that work very hard in the trenches.
Almost every sentence in his post started out with "I'm
" As a female engineer in this industry
who is looking for steady work in a slowing economy, I found
This engineer is currently on a shed tour and faces the horrible
ramifications of doing a "club tour" this fall,
which he goes on the state that he is "dreading".
His reasons? Well, he seems to think that clubs use his riders
as "toilet paper". He claims that club technicians
do little more than drink beer and socialize with friends.
Can you believe that they provided him with Presonus Gate/Comps
instead of Drawmers? Unbelievably, it gets much worse, and
he actually attached his full name to this masterpiece.
While he complains and dreads his upcoming work, many out
of work engineers received similar messages to the following:
We have decided
not to pursue another A1 position at this time, because
the downturn in the economy. Thanks again for your interest.
In the case of this retraction, the opportunity occurred
only a week after posting the open position, which is located
in a very hot market for vacationers and business travelers.
Now if this isn't a sign of our times, I don't know what is.
Production companies are obviously either downsizing or sitting
tight in hopes of holding on for a more prosperous day. Every
day we see a new example of this trend in newspapers, trade
magazines, and web sites worldwide. Meanwhile, our friend
"dreads" his upcoming tour. You can imagine my lack
of compassion for our touring friend.
I was approached by Roadogz.com to write something from a
woman's perspective. I was asked if women still have a hard
time breaking into the business. That alone tells me things
are improving quite a bit. I think everyone has a hard time
breaking into our industry.
It has gotten much better for women wishing to work in the
audio industry, but the glass ceiling still firmly holds in
place for the most part. I have experienced the ricochet from
the glass ceiling many times throughout my 10 years in live
sound. It definitely is not an easy business regardless of
who you are or what experience you may have. However, getting
your deserved slice of the pie as a woman in the audio business
is something I continue to struggle for.
I found quite a few inaccuracies and items to which I hold
strong disagreement in the article "This Is Woman's Work"
published in this month's issue of Pro Sound News. I found
it to be quite arrogant and pompous on the behalf of the businesswomen
interviewed for the piece. I worry that articles such as this
one stagger the efforts of the working female engineer. I
personally run a web site and organization for women in audio,
Women In The Audio Industry, which equally welcomes everyone
and simply motivates networking of women in the industry.
I would never allow someone to quote me on Pro Audio being
"Woman's Work", and I take as much offense to that
as if it were quoted as "Man's Work". I believe
this article seriously portrays women in pro audio in a negative
light and does a great injustice to representing the majority
of men and women in our industry. We all work hard and we
all deserve our slice of the pie based on merit. And for every
person in the audio industry, who currently dreads their upcoming
gig or finds his or her self to be superior to others, there
is an abundance of qualified hard working eager men and women
looking to take them out of their misery.
Amy B. Powelson