Here is part two of my interview with Eric, a recording studio producer. I have to say, this is my personal dream job. Maybe someday…
So how did you get into this career?
I was incredibly fortunate. It was really good timing. Sort of random, but sort of not. When I moved back from Germany, I started managing my friend’s band. And they ended up recording an album here. The album took 9 months to mix. I was just here all the time. And, at that time, I had my own little marketing and design agency with [a friend]. The owner here was looking for somebody to come on board and sort of be his right-hand guy.
We just hit it off. He brought me on sort of as a contract, temporary sort of thing. And it just worked out really, really well. If there’s a lesson to be learned from how I got this job, it’s that I was doing something that I really wanted to do but didn’t necessarily see a career in. I never imagined myself even in the music industry at all, let alone – I mean, I’d always been interested in audio stuff, for sure, and that’s what I always thought I was going to go into was radio. But I was managing the band because I wanted to do that, and I was fortunately in a financially comfortable position where I didn’t have to worry about making a living at it. I was just doing it. And everything just sort of fell into place.
I recently attended the inaugural edition of The Blogcademy, a workshop on how to be a professional blogger from Gala Darling, Kat Williams (Rock n Roll Bride), and Shauna Heider (Nubby Twiglet). Now, while the dream is alive of someday having a job that is more task-focused rather than punching the 40-hour-per-week clock, I don’t know that I’ll ever manage to be a professional blogger. I’m quite inspired to try, now, though!
Attending this workshop was amazing. Here are three women who are living the dream – doing work that they are passionate about; that doesn’t feel arduous or painful or that they wake up in the morning dreading. Sounds fabulous, right?
Describe your job – what does a producer do?
One of the things that I love about it is that there’s no such thing as a typical day. Every day is completely different. So I’ll work on – well, today is probably as good of example as anything else. So I started the day working on finalizing an album project for a band – the final stages of mixing the last couple songs, and getting that all together before that goes out for mastering.
Then I jumped into a music search for a documentary film. They are looking for music from both independent artists as well as needle drop library music. We do a lot of licensing of both of those kinds of music. Music supervision is the job role [there]. And that’s one of my favorite things to do. It’s really fun. I do it more often for ads than for films, but it’s really fun to get to do it on films. I got to supervise the music for this full feature that we are going to finish tomorrow, and it’s just – it’s really fun to get to sort of just have that much creative control over a film, ‘cause it really – the music totally steers your emotions. And especially this was a really emotional topic. It was about school teachers who go travel to Africa to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro, and they go visit orphanage, and all sorts of other things. It’s one of the most creative parts about the job, and I just love being able to do it. And we’ve done probably 7 or 8 features already this year, which has been great.
How did you get into this career?
I definitely was a child of people who were quite socially active and socially conscious. I grew up going to all kinds of rallies and things with my mom, and my grandma, and my dad majored in Black Studies in the 1950s when it was pretty much unheard of. So, I grew up in a fairly socially conscious household.
For me, it was always about, not do I enjoy what I do, like editing facilitator guides in a quiet room, but I enjoy the fact that it is part of a social change. So, when it came to “what I want to be when I grow up,” in college I chose an interdisciplinary degree, so I was a liberal arts major, which contributed to my ability to write and think critically and analyze issues, and I volunteered.
One thing that is quite important that people can sell short is that volunteering can absolutely be a pathway to work. You get exposed to an organization and you get exposed to developing skills and knowledge.
Janelle has worked for a number of non-profit organizations in many roles. Her most recent job has taken her to Queensland, Australia.
What is your title?
I work for Family Planning, Queensland, and my title is Director of Communications.
Tell me a little bit about your job – what is it that you do?
We are a total reproductive health organization. One of the central functions is communication, and we manage all aspects – internal communications, external communications, media, which consists of both proactive and reactive communications. I will respond to articles or interviews with people that we think are presenting misinformation, or provide another side of an issue that we want to have an opportunity to communicate about; or, something we want to specifically communicate about.
We are currently launching the publication of a book around understanding and responding to sexual behaviors in children, and so we are lining up a bunch of interviews nationally and locally to talk about what’s normal, what’s not, how to protect kids from childhood sexual abuse, and inform parents about normal sexual development and that sexuality is a normal part of growing up.
This is part two of my interview with Christie, who is a freelance science writer for publications such as Health, Smithsonian, and Slate.
How did you get into this career?
I always thought I was going to become a scientist. Right after college I wasn’t quite ready for grad school, so I did some research jobs, and then I started thinking about actually applying for a Ph.D. program, and the problem was that I couldn’t – when you apply for a Ph.D. program it is really specific. Some project, or some little thing. And I just couldn’t do that. It just shows that I am a generalist, and the thought of studying one little thing for five years, or something, just did not appeal to me. So, I kind of bounced around to a few different research jobs, in part because I thought, “well, maybe I’ll try this other thing; maybe that will be the thing that will really captivate me and be the thing that I want to do my Ph.D. in.” It just didn’t happen. I was still really interested in science, but the things I liked about it were talking about science and speaking about it. I actually realized that I didn’t enjoy doing it so much, like, the actual data collection can be really tedious and not that interesting.