Geoff Goodwin is Building a Future that Burns Bright with mentor Brian Stephens
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When RRF students make the choice to commit themselves fully to the experience of apprenticeship, giving it their all, they often end up having a relationship with their mentor that reaps dividends (both creatively and financially) for years to come. Recording Connection graduate Geoffrey Goodwin is proof-positive that when you give it your all and impress your mentor, great things can happen in a relatively short period of time.
On the subject, Geoff’s mentor, Brian Stephens of BonzoTunes Studio in Atlanta, GA says, “Geoff was easily the best apprentice I have ever had in the 14 years that I have been training students through Recording Connection’s mentoring program… He was so good that after completion of his time here that I’ve hired him as a paid assistant on many sessions.”
Geoff has been equally impressed with Brian’s level of mentorship. “Brian has been absolutely fantastic to work with, both from the standpoint of ‘making industry connections’ and also just in terms of his actual skills and expertise in studio. He’s been instrumental in getting me connected and also giving me the hands-on experience that I think is really going to be important in my overall success as a sound engineer.”
But this professional relationship goes beyond just mentor-apprentice. Geoff even playfully mentions the way he’s now got the hookup thanks to working with a bona fide pro. “(Brian’s) constantly passing me opportunities to pick up jobs where possible, sending me links to important articles, telling me when and where gear is on sale, those sorts of things.”
Up next, Geoff will be assisting Brian on one of the BonzoTunes larger gigs: recording a 30-piece orchestra and 150-person choir, all on-location. After that, the duo will mix it back in the studio.
Brian has also got Geoff doing a weekly gig. He says, “I’ve hired Geoff to run front-of-house sound for me every week in one of the secondary performance rooms on campus at my Sunday church gig. Having Geoff mixing sound in one of our smaller rooms is just like having a clone of myself there on campus every single week. He’s fabulous on that weekly gig, and every one of the musicians on that live gig really enjoy working with him.”
But it isn’t all roses. In fact, “making it” means putting in the time and going above and beyond the norm. Because the work with Brian is part-time to start, Geoff’s also working a regular 9-5 job that will enable him to pay the bills and put away some money for what he’s got planned. Geoff says, “My goal in a year’s time is to open up a home studio, I say home studio but I mean to make it a very professional home recording environment.”
So how did Geoffrey sound when we called him up for this interview? Happy and maybe a bit tired but that tremor in his voice is unmistakable–this guy was made to do this work! When we ask him how he feels about the future he’s building he says, “I feel great about it. You guys have been great to work with. I’m glad I found you guys online. That’s what ultimately sealed the deal and hopefully changed the course of my professional career for good.”
Want to know what it takes to be a stellar apprentice and asset to the profession of audio engineering and music production? Geoff is who you want to emulate. Listen to the pro who’s spending their valuable time teaching you what they love. Foster a great relationship with your mentor and there’s no telling how far it can take you. When you’re really dedicated, you can fast become a valuable asset to your mentor. Such was the case for Brian who now has full confidence in Geoff as someone who can do the work just the way he himself would handle it. On that note, Brian says, “I just wish that more up-and-coming engineers were as dedicated to learning their craft as Geoffrey has been.”
Still wondering what it takes to build a bright future in audio?