Recording Connection graduate Mike Messina: Guided by Passion and Opportunity
“I’ve honestly been interested in sound since I was like five years old,” says Mike Messina. “I just screw around with sound effects and music—sound effects from movies, video games, animation—I’ve been doing that most of my life…I’d put a sign on my [bedroom] door saying, “Recording session in progress, do not disturb.'”
Looking for learning opportunities wherever he could find them, Mike wound up volunteering to help with live audio at a local community theater, and even took a year of community college, but it wasn’t enough to feed his passion.
Then he discovered that the Recording Connection would put him in a real recording studio.
“My mother and I were looking at other colleges, [and] I found the Recording Connection,” he says. “We were like, ‘Oh my God, do other people know about this?’”
Mike enrolled in the program, and found himself learning one-on-one with Sax DMA at the noted Terminus Studios in the heart of New York City. “He’s one of the best teachers known to man,” says Mike. “If anyone gets hooked up with Sax, they’re going to have the best time with him because seriously he knows everything there is to know [about] being a studio engineer.”
So hungry was Mike to get the most out of the experience that he completed two apprenticeships (externships) with Sax—the basic Recording Connection program, and the advanced master’s program. “Once you’re in the master’s program, you pretty much have all the knowledge that you’ve retained [in the basic program],” says Mike, “and then you basically just put it all to the test, especially when it comes to gathering clientele, producing your own music, producing other people’s music that you work with. It’s just a lot of fun.
Now graduated, Mike is building his career, and is continuing to let his passion guide him to opportunities for work, both in and out of the studio. His experience with live theater has come back to serve him again, not only with a stint with an off-Broadway production of Hair, but more recently as an opportunity to oversee the live audio for one of the nation’s most prestigious arts camps!
“I was hired as lead sound engineer at Long Lake Performing Arts Camp in upstate New York,” says Mike. “I will be designing and engineering the rock shows, the classic symphony and the musicals. I’m very excited!”