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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #52 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

  #52 – Job Opportunities & Student Successes

Jimi Petulla & Brian Kraft can help you land a job in Recording, Radio/Broadcast, Film, or Culinary!

Here are just a few of the latest jobs & opportunities for RRFC students & graduates this week:  


  Click here to see full details on the jobs currently available. Visit the official RRFC Job Board for more opportunities, and check the RRFC Blog for news & updates!   Contact Student Services for more information on logging in.  


When Jimi and Brian get you learning as an apprentice on-the-job, it grows your skill set in ways you can’t experience anywhere else. Read below about a guitarist for a breakout band whose Recording Connection apprenticeship is adding a fresh element to his already thriving career!

Student Successes
  Dominic Cerna of The Taking adds to his engineering chops
with the Recording Connection
  Dominic CernaBy any standard of measure, guitarist Dominic Cerna is on his way up in the music industry. His Texas-based electro-rock act The Taking has worked with major L.A. music producers, the band recently landed a national management deal, and their highly anticipated debut album is slated for a February release. On top of all that, he’s anticipating a growing family, as he and his fiancée are expecting their first child. What more could a guy want?   Apparently, more.   “I’m a recording artist myself,” says Dominic, “and I’ve always been on the artist side of things, [but] always wanted to be on the engineering side of things, too.”   His desire to learn more about the engineering/recording process was piqued while The Taking was in Los Angeles working in the studio with producer Jeff Blue (Linkin Park, Hoobastank, Macy Gray). “Just watching the way they work as far as Pro Tools and Logic Pro X, they just really inspired me to do the same thing, you know…I just learned so many new tricks and just wanted to take it to the next level, as far as the engineering side, so I said, ‘What better way to do it than put myself into school and learn the ropes from ground zero?'”   Admittedly, going to school was going to present some challenges. In addition to recording and preparing a debut album for a major release, and the upcoming changes in Dominic’s family life, The Taking was being courted for a national management deal with T.J. Sagan, who manages major metal act Disturbed. “[T.J.’s] brother actually was driving out in LA and happened to hear us on the radio,” says Dominic. The band soon signed with T.J., opening the door to reach a wider audience (and of course, a greater time commitment).   GuitarsIn his search for an audio engineering school that would fit his unique situation, he came across the Recording Connection, where he was offered an apprenticeship in the studio with Mark Sinko of Salmon Peak Recording in San Antonio. The opportunity to learn in a recording studio near where he lived, he says, pretty much sealed the deal for him. “Mark Sinko’s place is literally ten minutes down the street from my place,” says Dominic. “This option was just clearly so much better, a lot more convenient, and I think it really worked really well in the end.”   Another aspect of the program that helped Dominic immensely was the availability of the curriculum online, so he could study remotely when not working in the studio with Mark. “It really helped a lot,” he says. “I would study all day, all night…I could be anywhere I wanted to and still learn everything, and do everything I had to do.”   Of course, Dominic’s passion for making it in music isn’t hurting his chances either, and despite all that he’s juggling, he’s making it work because he sees the end goal. “I barely graduated high school,” he says. “I knew I wasn’t going to be a doctor or a lawyer—music is all I know. So, and now that I have a baby, my goal is to just excel in it. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this all the way. I’m not going to do any shortcuts here.”   Dominic Cerna is an excellent example of how hard work and dedication can take you far in the music business, and his in-studio apprenticeship with the Recording Connection can only add to that success.   The Taking’s self-titled debut album, engineered by Dominic and the band, will release on February 7th on iTunes and major streaming outlets (Spotify, Rhapsody, etc.). You can also find them at reverbnation.com/TheTakingBand and soundcloud.com/The-Taking.   Congratulations, Dominic! You’re doing us all proud.  


Watch us on Larry King here:
Issue #52


Left – Hans Zimmer Endorsement
Legendary Film Score Composer
Hans Zimmer endorses the
Film Connection!
Right – Warren G Endorsement
Grammy Nominated Hip Hop Superstar is a student at Recording Connection

  Click here to select a different RRFC program.

Select which RRFC Institute you would like to learn more about:

Now, select the state you want to attend in.  

  #52 – Catching Up
Catching Up with Brian Kraft from NAMM 2015!
  Ryan Ulyate, Brian Kraft, Sylvia Massy. Photo by: Harrison Funk.Brian Kraft had an amazing time meeting old friends and making new ones at the recent Invite Only, VIP DTS Dinner hosted by the GRAMMY Award-winning team of Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, a wonderful way to kick off NAMM 2015. It was great to talk and hang out with so many of the industry’s best and brightest who make music because they love music and believe, like we do, that music does and will change the world.   Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis had a special treat for the evening guests — they played surround sound tracks, one was artist Heather Headley and the 2nd track was “Spinning” by Mary J. Blige.  Both tracks were produced by Jam & Lewis and mixed by the incredible Elliot Scheiner. The evening was off-the-charts (literally) and it was truly a privilege to connect with so many amazing artists, producers, engineers, musicians and industry journalists. The guest list read like a Who’s Who of the music industry with attendees that included: Sylvia Massy, Jimmy Jam, Jeff Berlin, Rory Kaplan, Ryan Ulyate, Geoff Emerick, Maureen Droney, Michael Beinhorn, David Reitzas and Dan Daley.   Keep on changing the world, one track at a time!    

  #52 – Mentor News
Film Connection mentor Nelson Ramirez talks film school, mentoring and filming in Vegas!
  Film Connection mentor Nelson Ramirez is the co-owner with Rick Barcode (also a mentor) of 1905 Film Studios, the first full-service film studio in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nelson checked in with us recently to talk about his experiences getting into film and the differences he sees between the mentor-apprentice approach and traditional film school. He even took some time to brag on one of his apprentices, Jessica Ryder!  
* * * * *
    RRFC: What initially got you into the film business?   Rick Barcode, Jessica Ryder, and Nelson RamirezNelson Ramirez: I originally was working in construction. I got out of construction [and] went back to school—you know, your traditional school—for video and film, and photography as well. It had always been a passion of mine—I just never realized I could actually work doing what I like versus something else. That’s kind of what pushed me into the business.   RRFC: So you’ve done the traditional schooling, and you’ve also been a mentor with the Film Connection program. What are some of the differences that you see between this program and traditional film schools?   Nelson: Well, the biggest difference that I have noticed is the fact that you get to work with real-life productions. You get to actually go out there and work with everyday industry people, doing everyday industry things versus traditional school. You can read about it in books, which is all fine and dandy, but you don’t get as much hands-on experience as you do with the Film Connection program.   RRFC: When you were going to school did you have any mentors that looked after you?   Nelson: No, not at all.   RRF: No?   Nelson: Pretty much, you’re sailing your own waters [at film school]. You pick your classes, you decide what it is you want to take, you decide your workload. There is nobody actually guiding you or helping you along the way. You just kind of have to figure it out for yourself.   RRFC: How do you like working in the Vegas area as far as film goes?   Nelson: I really, really like it. I come from a construction background, and going into this, I’ve noticed that the people in general are more, I guess you can say, welcoming than the construction industry. I’ve been able to learn from numerous really talented people, which is a plus. I find that there’s a lot of people that are willing to share their knowledge, which is really awesome.   RRFC: Where does film apprentice Jessica Ryder fit into this? How is she doing?   Nelson: She’s been doing really well. She’s excelled at everything that we’ve thrown at her. She’s been learning mostly editing [which is her focus], but she’s also been exposed to the camera-side of the business as far as setting up cameras, lights, grip equipment, even as well as learning about exposures, lighting, that type of stuff, which we believe is actually going to help her when she goes back and she starts doing the post-production on whatever project we work on.   Jessica RyderRRFC: You guys had her actually on set with a Snoop Dogg video her first day, correct?   Nelson: Her first day, yes. It definitely was not typical. It was one of those [situations] where it just worked out the very first day she was here. It so happened that we had that one client shooting a video at the studio. One thing led to another, they were like, “We need one girl. Are you willing to jump on here and be in the video?” How do you say no to that?   RRFC: So it’s safe to say she fit in pretty well right off the bat?   Nelson: Yes, definitely. She always comes in here with a big smile, was always happy…We love to have her around.   RRFC: What kinds of projects do you guys have coming up?   Nelson: We’re working on some promotional videos for some clients who are doctors, we’re also working on a self-help video, and we’re also going into post-production for a feature film that we produced. And potentially Jessica could get her hands on some of that footage as well.   RRFC: When you have these apprentices that come to you now, what do you feel is the most valuable aspect of being a mentor to an up-and-comer?   Nelson: Well, the fact that both Rick and I, not only are we learning every day, we actually like to share the wealth. We like to teach, and share our experiences, and the stuff that we’ve learned. Just the fact that we are able to bring in people who are willing to learn, made it that much better for us.   RRFC: Do you see yourself down the road working with some of these apprentices again?   Nelson: Yes, in fact, we’ve become pretty close. We actually have three apprentices right now, and we feel that once they get to a certain point, they would be capable of working on just about any production that we have. They could really help us out.  


  Information Kit – See How Apprentices Learn from Top Music Professionals

See How Apprentices Learn from Top Music Professionals

Dave Pensado, Recording Connection mentor Matt Linesch, and Recording Connection apprentice, Hannah Finegold discuss the Recording Connection’s mentor/apprentice music education approach at the world famous United Recording in Hollywood, CA. United Recording is one of the many famous recording students where Recording Connection students serve their apprenticeships.   Click here to learn more about the Recording Connection!

CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts can get you learning one-on-one
from an award-winning chef in a real restaurant!

Bill Bracken“Traditional culinary education to me is the apprenticeship mentorship approach. This is the way our culinary industry started out. I believe the mentorship approach to culinary education is a sound one. The profit loss statement of every culinary operation looks to productivity and efficiency as its number one priority. Having to re-teach culinary graduates is not only inefficient but also costly and time-consuming”     Bill Bracken, Owner of “Bracken’s Kitchen” Food and Beverage Consulting, Los Angeles, CA  


  #52 – Apprentices in Action
Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!
Alicia StrawnSome of our students’ best work is the stuff they do on their own. When Recording Connection apprentice Alicia Strawn (Fresno, CA) contacted RRFC Student Services for some remote tutoring sessions in addition to her apprenticeship, she mentioned that she wanted to enter one of her EDM/trance tracks into a remix contest. Student Service advisors Brian Kauppi and Jamal Abercrombia stepped up to help.   “I suggested that we focus on this project for our tutoring sessions, that we could talk about principles of audio as they relate to her project,” says Brian Kauppi. “For several weeks we had sessions where we talked about her projects and what changes or improvements may be made…She did not miss one remote session and every week for 8 weeks came with a new and improved project.”   Alicia’s commitment to the project further impressed Jamal Abercrombia, who also did remote tutoring with her. “Alicia has a great level of dedication to get done whatever needs to be done,” he says. “[She] has a great passion for trance music and a great passion to become a staple in the EDM world. She’s willing to make the effort to learn new things in order to better her music. That’s a quality that will get her far.”   That passion and hard work are already paying off. Although Alicia’s track did not win the contest, it has garnered a lot of attention on its own—including interest from record labels! “I put the track on my SoundCloud page, and was pretty astonished to see that it was quickly getting listened to without me doing much of anything to promote it,” says Alicia. Among those who found Alicia’s track was the owner of an EDM label who asked her to send him more demos and is considering signing her!   As Alicia continues to work on new material to send to the labels, she sees the process as an ongoing learning experience. “I’ve had to brush up on music theory, learned how to do some interesting things with automation, sound creation through vsti, and have even learned to push my own creative boundaries to get better results,” she says. “I’ve also learned a lot about how the industry works, especially in the trance music industry, and all of the processes involved in getting a song signed to a record label…I am really looking forward to learning more about everything involved with releasing a song, how to promote it, and building my own brand.”      
Apprentice Media


Quotes from Students:

  Digital Information Kit – Where & How You Learn

We place you in a real film production company from day one.

We believe the best way to learn filmmaking and the job skills necessary to be employable in the film business is to learn on real film sets and in real film production companies. And that’s exactly where we place you when you enroll with the Film Connection. While other schools place their students in overcrowded classrooms, far away from the realities of how the film business works, with us you are learning from professionals in real companies.   In addition, you will be paired with a well-known Hollywood screenwriter or producer, one who has written or made movies you may have seen and loved. This second mentor helps you write your screenplay idea into a professional screenplay or pitch.   As you are doing the above, you are also directing three films.   All of this leads to you graduating with a solid film, script, or pitch of your very own movie idea. You then fly out to either Los Angeles or New York City, where we set you up with your very own private meeting with a film producer who has the power to get your movie made.   Click here to learn more about the Film Connection!


RRFC partners with real industry professionals to educate students while they apprentice in real recording studios, radio stations and film production companies all over the world.