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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #64 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

  #64 – Job Opportunities

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:   


  • Film Analysis Coordinator at PARAMOUNT! – Los Angeles, CA
  • Manager-Influencer Relations at Cutting Edge Talent Agency– New York, NY
  • New Recording Studio Needs Audio Engineer – Pompano Beach, FL
  • Radio On-Air Host Needed (FOX AFFILIATE) – Fresno, CA
  • Assistant Director for Short Film – Los Angeles, CA
  • Opening for DJ/Music Production Instructor – Herndon, VA
  • Asst. Producer @ NPR RADIO (ALL THINGS CONSIDERED!) – Washington, DC
  • Hiring Talented Production Cook – Madison, WI
  • Board Operator/Call Screener for Radio Station – New York, NY
  • Savvy Film Editor/Developer Needed – Houston, TX
  • Opportunity for Creative, Organized Sous Chef – Chicago, IL
  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 on-the-job, not only can you get in on the ground floor of a real studio, but you might be surprised at who you end up working with! Read below about a brother and sister whose shared interests in music led them to enroll in the Recording Connection together!

Student Successes
  The family business: A brother and sister enroll together in the Recording Connection     It’s kind of funny how things work out sometimes.   William & Catalina in The Abstract Recording StudioWilliam Crutchfield, an aspiring EDM producer, was already figuring on moving from his home state of Maryland to Los Angeles to try and break into the music scene. Then he found out about the Recording Connection.   “My mom actually found it online,” says William, “and [she] was like, ‘You should check this out, since you want to do music.'”   The on-the-job training factor particularly appealed to William, who wanted the experience and connections but wasn’t thrilled about the idea of going to school. “I’ve never been a fan of the whole traditional school route,” he says. “I mean, I understand it, but at the same time, I feel like it can be such a waste of time…with Recording Connection, you’re getting mentored in a studio…It’s much more likely you can get a job, since you’re getting actual real skills.”   Meanwhile, as William began making plans, his sister, Catalina Crutchfield, an indie singer-songwriter, began to take notice.   “I was not sure what I was doing with my life and where I wanted to be,” she says. “William found out about the program and was going to do it…So I was like, ‘Hey, I like music, I’m interested in the things you’re doing, like what are you doing exactly?'”   As a result, the Recording Connection picked up not one, but two new apprentices. William and Catalina enrolled together, and both were placed with mentor Doug Boulware at The Abstract Recording Studios, a newer Los Angeles, CA studio with plenty of ground-floor opportunities. Almost immediately upon enrolling, the siblings learned the power of connections in a rather unexpected way. Finding an affordable place in the L.A. area can be a challenge, especially when you’re new—but they were put in touch with yet another apprentice, a Film Connection student, and the three went in together on a place to live!   Auditioning MicsSince beginning his apprenticeship, William is already amazed at what he’s learned, including un-learning some things he’d been doing on his own working with Logic and Ableton.   “When I was teaching myself how to produce, I didn’t understand that you put a reverb or things like that on an aux track,” he says. “I was thinking I wanted a reverb on the track, so I put one on the track [as an insert]…It just blew my mind that I’ve been doing it wrong the whole time.”   Meanwhile, William is immersing himself in the music of the studio (“It’s really cool seeing how many people are into electronic music and how big it is out here,” he says), and he thrives on the creative vibe of the studio itself.   “It seems like every day I go into the studio, some different song is playing on the speakers that someone was working on,” he says. “The thing that I love about this studio is that it’s very laid back, in a way…it’s very creatively friendly environment. I just love that about it. They are always helpful. Doug said to me once, ‘If you’re here, and you’re not learning, you’re wasting your time. You should be learning when you’re here.’ It’s just a great experience overall.”   Catalina agrees. “Everyone here is really awesome and helpful, and it’s so easy to get along with everyone. It’s a great environment,” she says. “All the questions I have, they’re answered right then and there. It’s a great learning experience, for so many reasons.”   So, with a brother and sister apprenticing at the same studio, is there sibling rivalry? Don’t count on it. “We help each other out,” says William. “[I understand] using a DAW and everything because I started producing myself, whereas she hasn’t. So I can help her with it.”   William & Catalina in The Abstract Recording StudioLikewise, Catalina’s tastes in indie music are expanding her brother’s musical palate, as well. “I think we match pretty well,” she says. “He listens to a lot of house and dubstep type things, and I enjoy that too, but it’s not my go-to…I don’t listen to mainstream music, so it’s kind of out there what I listen to sometimes, and he is just like, ‘Oh, that’s different!’ We just learn from each other.”   In fact, despite their differences in musical tastes, the siblings are finding creative ways to collaborate during their course. “I’m definitely more into the EDM stuff, whereas she is more into indie,” says William. “But there is some middle ground.”   What is the “middle ground?” How about Tropical House? More specifically, a house track with tropical overtones that William and Catalina are collaborating on. “We are working on something right now,” says Catalina. “[William is] gonna essentially make the music part of it, then I’m coming up with the lyrics, so [we have] something going with that.”   Even so, Catalina and William both can definitely see how training on-the-job is preparing them for their respective dreams. For William, who loves being on the ground floor of an emerging recording studio like The Abstract, it’s more on the production side. In fact, this past week William actually took the helm for two recording sessions. “It was an amazing experience,” he says. “Jesse [the head engineer] also let me know that I will be getting more involved with projects they are working on, so I’m super excited about that!”   For Catalina, who views herself more as an indie performer, the studio training is giving her a solid foundation for her future as an artist. “My main goal is to perform and make my own music and really go far with that,” she says. “I think since I am here learning it all and getting to experience it all, I’ll be able to do that better now, and really know what I want and how I can achieve it.”   


Dr. Drew endorses the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, and CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts.
Issue #64


Left – Grant Heslov Endorsement
Grant Heslov endorses the
Film Connection!
Right – Dave Pensado Endorsement
Audio Engineer Dave Pensado endorses 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.  

  #64 – Apprentices in Action
Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!
Sebastian Lefeld and Shawn MendesRecording Connection grad Sebastian Lefeld (Miami, FL) is recording vocals for none other than rising pop sensation Shawn Mendes, whose album Handwritten just debuted at the TOP of the Billboard 200 charts, making him the youngest artist to top the chart in nearly five years (Justin Bieber was the last 16-year-old to nab the top spot in 2010)! Sebastian says, “Shawn was a pleasure to work with and has a killer voice!”    Jaclyn McGrew and mentor Wes CobbFilm Connection apprentice Jaclyn McGrew at WestArtVideo in Charlotte, NC, has been having a blast editing a recent music video. “[It] was like putting a puzzle together, except I had to create the idea of what the final puzzle was going to look like,” she says “The two videos that I ended up finishing were so good the band posted them on all of their social media sites.”    Michael MessinaHairRecent Recording Connection grad Mike Messina of White Plains, NY had a groovy time running live sound for the Clockwork Players’ production of Hair and has landed a job as their Sound Designer/Engineer for the season! His mom emailed us to brag: “My husband and I are over the moon for Michael. Thanks to your school and his mentor, Robert Sax, he was taught so well in his Bachelor’s Program and then Master’s Program…Thank you so much to you and your staff. We are grateful.”    Alexa CooperRecording Connection apprentice Alexa Cooper (Vancouver, B.C.) recently had not one, but two job interviews—one for her mentor’s studio, Blue Light Studios, and one at a rehearsal space used by the likes of Avril Lavigne, John Mayer, and Rancid!  

  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!

  #64 – Mentor News
Film Connection mentor Christine Chen on SXSW, apprenticeship, process and passion for the craft
Moth to FLame FilmsFilm Connection mentor Christine Chen is the founder and CEO of Moth to Flame Films, a full-service production company based in the vibrant film community of Austin, Texas. Her company takes on a wide range of projects, ranging from commercial work to music videos to video blogs to feature films. As such, Christine offers a unique take on “making it” in the industry, and her apprentices have access to a broad base of experience under her mentoring.   We caught up recently with Christine toward the end of South-By-Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. During our conversation, she offered insights into the importance of having passion for the work, and what it takes to make it in the business today. She also talked about what she looks for in an apprentice, her unique perspective on parents’ concerns for their kids who want to get into film, and even bragged a bit on some of her students. Highlights from the conversation are below!  
* * * * *
   RRFC: How is SXSW? Is it strange to watch the whole thing just blow up at the same time in Austin every year?   Christine Chen: It’s fascinating, it’s not strange. It’s great actually to meet new people that come in. It’s very nice here in Austin…it’s one of the cities to watch, not only for business but also in film itself. It’s very exciting…I try to volunteer every year. It is the best way to meet other filmmakers and watch some good movies.   RRFC: Tell us a little bit about Moth to Flame, how you guys got started.   Christine: Moth to Flame I started about four years ago. I had made films for awhile and decided [to] try and see if I could make a stable business out of it. Coming from a pretty traditional family who was all about, “You can’t make money doing art and stuff,” I had to go to business school. While I was in business school, I started Moth to Flame, and it was sustainable within a year, and I’ve been doing it ever since.   RRFC: So when students come to you for their initial interview, do you find yourself sort of empathizing with the parents, and you can tell them the story of “Hey, I was in the same boat but it worked out”?   Christine: Yeah, definitely… It is hard, this industry is very difficult. [My parents] were just scared I would have to deal with all the hardships and stuff—and you know, I keep telling students it IS hard. This is not an industry that will just give you a nine-to-five. You gotta work your butt off, and if you love it, then it’ll be okay…I like to tell them that this is a program that lets you do it hands-on, and this industry is perfect for that, you need that. But it is also a program that is what you make it, so what you have to do is bother your mentor. Try to show your mentor that you’re excited, that you want to do more. Those are the people who succeed because those are the people who are always on my radar that I always give stuff to. This is all about initiative, and about the people who stand out and the people who take the risk. I think parents gravitate towards that.   Kellie Koford & Christine ChenRRFC: So when a potential student comes in to interview with you, what’s the biggest quality you’re looking for?   Christine: Honestly, there’s a few. Enthusiasm is one of them, a clear passion for it. Someone who is proactive, someone who does not—who isn’t going to sit there and think that someone’s going to hand them something. Who’s there, who’s willing to take the chance, take the initiative to get what they want out of the program. Actually, those two [things]: If you are passionate, and if you have the guts and the drive to get what you want, it’s really all you need. The other stuff you can learn right on the set. When I walked on the set, I didn’t know what a “slate” was but now I’ve probably made more films than some people who have gone to film school. You just have to have that drive, and that’s what I look for.   RRFC: Do any of your current apprentices stand out for you?   Christine: Kellie [Koford] is great…She was excited about a new chapter in her life, and she didn’t know what to expect, but she came in with an open heart with the mentality that she would do whatever it takes to try to give her dream a chance. I love people like that. I don’t need someone who comes in saying they know everything. She came in saying, “I will do whatever,” and she was very enthusiastic…Kenny [Horton] is really great as well, he’s great because he actually came in with some experience so it was really easy to get him to jump in. I like people who are proactive, and they’re excited to learn. Those two stand out at this point, definitely.   RRFC: What do you particularly enjoy about being a mentor?   Christine: I enjoy mentoring a lot. I think mentoring helps me learn as well, because students have questions on what I always took for granted…I just watched a documentary [here at SXSW] on Michelin-starred restaurants, and one of the chefs said, “Hey I want my mentee to pass me because that means I did a good job.” I kind of feel that way, too. I think if you can get other people to love it just as much as you do, in the end it’s all good for everybody, because we all brace each other up.   RRFC: Why do you love making films so much?   Christine: For me, it is the ability to affect people emotionally in telling a story. That’s the part I like the most. I wouldn’t say I’m an introvert, but I can be at times, and I just keep to myself, so it’s a way for me to feel like I’ve touched someone or affected someone in an emotional way, and I like that. I think people will remember things more if it’s affected them in an emotional way, and I think media is extremely impactful because of that…I also love the process of it, being able to work with a bunch of different people who also have their own ideas as well. Finding how you all mesh together.  


  Digital Information Kit – We Work to Find You Work

The Film Connection has landed over 900 people like you
paid employment in their field of study, in just the past year.

Gordon Maniskas“Through Film Connection I have been introduced to three producers, two screenwriters, and two directors, with an opportunity to pitch my script to all of them … If you are someone that is determined to forge a destiny in the industry, your energy will feed into the Film Connection, and they will bend over backwards to make your success as possible as they can. I am still in the preliminary stages out here…but Film Connection has opened doors to me that would definitely not have been there on my own.”   Gordon Maniskas, Los Angeles, CA  

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

For more information, Click here!

  #64 – Catching Up

Catching Up
with Brian Kraft and Jimi Petulla

Brian had such a successful trip to Nashville, Tennessee, we thought we would share information on another one of his meetings where he formalized a relationship with a top industry pro to be part of our Masters Mentor program: this time, with engineer, producer and educator Bil VornDick.   Bil VornDick’s artistry as a producer and engineer has helped earn his clients over 40 GRAMMY® nominations and seven wins (among them Alison Krauss’s very first GRAMMY). He has worked on dozens of albums during his 40 years in music. These include projects for such other GRAMMY recipients as Ralph Stanley, Marty Robbins, Béla Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Mark O’Connor, and jazz bassist Charlie Haden, as well as for legendary troubadour Jesse Winchester and bluegrass empress Rhonda Vincent. His credits appear on number-one albums in five different musical genres. An active member of the Nashville music scene, Bil is also one of the authors of and committee members for the AES/Recording Academy archival document “Recommendation for Delivery of Recorded Music Projects.” VornDick’s dedication to the music industry is further evidenced by his advisory, administrative and/or instructional work for Belmont University, South Plains College, Middle Tennessee State University, the North American Folk Alliance, The Recording Academy, MerleFest, the Telluride Music Festival, Swannanoa Gathering and Sweetwater   “Knowing the caliber of Bil’s work, it was great sitting down with him for coffee and talking about the various sessions he’s done and having him share his knowledge and philosophy of audio engineering,” stated Brian Kraft. “Bil is a man of great integrity and we are honored to work with him as a mentor.”   “It is so important that anyone getting an audio education learns not only how to mic a drum kit or push a fader, but how to work and interact with an artist or producer — and to be aware and sensitive to what their needs are. They need to know when to talk and more importantly when NOT to talk,” commented VornDick. “I try sharing my knowledge, and instilling a work ethic that will let that student walk into a recording situation and do their job, and yet be invisible doing what they do. That is the art. I really like the Recording Connection’s philosophy of how someone learns how to become a recording engineer. I am looking forward to them finding me the right apprentice, and in turn, I will find the right project to work with him or her on.”  

  #64 – Apprentice Media
Check out this work by RRFC apprentices!


Quotes from Students:


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.

For more information, Click here!