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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #74 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

  #74 – Job Opportunities

BRIAN KRAFT, C.O.O. and Chief Academic Officer of RRFC, can HELP YOU LAND A JOB

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 RRFC gets you learning on the job, your persistence and availability are rewarded with opportunities! Read below about a Recording Connection master’s student whose willingness to come often and stay late is now turning into paid work at one of Hollywood’s most prestigious recording studios!

Student Successes
  Recording Connection masters student Jake Kiyokane: You’ve got to want to be there    
RC Masters student Jake Kiyokane

RC Masters apprentice Jake Kiyokane

As he works his way through the Recording Connection master’s program, Jake Kiyokane has already learned a key secret to getting gigs: be in the studio as often as possible.   After enrolling in the program, Jake was placed as an apprentice at Serenity West in Hollywood, CA, a high-traffic studio that works with major artists like Adele, Justin Timberlake, Wiz Khalifa, Florence + the Machine, and many others. Jake says he started his apprenticeship going into the studio once a week for his classes, but he decided to make himself more available.   “I started just putting myself out there more a little bit,” he says. “Like just hitting them up more, like, ‘Hey, I’m available—you know, you can hit me up whenever you want and I’ll be there. I have time to be there if you need it.’ And then, yeah, they started calling me more and more. And then later, I was there practically almost every day of the week…I think they just found I was willing to put the effort in for it. I feel like they liked that from me, so they wanted to offer me more positions and all that.”  
Control room in Serenity West

Control room in Serenity West.

Jake says his passion for audio engineering started years ago, when some friends of his started making music together and needed someone to record them. “They picked me up Pro Tools,” he says, “and they really needed somebody to learn how to record and everything. And then they gave that to me. I started messing around with it a little bit in my room in college, and from then it just set off. I would be up all night, until 5 a.m. just trying to figure out how to do something…I would skip classes just to play with Pro Tools more.”   His interest piqued, Jake decided to enroll in the Recording Connection, which gave him the hands-on training he was craving. “[In] college, you go, you take tests, that’s it, you’re done,” he says. “At least, out here, you’re connecting with people….It’s cool, a little bit closer. You have one mentor, and he’s just with you and he’s teaching you stuff.”   Working in the studio has only served to stir Jake’s passion further. After concluding the basic Recording Connection program, he stayed on at Serenity West for to take the Recording Connection master’s program, which he says gives him a lot more freedom to explore his interests. “With the apprentice program, at the beginning, it was all the book, you know?” he says. “And you’re just starting out, and you don’t really know what to expect from it. So you just go in, and you just learn what basically they’re telling you to learn. But then, when the master’s program came out, my mentor, Steve Catizone, would just tell me, ‘Hey, what do you want to work on? Or what do you like to do right now? What’s your interests?’ It’s what I want to do mostly.”  
Cameell Hanna and Jake Kiyokane

RC mentor Cameell Hanna and apprentice Jake Kiyokane

But here’s the payoff: Jake’s not just a student anymore. His willingness to be at the studio whenever he was needed is now turning into something more. His diligence has impressed studio owner Cameell Hanna to the point that he’s now being offered paid gigs, which is a pretty big deal considering the studio’s noteworthy clientele.   Speaking of which—working at Serenity West, Jake has had opportunities to assist on sessions with some pretty high-profile artists, including hip-hop producer DJ Mustard and metal band Anthrax! Jake specifically recalls watching Anthrax guitarist Scott Ian in the studio:   “It was cool just seeing all his mic placements and all that,” says Jake, “and just how important it is just exactly to get that right spot for the mic. He’ll walk all around the room a dozen times, just trying to find that one spot for the right sound for his drums, or just like setting up the amps a certain way in the control room and all that.”   Now finishing up his master’s program, Jake’s persistence, passion and availability are all paying off for him, and he is well on his way to a full-time career doing what he loves. His advice for other apprentices: Be in the studio, and stay when others leave. “Just go, just try to get in there as much as possible,” he says. “And stay as long as you can, because they’re going to notice your effort and how much you want to be there. And if you want to be there, they’re going to ask you to come more…I see a lot of [apprentices]. They’ll come, they’ll stay, stay a little bit, and they won’t do anything, then they’ll leave. And I’ll be like, okay, you’re missing out, you know? Because at the end, that’s when all the stuff happens. That’s when we shut down the studio. We learn a lot of other stuff…It’s very valuable just staying that little extra time just to get that knowledge.”   Now that Jake gets to spend most of his time in the studio—has he had his fill of it? Not in the least. Talk to him for a few minutes, and it’s obvious that he still lives and breathes it. Where does he see himself in five years? “In the studio,” he says. “That’s all I want to see in five years.”    


Watch us on Larry King here:
Issue #74


Left – Hans Zimmer Endorsement
Legendary Film Score Composer
Hans Zimmer endorses the
Film Connection!
Right – David Lynch Endorsement
Film Connection partners with the David Lynch Foundation

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  #74 – Apprentices in Action
Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!
Shot from The American Dream

Shot from The American Dream

Film Connection apprentices Hakym Reagan and Blake Laitner’s short film The American Dream recently premiered at the 5th Street Avenue Cinema in Portland, Oregon! Co-written by Hakym and Blake, directed and edited by Hakym, this film explores the choices a man makes in his life, the trajectory that sets him on, and the path towards finding his truth. Congrats to both of you! Check out the film’s trailer in Apprentice Media below!   
Gino Tha Pharaoh

Gino Tha Pharaoh

Recording Connection master’s student Gino Claiborne (aka Gino Tha Pharaoh) just released his first full-length EP entitled GTP1. Not only is Gino the artist, but he also wrote, engineered, and produced the entire project and from start to finish! He says the experience was definitely a challenge, but “ultimately came together just as I thought it would. I’m still going through my master’s program at Metro 37 (Detroit, MI) and I’m growing as an engineer…I’m very blessed.” Preview GTP1 in the Apprentice Media section below! The full EP is available here.   
Rodion Borisov

Rodion Borisov

Film Connection apprentice Rodion Borisov just wrapped work on a bustling film set. Originally set to P.A., he quickly got moved up to cue card assistant. Speaking of the experience, Rodion says, “I was lucky to work on set with an above line crew, as I got a role of cue card assistant on the first day. On the second day, I got a chance to assist Eric Roberts personally, even though, I arrived to the US on 04/09/14 almost without any second language communication ability. I have learned English at a Redondo Beach school for eight months, and now, I am entrusted with personally assisting a famous actor, who has his name on more than 300 movies… Which is pretty crazy!” Congrats on a job well done Rodion!   


  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  

  #74 – Mentor News
Hollis Greathouse Talks Apprenticeship, Mentorship
and Why Knowledge Trumps Gear
Audible Images, Pittsburgh, PA

Audible Images, Pittsburgh, PA

Recording Connection mentor Hollis Greathouse has a wide range of experience in the music industry, on both sides of the control room. As a musician, songwriter, composer and producer, he’s worked with some music industry greats in a wide range of genres, including R&B artist Ne-Yo, pop/rock artist Ryan Tedder (of OneRepublic), country music icon John Michael Montgomery, and contemporary Christian artist Steven Curtis Chapman, just to name a few. Hollis is now a primary producer/engineer at Audible Images, one of the most noted recording studios in the Pittsburgh, PA area, with a client list that includes Richie Sambora, Wu-Tang Clan, LL Cool J, Dave Matthews and many others.   Hollis recently chatted with RRFC about how some of his current apprentices are doing, as well as what he looks for in an apprentice, how he himself was mentored, and helpful insights on how to improve studio setup, how to make the most of a good set of gear, and more. Because we thought it would benefit a lot more of our students, we’ve included just a few of his more insightful remarks below. Enjoy!  
 *  *  *  *  *  
  ON HOW HE WAS MENTORED IN THE MUSIC INDUSTRY: “I started out as a musician, played music my whole life. I’m a preacher’s kid. My dad would take these little churches and I would play whatever needed to be played…I had been asked to play on a friend of mine’s record, and this was in Arkansas. We went to Fort Smith, Arkansas to Omega Sound, and I played on this record and the engineer there was a guy named Terry Aldaffer, and Terry and I hit it off….I love him like a brother. He was my mentor…He took me under his wing and would show me things. I would run the tape machine every now and then, and he kept calling in for sessions, and we wound up co-producing a record together…Terry and I still communicate to this day.”  
Nick Dawson and mentor Hollis Greathouse

Hollis Greathouse (right) with apprentice Nick Dawson (left)

ON WHAT HE LOOKS FOR IN AN APPRENTICE: “We go through this interview process. In that process I’m trying to learn as much about them as I possibly can. I know that they’re there to learn about us, but it has to be the right mix. We don’t want a bad experience for them or us…In that interview process, I’ll try to find out as much about them as I can. Do they play an instrument and if they don’t, that’s not a problem either, but just trying to get some background on them….have my own stories, so I know what my motivations are, but not everybody’s motivations are the same. I try to find out what is it that jazzes them about this….Are they looking to produce? Do they just want to engineer? There’s so many different ways that you can go in this industry. So many different types of jobs that we try to make sure that it’s a good fit. Try to find out what they want to get out of it. Sometimes they’re looking for something that maybe isn’t really what we do. If that’s the case, that’s cool. We can try to point them in the right direction.”   ON HOW HE ENJOYS THE MENTORING PROCESS: “It’s cool because I know my room better than anybody, so I can explain what’s going on there as well as possible. It’s fascinating for me. I’ve been making records for 30 years. It still really excites me when I see somebody come in for the first time or the first few lessons, and they start hearing things. It brings back to my mind how it was when I first started, the magic…I see it through fresh eyes every time the student comes through and then it’s really great for me and it keeps me motivated.”   ON THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF SOME OF HIS STUDENTS: “Nick Dawson…He’s probably the youngest kid I’ve had. He’s way into it. It’s really cool, and he’s really getting it…He came to me with an idea that I have never even considered. We have a subkick, and he’s like, ‘I wonder what that would sound like on a bass amp. We use it on bass drums, but I know that it’s good for low frequency stuff.’ I’m like, ‘I have never done that. I’ve got to try that.’ He’s thinking outside the box…[And] Nick Heissler is a kid that, I tell you what, he is another guy that, he’s really gifted. He’s taking what he’s learning, and he’s thinking outside the box. He’s coming back to me with ideas on microphones that he’s never even used, and he’s right most of the time, just because he has read about the frequency response and he knows what they’re good for…He’s somebody to watch.”  
Audible Images

Control room in Audible Images

ON LEARNING FROM PAST EXPERIENCES TO IMPROVE STUDIO SETUP: “First, as a musician, I’ve spent time on the other side of the glass, and there’s some things that really irritated me, like lines of sight. You’re working with somebody, but you’re in a closet. You can’t see them, so there’s no visual cues. There’s no locking into that synergy that happens with other people because you’re not really in the same room with them. One of the things that we designed was we made sure that all the glass [in the studio] was as large as possible without compromising the acoustic integrity, so that everybody feels like they’re still connected yet are still isolated….We [also] use an Aviom system for headphones. That’s one of the biggest hang-ups with most sessions is when the headphones don’t sound right. If the headphones don’t sound right, musicians are not going to be in their zone, and they’re not going to give their best, so we did the Aviom system to make sure that everybody got what they needed so they found their zone, and it makes the engineer’s job easier, and it makes life better for musicians. The end result is a greater recording, greater song, greater performance.”   ON HOW AN ENGINEER’S SKILLS TRUMPS THE GEAR: “We have an incredible collection microphone preamps, all the gear is top shelf kind of stuff.   “Aside from that, what you do with the gear is what matters even more. You can make a great recording with bad gear, or you can make a bad recording with great gear. I’ve seen it done both ways. If you know what to do with that gear, it’s all the difference in the world. I appreciate having great tools. Don’t get me wrong. I love having a great collection to choose from, but at the end of the day you’ve got to know what to do with it. One of the things that I love about what we’re doing with Recording Connection is we’re training people what to do with what they have, the basic principles of audio, so that you can take an SM57 and make a great recording with it. Or you can take, whatever, a U67 and make a great recording with it, as long as you know what to do with it.”    


  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!
Dr. Drew endorses the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, and CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts.
Issue #74


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  


  #74 – 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!