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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Issue #84 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

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.  
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When RRFC gets you learning on the job, the experience you can gain in a short time is far more valuable than anything you learn in a classroom. Read below about a Film Connection apprentice who learned how to think on his feet, overcoming challenges while shooting his first short film!

Student Successes

Recording Connection graduate Eric Gonzalez: reaping the rewards of passion

Eric Gonzalez

Eric Gonzalez

At RRFC, mentors and students alike often tell us that apprentices get out of the program what they put into it. Learning on-the-job has its own benefits, but there’s no substitute for taking your own initiative and making the most of opportunity.   No student exemplifies this truth more than Recording Connection graduate Eric Gonzalez. As he came to the end of his apprenticeship with mentor Derek O’Brien at DOB Sound Studios in Santa Fe Springs, CA, Eric scoured the Internet and began emailing all the Los Angeles-based producers and engineers he could find. Little could he have known at the time that this would land him a job as an assistant engineer for one of the industry’s most acclaimed music producers, working with rock legends like Slash and Ace Frehley.   Eric’s journey into the music industry stems from a love of music in general. “I’ve been a guitarist for about 12 years,” he says. “I’ve been bouncing between a ton of bands I’ve played in. The musicianship is there for me, which definitely helps. Audio engineering, I dabbled in it a bit before going to Recording Connection, but it’s once I got to Recording Connection that I really understood it, which really gave me the hands-on.”  
Console in DOB Sound Studios

Console in DOB Sound Studios

Given his own interest in punk rock, Eric found an instant connection with his mentor Derek O’Brien, a one-time drummer for legendary punk band Social Distortion. “That was a blast, especially me being into punk music and hearing his history with punk music,” says Eric. “Working with Derek O’Brien really set me up and really, really prepared me for how it’s really going to be.”   Eric’s own sense of personal initiative kicked in early on, and he immersed himself in the process. “I’d never touched Pro Tools [before],” he says. “The school definitely helped me get engaged with Pro Tools and that, of course, got me going. Once I was done with the school, I was just going and going learning Pro Tools even more, working my butt off, trying to record whatever bands I can, even if it’s recording myself…I would just get my little interface, all I need is my guitar, maybe an amp, mic or just direct in, and just start recording a bunch of things and just start editing it and having some fun. All of that, every single part of it, really helped me get where I am right now.”   And where is he “right now?” Interesting story, that.   Once he finished the program, instead of waiting for connections to come to him, Eric once again took the initiative, searching for L.A. music producers on Google and emailing as many of them as he could. One of the producers to respond was none other than Warren Huart, owner of Spitfire Studio and multi-platinum producer for artists like Aerosmith, The Fray and Daniel Powter. As it turns out, Warren also happens to be a Recording Connection mentor and one of RRFC’s biggest advocates, so there was an additional, unexpected connection. Warren gave him the opportunity to help out in the studio, and before long, Eric found himself assisting on sessions alongside other legendary producers like Jack Douglas (John Lennon, Miles Davis, Alice Cooper), and working on projects with icons like Ace Frehley and Slash, as well as up-and-comers like Disney Channel star Lauren Taylor (of Best Friends Whenever). To Eric, watching these producers work has only enhanced his learning experience.   “It’s really interesting seeing how they work with an artist,” he says. “How they phrase things and how they can just mold, and get what they want and what they know would really work, and in the end, the artist is just like, ‘Wow that was amazing. I love that’…Of course, you have to be on your game every moment, you be have to be observant of everything with someone like Jack [Douglas] in there.”   Eric’s passion and commitment to learn soon paid off, as Warren came in one day and offered him a paid position as an assistant engineer!  
Eric Gonzalez with Warren Huart

Eric Gonzalez with Warren Huart

“I was working hard to get hired, but I wasn’t expecting to get hired right away. I knew I had to prove myself,” says Eric. “So [one day] I was in the studio, and Warren came in and wanted to have a little chat with me. My heart was pounding because I had no idea what that would mean. I wasn’t expecting that at the time, and when I got the news, I was relieved knowing that I’m staying, and just completely excited because this is my first real job in this profession.”   Warren Huart has some good things to say about his new assistant engineer, as well: “The bottom line is he was he was doing everything it takes for me to notice him and find him invaluable,” he told RRFC. “And for people that work for me, I tell them all, you’ve just got to get to that point where I just can’t imagine not having you around. And that’s really what he did.”   Even so, Eric is clear that he still hasn’t “arrived” just because he’s got a paid gig.   “Even though I’m hired, I’m still learning every single minute I can,” he says. “I’m still in training. I’m still learning the console. I’m reading the manual from first page to last. I’ve gone through it twice. I’m going through it a third time right now. I’m not done learning, and I’ve got a long way to go.”   And he’s not just learning the gear; Eric says he’s also learned what it’s like to do business in this profession. “Yeah, it’s business, but you’ve got to have that closeness, that friendship, and that trust with the artist that you have to build very quickly,” says Eric. “You can’t just sit back and expect the artist to be talkative and let the artist talk to you. You, yourself, have to be the one that engages with the artist…Yeah, there’s business to it, but you’ve got to understand that everyone’s passion is pretty much working together to make this magic. It becomes less business, more fun, mixed with just a lot of talent…I didn’t expect it would be this much fun working 12-hour days.”   Now on staff at a world-class recording studio, Eric credits the Recording Connection for giving him the opportunity to learn in a real recording studio. “I don’t think I’d be where I am right now if it wasn’t [for] everything I learned at Recording Connection,” he says.   But Eric will also tell you there’s more to the story, because his success has come not just because of the opportunities offered by the Recording Connection, but because he made the most of those opportunities and took charge of his own future. His advice to other students says it all:   “Whatever you learn from the school, whatever you learn from a studio you’re apprenticed at, go home and apply it. Work on whatever you can,” he says. “Once they’re done with the program, if they don’t happen to get a job at that studio they’re apprenticing at, don’t stop, don’t be discouraged because of that. There’s many reasons why they wouldn’t get a position…Do what I did. Google studios. Send them emails. Because who knows? That one email can be that one that lands them a job.”    
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  #84 – Apprentices in Action

Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!

Alex Mitchek

Alex Mitchek

Congratulations to Recording Connection grad Alex Mitchek (Dallas, TX) for landing a job at Audio Dallas! Alex says he knocked on about 30 doors while looking for studio work, and with Audio Dallas he actually walked up to the studio owner and put a resume in his hand. Proof positive that being proactive and putting oneself out there can reap big rewards!    Joe Paciotti Film Connection grad Joe Paciotti recently did a shoot for Invincible Pictures at the Philadelphia Sound Stage where he worked in the art department assisting the Production Designer! Keep on working hard Joe! You’re doing it!   
Sanfer Chaney

Sanfer Chaney

Just eight weeks into the audio engineering program, Recording Connection apprentice Sanfer Chaney III (Chicago, IL) got to try his hand at running a professional recording session for artist/poet Roxi, thanks to his mentor, Joe “Dante” Delfino, who decided he could use a plunge in the deep end. He did great!!   


We had so much fun in Nashville last time…

  We’re doing it again!  
Dave Pensado & Herb Trawick - Pensado Vintage King Gear Expo 2014 - Nashville, TN

Dave Pensado & Herb Trawick at Pensado Vintage King Gear Expo 2014

Recording Connection is co-sponsoring the The Pensado Vintage King Gear Expo 2015 on Saturday, September 26th!   Our very own Chief Operating Officer, Brian Kraft will be there along with many of our fantastic mentors, students, graduates and friends from every facet of the music industry. Dave Pensado and Herb Trawick are keeping it enlightening as always with plenty of great discussion, great artists, amazing giveaways and the latest, hottest gear. Meet fellow music people, eat, greet, mix, mingle and have a bona fide great time with us.   Register here!  
Watch us on Larry King here:
Issue #84


  Click here to select a different RRFC program.

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

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  #84 – Mentor News
RRFC INTERVIEW: Radio Connection mentor Marshall Thomas discusses the past, present and future of radio
  226kfrog-logo-2 Radio Connection mentor Marshall Thomas is a man of many talents; besides being a lifelong radio broadcaster, he’s also ventured into acting, teaching, woodworking and even writing children’s books. Thanks to his passion for radio in general, and country music in particular, he’s spent many years behind the mic, observing the many changes that have taken place in radio over the years. Currently hosting a weekend slot at K-FROG (94.1 FM) in San Bernardino, CA, Marshall is also passionate about helping our broadcasting students find their footing in the landscape of modern radio broadcasting. In the following interview with RRFC, Marshall talks with us about how he got his start in radio, the changes he sees in the industry, and the new world of opportunities now available to up-and-coming broadcasters.  
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  RRFC: Can you tell us a little about your story and background? How did you get to where you are today?   Marshall Thomas: It started when I was a kid. I literally knew when I was a small child that I was going to be in the music business somehow, some way. Right out of high school…I went to JC here in Los Angeles, a junior college. They had a small, little 10-watt transmitter on the campus. You could get the station throughout the campus and out into the parking lot, and that was about it. I majored in theater and radio. Disco was huge at the time. I started spinning records in clubs and working on my chops that way. One thing led to another and I got an internship at a rock-n-roll station here in Los Angeles…Within a year, lo and behold, they saw my potential, believed in me, and I started picking up air shows, mostly fill-ins, and then it went from there, doing weekends and full time.  
Radio Connection mentor Marshall Thomas

Radio Connection mentor Marshall Thomas

RRFC: So you kinda worked your way up from the very beginning, didn’t you?   Marshall: I sure did. Working the clubs, I’ve got to tell you, helped me because back then we were still playing vinyl records. So it helped me with that particular skill, being able to do smooth transitions, and segues and build a set. I got to tell you though, it was free form radio, which is pretty much non-existent to this day. I don’t have to tell the youngsters that everything is so tightly formatted now, that those days are gone. We were told to play ‘x’ amount of A’s and B’s of the new records, and the rest was up to us to fill in the gaps. So it was quite a challenge, and you had to be quite creative with your presentation.   RRFC: It’s interesting that you talked about how radio has changed, and the landscape of radio is still changing quite a bit. From where you’re sitting, working on-air at a terrestrial radio station, what does the state of radio look like? What challenges are there? What opportunities are there that you see that maybe weren’t there when you started?   Marshall: I think terrestrial radio will always be there. For one thing, there’s a live and local feel with terrestrial radio that you cannot get through syndication or a network, [so] terrestrial radio will always be there in some way, shape or form. Yes, there’s satellite radio. Yes, there’s HD radio, which is one of those still burgeoning fields of radio…but terrestrial radio is still big as it ever was. But podcasting, I have to tell you , is what seems to be the wave of the future, especially for our youth, who are so inclined to use a device for everything—for gaming, for music, for video—so it just makes sense that you would want to do a podcast. You can set up a studio rather easily at home with a nice microphone and a decent computer and the proper software. You can have your own little studio in a quiet place at your house.   RRFC: That’s a really good point. It’s interesting because we’ve had several of our radio mentors mention to us about the need to find a niche, find something to talk about that you are passionate about, and develop a brand of yourself around that.   Marshall: By all means, branding [and] marketing, and it’s so easy with YouTube and Facebook and Twitter and Instagram, Snapchat, and Tumblr and the rest of it…They’re all free. You can advertise to your heart’s content. Make yourself a brand, pick out something that you’re passionate about. I don’t care if it’s fashion, music, cars, you name it, pop culture. Yes, you can stand out amongst a crowd and have a very successful podcast, and, yes, make money. You know, if you have enough hits on YouTube, they will pay you to broadcast.   RRFC: Who do you have in your past, coming into the radio profession, that you looked to as a mentor and how did they help shape your career?   Marshall: Gary Owens should be known nationwide…Here in California, growing up, people like Charlie Tuna, who’s still on the air, God bless him, after 60 some odd years, he’s still on Los Angeles radio. The Real Don Steele and Robert W. Morgan, another wonderful name in radio, he’s gone now, and so is The Real Don Steele. These were all mentors of mine.   RRFC: What does it take to put out a good four-hour slot of broadcasting? How much time do you spend off the air preparing for those hours on the air?   Marshall: I tell this to my students: I never stop reading. I’m a voracious reader. I read anything and everything…I’m always looking for show prep, in every way, shape and form…I put quite a few hours in during the week to prep for that weekend gig. I always get to the station early and, again, I will spend another hour or so looking at emails and checking news and so forth, so that when I really hit the air, I have a pretty good arsenal of facts, figures, gags, funny bits, or whatever, artist information and entertainment news. I know I’ve done a really good four hour slot when I come away and I say to myself, “Gosh, I didn’t get to that gag, or I didn’t get to that bit.”   RRFC: If someone came to you and just said, “Marshall, I would really like to do what you do for a living,” if they had zero radio experience but they were passionate and they wanted to get in there and be on the air, what’s the first thing you’d recommend that they do?   Marshall: I would seek out some way of learning at least the basics, and the Radio Connection is perfect for that….You get to work with somebody one-on-one, which I think that’s magnificent, as opposed to maybe going to an unaccredited school, for instance, or even going to college, where it’s going to take you four years to get to where you want to go. You can start listening to your favorite stations, making notes. These days, more and more broadcasters, any celebrity really, is accessible through Twitter and social media. You’d be surprised how easily people are able to be approached, as opposed to calling the station, talking to the receptionist, maybe getting an email address, that sort of thing. That’s all old-school now. You can actually approach these people one-on-one by becoming a follower and letting them know that you’re interested and, who knows? They may invite you down to the station and give you a tour, as it were. I think the Radio Connection mentor program is pretty darn unique because you get to shadow somebody in the business. You’re actually there at the radio station, and really working with them one-on-one. What a great way to learn.   
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  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 #84


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!
  Robert W. Phillips CEC, CCA, CFSP, CC, Director of Culinary & Nutrition, MCH Deanco“I believe highly in apprenticeship & mentorship as I am a result of this teaching environment. I understand a strong theoretical education works for a lot of students, but hands on experience and doing these tasks teaches hands on involvement that is hard to get. It is harder to build these bonds that are taught cooking together. This style builds confidence in the apprentice to achieve the goals to raise them above cook status into Sous Chef over a period of time through hard and smart working techniques that will empower the students to be performers, not guided by someone else’s success, but creating their own.”   Robert W. Phillips CEC, CCA, CFSP, CC, Director of Culinary & Nutrition, MCH Deanco  



Want to Improve your Performanceship?

Get Onstage Success!
Tom Jackson

Tom Jackson

Live music producer Tom Jackson has worked with artists including Sean Mendes, Taylor Swift, LeCrae, Magic!, The Tenors, Gloriana, Francesca Battistelli and hundreds more to transform their performances. Crafting a compelling show is all about learning the language and connecting with the audience in a way they’ll understand. Tom teaches these skills to artists of every level, style, and genre.    “Tom makes a major impact… he is a true creative partner who helps realize the artist’s full performance potential.”Matt Serletic, Producer Santana, Celine Dion, Aerosmith, Matchbox Twenty, Rob Thomas   “Tom Jackson is a jaw-droppingly outstanding live music producer. A true master, and I don’t mean that lightly! I’m recommending him to every serious performing artist I know.”Derek Sivers, Founder CD Baby and HostBaby  

Come to Nashville! Tom Jackson’s 2-Day Live Performance Bootcamp takes place on
Friday-Saturday, September 25-26th, 2015.

  Included are two full days of fun and enlightening instruction and a chance to play for music industry pros at the evening Showcase!   We’re happy to offer this intensive 2-Day Live Performance Bootcamp for only $299. Seating is limited so act quickly!   **Hotel arrangements, lodging, food and travel are not included.  

Follow the link here, then click on the “workshops” tab and scroll down to “Tom Jackson Bootcamp.”

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Check out this work by RRFC apprentices!

Apprentice Media



Quotes from Students: