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Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories Job Opportunities & Student Success Stories June 15, 2015 Author Credits: Liya Swift & Jeff McQ

6-15-15 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, you gain the experience you need to make your passion pay off! Read below about a Recording Connection graduate whose passion and experience are now opening major doors for his career!

Student Successes
  Recording Connection graduate Mike Messina: Passion pays off     Mike MessinaIf there’s anything you can say about Recording Connection graduate Mike Messina, it’s that he’s passionate about what he loves—and he loves music and sound. “I’ve honestly been interested in sound since I was like five years old,” he says. “I just screw around with sound effects and music—sound effects from movies, video games, animation—I’ve been doing some sampling with it, customization and re-mixing as best as possible. I’ve been doing that most of my life.”   When he says “most of his life,” he means it. As a kid, before he had access to recording software, he was tinkering with lo-fi recordings on his phone. Before he discovered the Recording Connection’s apprenticeship training, he’d already learned a lot about live sound by volunteering at the community theatre, and studio sound design by studying multimedia communications at Westchester Community College. From there, he was trying to figure out where to go next…   “My mother and I were looking at other colleges after I graduated WCC,” he says. “I found the Recording Connection…and we were like, ‘Oh my God, do other people know about this?’   Terminus Studios - Studio AMike jumped at the chance to learn from a mentor on-the-job, and the Recording Connection placed him with industry veteran Sax DMA at the acclaimed Terminus Studios in New York City. For Mike, the difference between learning in the studio and learning in the classroom was like night and day.   “When it comes to being in the studio, you can’t really learn a lot of anything with just writing it down or just looking at a textbook,” he says. “In normal colleges, you’re just basically going through lectures and nothing but reading stuff all day long. But with Recording Connection, you’re actually getting the hands-on work, and you’re getting very little written work. They’re not lecturing you on anything, but you’re actually just being taught as you go along.”   Working with Sax was also a bonus, Mike says. “He’s one of the best teachers known to man…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.”   Mike was so hungry to absorb all he could about the recording, mixing and sound design processes that for him it wasn’t enough just to take the basic course—he stayed on with Sax and went right into the Recording Connection master’s program. Mike talks about the difference between them.   Mike Messina at Terminus Studios“In the [basic] program, you’re just learning the basics of this and that,” he says. “And then once you’re in the master’s program, you pretty much have all the knowledge that you’ve retained, 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. What can I say? It’s just a lot of fun.”   Now graduated from both programs, Mike has already begun to see his passion pay off, and not just by grabbing a few gigs here and there. After a recent stint doing sound design and live audio for an off-Broadway production of Hair, he says his summer is shaping up nicely with a great opportunity.   “I was just hired as lead sound engineer at Long Lake Performing Arts Camp in upstate New York,” says Mike. “It is one of the most prestigious sleep away camps in the country. I will be away from June 23-Sept.1, designing and engineering the rock shows, the classic symphony and the musicals. I’m very excited!”   Even as his experience with live theater sound continues to open doors for him, Mike has definite ideas for the future. He says, “My ultimate dream is to stay in the studio and engineer, but not only for musicians. I also want to engineer for voice actors, too. There’s a lot of voiceover recording going on, like animated commercials, TV series, cartoons, anime from Japan that are dubbed into English. Stuff like that is always what I’ve wanted to do.”   With his passion and drive, we have little doubt that Mike Messina will get exactly what he wants. Meanwhile, his advice for up-and-comers: “Recording Connection is the best way to go,” he says. “You’re learning a lot of hands-on work from industry professionals themselves.”  


Watch us on Larry King here:
June 15, 2015


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

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6-15-15 Apprentices in Action
Here’s what some RRFC Apprentices
have been up to!
Kayli MillsRecording Connection apprentice Kayli Mills (Grand Rapids, MI) recently got to see just how quickly industry networking can pay off. Kayli got an email from a studio owner she had met while networking at the West Michigan Creative Conference. A quick phone call sealed the deal, and Kaylie says she made good money recording several radio spots and a recorded phone set. “It’s really great to start working in the industry and being able to apply what I’m learning as I go,” she says. Go get ‘em Kaylie!    Dave AllisonDavid Allison, Recording Connection apprentice in St. Paul, Minnesota, just landed his first client in the studio—an artist by the name of Brooks! He ran the session solo, with his mentor on hand in case questions arose. Speaking of the experience, David says, “Brooks was only planning on laying down 24 bars for the song, but things were going so well that we got him to do 76 bars. It was fun talking with him through a talk-back mic to his headphones and setting up the different takes that where recorded as clips into Pro Tools and then combined and crossfaded to pull together a finished product.”    Film Connection apprentice Loan Nguyen recently had the privilege of being part of the Ad-Venture film crew at JugFest 2015 in Tulare, CA. Artists included Chris Young, Big & Rich, Craig Campbell & others! Other than the generator blowing up a couple times and the 100-degree heat, Loan says it was a great day!     


6-15-15 Welcome to the Family!
Jon LeibermanJon Leiberman of Howard Stern 100 News is now a mentor for Radio Connection. Jon and our C.O.O. Brian Kraft are also working together to develop a new multimedia course for students in coming months. Stay tuned for more info!  

Digital 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!

6-15-15 Announcement!
Patrick DoyleL.A-based Recording Connection mentor Patrick Doyle just received his first RIAA-rated Gold record for his engineering work on Jennifer Lopez’s dance track “Booty.”  

6-15-15 Mentor News
Film Connection mentor Dean Baker: The deep end of the pool
FC Mentor Dean Baker and Graduate Rob ChiolaTalking with Film Connection mentor Dean Baker of Post FX Digital Studios in Orlando, Florida, it’s clear that he has some specific ideas of what it takes to be successful in the film industry. He believes you need to be fearless, to be a go-getter. And that’s what he looks for in his apprentices.   “I don’t want schleppers,” he says. “I don’t want people that just fetch coffee and run errands. I want people that jump in, that want to grab a camera and start filming. That speaks volumes to me, somebody who isn’t hands-off.”   Dean also understands that sometimes the best way to help someone gain experience is to get them involved right away—and sometimes that means throwing them into the deep end of the pool. Recently, a major opportunity came his way that is helping him do just that.   “About 15 years ago, I was a VP on a project called Cycle Fever,” says Dean. “It was a motorcycle travel show. I’ve maintained a connection with the producers. The show didn’t sell back 15 years ago. And just recently, in the last six months, the producers came around again…they came back to me and said, ‘We’d like to do something. What are your thoughts?’ Well, my initial thoughts were:   ‘We need to retool the show. We need to redesign, maybe instead of it being a traditional traveling, travel show, maybe we need to do more of a reality show.’ …Reality TV is such a popular thing that it really is eating a large percentage of the shows that are on our television channels. So how can I not attempt this?”   Of course, it takes a lot of people doing a lot of work to get a new show off the ground—so perhaps you can guess where this is going…   “I’m using Film Connection apprentices [on the show],” he says. “I’m using currently, two Film Connection apprentices, [Logan Blue and Rebecca Thomas]. I’ve got them editing and kind of going through footage, and I’m trying to draw upon their creativity because we’re redesigning the show. We’re not exactly sure where the show’s going to go, but it is going to go somewhere. And I’m trying to find a common vision between all of us so that we are able to create a product that someone is going to want to watch.”   FC apprentice Logan Blue (camera op)Dean says he’s also using the project as an opportunity to hire one of his former students, Rob Chiola. “I’d have a freelance that opened up, and I’d hire him to do something for me,” he says. “This kind of went on for the last year and a half, and then Cycle Fever TV opened back up again, and now Rob is one of my lead guys on that.”   He’s not easing them into it, either. “I’ve got plenty of stuff for them to do,” says Dean, “Logan’s with me for a week and a half. He’s already been on a shoot. I actually deal with a YouTube video for a client of mine, kind of like a networking luncheon. I actually had him put a camera in his hands, and said, ‘Here, we’re doing a two-camera shoot here. I need B-roll of this, this, and this,’ and so he shot it and then he edited it. And basically all I had to do was play producer and say, ‘I like it, I hate it, I like it, I hate it, I like it,’ and ‘Fix that.’ I put him through the ringer. I tell these guys when they’re coming in, it’s trial by fire. I’m throwing you into the deep end of the pool.”   Dean’s methods might seem a bit abrupt for some, but the thing is—it’s working. “They’ve been doing great! They were editing in week one,” he says. “I want them to get a lot of experience, whether it’s editing, shooting, lighting, gripping, whatnot. And I’m so pleasantly surprised about what I’m getting out of them…They are learning by doing.”   And while he’s busy throwing his students into the deep end, he’s careful to add that he’s not leaving them to drown. “The thing is, I’m not a school,” he says. “I don’t grade classroom projects for them to work on. We’re working on real, client projects. I watch them like a hawk. They’re out there with real strict supervision, because my clients are my clients.”   Dean believes in teaching by experience, because in a way, that’s how he learned to do it. “One thing I learned about working in television [is] we all have positions,” he says. “We have very specific positions, but there are times when somebody left the building and the position wasn’t being held, and someone screams out, ‘We have a problem, we need this person.’ Well, what do we all do? Do we kind of crawl under the table and hide and wait for the firings to start, or does somebody just jump up and says, ‘No, I can do that’? And that’s kind of what happened to me.”   That, perhaps, explains why Dean looks for the go-getters. His advice for those who want to break into film? “You need to have a voice,” he says. “If you’re going to be quiet and soft and reserved and shy and all that, you’re going into it severely handicapped… If you want to be an editor, you need to have a voice as much as you need to have a voice as a director, or a camera person. Granted, sometimes that can get you into trouble, but more times than less, I think it’s such a benefit to anybody going into some kind of production…Find your voice, be willing to learn. If somebody wants to put a camera in your hands, take it. Don’t be afraid to be the first one to try something. . . Even if you’re being a grip for the day, or being the lighting person or the sound person, don’t be afraid to just grab it and be part of the production.”   Talking to Dean, you can tell that this is more than just teaching people the skills of TV and film. To him, the go-getter attitude and the willingness to take risks is exactly what makes a film career so exciting. “Believe it or not, the rewards for just those kind of moments, the rewards have been just incredible,” he says. “It’s really about somebody’s passion and willingness to either be wrong or right, [but] completely just jump into the pool. I don’t care how hot or cold it is, jump in.”  


Film 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  
Dr. Drew endorses the Recording, Radio & Film Connection, and CASA The Culinary Apprenticeship School of the Arts.
June 15, 2015


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   


6-15-15 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!