I Want To Be A Mixing Engineer

A few blogs ago I stated that in My Next Life I was “going to be very smart…high IQ and all, tall, thin, pretty, funny, bright, popular yet grounded, excelling in Math, Science and Witchcraft. I will cook like Bobby Flay, dance like Ginger Rogers, and chat like Ellen DeGeneres. I will work out, travel around the world, and be a best selling writer.”

Scratch most of that. I’ll keep the smart and thin and pretty, but I’ve decided I want to be a mixing engineer for concerts.

Let me backtrack.

Last night I took my grandbaby and son and husband to see the Transiberian Orchestra. Their website categorizes them as an American Progressive Rock Band. Now, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen or heard of them, but they are amazing musicians that put flash and fire and laser beams in with their rock-style Christmas (and other themes) show. This year they were a little more high tech than in previous years, and I sat in Section 315 row 2 with my mouth wide open throughout the whole concert.

Maybe it’s an old person’s lament, but I look back at my life and, removing family and friends,  see boredom most of the time. I’ve had vanilla jobs all my life. File Clerk. Secretary. Internet Data Analyst Specialist. Safe, boring jobs that didn’t take a lot of creative brain power.

Whenever I attend a live performance, I can’t help but be amazed at the amount of talent that it takes to pull a gig like that off. Forget being the star of the show — that’s first row talent. But you stop and think about all it takes to make Mr. Star Mr. Star, and it’s amazing. No linofilm typists there. No dictaphones or typewriters there.

The people who create the magic that the average Joe-sephine sees are experts in their fields. I mean experts. Mixing engineers. Sound engineers. Someone has to come up with lighting maneuvers that are programmed into a computer. Someone has to mix the live audio so that every piece of sound-creating equipment onstage comes through loud and clear and perfect. How do they do that? What kind of training did they have? 

The person who created the graphics on the three screens behind the musicians were amazing. Where did they come up with such a mixture of snow and trains driving through snow and clocks and marching nutcrackers and photos of deep space and castles and dragons and fireplaces?

I have no idea how those people landed those jobs. I don’t know what their childhood was like, if they were a genius in third grade or if they lost a mother or father or if they did drugs. I DO know that they found they were very good at something and worked their a$$es off to get where they are today.

I suppose a lot of us suffer from cool-job-syndrome.  Some of us managed to have cool jobs somewhere in our past….maybe some of you still do. I took the path my personality set out for me. It wasn’t bright lights or screaming guitar solos or graphic magic. I’m okay with where I am, with what I’m doing and who I’m doing it with.

But sometimes the thought of having become an astronaut or a famous painter or the head of a movie studio because of my God-given talent brings  a soft sigh from my lips.

My only hope it to write one kick-ass story about it all…..