A Dream Deferred (Part Two)

“Everywhere I go they like what happened…”-adVerSity”

Christmas was upon us & LT informed us all that the studio would be closing for “Christmas break”. No further information was given out. We wrapped up the last session and closed the doors. Luckily I had collected just enough hours to graduate on time. Looking for the silver lining in everything I took this as an opportunity to locate paid work. My girl had found work at a temp agency and I started looking into temp work myself and found an office job. I hated it, but had no choice at this point. Things started to come around, bills were getting paid on time but I didn’t come to Hollywood to work in an office.One night while sitting at home watching MTV, “Making The Band” came on and there was LT in the studio with Day 26 wrapping up their album. I felt all kind of ways for whatever reason.

It was dope for one to be one degree of separation away from a music mogul like Puff but also I was upset. I guess I was being selfish, because he had shut down the studio and was out in New York networking while the rest of us were at home twiddling our thumbs with no idea on when the studio would be reopened. I talked to the Chief Engineer a day or so later and he informed me that he had contacted LT and quit. D felt there was no telling how long it would take for LT to come back and he couldn’t take the pause on paychecks. There was also a lack of chemistry between D & LT. LT had an engineer that worked for him for 5 years straight and then when D took over they just never seemed to clicked.I looked at it as an opportunity to try and seize the moment. I contacted LT on myspace and talked back and forth with him about me taking over as Chief Engineer. He contemplated it but gave it to this Irish intern that had been working for him, unpaid, for over a year. I respected LT’s loyalty but I wasn’t in the same position as this kid. This kid was an unpaid intern with an apartment, bills paid, and a Jaguar in his parking space. I’m assuming his folks back home were funding everything. He didn’t need a paycheck as bad as I did. I wasn’t able to work for free 14 hours a day. I had bills to pay. So with my new job out in Glendale taking up 11 hours of my day (8 on the clock and 3 traveling), that opportunity had ran dry.My confidence took a blow. I already had a drinking problem that I had brought with me from Arizona and with things not looking so bright anymore it got even more out of hand. I had just spent all this time and money going to school to just move to L.A., work a regular job, like I was doing back at home, but have even higher bills. It was driving me nuts.I got a call from D out of the blue one day and he was setting up something with a production company and they were opening a new recording studio and wanted me as an engineer, not an intern. I was having some personal issues at work and maybe I jumped the gun, but I just stop showing up to work.I met up with D at our new building and I helped put the studio together. We drilled holes into the floor to run cables between rooms. We set up the Pro Tools HD rig and connected all the midi cables for the MPC & the Triton synthesizer. It was a two story building, with two rooms for tracking with sound proof rooms and an upstairs area with several office buildings. It was nice. The one room that was locked was the office to the building owner. He was a Movie/TV producer that had did some work on some major projects including a major Kevin Bacon production (the irony in that is I guess everyone is six degrees of separation from the man). The most amazing part was this dude had an Emmy in his office. I was blown away staring at this golden angel holding the world high above her shoulders. I never in a million years thought I would see one in person.We started to get everything set-up, and people started booking sessions but I was the 3rd engineer. And in being the 3rd engineer meant that when there was a paying gig, 2 other engineers got the call before I did. Sigh. I still wasn’t quite where I needed to be. Luckily I found out there was a Guitar Center in Cerritos, 6 miles away from my apartment. I put in an app, did and interview, they were impressed with my education in Pro Audio and hired me on the spot. I started the next day and the studio said they would work my hours around my GC schedule (and Guitar Center said they would work with me and my studio hours), because they knew at the moment that would be a more steady income.I would work at Guitar Center till 10pm, drive 30 miles to the recording studio, track until 2-3am in the morning, drive back home, wake up a do it again.During this time I got to meet a few more people in the industry including RBX and I even got to track Drew Seeley from High School Musical one night.Things were going good, but our lease was almost up at our complex. The rent for our 600 square foot apartment was being raised to $1600 a month, utilities not included. We tried to find another place to move but it was going to cost a minimum of $3000 to do that considering everyone wanted a deposit, plus first and last months rent. At this same time my girlfriend was informed that her temp job would be ending in two weeks. We were barely getting by as is, and needed to figure out something.I contacted the studio about getting a few more “paid” sessions. They were tied up but let me know to just be patient. The 2nd engineer was planning on retiring from the music world, and the Chief Engineer was planning to shift his job duties solely to producing. It was just going to take some time. One afternoon I got a call out of the blue. A recording studio saw my profile on Pro Tools digidesign website and wanted to set-up an interview. I agreed and she gave me the address to Google the directions. When I did I noticed I was heading out to Beverly Hills. I drove up the Hills (never knew that’s where it got its name from) and arrived at this huge house. To my standards it had to be a mansion. This chick had a Jaguar and a Bentley in the drive way and one of those 12 foot high doors. Her assistant let me in and guided me to this room where we did the interview. This was the real deal. I did the interview and it went well, very well. I was a young kid fresh out of school, that wasn’t stuck in his ways, open to learn new hard and software. They said they would be in contact with me.During this time my girl was out of work and we were both desperate to keep the incoming coming in. While searching online she found a mystery shopper job. We did our research on the company and everything looked legit. Little did we know our next move would change our lives forever…

To be continued…

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