concert/show production-questions


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Sep 25, 2008
Hey all. So I've had really bad luck (call it what you will), with my current choice of careers. I went to school for baking and pastry arts, and have an associates degree. I've either quit a couple a jobs, or have gotten laid off. Because of this, I am losing my passion, and thinking of pursuing another passion of mine that I think has more potential for a guy like me.

I want to go into show production. Pretty much work on concerts, making it all happen. I don't have any work experience, so before I decide on school, I need to find a job. It seems almost impossible though because of all of the venues in Philly are associated with Live Nation, and getting through them isn't going to happen anytime soon. There are a few small venues that I called already, but have only left a message.

I'm highly considering going to Full Sail University for their Show Production bachelors degree program. Its expensive for 21 months. Roughly $78,000, but they have a lot of big name producers and bands go in and record albums/perform shows, so I could easily network with these bands/producers and possibly secure a job upon graduation.

What I'm asking is how do I go about getting a job in the field? how do I get to know someone at venues? Is school the best plan?

Whats your take!?


macrumors newbie
Nov 8, 2012
Concert and show reply

Hi, I say follow your passion.
I have produced concerts and events ALL OVER THE WORLD for more than 20 years. Shoot i would safely say that i felt as if i have done a million shows so to speak. But honestly! I've done THOUSANDS ranging and not limiting to the Superbowl pre game show, Olympics ceremonies in Athens, almost all the Super Dance clubs with the worlds best DJ's from Ministry of sound to the cows market in Brighton beach in Ireland. Too many i cant remember. My best advice to you is DO NOT spend the $78k. Full sail is an awesome school. But dont doit. LISTEN to me. Hook up with a great PA & Rental company and apply for an internship or job. One way in is get some books. Buy some used PA equipment even some small backline gear to start. Start a Rental company offer your services. HECK even buy some DJ equipment. GET YOUR FEET wet. hook up with a DJ band or local club /bar and tell them you can give them great stuff and will beat anyones price. Start there. Let me know how it goes. Or if you need help i'll try and walk you through as much as I can. Ralphieboy :D GOODLUCK!!!! you can doiiiiittt!!!


macrumors 6502a
Dec 24, 2011
The above advice is accurate.

I have been in the field for 20 years as well, and I am a Full Sail Graduate since 1998. Do not waste your money there, is way too expensive and it will take ages to pay for it in a world where you may get $8 an hour for the first 3 years.

My first and mayor advice and take a drill a cross your brain as many times as possible with this information... read this book that is 10 thousand times more valuable than any degree... RICH DAD, POOR DAD. Download the audio book, it takes only 3 hours to read it. The book is about what rich fathers teach to their children that the mid class does not. That way you will see if there is a "business" in what ever enterprise you are starting or not.

Then starts doing internships (as the book says), do not worry about the money, get the education in the field and ask and be eager learning. Regarding audio, find out what is balanced, unbalanced and nominal signal. Then learn how to EQ and effects processing. With that you know more than any DJ in the world already.

Start to carry equipment, is going to be heavy, a lot of sacrifices, dirty, but you are getting the education about the field and environment. I was an audio engineer and then graduated from multimedia at Full Sail. I am a video editor now. But I spent 12 years working as a VJ for big concerts, the entire audiovisual part.

Then I got a degree in Project Management, very important, you learn how to organize any sort of project, events, tv channels, construction, anything.

If you like show production go with video or lighting. They are less demanding than sound and pay better.


macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
Atlanta, GA
Funny that the OP was never answered for over 7 months...who knows if he's still watching, but here goes...

I've also been in the production business for quite a while, and my focus is on lighting (pun intended). I've been doing lighting since I was literally learning to walk, playing around with anything I could get my hands on. Somehow, I made that into a career!

As the other have said, don't waste your time with Full Sail. There might be a few good things about it, but it's mostly the butt of jokes out in the industry. In fact, I know many people who won't hire someone from Full Sail. I don't know whether this is so prevalent any more, but it used to be these guys would come out of there talking about how they were going to mix audio for Pink Floyd, but didn't know the difference between a PowerCon and an XLR. The people I know who came out of North Carolina School of the Arts seem much more rounded, but I'm not sure what programs they offer, or if it's more design-based.

In Philly, it could be a little tougher to get in due to the IATSE local having most venues. You won't get work through the venue itself in most locations. Do what Ralphie said and find a good production company or two there to get your feet wet. They are often looking for entry-level people to come in and help pack equipment or huff cable around. Once they see that you are good, you will move up.

This business is almost all about who you know. So make good impressions and do good work.