Keep on Rocking in The Free World

Aaron - Portland, Oregon
Entered on June 11, 2008

There are many choices offered to us with each new day, while we are influenced by our environment, we always have the option of choosing. It comes with the territory of living in a free nation and having the support of American government toward a freedom ideal, in addition to it being the social norm in the Pacific Northwest region where I live. I believe in having goals and moving forward in life. I choose to make progressive steps forward in changing my daily behaviors toward a newer, better constructed ideal of self. Each new day of reflection on progress brings my goals relatively closer to actualization. I feel good when I can track the improvement I’ve made in reevaluating my daily interactions with others and milestone achievements.

When I graduated high school 3 years ago, finding a meaningful career was of tantamount importance because it was during that period of my life when I realized this was the inevitable, and I wanted to start right away. At the time, I was attending rehearsals for a Blues Brothers cover band in Vancouver, WA under the mentorship of the band’s audio engineer and tour manager. This experience deepened my fascination in live sound reinforcement and event production, and the following autumn I enrolled at Clackamas Community College in their Music Technology certificate program. It was during a vocational lecture class when we had a guest speaker, who was a prominent member of I.A.T.S.E. Local 28 Portland Stagehand’s Union come in and inform my class about his 20+ years experience as sound engineer at the Keller Auditorium and Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland, OR. I knew at that moment that I wanted to follow in the man’s footsteps and in August 2006 I joined the Local 28 as an Extra.

I continued to work fulltime during the summer season as a freelance audio engineer in nightclubs, sound system technician for regional sound companies, stagehand for local labor companies setting up arena rock shows and corporate events including one month in Missoula, MT building the stage and working with the international production crew of the Rolling Stones; basically any type of gig I could find through networking within the music industry of Portland and Seattle. As the next winter approached, I was offered a job as a sound technician for a student audio group at Portland State University from the sound coordinator. I accepted the position, and began pursuing a degree in Theatre Arts to further my understanding of technical event production. Through staying the course and keeping my goals consistent with my career choice, I am now actively accomplishing my 3 year old goal of contributing my life’s work toward a meaningful career in a field I appreciate and enjoy.