So SEDA have asked me to write a little blog about my time at the BRIT School and what i’m up to in the live events industry. Not too sure where to start but here it goes!
First of all it’s probably good to have a little back story. It must of all started in my pre-teen years when I started shadowing my dad around to various venues throughout London and the south-east creating countless memorable occasions as a Mobile DJ, which we still do today with Dynamix Disco.
Although I was there to admire the DJ side of things (and still do!) – I couldn’t help but focus my attention on the more technical aspects of what we did as a Mobile DJ. The speakers, the lights, the lasers, the smoke! It all plays a massive part in what we do! I’ve always liked the idea of focusing the passion on the whole picture rather than just the music. Why help create only part of the experience when you can know how to do the whole thing?
It got to the point where I was in my final stages of secondary school, taking GCSE exams and rather confused as to what my next step would be. I then came accross the Technical Theatre Arts course at the BRIT School seemed like the perfect place (I mean, who doesn’t want to spend two yearsplaying with lots of lighting and sound equipment!) – so after applying for the course and attending interviews/workshops I was fortunate enough to be offered a place at the prestigious school, where I was given a massive kick-start to my career!
For those of you who don’t know, the BRIT School is a performing arts college for students aged 14-19 located in Selhurst, South London. The school has an impressive list of alumni including the likes of Adele, Jessie J, Amy Winehouse and even Spider Man himself, Tom Holland! Although BRIT was best known for it’s world-famous Music and Acting courses what many don’t know is that the school also has a very successful course devoted to Production Arts; whether that be Lighting, Sound, Stage Management or even Stage Design and Construction – you name it, you could do it at BRIT!
Over the past two years I have been given some fantastic opportunities! On one hand I was working on the DJ career, having the privilege to play a set among the names of the legendary Danny Howard and ex-JLS/Capital FM’s Marvin Humes and also performing the odd set at places like BPM and other events on the Mobile DJ front. On the other hand I was at the BRIT school assisting with the technical elements of a number of the school’s productions. Whether that was being a cameraman for one of BRIT’s music shows, Lighting Designer for the theatrical adaptation of ‘Blue Stockings’ to being a sound designer/operator for our very own production of ‘Carrie: The Musical’ – live mixing for a 5 piece band, a cast of 18 talented actors and managing over 60 sound cues on a DiGiCo SD8 (a very complex show to say the least!)
A great thing about the BRIT school is it’s relationship within with the industry. These contacts gave me some absolutely brilliant opportunities – working on events for Diesel, Dazed and Confused (Magazine) and more, not forgetting that I was even fortunate enough to gain a fantastic placement with PRG XL Video at the BRIT Awards 2017, working for two weeks prepping lighting equipment in their Longbridge warehouse and helping put the whole of the lighting rig together at the O2 Arena in Greenwich. During the show, myself and four others were in charge of all of the on-stage lighting changes. To give you an example of the scale, for Bruno Mars’ performance we had to wheel 436 Robe Robin 100’s on-stage and make sure that each one was working within the space of four minutes! (The truth behind what goes on during those TV adverts!)
Just one part of the Lighting Plans for the BRIT Awards to give you an idea of the size of the rig!
Early Stages of the BRIT Awards build
The end result!
It’s fair to say my experience at the school has been unique, learning from experienced industry professionals in an environment like no other. The course was brilliant as it always felt more like we were at work, getting all of the jobs done we needed to make the show happen rather than sitting in a classroom listening to lectures all day. Learning about Lighting and Sound on a large scale has also dramatically changed the way both me and the almighty Dad Gadd (we’ll call him that for now!) go about with the whole Mobile DJ concept too, giving us a greater awareness of how to use equipment to it’s full potential to give our clients a better quality experience.
My experiences have also meant that I have been fortunate enough to start working for White Light as part of the latest wave of apprentices. This will help me open doors to even more opportunities at one of the UK’s industry-leading events company. In my short time there I have already been part of some really, really cool events in and around London (some of which I am not allowed to mention!)
I must say that I’m excited to see what the future of my career in the DJ/live events industry will hold! Most importantly, I’m also looking forward to working closer with SEDA not only as a member but as a Young Ambassador to the association, helping reach out to the younger DJ community and bring back the recognition that SEDA deserves!
P.S – If you want to find out more, you can go and like my facebook page at www.facebook.com/goofyofficial 😉
A few events we have delivered under Dynamix Disco & Karaoke