ALUMNI STORIES: INTERVIEW WITH JOSH
King Sound Reinforcement starts our series of Alumni stories. We share stories of employment and training with KSR. Today's feature is Josh Hollyfield who has been working as a technician in the company for nearly 3 years having started as an intern. He shares his plans and aspirations as well as some useful tips for anyone considering a career in the industry.
1. WHAT'S YOUR BACKGROUND AND WHERE DID YOUR INTEREST IN SOUND COME FROM?
So basically my friends were playing in bands and I was too lazy to learn an instrument but wanted to remain involved. That just developed over time to me helping out sound engineers at venues and then to me doing an apprenticeship at a local theatre. After my apprenticeship I went to drama school in London as a way to get experience in a busier environment.
2. WHAT MADE YOU PICK KING SOUND REINFORCEMENT FOR TRAINING / JOB?
Initially I was looking for somewhere in Bristol to work. After searching for Bristol based PA companies and finding King Sound I was sold by their website. My first attempt at contact involved writing Paul a letter asking about work experience. This was followed by a phone call to find out if he’d received it but it turns out it’d ended up at the old address. However after a chat we agreed on some dates anyway. So because of the professional image they convey I guess would be the answer to the question.
3. WHAT DID BRISTOL OFFER YOU AS A YOUNG TRAINEE / EMPLOYEE?
A friendly and relaxed environment. There is a lot going on all the time so plenty of opportunities to get involved with things. Through Paul I met some of the in-house guys and got to spend time at a few venues as well. It's also good not having to take the tube everywhere. Although the bus from my house to work wasn’t the most reliable.
4. HOW DID YOU WORK EVOLVE HERE AT KSR?
I spent a summer as a work experience before moving on to general crew, being a work experience gave me an opportunity to learn a lot. As crew I started spending more time undertaking projects at the unit including PAT testing and implementing the hire track system whist still working on site. Since moving back to London, I’ve still done bits of freelance work. This has moved on to being stage tech for events like Harbourside and Tyntesfield’s Live on the Lawn festival.
5. WHAT IS YOUR FONDEST / HARDEST / FUNNIEST MEMORY OF WHEN YOU TRAINED / WORKED AT KSR?
We had someone come in with a skateboard and Paul mentioned that he used to skateboard as a youth. So he had a little play on it. For some reason I wasn’t expecting the company director to have those kind of moves!
6. WHAT HAVE YOU GONE TO ACHIEVE SINCE TRAINING / WORKING WITH KSR?
I'm still employed, which is something in itself! Most of my work now is in theatre.
7. WHAT ARE YOU WORKING ON AT THE MOMENT?
I have just been prepping School of Rock and next month I'll be doing Lazarus, the David Bowie musical.
8. WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE YOUR CAREER TO BE HEADING?
In the direction it is really - I've got a nice mix of theatre and other work, with people I get on with. Having spent the past few years settling into King Sound and Autograph (my primary London employer), ideally I’d like to carry on working with them. If there’s the opportunity to take on more responsibility or specialise as things progress that’s an added bonus.
9. WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO TRAINEES THINKING ABOUT TRAINING / WORKING AT KSR?
Ask questions and make it obvious what you want to learn. People are generally happy to share their knowledge and if you’re interested then make the most of the opportunities. Here are a few more practical tips: the 506 bus is always late! Bring enough food to eat on site. Days can be long and if you’re like me your work will suffer if you’re hungry.