In our third alumni interview, we chatted with graduate Rachael Moore from The Blackbird Academy’s third studio engineering class. Rachael shared her thoughts about working with Grammy winners, new opportunities, and being a woman in the recording and live sound business.

1. What’s your new job?

I am currently working under Grammy-winning producer and engineer Jacquire King and Engineer Lowell Reynolds. I’m also working on various smaller projects in my spare time (which lately is very rare 🙂).

2. What’s your favorite thing about working there?

I average 12-14 hours a day, six days a week, but not a minute of it feels like work. I love being a part of something bigger and seeing it come together. I came into this industry believing a large portion of it is customer service, and I enjoy that aspect. It is gratifying.
I love that there is never a moment you get to coast. You have to always be on your toes. Also, this industry is one where you will never know everything. There will always be something new to learn and take from others you encounter.

3. How did The Blackbird Academy prepare you for your current gig?

The Blackbird Academy helped me understand session and studio etiquette, which is so important. I got my current gig strictly based on how I am with people. Again, this is a customer service industry. Having a selfless attitude is important, and you can tell the people at The Blackbird Academy get that. The program taught me session workflow and how you must always be alert and ready to assist in any way possible. I still have so much to learn. The Blackbird Academy allowed me to see the result. I see where I need to be because of the guest mentors that came in, and I see where the bar is set in the industry. While I am still learning, I can keep up in sessions, and I feel like I learn faster because of the base work I put in with the Academy.


4. What advice would you have for women in the industry looking for recording or live sound careers?

I have seen varying sides of the business. I have been in situations where I was not allowed in a session because an engineer didn’t want women there. I have also met people who are eager to work with me because they say the industry needs more women. So, for any woman entering this industry, I would say be prepared for both scenarios. It is a male-dominated industry, and rather than being intimidated by it, think of it as a time to stand out. I think tough skin is necessary, but that goes for anyone in the industry.
For women looking for work, be prepared to do everything a guy can do, including heavy lifting. In most situations I have been in, the guys around me have been great to work with, very friendly, and willing to help if I needed it, but don’t go in expecting it. I have found that everyone at some point will make a mistake. It’s human nature. But, how you bounce back from the mistake is what you will be judged by and noted. So, by not crumbling and handling it appropriately, it will set you apart.

Bottom line: Be confident and eager, and don’t let the 5% negative response you may encounter discourage you. Let it fuel you.
Good luck to all the future students!

Read more about our graduates: Diego Ruelas, Tyler Oplinger