SPOTLIGHT ON… Patrick Murphy
- Associate of Science degree in Show Production and Touring from FullSail Recording Institute.
- Several industry certifications from a variety of equipment manufacturers.
Operations Manager for a regional production company. At Logic Systems in St. Louis we focus mostly on concert production and special events. As the Operations Manager I spend a majority of my time solving logistical, equipment, and personnel issues. It requires a broad spectrum of knowledge from all of our departments (sound, lighting, video, rigging) and the patience of a saint.
WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST LIVE EVENT JOB AND HOW DID YOU GET IT?
I worked in the Technical Theatre department for a school district as well as running sound for bands in nightclubs and bars. Don’t tell anyone, but carrying sound equipment into a bar is a great way to not get carded.
HOW HAS YOUR THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE PREPARED YOU FOR WORK IN THE WIDER LIVE EVENT INDUSTRY?
Theatre was a fantastic place for me to get exposed to the process of nailing the same process over and over again. In fact, my favorite part was the constant rehearsal of a complicated move or scenic change to get things to the point where it could be consistently executed over and over again. This has literally never happened since I moved over to live events, but I still dream of the days when you would spend an extreme amount of time making everything “perfect”.
HOW HAVE YOUR EXPERIENCES WORKING IN LIVE EVENTS CHANGED HOW YOU APPROACH YOUR THEATRICAL WORK?
I helped a friend design a new sound system for the space he was working in. Even though it was a challenging space we were able to use a manufacturer that was not traditionally used for theatrical installs. The product worked perfectly and we probably wouldn’t have considered it had I not used it in a non-theatre application for an event.
WHAT HAS SURPRISED YOU MOST (GOOD OR BAD) ABOUT WORKING IN THE LIVE EVENT INDUSTRY?
Speed. Things move so much faster in events/concerts. It is amazing how quickly things move from “well-rehearsed” to “did any one notice that I f***** up?”
ANY WORDS OF ADVICE FOR THEATRICAL TECHNICIANS, DESIGNERS OR STAGE MANAGERS WHO ARE LOOKING TO GET INTO EVENT WORK?
If you want a job at a production company just start showing up. Take any crappy gig they give you and prove that you know what you are doing. No one in my entire career has asked me what school I went to. They want to know what I can do and how fast I can learn.
ANY OTHER THOUGHTS OR COMMENTS YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE REGARDING YOUR WORK IN THE THEATRE & LIVE EVENT INDUSTRIES?
I Most of the best technicians I have worked with have a theatrical background. The thought process of designing and running a production with multiple technical elements makes you used to looking at a production with a “big picture” mindset. Focus on your specialty, but learn as much as you can about any department.