Normal on Friday, demolished on Monday
Amazing stories sometimes take a few years to ferment and for the shock and residual dismay to wash off. This is one superb example.
We had Julius Events College inside a warehouse near Parramatta and reasoned adding on a working recording studio would be a handy foil against the large studio audio colleges. Our Diploma was theatre and events, yet a lot of prospective students were swayed by the implied promise of a glittering career as a studio engineer or producer. They signed with the large audio colleges like SAE, JMC and AIM instead of us.
Across our Diploma we gave them a broad slab of sound, lighting and vision – adding on some studio recording was a reasonable move but we couldn’t invest. All the equipment we trained with over eight years, was donated sponsored or loaned.
In comes a working studio, courtesy of a long time studio owner from the suburbs who was attracted by the deal we offered. It was for free space, no utility bills, indeed no cost whatever. All he had to do was relocate his studio. Which he did. As a bonus, we offered some paid teaching hours each week.
He built an excellent facility, and invested in an upgrade of his equipment to do so. The deal was open and transparent – build a suitable and attractive studio, make it available (with yourself as trainer), and the rest of the time and after hours ply your trade in a high profile location.
Somehow this fell apart over four years, and he turned surly and difficult. The progressive reduction in training pay didn’t help – our course was evolving closer to vision and there were few components that could be practically taught in a recording studio.
Engineer had just a few projects over the years at our location. He seemed unable or unwilling to find new work, and the fusion of a working studio within a college campus just didn’t happen. He had slowly become more difficult, releasing an apparent inner anger and displaying all the signs of ganga paranoia. If there’s two things I cant stand, misdirected anger and dope introversion rate very high.
Finally one Monday I arrived and flipped on the lights to find a gutted space. I mean I tried to flip on the lights – the switch was removed. With wall finishes, flooring, and the 12mm double glazed glass to the live room. On Friday the studio door opened to a fully functional and attractive studio. On Monday it was a demolition zone.
He had come in over the weekend with help, and stripped everything. No discussion, and so far as I was concerned, no warning either. It was a brilliant lesson for me – always document every deal, and have termination and exit clauses.
After the shock wore off, we re-purposed the space as a TV control room, which worked far better for the course program. But the writing was on the wall, and we closed the college a bit later, at the end of a semester.