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Meet the Team: Damian at the Sound Desk

Thursday 31 October 2019

Tammy Ryan Head of Programming

We interviewed Damian Clarkson, one of the Supervising Technicians working quietly behind the scenes

Damian Clarkson
Supervising Technician

When did you start working at the FAC and why?

I started working casually in March 2017, my first ever shift was Ventana Street Fiesta, thrown straight in the deep end. I’ve been full time for almost two years now.

Your favourite show that you have worked on or seen here?

It would probably be the Pink Floyd show that came through a couple of months ago. They did the album The Wall from start to finish, which I know very well, so it was fun trying to recreate the recording in a live format.

Best memory?

Starting full time and then my daughter being born one week later. The show came down on a Sunday night, and literally ten minutes later I got a call saying it’s all systems go. Suffice it to say, I didn’t help with the bump out on that one.

Which shows this season are you looking forward to?

Being late in the year and most of them having passed already, probably the MSO. But from what has already been, it would have been The Mission Songs Project as I have owned the album for years and listen to it regularly.

Tall Tales but True?

When Jimmy Barnes was in last year, I received a phone call from someone claiming to be Jimmy’s driver. He was querying me about where was best to pull up that evening, close to the venue to get easy access without the crowds interfering. I went and informed the production manager of the show and he told me that Jimmy didn’t have a driver. That’s someone trying to get in backstage to see or get to Jimmy. I said, I’m glad I checked. Or when Stephen K. Amos got locked upstairs, inside at another venue, as the tech on duty assumed he had left. He came stumbling down the stairs in complete darkness to be greeted by the Front of House supervisor as they were locking up and leaving.

Best thing about Frankston

The Arts Centre of course! But in addition to that, the diversity of people and areas. Also the very inviting and usually calm beach which is a very quick stroll from work. Or the sourdough bread from Heatherhill Road Bakery. 

Favourite Food & Drink

Hot chips. Dark beers. Porters and stouts. 

Funniest question you have been asked?

 Demanded, more than asked:“turn my son/daughter up”. My response: “He/she isn’t singing and there are 400 other kids on stage”

Funniest thing an audience member has done?

Not sure. Not funny, but definitely odd/disgusting/rude. A baby being changed in the middle of a show and then the nappy being left behind underneath the seat.

Who are the friendliest/funniest celebrities you have worked with?

Adam Hills, comedy festival at The Athenaeum around five years ago. Genuinely one of the nicest clients I’ve ever worked with, very funny and very appreciative of technicians and venue. He thanked us personally and during his act every single night.

Do you have any superstitions?

Boring answer. No. I’m not superstitious. I have lots of routines but not superstitions.

Best solution you worked out for a problem?

When the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra came to FAC last year, their 1st violinist was dreading performing here as the room designed more for amplified music, which is 99% of shows we get through, not acoustic music. To try and aid in creating an environment they were more comfortable with, we placed various ambient microphones around the stage and sent them to a very subtle reverb in the auditorium. This brought some more life to the room and created something close to what orchestra are used to performing in.

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