There are hundreds of great stories from the road, and we were pleased to be able to welcome back three Full Sail graduates with a combined 62 years of experience in live production to talk to students about their careers.
After being inducted into the Full Sail Hall of Fame, Martin Santos joined two of his colleagues from Clair Bros, the world’s largest production company, where he works with Randy Birch, a 1985 Full Sail graduate, who has touring credits with Paul McCartney, ZZ Top, the Rolling Stones, and Genesis, and Rich Flora, a 1991 Full Sail graduate, and longtime associate of country music singer Colin Raye.
The three spoke about their lives both on stage and behind the scenes at Clair’s Nashville warehouse. They gave insight into working with different artists, troubleshooting gear, as well as looked back on their own time at Full Sail.
“This has been a very important and emotional couple days for me, to see the Hall of Fame and Tike’s induction,” Rich Flora said. “I came here in 1985, and believe me it was nothing like it is today. I’m amazed every time I come back.”
The grads later fielded questions from current students, who asked for advice on not only starting a career, but also how to sustain it in such a fast-paced industry. Randy Birch explained that it’s the ability to think on your feet night after night, with each stop on a tour often having dozens of unexpected challenges.
“Being able to troubleshoot is sometimes the thing that will help you succeed more than what you’re actually hired for,” he said. “It’s hard to overstate how important that is in live production – so be sure to soak up every bit of knowledge you can when you’re here, because even the littlest things will come back to help you.”