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old school

Retirement?

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Not to compare what we do with Paul Simon and his peers, but after seeing him and his band last Sunday night, I think it all comes down to doing it while ya can and you still enjoy it.  They went way deep to do it right and well. I applaud them for the effort, most mostly the result. At 74, Paul seems at the top of the game and doing great work for Paul Simon Inc and his legacy... I think I want to go deep as I can after I'm not Mixing for money... Like Haskel Wexler did in his life. Interested and actively involved. Making something for myself and others. Being in the "Parade of Life" and not watching it from the curb. When it's all said and done, it will matter little in the big picture, but a lot to us and our families and friends.

CrewC

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I'm surprised at how many older people here have similar thoughts to me. - Oh well back to the work bench.

"Being in the "Parade of Life" and not watching it from the curb" - I like this Crew.

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9 hours ago, old school said:

 I think it all comes down to doing it while ya can and you still enjoy it. 

i don't ever want to retire from anything. work will keep you young. retirement makes you old--quickly.

it is important to keep your ego centered on accomplishing things, maybe not the same type of work things, but things nonetheless.

i think it's true: if you don't use it, you lose it. keeping those itty bitty brain cells in shape is key.

notable music performers, like paul simon and others keep gigging not because they need the money. they love doing it regardless of the hassles involved because there's the fleeting moments of fulfillment. i saw dion play in brooklyn recently and at 76+ he was killing it. whatever is making him tick--i want it, lots of it.

 

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Right now retirement consists of maxing my IRA annually, monthly transfers to wealth growth mutual funds and a weak hope that our financial system doesn't implode over the next few decades.  

Still, when I think about it, and when recent experiential memory fades enough, I really enjoy working sound for film.  I imagine the "get to work" idea will kick in more if/when the "need to work" mentality erodes approaching retirement.  Til then I try not to think about it too much.

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I had to switch from production sound to nothing but post years ago, when I was still young enough to run & gun a docy, but my bones had started to develop problems. I really missed the fun and excitement of working with a crew and actors on something scripted.

Now, however, I'm old and gray... and I can keep working whenever I want. It's all sit-down, indoors. (In fact, I'm building a small post suite in the condo we're buying for retirement.)

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I'll be 70 in two years and that's it for me. If Rosewood goes three seasons that'll be perfect. I have much more to occupy me on the outside of the TV biz that I love to do, playing and recording music, helping run the commercial real estate company that my wife formed some years ago which will provide a nice residual income for us. The business has been good to me for the most part, eleven years on "CSI" and numerous other TV shows, but I've been good to it too, so I'll bid a fond farewell in a year or two, flog all my gear and continue to enjoy what's left of life, good health permitting of course. I could never do what you younger guys do with bags and two man crews. I used to back in the days of "Unsolved Mysteries" when I lugged a Nagra, two wirelesses and a boom pole around, following an Arri 16 mm camera. Much fitter back then. Now I sit in a chair at my board and let the youngsters do the heavy lifting. I earned it. 30 years of mixing for TV mostly, and I enjoyed the heck out of it. There's life in the old dog yet, just have to intersperse it with cat naps.

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Mick, I'm still amazed at the 11 years on CSI --- one show for that many years, pretty amazing. I know it had its downside, I remember talking to you about how you get back "on the market" when you've been tied up with one show for so long. Glad you did manage to get back to work and also pleased to hear that you'll have no problem keeping busy with things you like to do when you finally retire.

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Thanks Jeff, but Beau Baker's got me beat. I think he's in year fifteen on Grey's, maybe more.

I hope you're enjoying your retirement.

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Instead of calling it “retirement”, I prefer to call it “No longer gainfully employed”.
 
My transition happened almost 3 years ago at age 60 after nearly 40 years doing production sound.
 
Cashed in all the chips from riding the Southern California real estate tsunami, and headed for Mexico.
 
I’m currently doing ‘gratis' sound design for the local community theatre, and I’ve never felt more gratified. It’s still sound related, but a totally different side of the business, and quite challenging. Learning is a good thing.
 
Something happens when you remove the money from the equation. It’s truly liberating, and difficult to explain to other working people. It feels great to give back, and therefore quite rewarding in itself.
 
While I can’t speak for the others who are still "gainfully employed", I grew tired of having to justify my rates and working much longer hours on uninspiring projects. Better to let a young buck ride that horse.
 
I still enjoyed the work, but knew it was time for a new and improved challenge.
 
But then again, that's just me enjoying my post gainfully employed life.
 

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I did some sound design work for a couple of theatre shows last summer. It was interesting having to adapt from the "get the shot and move on" mentality of the film world to theatre's purely repetitive workflow. Definitely the sort of work I could imagine taking up when I start slowing down.

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In theatre work (in my case, ballet), I found that my diplomatic skills from production sound were very useful, as was the attitude of "we need to fix this NOW so we can move on", ie macgyver-style ad-hoc problem solving.  I was very glad to discover this.....

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"House done, man die" is an old Chinese proverb I believe in. I think there is a world of interesting things one can do in life at any age. For me staying positive & plugged in is my goal.  I've done so many rewarding things thus far and have a list a mile long still to do. Will I get them all done? What? And finish the house? Sadly we all die and leave this life, but I hope to do so knowing I gave it my all.   Onward through the fog and into the new day brothers and sisters. Onward.

CrewC

 

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  Love this thread!  Crew your Five Stages is really hilarious!  Did you come up with that?  It's brilliant.  These are my favorite kinds of threads, they're kinda like weird character development sequences.  It's really fun seeing other people's personalities.

  I am just 44 and in my 14th year of professional sound.  It is a great thing in the sense that I have always been a listener and the actual recording part hits a nice rewards center in my brain, but the fact that in episodic TV world there is time for little else, sucks.  Because I'd rather be making art.  (Ceramic sculpture, surf music, writing, improv, etc.)  So my plan became "work as much as possible so I don't have to later."  I'm not going to give up sound, just get to the point where I hardly ever work and can pick and choose fun little gigs.  I was lucky enough last year to be welcomed into "the family" of NCIS NOLA last season and we're about to start season 3 - 192 days baby!  It's only my 4th episodic but it's by far the best - we had over ten 7a Friday calls!  What other show does that?!  The crew is nice, actors and producers are nice, what more could one reasonably ask for?

  The idea of taking a gig with more time off is only a workable plan in theory; in practice during down time, I have encountered great difficulty in pursuing anything besides relax-atating or worrying about getting more work.  I guess you could say I'm an "all or nothing" kinda guy.

  So my plan is to reduce my cost of living and garner a supplemental income.  My house is nearly paid off, then a rental property in this town.  Then get away to a mountain cabin before the next big hurricane!

  I have so much respect for you oldies, seniors, elders, geezers, wizened sagacious role models.  Thanks for everything, especially the affable fellow who started this site, and of course the site's truly amazing contributors.

Dan Izen

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Yeah, kinda.  The diff in age starts to be noticed, and it's hard to keep up with all the cultural memes in play in on-set conversations.  It's also good (for me) to remember that although I have a lot of experience and techno expertise, much of it isn't all that relevant to current filmmaking techniques, and in any case many folks like figuring things out for themselves.  So be cool with war stories and Free Advice.

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On 6/5/2016 at 2:11 PM, old school said:

Stage one.  "Who the fuck is Crew Chamberlain"?

Stage two.  We can't get the guy we really want, but there is this new guy Crew Chamberlain.

Stage three.  Got to have Crew Chamberlain.

Stage four. We need somebody like Crew Chamberlain, but not so expensive.

Stage five. "Who the fuck is Crew Chamberlain"?

I guess I'm at stage four heading for five. 

Any comments would/could/should be wonderful to hear from our many members, brothers and sisters. Thanks.

CrewC

Mine is just the repetition of Stage one...five times.

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On 6/9/2016 at 8:16 AM, atheisticmystic said:

I got into production sound in 2010 at age 45, had my first (and only) child at 47, and owe more in school loans than most MDs.

Short answer: never.

P.S. Pass the ibuprofin please.

Yay, I don't feel so bad at starting in my late twenties (now early thirties!). Thanks! :P

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On June 5, 2016 at 11:11 AM, old school said:

Just wondering what others think about retirement.

I'm 64 and I don't plan to ever retire, retread yes, go play golf, no. Do you all out there in the world of sound have plans to retire? If so, what is your plan or course of action? Travel? Drink? Learn to surf?

 I've always heard it said that you don't retire from the "Biz", it retires you.....   That seems true enough for many, but I also know many who got to a point and said enough, I'm out. I suppose after a particularly bad commute home I might do something rash and burn down the van full of gear on the 405.....   But basically I'm already transitioning into my last/3rd act now. I still get plenty of calls but I take less of them ( the Palmdale/Mojave/Nights) and I try to pass them to my friends and family who are younger. I still find what I do fun enough and the people doing production great bye an large and don't want to stop yet....  I love recording music, ( mine and others) and I do make some coin doing so, but I mostly charge something to keep everyone focused. I shoot photos and make doc's which I do for me only without thought of $$$. I would be happy doing this full time only I think but I feel a reluctance to give up production sound now that I've finally learned what I'm doing... My feelings are that as long as I'm healthy and I enjoy mixing, to do so until the phone stops ringing and I've been Retired by the Biz, or I hit what?  70, 71, 72?  It's hard to tell at this point in time. I'm sure it will come into focus someday and I will know. But it reminds me of the 5 stages of ones career.....

Stage one.  "Who the fuck is Crew Chamberlain"?

Stage two.  We can't get the guy we really want, but there is this new guy Crew Chamberlain.

Stage three.  Got to have Crew Chamberlain.

Stage four. We need somebody like Crew Chamberlain, but not so expensive.

Stage five. "Who the fuck is Crew Chamberlain"?

I guess I'm at stage four heading for five. 

Any comments would/could/should be wonderful to hear from our many members, brothers and sisters. Thanks.

CrewC

Same stage here, Crew.

These days, I tend to stay in the BG and let the youngsters, like your son, make me look good.

When the phone stops ringing, I hope my package is worth selling!

Cheers!

 

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Thankfully in TX we still have our vehicles and places to park em.  Although my gear will fit nicely in my Prius, so no complaints there!!!

I have started a countdown clock on my iPhone showing days until I am 66!  Then I will think about a real retirement...until then, its full speed ahead....

 

 

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