BRIC hosted a healthy and lively open talk at the Brooklyn Public Library last night: “Putting Media Skills to Work.” It featured Clive EJ Salmon and Robin Winter-Young, two accomplished media professionals who shared valuable information and lessons for both up-and-coming and active community producers.

I made sure to arrive a few minutes early so I could secure a prime seat, one toward the front where I wouldn’t miss any of the action. There were many community producers in attendance, both senior producers with experience and newly-certified producers, such as myself. We mingled and entertained one another with causal discussion about our shows and expectations, shared our excitement about new hardware to try, exchanged contact information, and expressed our curiosity about the presenters’ success from their meager community producer roots.

One noticeable theme from the talk, although implicit, was that of overcoming discrimination in the media world. Clive is a Caribbean-American male and Robin is a woman (who began her career in the 1960s). Their shared experience as overcomers was a motivating force to all in attendance. If they could do it, so could we.

Take-away Points from Clive EJ Salmon:

  • The foundation he received at BRIC was sufficient to begin his media career.
  • Be willing to excel on any project you work on so you develop credibility.
  • Crew on non-paying gigs if they can develop your skill and network.
  • Find mentors who can coach you along your journey.
  • Set goals and road maps. Evaluate them along the way until achievement, then set new goals to achieve.

Take-away Points from Robin Winter-Young:

  • Credited as “The First Female Sound Engineer”
  • Overcame persistent discrimination in her early career
  • Take what’s given to you, then reach for more.
  • Kick doors open, if necessary, to make room for yourself.