As a Project Manager at Stagedge, Corey Yacco has turned his love of learning into a high-speed career propelled by the chance to do and try new things daily. His job at Stagedge covers a lot of ground, from serving as the on-site crew lead to setting up and managing all of the video engineering. His role at Stagedge requires supreme versatility and a drive to always learn new things.
Q: Tell us a little bit about what you do.
CY: I am a project manager for Stagedge. My day-to-day responsibilities are to serve as the on-site crew lead for a particular show, and also to serve as video engineer. The role can vary depending on the needs of the client or the show, so I wear many hats.
Q: That sounds like a lot to manage. How did you prepare for the role?
CY: I feel like I was born for this industry! My father was a musician and growing up I used to watch his band practice a lot. I had an uncle who was a DJ for the famous West Coast radio station, KROQ. So, as a kid, I got to go into the studio a lot. I was fascinated by the equipment, all the cables and mixers, things like that. I ended up studying audio production at the New England Institute of Art, and that turned me onto corporate audiovisual production at convention centers and hotels.
Q: For someone in your role, what are some keys for success?
CY: You’ve got to be ready to learn all the time. When I got to Stagedge, I’ve had many amazing mentors from whom I’ve learned so much. My career path is accelerating all the time, especially since the company is such a great environment for learning. There are always new technologies, new equipment, new software to learn. I love seeing the type of equipment we’re buying or renting as part of our commitment to putting on the best show possible, every time. Right now, we’re doing a lot with virtual production and green screen, and eventually more things with virtual reality (VR). You need to be on top of these emerging technologies because they’ll really allow companies to create a vision digitally that they might not be able to do in a physical space. So, if you’re willing to learn, both on your own and from others, you can really build a space for yourself in the industry.
Q: You mentioned the importance of always learning. How can someone in the industry balance the challenges and benefits of learning?
CY: For anyone coming into the industry, I’d say they should learn to not fear failure. One of the ways to overcome this is to find good mentors, people willing to sit down with you and teach you the skills you need to be successful at the job. Feeling over-confident can be a problem, as it can lead to complacency, and complacency is one of the biggest pitfalls in the industry. People get settled into their niche, into doing the same thing every time. They get stuck in a safe place and don’t grow.
Q: What is the best part about a career at Stagedge? What would you say to anyone considering a role there?
CY: We’ve built an amazing culture here where people genuinely love working together. And almost as important, we have an environment where people aren’t afraid to ask for help when they need it. This is important in a company populated by lots of otherwise self-reliant people who are kind of left to our own devices to get the job done. We’re all experts at our jobs, but we also know when we need to tap some of that expertise that surrounds us. There’s a whole network of project managers, technical directors, engineers—a great team that produces magic when we all come together on a project. There’s nothing better than knowing that you have that team behind you.
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