One of a kinds
There’s no such thing as a typical freelancer. Every one follows a slightly different path, which is why our lives are so interesting! Glenn Tommey is a perfect example, having moved in out and out of freelancing, and sometimes combining freelance work with permanent positions, as he explains…
“Well, where should I start? At the beginning I suppose… At the age of 14 I became guitarist with a semi-professional function band with a three-night-a-week residency at a local hotel and I continue playing in a function band to this day (www.bathmenanies.com).
“Between 1969 and 1972, I trained as a secondary specialist music teacher and went on to teach for over six years. Then, in April 1979, I left teaching to set up a professional recording studio in Bath (Crescent Studios), with engineer/producer David Lord. (You can see some of my credits at www.allmusic.com/artist/glenn-tommey-mn0000663211)
“In 1987, I went freelance as a recording engineer/producer, which culminated in a two-week visit to Tokyo to record the Precious album for Hajime Mizoguchi. Upon my return from Tokyo, I developed cancer and had to bow out of freelance work for two years while I recovered from treatment.
“Then, in 1989, after recovering from cancer treatment, I became a lecturer in the music department at my old college, which at the time was known as Bath College of Higher Education. My post was Associate Lecturer in Music Dedicated Micro-Technology. I lectured at both undergraduate and post-graduate level. It was during this time that I became introduced to and familiar with the Apple Mac computer.
“In 1997, I left BCHE to start a business providing music and messaging on-hold systems and IVR prompts to businesses – one of our biggest clients was American Express Travel. After eight years I'd had enough of battling with a dodgy business partner, so I decided to go back to my first love, music.
“I started writing songs with a long-time musical associate, James Warren – writer of 80s pop duo The Korgis' worldwide hit Everybody's Got To Learn Sometime – and we put together Jim's Easy Listening Album (www.last.fm/music/James+Warren/Jim's+Easy+Listening+Album).
As a result of this collaboration, Jim decided to resurrect his original band, Stackridge – the band that opened and closed the very first Glastonbury Festival – and I was invited to join the original four creative members as keyboard/trombone/vocalist/co-writer and we're still gigging now (www.stackridge.net)!
“Music very rarely pays the mortgage, so I had to get a 'proper' job. With all the experience gained using Mac computers for my music work, I took the Apple Certification exam and passed, setting myself up as a freelance Apple Macintosh helpdesk specialist in 2005.
“Apple Mac computers and systems are inherently more reliable and stable than Windoze (sic) systems and as a result tend to continue working without intervention. In my experience, Apple contract support jobs are few and far between; once someone is in post as a full-time specialist they tend to stay there. Freelance Apple jobs mainly only come up in deployment and reconfiguration scenarios, or when additional support is needed on a temporary basis – I've only had three such roles since 2007. As work is so sporadic, I often have plenty of time to devote to music and contemplate my overdraft. So, for me, there is only one downside to being freelance: cashflow.
On the plus side, there's always something new to look forward to, every day is different and you get to meet so many great groups of new people, who more than often become new friends.”
If you need help with your Mac, you can find Glenn at abyteoftheapple.com