That same year, Bill Putnam is making the transition from the old standard vacuum tubes to new solid-state technology with his Universal Audio-brand preamps and compressors. The legendary engineer and equipment manufacturer had previously redesigned his original 108 tube microphone preamp (taken from his UA/United Recording consoles in Chicago and Hollywood), into the new 1108 — utilizing the recently invented Field Effect Transistor (FET). Subsequently, he redesigned his successful 175/176 tube compressor (based on the popular variable-Mu design) using FETs, and thus was born the 1176.
I want to preface this article with this: I didn’t get the gig. I got a free trip to Japan for 5 days of interviews and auditions, but in the end the gig went to the other guy.
So I can’t exactly tell you how to get a gig with Cirque, but I can tell you how to audition (and, maybe, what not to do).
It was January, 2010, when I got a call from a colleague of mine. He had previously worked as a keyboardist for Cirque in Vegas and had since operated, now and then, as one of their recruiters. He told me Cirque was looking for a new music director for a tour they had in Asia and my colleague had recommended me for the spot.
He wasn’t sure what the pay would be, but he estimated that it would pay about as much as a music director on Broadway would earn, which is somewhere around $150,000+/year. Of course I said yes. I told him I would go through the audition and recruiting process and make him proud.
My colleague forwarded me the music that I would need to learn for the audition. That included 9 selections from the show, along with demo recording of the songs and backing tracks that I could record to.