When I spoke with Suzy Mucciarone in late last year, she was enjoying some rare, if brief, time off in Fort Lauderdale, her home base since relocating from Baltimore in 2017. “I was tired of being cold,” she explains, laughing, adding that although a trip to Alaska is high on her “bucket list,” she’d prefer to go in the summertime. “For this little Aussie, cold is a nice place to visit, but I don’t want to live in it.”
Ultimately the decision to head south when she did was prompted in part by an ultimately successful but lengthy process of becoming a Green Card holder (permanent resident) in the United States – an effort that took over a decade. “It was a long road and all very uncertain,” she notes, “and at any point it could have tanked and I could’ve been off home.”
Home now is a condominium she bought in late 2018. Owing to her hectic schedule, however, it’s taken some time to set it up properly: “I just recently moved in so there’s still work to be done. I actually cleaned out my storage unit two days ago and brought all those boxes over. Basically I’m fixing the place up, just a few small projects to go. Once they’re done I’ll start to enjoy the lifestyle down here and get myself to the beach a bit more often. When I look out from my balcony I’m staring at a golf course, so yes, I might give that a shot, too.”
Her success in live audio is, in fact, partially based on her willingness to give things a shot, as well as her ability to adapt to new situations fluidly while embracing any challenge she encounters along the way. It’s an approach rooted firmly in the emphasis she places on learning all she possible can, from everything she does and everyone she works with.
The Right Combination
Over time, Mucciarone’s career has involved fortunate circumstances and unswerving dedication, both of which have helped her negotiate the path from working in radio in her hometown of Perth, Australia, to touring with artists like Neil Diamond (her first tour) along with taking part in high-profile events ranging from presidential inaugurations to corporate shows for companies such as Apple.
Variety has always been important, and the emphasis she places on it is reflected in the varied live audio positions she’s taken on over time. This ranges from mixing monitors and front of house to system tech work for a myriad of corporate applications, special events, and concert tours with the likes of Counting Crows, Linkin Park, Josh Groban and the U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” Orchestra, to name a few.
“Work is a combination of suiting your personality and your skills,” she states. “I was always driven towards the audio side of things and started very much in the analog world, for example, ‘carting’ (working with tape cartridges) for the radio station in Perth. But I’ve always loved the production side of things. I remember looking through a trade magazine in my high school music room and seeing this great, glossy photo of a mixing console. I had no idea what it was or what it did, but it was all lit up and looking pretty and I remember thinking, ‘I’d like to be behind one of those someday.’ And that’s how it’s played out.”
The real-life environment at the station, she often says, bore a striking resemblance to the television show “WKRP in Cincinnati.” During her time there the station evolved substantially; moving from AM to FM, migrating to digital, and ultimately becoming one of the most technologically advanced in Australia. But when Mucciarone came onboard just after high school it was pretty old school, right down to an old 16-channel Soundcraft console with “bullseyes” painted on it to identify where to bang it to stop it from making any unwelcome sounds.