The Right Balance: The Diverse Career And Life Of Grace Royse

Keys To The Job

Regardless of the pace of any gig, Royse emphasizes remaining calm, cool and, above all, collected during and between shows at all times. And she’s worked in some dicey situations, with gear held together by duct tape and needing on the fly repairs. In those instances, her background in the studio definitely help: “I learned the physics and the electronics in the studio, and that gave me a firm foundation. And I can solder on site like nobody’s business.

“I don’t want to float my own boat,” she continues, “but I’ve made some great shows happen in some pretty crumby clubs where I’m like, ‘This isn’t even a PA.’ But we’re going to make it great because we’ve got the people and we’re each other’s best assets. Some of the best shows happen in the crumbiest places. A show in Portugal I did that had a balcony the kids were jumping off – you could barely even hear that little PA. They didn’t care. They just want to have a great time and a great show.”

In building a successful career, however, she places as much weight on accountability and attitude as she does on technical aptitude. In other words, the basics; the ability to live on a tour bus without losing your mind or making others lose theirs, learning how to sleep whenever and wherever you can, eating well, and so on.

“I’m a professional taxicab napper. I just knock out when I have to,” she explains. “If you don’t take care of yourself and your relationships, things fall apart. It has nothing to do with the gear. You have to take your well-being into consideration.”

That, she adds, is the same as it’s ever been – on both big budget and bare-bones tours. What has changed, however, is the level of connectivity that can be maintained with others, on tour and elsewhere, while traveling.

It has pros and cons, she maintains, with one downside being something she often cautions people just coming up in pro audio about: No one in a position of authority on tour wants to worry if someone on their team is engaging in “selfie-madness” or sharing details artists would rather not have slip on social media.

“If you’re making a public presence, the people you’re going to be seeking work and mentorship from are going to look at that,” she cautions. “It can also be a turnoff to team builders if it looks like you’ve got an ego. I just say low-throttle it. Stay low key. Notoriety and attention will come.”

Wielding a soldering iron for an on-site, last-minute repair.