Lisa Fay is a musician and sound engineer who frequently accompanies touring bands and works at a number of local clubs.

"I was always mechanically inclined, so it was a natural progression," she says of her introduction to P.A. work. She lucked out when she approached an engineer about introducing her to the process. Eager to take the night off, he showed her the basics and then bailed, leaving her to plunge headfirst into the business. She notes, "I love school, but I'm a hands-on person." Good thing. She then started touring with her band Mudwimin, and doing sound for bands like The Gits, 7 Year Bitch and Smoochknob, essentially teaching herself as she went along, and supplementing her experiences with books, although she says "the book is almost just there for reference."

When the guitarist for 7 Year Bitch quit, she took up the mantle and played with them for two years before they broke up. Now she has a solo act called Elfay and is about to tour with San Francisco's Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, running sound and opening their shows. As someone who loves music, P.A. work is ideal for her because "my job is to make the bands sound as good as possible, and if I like the music, then it's great, like a higher grade version of improving your home stereo."

Scholastic training for sound engineering can get pretty expensive. However, she says that this shouldn't necessarily be a deterrent. "I'm totally an advocate of school, if that's the right format for you." Her advice to those who might be interested in the business is to find an engineer who is willing to show you the ropes. "A lot of people don't mind having a little gopher to help them. Try to help, and read. Keep up with the technology."