— From the pages of FLL#37 • Written by Rachel Pfennig Hales
For Simon Mathews, the goal has always been to make it to Lititz, Pennsylvania. Now, of course, he knows all about the sweet treats at the Lititz Family Cupboard and the award-winning pulled pork at JoBoy’s (two of his favorite local spots), but growing up in Selangor, Malaysia, Simon only knew of audio industry giant Clair Global. With an aptitude for sound and passion for live events, he dreamed of making it to South Central Pennsylvania to work with the best in the world. Simon’s dream is the best sort, because not only did it come true, but exceeded all expectations.[pullquote align=”right” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]“It’s amazing to see the pure happiness my job brings people.”[/pullquote]
Simon started his audio career right after high school, studying at the School of Audio Engineering in his hometown. After graduation, he moved into Kuala Lumpur and, while he did spend a brief period doing in-studio sound work, soon dove into the world of live events. For nine years he pursued any projects that crossed his path. “It didn’t matter what kind of a show it was,” he says. “I worked on everything from government sponsored jobs to large festivals to private corporate events. All this time, I knew I eventually wanted to work for Clair. This experience was, ultimately, building towards that.”
In 2006, Simon decided it was finally time to make the move to the United States. There were several hurdles to clear, such as getting the visas and funds sorted. It was difficult leaving his family in Malaysia, but Simon stayed focused on his goal. In June of that same year, he was able to enroll in Full Sail University in Florida where he graduated with an Associates Degree in Show Production and Touring. He spoke with several companies, but was always waiting for the one interview that would bring him to Lititz.
“I was relieved when I finally got word I had been hired at Clair,” Simon explains, speaking of the moment with pride. “It was three days before my visa was going to expire. I only had $600 in my bank account. I really thought I was going to be moving back home, but instead, I was finally moving to Lititz.” Since then, Simon Mathews has been touring the world as a Monitor Technician with groups such as Kidz Bop, the Black Eyed Peas, and Elton John. “It’s amazing to see the pure happiness my job brings people. As they say on Sir Elton John’s tour, ‘We Sell Fun,’ and that is so true.”