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The Sound of HERstory

Updated: Oct 23, 2018

A conversation with Tiffany T. Mack…



I had the pleasure of speaking with Tiffany T. Mack recently. And no, I’m not saying “pleasure” because that’s what people say. It was genuinely wonderful to speak to a talented young woman who has paved her own career as a Utility Sound Technician in shows like Tyler Perry’s Acrimony, Dynasty, A Bad Mom’s Christmas, Greenleaf, The Walking Dead, and MANY others.

Although we were both busy, I am VERY happy that we connected and had the chance to converse.


Thank you, Tiffany, for allowing me to pry into your work and your life.


Thursday March 8, 2018:


Astrid Ovalles:

Thanks so much for talking to me tonight. I know you are a very busy lady, and I greatly appreciate your time.

My first, and perhaps most important question is, what are you drinking?


Tiffany T. Mack:

I’m all about a Long Island! I like a little bit of everything! Haha


Astrid:

Hahaha, nice nice. I’m sipping on vodka over here after a long day.


Tiffany:

I love it!


Astrid:

So, we connected via Instagram aannnd obviously, I stalked your pics. So, OPRAH WAS AT THE PARTY??!

lol! How did that feel to you? Did you play it cool like it wasn’t a big deal?


Tiffany:

Gah! I adore that woman! Honestly my first time ever meeting her was when I had to mic her up for her scenes here on the show I’m working on. So, I went into her trailer all cool, calm and collected… Totally professional but inside I was freaking out! Like “I’m friggin wiring Oprah!” But she did grace us with her presence at the wrap party and was such a delight. She’s amazing


Astrid:

That’s so freaking cool. I’m sure you know she’s a big role model for us women entrepreneurs so, I had to get that out of my system. Speaking of which, tell us about your projects now. You say in your profile that you want to “produce great audio in the world of make believe.” What kind of audio work do you do?


Tiffany:

Oh, for sure! She’s such an inspiration.

My actual title is a “Sound Utility” and I like to consider myself the spokesperson of my department when it comes to the actors. Since I interact a lot with them. But I’ve done audio on a little bit of everything. I’ve worked on Reality Television, scripted, features, and back in the day, I did a lot of audio for theater productions.


"My actual title is a “Sound Utility” and I like to consider myself the spokesperson of my department…"



Astrid:

When did you know you wanted to do sound for media?


Tiffany:

Back in high school.

I went to this school called Dr.Phillips High in Orlando, FL and I auditioned and got into their Visual and Performing Arts program. The first year they let us dabble in some of everything… Wardrobe, construction, audio, lights, and of course, acting! While my classmates naturally wanted to act, I felt at home behind the scenes and audio just happened to call to me I felt at home behind the scenes and audio just happened to call to me.


Astrid:

That’s great. I’m sure a lot of young women can relate to that, and lucky for you, you were in a place that allowed for you to get to know yourself. You have obviously achieved a lot of success, do you see yourself as successful, or is there a part of you, or all of you, that still has a lot more to achieve?


Tiffany:

Oh man! I found out the guy that directed “Black Panther” is like 32 or something and I just turned 31 and he makes me feel like I’ve achieved NOTHING! Haha, I’m kidding. I know I’m very blessed/fortunate to have accomplished as much as I have, but there is always more to achieve. I don’t like being complacent. I complete one goal and I immediately set my sights on the next goal.


“I don’t like being complacent. I complete one goal and I immediately set my sights on the next goal.”


Astrid:

I can totally relate to that, and it’s an amazing quality to have. Are there any projects or ventures that you want to take on yourself? If you can share that with us?

Ps. I feel like that when I remember Adele is like 27…


Tiffany:

Omg, right?! I love me some Adele!

As far as any future ventures, I have a few… I’d love to try my hand in the animation world doing audio, but outside of that, I’d actually really love to tap into producing at some point. I’m such a Pisces—haha, I want to put my hands in everything.


Astrid:

Can you tell us about one particular experience in your life that has made you exceptionally good at what you do?


Tiffany:

Ooo! That’s a good question, Astrid! Let me think….


Astrid:

Think away!


Tiffany:

I’d have to say when I worked on this little show called “Say Yes to the Dress: Atlanta,” and also “Say Yes to the Dress: Bridesmaids.” I did both shows for 3 years. It was actually my first real paying gig. If you’ve ever seen the show, you see that the ladies try on multiple dresses of all different fabrics and styles, and depending on the show (Bridesmaids) I had multiple ladies trying on dresses. So, figuring out quickly the best place to hide the wire and make it sound good was an everyday thing. Doing that for those 3 years prepared me to take on any outfit on any show.


Astrid:

Oh, I’ve seen the show… Lol. Having been on many sets, I know that hiding that pack is really a pain. You did good work, it’s funny that people never think of that, and that’s a good thing!

From what little I’ve seen, it seems obvious to me that you lead with humility. I absolutely cherish that in people, by the way. Do you sometimes want to shout from the rooftops that you’re proud of yourself?


Tiffany:

I know!! I love it. It’s such a challenge and I turn it into a game. Where can I hide this mic so that the audience has no idea it’s there AND keep the talent comfortable!!

I do!! It helps that my mom humbly brags about me, when at one time she thought my wanting to get a career in the Film world was so far-fetched and unrealistic


Astrid:

That’s funny that you mention that, I find that a lot of women that I speak with that are in the business, are always doubted in their beginning. It happened to me, and to a lot of the women that I have known. When you were starting out and didn’t have anything to show except enthusiasm, what was the one thing you did that finally showed people, and yourself, the power of your capabilities?


Tiffany:

I left college and started actively networking. I would go to film events around the city of Atlanta, I would cold-call people and see if they would mentor me. Oh, I was determined. I think it was my determination and putting myself out there that made it really click with people… That “ Oh, she’s serious about this!”


Astrid:

Good for you! It’s always so refreshing to hear that. I really am so glad to be part of the Women in Media community, because we just have this fire and nothing can stop us!


Tiffany:

I know, right?! I completely agree


Astrid:

Now, I know that it’s tempting to want to say polite things and the whole “it’s been wonderful working with so and so, they are so amazing…” speech, but, if you and I were in a room fully protected from judgement, and you could say anything in the world… Something from the heart, maybe a frustration, a complaint, praise yourself, a thanks to someone, a prayer… What would you say?


Tiffany:

“It’s hard out here for a pimp!” Haha, just kidding! I will say it’s a little frustrating being a female in this industry. Aside from the “Me Too” movement that everyone has heard about, there is also the non-sexual harassment part, and the part where as a female, you’re always doing extra to feel as good as the men in this industry. The mansplaining that occurs it’s a tad bit irritating, and when I say “a tad bit” I really mean it’s VERY annoying, lol.


Astrid:

HAHA, and girl, do I fucking hear you.

I HEAR YOU


Tiffany:

Hahahaha


Astrid:

Every damn day, right?


Tiffany:

YESSS!!


“I will say it’s a little frustrating being a female in this industry…”


Astrid:

I know it!

All right, so I’m gonna throw you some curve balls, and I want you to answer as quickly as you can, you down?


Tiffany:

Haha, oh goodness ok lol.


Astrid:

Lol ok, let your hair down. Let’s do this.


Tiffany:

Bring it!


Astrid:

What’s your superpower?


Tiffany:

Is being empathetic a super power?! Lol, I feel everyone’s everything sometimes.


Astrid:

What’s your spirit animal?


Tiffany:

Panther


Astrid:

(…And yes, [being empathetic] is [a superpower]. It’s one of the best superpowers anyone can have.)


Tiffany:

Yay! Haha.


Astrid:

If you could be invisible what would you do?


Tiffany:

Play pranks on everyone


Astrid:

Amazing, let’s hang out.


Tiffany:

Lmao, I’m so game!


Astrid:

Ok, next. If you ran into your celebrity crush at a hotel bar, and you’re both single (or open or whatever) how would you woo them?


Tiffany:

I’m like, really shy, and I always seem to crush on straight girls, which sucks– haha.


Astrid:

But let’s say that girl… Wait, which girl?


Tiffany:

Astrid!! I have many haha


Astrid:

HAHAH, your number one. Dont dodge me! I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours.

Let’s say that girl (insert name) is actually gay, but closeted, and she has let you know this. How would you attempt to woo her?


Tiffany:

Bahaha! Number Uno… Probably, Naya Rivera


Astrid:

Nice!!

Five stars, she’s gorgeous. But, back to your masterplan, how do you flirt with her?


Tiffany:

Haha right?! *fans self* let me stop– haha, ok… The Masterplan!

I don’t really know. I’m so bad at this, lol. In my mind, I’d go up to whoever it happens to be (one of the many haha), and lead with something funny to get them to loosen up a bit, and then I’d start asking about them. I am in audio after all, I love to listen.


Tiffany:

I’m sooooo bad at this question hahaha


Astrid:

HAHA– That’s great! It sounds very charming, and I love a good sense of humor so, I’m rooting for you, my friend.

You have 5 seconds to teach me something I don’t know. Go!


Tiffany:

Can you carry a note?! I’d teach you how to harmonize with me.

Or do you mean right now?

Astrid:

I absolutely cannot. I am married to an opera singer and I feel shame, every day. Lol


Tiffany:

Haha, aww! I love it.


Astrid:

But I would love to ATTEMPT to harmonize with you. Hahahaha. I actually am always singing like a goof, I have no voice, but I [have a good] ear, and it is terrible. Literally, I want to sing everything.


Tiffany:

Hahaha


Astrid:

Finally, to get a snowball effect started with Women in Film and Television… Is there anyone you can think of who we should interview next and who would give us the chance to speak with them?

I do! I have a friend by the name of Monte who works in the AD Dep’t, who has handled 1st Team on a number of hit shows, that I think would be opened to being interviewed. She’s amazing


Astrid:

All right! Awesome. If you could send me her info, I would love to speak with her. My goal here is to connect all of us women and minorities who are sick of waiting for “chances” and who are dying to work, and to kick ass, and to form a community of badass people who help each other, so if we keep this going, we could change how things roll, and maybe one day we can show up to work without [having to hear the] mansplaining.


Tiffany:

Hell yeah!!! This makes me so happy.


Astrid:

Now to close the interview, I’ll just write a little bio from your IMDB page and maybe post a few links to your latest work, if that’s ok with you?


Tiffany:

Can I just say quickly what a complete honor it is to talk with you! I fell in love with “Camp Belvidere,” I swear I’ve rented it too many times on Amazon. You can’t see me but I’m like “omg I’m talking to Astrid Ovalles!!” Lol


Astrid:

Lol! I am just as excited to be talking to you! You are a force to be reckoned with, lady. Believe it! AND WITH OUR POWERS COMBINED LOL. Ok, that’s my anime child talking, but I mean it.

Thanks so much for your time, Tiffany. I hope people get to see how great you are. I know sometimes us women tend to be very humble and we don’t give ourselves the praise we ought to, not that I think we should be boisterous about things, but it seems in this world, the loudest get the advantage.

I hope you get everything you want from life, and keep kicking ass, you’re already a star, I can only imagine the places you’ll go. Ps. If we are ever in the same town, let’s totally prank people and try to woo chicks at the bar.


Tiffany:

Yes!! Let’s! Haha!

Thank you so much for the opportunity to be heard. Those of us behind the scenes get very little recognition so it’s nice when someone actually wants to hear our side of the industry.


Astrid:

I definitely hear you. Just know that I know very well how valuable sound is to Film and TV. Everyone will know it too.


Tiffany:

praise! Lol.


Tiffany:

Keep me in the back of your mind for any future projects of your own…I would love to work with you one of these days


Astrid:

You’re already at the front of my mind! Absolutely and same to you!



Tiffany T. Mack has a resume too big for us to even share here with you. Please be sure to follow her on Instagram @atlsound_girl and check out her IMDB page to view her credits.



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