ROSS MacGregor spent almost 20 years ‘crawling’ out of a major clinical depression to find his dream job as a Sound Engineer at Six Degrees.
The 49-year-old said he went through some traumatic experiences growing up as a child in Scotland and again around 2001.
He was diagnosed with genetic anxiety disorder, and went into a deep depression.
“It took me the best part of these past 19 years to crawl my way out of it,” he said.
“The past two years I’ve been doing pretty good, having gotten back into my passion of playing guitar.
“Scoring the job at Six Degrees has been a dream come true. My social anxiety meant that it was a bit out of my comfort zone working at a bar/restaurant, as I’ve been a bit of a hermit for a long time.
“So I wasn’t sure how I’d cope, but I’ve been thriving on the music and social interaction with fellow musicians and music lovers and fellow staff members.
“It’s made me realise that the world isn’t so scary after all and there are so many beautiful, compassionate and friendly people here in Albany.”
MacGregor commenced his duties in September and described his job as extremely rewarding.
“I get to meet and work with some amazingly talented artists and bands and help to enhance their overall sound and make sure everything goes smoothly,” he said.
“Not only do I get to enjoy the music, but being a part of that and being appreciated for it is truly gratifying and has done wonders for my self-confidence.
“For me, music is like energy for my soul.”
MacGregor was referred to Six Degrees through disability employment agency Forrest Personnel and met with the organisation’s music guru Geoff Waldeck.
“I shared my story and experience with music and the fact I’d gone through years of depression and anxiety,” MacGregor said.
“Geoff must have seen something in me, he put his trust in me and he has since expressed how happy he is with how I do the job.
“I can’t express how much it has meant to me, him giving me a good old Aussie go of it and I hope I never let him down.
“He’s such a personable and compassionate guy.
“He has made me feel so welcome at Six Degrees and allowed me to flourish as his soundman.
“His constant appreciation and friendly demeanor has made all the difference, as has Six Degrees’ owner Anton.”
Waldeck said as the backroom has continually grown into a purpose-built musical venue, the need for a consistent quality sound was evident.
“Paul and Jeff Meyers were very active to the development of the venue and played a huge part in setting up the room’s acoustics and installing the PA system,” he said.
“Enter Ross MacGregor … he has taken on the daunting task of maintaining the high standard that was set and doing his best to improve on it.
“Ross’s desire to help along with his jovial, engaging and active personality have been a wonderful addition to our staff, and as he become more and more comfort- able and at ease with all the new people around him – he is embracing this new chapter of his life with gusto.”
MacGregor has been playing guitar for 32 years, leaving Scotland aged 19 for France with a backpack and an acoustic guitar.
He ran out of money and started busking, which became his life for the next decade where he busked throughout Europe.
MacGregor’s passion is playing instrumental electric guitar in the style of guitar legend Joe Satriani, who he met and translated two interviews with in France in 1996.
He has played in bands over the years and also wrote his own music but due to the isolation he put himself through with his anxiety and depression, he hasn’t been in that environment for many years.
“More than ever now I hope to get my own band going in 2021,” MacGregor said.