RandyBillDuck in the PACA building provides music recording, marketing

Frank Strumila’s mission is to help others grow artistically through what he calls his “biggest and smallest East Coast entertainment studio”.

Strumila, 34, owns RandyBillDuck, a performance art studio located at the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA), 1505 State St., Erie.

Strumila, who is also Erie Mayor Joe Schamber’s media strategist, opened the three-room studio in April with the intention of providing a space for people to create whatever they wanted in music. . Guitars, keyboards, wind instruments and more are set up for everyone to use.

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“I don’t think there are many places just in America that would let anybody walk in and get behind some drums or pick up a guitar and be ready to record in 20 minutes, that’s so what we have set up to do here,” Strumila said.

More than a music studio

In addition to providing a music recording space, RandyBillDuck also serves as a performance venue for comedians, singer-songwriters, and bands.

Strumila coined the name RandyBillDuck during the pandemic while writing a cartoon featuring a duck.

“While playing the cartoon, we decided to name the duck ‘Randy,’ and then it turned into this,” Strumila said. “I thought ‘RandyBillDuck’ would be something to remember.”

Since it opened, RandyBillDuck has hosted many shows and every first and third Monday of the month it hosts an open mic night for comics.

“We record almost everything that happens here and then give it to the artist and the performer and they can do whatever they want with it, we don’t do rights or anything like that,” said Strumila said.

Each room can also be transformed into a photo studio or video set depending on the needs of an artist.

“You can do whatever a band needs for a marketing package,” Strumila said. “It’s kind of how I imagined the space. It’s a one-stop-shop for anything you might need in an artistic sense.”

For Strumila, this includes support that goes beyond simply recording music or a set for artists.

“All I was looking to do with this space was to create a base for a lot of artists and performers, as if they needed an address but had no money,” said he declared. “I just wanted to create a hub area where everyone can branch out and meet new people.”

As for revenue, Strumila mainly makes money from the spaces it rents out, but will also sell equipment like cables to people. But the money is an afterthought for Strumila.

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Erie composer and multi-instrumentalist Adam Holquist creates atmospheres "listen to music" as one-sidedness.  He is shown, April 1, 2022, performing at Randybillduck, a combined performance space, music studio and photography studio operated by Frank Strumila and located at the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA), 1505 State St., in Erie.

“My real income scheme is non-existent,” he said. “I built this space hoping to make some money, but not with the intention of making money. It’s a pay you can.

“People come in and they shoot music videos and they throw money on the table. We have fixed prices for out-of-town people, but locals, if they don’t have the money and we have time then yes we will check you in.”

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Teaching the next generation

As the music production side of RandyBillDuck continues to pick up speed, Strumila has plans for how he wants it to continue to grow.

Strumila eventually wants lesser-known artists to develop their musical skills with professionals he knows who would be willing to coach them.

“It’s like a music factory,” he said. “We try to get people to a point where they feel comfortable enough to play bigger shows or try different things.”

He also hopes to reach children who otherwise might not know that recording music is an option for them.

“I would also like to start a mobile unit so we can go to the Inner-City Neighborhood Art House, Erie Center for Arts and Technology, and maybe bring kids here and try to partner with different organizations in the city. …and teach the next generation of people who might be interested in this field how to do this stuff,” Strumila said.

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Randybillduck is a combined performance space, music studio, and photography studio located at the Performing Artists Collective Alliance (PACA), 1505 State St., Erie.  An opening reception for the space, which is operated by Frank Strumila, was held on April 1, 2022.

“There are schools where you can learn this, but there’s nothing like the experience you get doing it on the fly or trying to figure it out on your own, and those are things. which I encourage here.”

Through Strumila’s connections, he is confident that the professionals he knows will get involved and help him create an environment where young artists can flourish.

“Erie is such a diverse place with so many bright, talented people,” he said. “We have to get past, ‘It’s okay to love Erie,’ and say, ‘No, we love Erie, and that’s why you should come and do what you do to help our community,’ because that’s that’s where I’m at.”

Baylee DeMuth can be reached at 814-450-3425 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter @BayleeDeMuth.

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