BWW Blog: 'You're in the Band!'
Hi again, everyone! Going off of last week's post, I want to share what I'm learning about the music business and touring theatre productions. Something wonderful about my school, Columbia College Chicago, is that all teachers have worked in the business and strive to share their experiences and advice to classes. My Producing and Touring Live Entertainment teacher just spoke with us about how she has worked with Live Nation/Vans Warped Tour and Bruce Springsteen in accounting and tour management and always struggled with getting any tips from her bosses on how they got their jobs.
In this week's class we discussed potential career options in touring live performance. We learned about many types of jobs, such as tour manager, accountant, designers/crew, and even show attorney (yes, that is actually a real thing!). We also watched a few videos of people my teacher has worked with, who currently work with My Chemical Romance and Fall Out Boy, and explained the journey to get to their dream jobs. Every one of them started out with simple jobs that involved watering plants, answering phones, and daily tasks. We learned that it is rare or nearly impossible to go straight to your dream job right out of college, in this industry, and there is constant interviewing and rejections involved before a simple job can be obtained.
What I greatly appreciated is hearing these professionals say that they got to their tour management jobs because of keeping a positive attitude and never giving up. My teacher told us that she was a company manager for a musical on tour and loved being able to spend a lot of time with the cast on the tour bus and get to know what it's like to work with a theatre cast, instead of the usual rock bands. It's nice to hear that these professionals give other musical types a chance, even if it's not what they intended to get involved with, and find a new passion in themselves.
Time is of the essence. Time management is crucial. I know many students that are currently looking at jobs, completing internships, and even starting event coordinating jobs to get a head start in their careers. I'm very proud to learn in such a creative and positive environment, seeing people my age already achieving their goals. My career goal is to produce and tour musicals in Europe (mainly Germany) and the U.S., and I've learned that my teachers are some of the best ones to talk to because they know so much from their experiences and have even done work internationally.
All in all, I love learning about the experiences of my professors and fellow students, and most people are still learning and getting different jobs that introduce new opportunities that they did not plan on getting involved with. So many details go into tour management and producing that people might not normally think about, such as, routing/venue deals, company dietary requests, time management/communication, and financial management. I have been taking advantage of the local downtown Chicago library by spending days and hours on the music floor, reading books about tour management and music publishing law. Music and theatre are the best industries to have constant opportunities to travel, learn new things, and meet new people, which are a few main reasons why I am passionate about it. My class will soon be breaking into groups and designing theatre/rock tours to develop, and I can't wait to start sharing our work!