On the off chance you were wondering where I've been the past week and a half, here's your answer: I was on tour! Kind of. The tour involved a lot of staying at my apartment and my parents' house.
By now you all know about my deep love and devotion for Messenger Down, but what you may not have known was that I was helping them book their first tour outside of North Carolina. I mean, I wrote about it, but I don't know how many of you actually read all the nonsense I put up on this blog.
Due to a lot of things going wrong and a lot of things going right, the tour ended up being confined to New Jersey and New York, which happens to be my personal terrain. Since my ultimate life goal is to tour manage, Messenger Down's manager Amanda and I discussed the possibility of me joining the guys while they did their short run of the area. Everything was in hypotheticals until a few weeks ago, when all of my wildest hopes and dreams came true.
The guys let me join them on their first tour, acting as a tour manager/ travel agent/ hostess with the mostest/ videographer/ merch girl. Obviously, I made a binder. And spreadsheets. That's what I do.
I learned a lot on tour, but not the way I expected. I assumed my lessons would be in things like negotiating, keeping track of money, managing other people. In a nutshell, controlling things. Instead, they came in the form of me learning to just let shit happen.
I'm of the school where I expect myself to do everything perfectly on the first try. Guess what? On tour, that ain't gonna fly. You can't control how many people show up to a show, you can't control the other bands, you can't control anything but how you respond to the obstacles that pop up in your path along the way. And, to my own surprise, I responded well. I kept my head (most of the time) and got shit done. Yes, there were times when I felt like a failure, and wanted to just be a failure and leave it at that, but you know what was even better? Getting over it and moving on.
Anyway, this is turning into a bit of a diary entry, so I'll be a bit more concise: be prepared, expect things to not go according to plan, and really take the time to love where you are. I could have chalked the experience up to a loss, but I had so much fun and loved the people I was with, so it was easier to see the wins. And this experience was a win.
I have spent my entire life between Washington, DC and Boston, MA. So when Messenger Down began planning for a tour that followed that route, I all but jumped on their manager to offer my services booking venues and opening acts.
I approached this thinking, wow I'm gonna be so good at this, I'm so good at sending emails, I'm so good at finding stuff, everybody knows me I know everybody blah blah blah blah wrong wrong wrong wrong.
While I was right about being good at sending emails, I overlooked the part where you can't find anyone to email and then once you do nobody responds to the emails you sent. I beg you, I don't care who you are, reply to your emails for the love of everything good in this world.
Aside from REPLYING TO YOUR EMAILS PLEASE EVEN JUST ONE WORD COME ON I have learned a few things:
You have to sell your band. As far as you're concerned, they are the most important band in the entire world, even if they only have 30 Facebook likes (luckily I do believe Messenger Down is the most important band in the entire world and they have way more than 30 Facebook likes).
Sometimes, people you want to get in touch with suck at social media, and will not have any method of contact listed online. They are awful and not worth your time.
Communication is everything. Make lists. Share the lists. Otherwise, you'll contact the same venue twice, or think you contacted an artist and then you won't, and it goes on.
Reach higher than you think you can. Sometimes you'll get a yes because a venue or a band literally has nothing going on the day you need them. That shot-in-the-dark contact and publicity can mean everything in the future.
Prepare for everything to go wrong. Because at least one thing will.
Obviously I'll be filling y'all in on the nitty gritty of the tour once it starts up in August, but for now, check out the new track from MD on idobi!
Back for my second week of internships, and the degree to which I love being at this record label compared to being at the radio site. Let's do a quick venn diagram, yes?
My other internship may not even be that bad, but compared to how much I love my internship at The End, it seems like the lamest job on Earth.
This has been an update on my life, this has been a glorified tweet.
Do you smell that?
It's the smell of summer tours, and it's delicious (so long as you keep a good distance from the van).
Messenger Down are preparing to head out on their first tour this summer, and they asked me to design their tour poster.
After crying tears of joy for an hour or two, I got down to work.
What made this job easier than other design gigs was having a concept and artwork already prepared- I had done some drawings for a video that street team captain and also awesome friend Jude was putting together, and that ended up being the spark for the tour poster.
So as soon as the tour dates are finalized, this poster will be circulating for the duration of the tour. Making tour posters has been on my bucket list for years, and the experience definitely did not disappoint.
Today was day one of my second internship, this one at The End Records in Brooklyn. This was the first internship I accepted, and the one I was most excited about. But after yesterday’s desk job debacle, I had steeled myself for disappointment. But of course, since my life is perfect, I was steeled for nothing, because working at a record label is so much fun.
Within an hour of starting I was already making updates from the label’s facebook and twitter pages, which definitely isn’t as cool as I think it is but it was really cool at the time. It’s still really cool. I don’t actually care if it was cool I thought I was hot shit so that’s all that really matters. Also what really matters: not a single note of electronic music. It was rock, country, metal, Bowie all day.
One of the great things about working for a label that represents bands you like is knowing that, even if you're doing menial tasks, you're doing menial tasks for people you adore. Sure, I was sorting through track duplicates on a hosting website, but I was doing it for Chantal Claret and Emilie Autumn, which took it from a level 1 job to a level 5.
The End Records also runs a merch warehouse (The Omega Order) out of their offices, and to the shock of all, manual labor was my favorite part of the day. With the other intern, I packaged up 300 promo flyers for venues across the country, and counting out those posters and taping up boxes was the most fun I had all day. So, important lesson: if you’re spending 60k on school every year, you should probably just stop because it turns out you’d rather work in a merch warehouse which probably doesn’t require a fancy art degree from NYU.