When you work in retail and misc customer service jobs, you meet so many different kinds of people in different professions. Living in LA, many of these people tend to work in the arts and entertainment (in some way or another OR they know someone who does). It can be awesome but also really overwhelming. When I meet new people and they ask me what I do I used to answer “I work at GPS, a producer management company, Apple, and I manage bands independently.” While I’m no longer at GPS this answer is rather interesting if you stop and think about it...I was always embarrassed saying I was at Apple. It’s an amazing company to work for but I guess it just felt like I was proving to the world I couldn’t live on the jobs in my career. But I can’t / couldn’t so what is there to be embarrassed about? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
I would be talking to customers at Apple and ask what they do at their company or we’re just making small talk while choosing their products or waiting for it to come out of the back, and it would come up that I manage bands. And they’d say something about knowing someone in the industry who works here or there or wherever, and I would find myself sometimes feeling like I needed to explain why I was at Apple, that it was my choice, that I also had an industry job and worked with bands. I felt like I needed to get very defensive. It wasn’t until my sister said something that really helped my outlook on this all...
My sister is teaching English in a small town France for a year and she was talking about her family to her students. She told her students that her sister “manages bands,” nothing about working at Apple or being an assistant at a music company. “My sister manages bands.” And as she told me this she said “needless to say, they think you’re really cool and much cooler than me.” Of course I wondered if her students knew that she has traveled all over, including spending two and half years in the Peace Corps in Africa, but that’s not the point. My sister told her students I manage bands. And I do. And nothing else mattered. No other jobs that help me make rent and pay my bills every month. I manage bands. That is what I went to school for. That’s the career that I chose and love. The job that I’m excited to wake up and do everyday. This is what makes me love my life. This is what helps me get through the rough days of working retail (as much as I love working at Apple, I won’t lie, some days it’s rough - people are difficult!)
What do YOU do?
I manage bands. :)
And with that, here’s an awesome video of the band I manage, The Lumineers performing their hit “Hey Ho” (or is it “Ho Hey”?) at a house show in Denver, CO:
I manage bands. And I’m proud of it!