How To Start Getting Real Life Experience

Getting real-life experience in the Music Industry is the key to starting the snowball effect that will eventually get you hired as a crew member with a band. I am sure everyone has heard the following line.

We want to hire you, but what experience do you have?

And then thought to themselves – Well, how am I supposed to get experience if no one will hire me?

We know it’s tricky, and we want to help you out. We need to sneak you into the industry in your unique way that works for your life. 

Creating Luck

It all starts with creating your luck. You can start by telling everyone – your friends, family, co-workers, and pets – what you will do. 

“Hey friend, I am going to become a touring crew member; if you hear of anything that could help me let me know.” 

It is as easy as that, just start telling everyone what you want to do. Then you need to start putting yourself in positions that open you up for better opportunities. We all know that touring is the end game goal – but you can start by doing local jobs. 

  • Security
  • Merch
  • Concessions
  • Runner
  • Photographer 
  • Door
  • Stagehand 

These jobs are good entry-level jobs that can help you meet the local crew. Of course, if you are a massive human, maybe security is better for you – and if you are artistic, stick to photography. Everyone’s path will be different. 

Front Of House

Front Of House

Start Local

Once you meet the local crew, you can start shadowing them and learning more about jobs that require some time to get good at. 

  • Lighting Designer 
  • Front Of House
  • Production Manager
  • Monitors

You can shadow people who are on the road in your area for one day, people who live in your area that maybe have some time off – it is just about figuring out what works for your schedule and life. 

Reaching out to these people to connect can be intimidating. Some quick skills to get you into someone’s inbox and having them reply. Ensure you treat them like people – no need to start with Dear or end with Sincerely, just be real. Make sure your message is short, concise, and straight to the point – we don’t need any fluff at all—just who, what, where, when, and why. 

No Is Normal

Taking rejection is a useful skill to start learning, as well. People will say no, people will not respond to you – and that is very normal. Don’t worry about how many people have told you no. Don’t even hold it against them. You never know when someone that says no now could be a yes later. Just keep doing good work, meeting people, growing your network – and focus on getting that one, yes! 

Comparing Yourself Correctly

Comparing yourself to others is another typical thing that will start happening. Some of your friends will start getting touring gigs, and you might still be trying to find a local shadowing position. That is okay! Instead of using the information to beat yourself up with – use it as proof that where you are going is attainable. Look, if your friend Samatha can do it, you can too. 

Shadowing Local Crew

Your first day shadowing someone can be nerve-wracking. A lot is going on at a concert venue, and we understand that.  Here are some tips to keep you from embarrassing yourself too much.

What To Wear At A Venue 

  • Black everything 
  • Simple clothes
  • Shoes you can move around in
  • Earplugs 

Keep in mind most interactions at a venue are non-verbal, so what you wear is very important.

techs wearing stage blacks

Stage Blacks are important, they allow you to not distract fans during the show

How To Act At A Venue 

  • Listen carefully to who you are shadowing. 
  • Take notes so you can ask questions when they are not working.
  • Remember, everyone is working, and each area is a workspace.

What Not To Do At A Venue

  • Take photos/ appear as if you are taking pictures. 
  • Post AAA passes online. 
  • Get Drunk
  • all access lamintes

    These are what All Access Laminates look like, don’t post them online

I hope all this helps. The music industry is the business of networking. Take it slow; you can not rush it. Enjoy the process because it is an enjoyable one. As always, check out the podcast for a more in-depth look at networking.


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