Tell us a little about yourself and your experience.
I started working as an intern for Nickelodeon while I was a freshman in college. I always knew that I wanted to be around music and talent since I watched the very first video on MTV. Nickelodeon and MTV were both owned by Viacom and knew that I needed to find a way to get to MTV. I learned an incredible amount about television working for my mentors at Nickelodeon and we launched TV Land together a few years later working with classic TV icons. After TV Land I moved over to VH1 working in production. Eventually I landed at MTV where I was really able to shape and support artists that were either at the beginning of their careers or launching new projects. It was a very exciting time for me.
What drove you to choose your career path?
My parents are jazz musicians and my uncles played with Frank Sinatra. Growing up in recording studios and seeing musicians in their element was so inspiring that my career path chose me. There was no way that I could be in a usual 9-5 job. I had to be around creative people and projects on a daily basis.
How did you go about getting your job? What kind of education and experience did you need?
Internships and the willingness to go above and beyond for every project and job I had. Also, no job is too big or too small and I still believe that to this day. I went to a college that had a very strong college radio station that I was a music director for and I made sure I was heavily involved there. When I speak with students, I tell them to make sure they do at least one internship while at school. The contacts and the hands-on experience is invaluable and necessary in today's world.
What do you actually spend the majority of your time doing?
Since I book and produce various tv and digital projects, I'm always reading about our industry, listening to new music and artists as well as making sure I have balance in my life whether through exercise, spending time with my family or watching classic films. I also do freelance writing and DJ.
What misconceptions do people often have about your job?
That all you have to do is make one phone call in order to book talent. Talent booking and producing takes strategy, planning and finesse. You want to always make sure you have the right talent for the right project.
What are your average work hours?
There is nothing 'average' about my work hours! Every day is a different journey which is something I love. I'm almost always on call since I run my own business and my clients range from LA to the UK so being available, even if at 10p, is something that just comes with the territory.
What personal tips and shortcuts have made your job easier?
Trusting your gut. Never go against that first feeling you get when you first meet a client or contact. If you feel that something is going to be a hassle from the beginning, it will be. It is ok to walk away or say no if the project doesn't speak to you, or if expecations aren't realistic. Also, for me, to always remember my personal motto which is to always work with truth and integrity. Finally, always surround yourself with people who support you and vice versa. There is always a way for both parties to get to the finished goal in a satisfying way where everyone wins.
What do you do differently from your coworkers or peers in the same profession?
I will never make promises that I can't keep. I will most always underpromise and overdeliver. Also, when you call Drive Entertainment Group, you will always have me involved from start to finish. I also see things three steps ahead and flag them before they could potentially become issues. Another important thing to remember, is to make sure that all departments involved with a project we are working on, are up to speed so that everyone is as effective as possible to make a show, event or project a success.
Do you have any advice for people who need to enlist your services?
Please know you will always get a truthful answer which isn't always the most popular! Also, talent booking and producing takes time to materialize so we always ask for our clients to be patient. As long as we stay in communication they will always be in the know for each part of the process.
What's the worst part of the job and how do you deal with it?
Managing expectations and sometimes having to either say 'no' or delivering news that talent has passed on a project. Being solution based is the only way to be.
What's the most enjoyable part of the job?
Starting something from scratch and then seeing it on the big screen and knowing that me and my company worked together with the teams involved to create it. Also, to see talent that we gave either a tv debut to or their first walk on a red carpet, go on to have hugely successful careers!
What kind of money can one expect to make at your job?
It really varies on the project.
How do you move up in your field?
Being present, ever-evolving, re-creating yourself and raising your goals yearly so that you always strive to be a better version of yourself no matter what anyone else is doing.
What advice would you give to those aspiring to join your profession?
Try everything in your field to figure out what really speaks to you. You may not find it at first but if keep following your passion and your heart, you will eventually land exactly where you want to be. Also, meet as many people in your industry that you can. The friends I met in college radio are still colleagues and friends I know today.