Work Stories: Eleanor, Warner Music

The best advice I can give is that you have to get out there and do something, because it’s not going to happen if you wait for it.

This Is It! speaks to Eleanor about what it’s like being a Radio Promotions Apprentice at Warner Music. This opportunity was found through DiVA as part of the Creative Employment Programme.
What were you doing before you started working here?

I came here straight from college. I had just completed all my a-levels and was looking for something within the radio sector of the music industry. This was because I had been doing voluntary radio at college, which was incredible. I was a Broadcast Assistant at a community station for a year and then became presenter every Saturday. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done, I was really happy there.

I applied for this role through an organisation called DiVA, who are Diversity in Visual Arts. They help young people find apprenticeships. I saw on their website that Warner was looking for an apprentice, so I applied through them.

It was nice that the team trusted me to build up that press release and get it sent out to radio.

Can you tell us a little bit about your role here at Warner Music?

I am a Radio Promotions Apprentice, so I assist the radio team who do regional and national radio. We get all the playlists from the big stations, like Radio One and Radio 2 as well as Global and Bauer stations, such as a Capital and Absolute Radio. It’s my role to then analyse them and monitor how well Warner’s artists are doing. That’s my main role – I also analyse Shazzam and ITunes, again to see how well our artist are doing.

The radio promotions team is quite small; there are four of us and our manager. So it’s only a very little team, but it’s really nice. We have one member of our team that works specifically for national radio and another member that works specifically for regional radio. It’s really interesting to see where their similarities and differences are and how they cater and promote differently. So the marketing’s kind of different depending on whether it’s regional or national.

I’m so passionate about music and coming here everybody else shares that same love.

What would you say your favourite aspect is about the role?

Making the press packs are quite fun! You have to write down who the artists are, the album name and a bit of information about them, then stick it on a CD and send it out to radios. For Duran Duran’s new album, I was kind of given the reins to make a little press release for them. So I would write down anything interesting about the album to promote it, like that Mark Ronson has produced it. It was nice that the team trusted me to build up that press release and get it sent out to radio.

 I think maybe the genre of music is changing a little bit, and people are listening to different things, which is interesting.

What would you say the best thing is about working for Warner Music?

I think because radio is my first love, I had such a good time doing community radio. I’m so passionate about music and coming here everybody else shares that same love. Everybody here is so lovely and it’s just a joy to work with people managing bands that I love. Some of the bands on our roster are bands I’ve been listening to for years, which is really cool. Being able to work alongside these playlists we get sent in is so interesting and exactly what I want to be doing.

Another big perk to the job is that you get to go to gigs. This morning I was out of the office with the radio team at Maida Vale because Muse were in the Live Lounge. So I basically got to sit and watch Muse this morning, it was amazing.

If you want to get in to the music industry, whether it’s with radio or even being in a band, you have to do something before off your own back

What would you say your view is on the future of music within radio?

A lot of the big bands that are starting to really get attention now and the smaller bands becoming well known, are all quite rocky and quite guitar based. I think there’s a band out there that has seriously lifted that, which is why so many of these rock bands are getting a lot more attention. So I think maybe the genre of music is changing a little bit, and people are listening to different things, which is interesting.

You’ve got to be business savvy and extremely passionate about your artists.

What advice would you give somebody who might be looking to work in radio promotions? 

The best advice I can give is that you have to get out there and do something, because it’s not going to happen if you wait for it. I did a really stupid thing at college and didn’t take media studies because I was told it wouldn’t get me where I wanted to go. When I started college I realised that I wasn’t doing anything with radio, and radio was what I wanted to do. So I thought ‘what can I do about that?’ and the answer was to join a community radio station. If I hadn’t of joined that station I wouldn’t be sat here because that experience is a big part of why Warner wanted me. So if you want to get in to the music industry, whether it’s with radio or even being in a band, you have to do something before off your own back.

 

Can you name four skills that every radio promoter should possess? 

You’ve got to be business savvy and extremely passionate about your artists. You need to be out going, you can’t sit there being quiet and shy or else you’re not going to sell your artist. I think you’ve also got to have a bit of radio background yourself. This helps you understand how a radio station works, how the kind of people that work there tick and what they’re looking for. You will then know exactly how you need to promote your bands and artists.

Eleanor’s apprenticeship is part of the Creative Employment Programme, an Arts Council scheme that provides paid placements for 16-24’s just starting out in the creative industries.

Work Stories: Bradley, ArtReach

Despite having a whole range of unexpected hitches along the way, there is an unparalleled satisfaction to be gained from seeing your shared endeavours translated into the smiles and enjoyment of audience members.

Bradley tells This Is It! what it’s like working as a Marketing Assistant Intern for ArtReach as part of the Creative Employment Programme.

 

What interested you about applying for a role in the creative industries?

After leaving university with a degree in Ancient History, my options appeared to be limited. After graduation, I went through a lengthy period of trawling through job sites, writing dozens of job applications and sitting through many unsuccessful interviews. I quickly realised the ‘commercial’ roles I had been applying to were poorly matched with my personality and interests, they were simply jobs I couldn’t feel passionate about.

Therefore the chance discovery of the Creative Employment Programme, and the prospect of an internship placement locally at ArtReach, was not only fortunate, but also incredibly well suited to the type of career I wanted. I believe I speak for a lot of people when I say that career motivation derives less from “profits and pay-packets” and more from engaging in, and being an integral part of, projects and causes that feel important to them. With ArtReach being a ‘not-for-profit’ organisation that develops innovative creative arts projects and programmes around the country, it ticked all the boxes for me.

By far and away the most enjoyable experience I’ve had was being part of delivering our Night of Festivals event in Barking, London.

Bradley-ArtReach-03

Tell us about your day-to-day role?

My official title is Marketing Assistant Intern but it would be wrong to assume anything from job titles! My main task is to help promote awareness of ArtReach’s Night of Festivals events, which celebrate the themes of freedom and democracy through artistic innovation. This ranges from writing press releases, to editing and updating websites, and reaching out through social media. My role also encompasses a range of activities and tasks that come with being in a small office environment from answering phone call enquiries to creating and updating databases. One of the most appealing things about working for ArtReach is the incredible variety of activities that are happening. For example I am helping run a five day circus skills workshop in Northwood next week, it’s not all about making teas and coffees on an internship!

I am beginning to learn that careers can now be forged in areas of personal interest, such as those in the creative sector.

What has been your highlight so far?

By far and away the most enjoyable experience I’ve had was being part of delivering our Night of Festivals event in Barking, London. Night of Festivals could be characterised as a big street party, continuous carnival processions made up of elaborate costumes and vibrant music. Our Barking event also featured live theatre, world music and storytelling amongst many other things!

I have quickly learnt that planning and managing a multifarious event such as this can be a stressful business. The weeks and days leading up to it sees your workload and worries increase exponentially, efficiency and organisation become essential tools in your armoury.

However, the flip side of this is seeing the l fruition of your team’s hard work and delivering an event that enlightens and inspires its audience. Despite working 36 hours in three days, and having a whole range of unexpected hitches along the way, there is an unparalleled satisfaction to be gained from seeing your shared endeavours translated into the smiles and enjoyment of audience members.

Bradley-ArtReach-02

How has the role influenced your future career?

As a university student (and consequently a graduate) the word ‘career’ strikes a daunting and unapproachable tone. However, I am beginning to learn that careers can now be forged in areas of personal interest, such as those in the creative sector. As an introduction to the working world, a CEP internship such as this is invaluable. Not only has it presented a previously undiscovered world of career potential, but has also exposed my strengths and weaknesses, my likes and dislikes. If experience is the key to self-discovery, then I intend to experiment with career options in the near future. This optimistic attitude could never have materialised, however, without the opportunity given to me by my internship with ArtReach.

Bradley Flood

Bradley is on an Internship at ArtReach, who deliver arts and bradley-flood-artreach-profilecultural initiatives nationwide. As well as a love for the classics and humanities, Bradley’s varied interests range from playing music, to practising yoga. With an appetite for informed research and writing, Bradley endeavours to explore the creative industry further.

Follow Bradley on Twitter and have a look at his LinkedIn page to find out more.

 


Work Stories: Holly, CODA

This Is It! speaks to Holly about working as an Apprentice for CODA Music Agency as part of the Creative Employment Programme.

Having not worked in the music industry before I wasn’t really sure what’s what, but now I’m here I think it’s amazing.

What were you doing before you started working at Coda?

I was working full time in an administration role. I had just finished my a-levels and didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I thought I should get some admin skills. It wasn’t the industry I wanted to be in, so after looking around a bit, I applied for this role.

 

What was it that interested you most about applying for this position?

It was mainly the company, I had looked around at other roles but as soon as I came across CODA I thought I want this job. I was looking at roles in the Music and TV industry and this one leapt out. They are such a highly regarded company, seeing the roster of acts they look after was really unbelievable. Music is such a keen interest of mine, I wanted to pursue it more and learn more about it.

That’s one of the great things about being an apprentice, as you start from the very beginning in this new industry, with everyone more than happy to help you.

 

Could you tell me a bit about your role here?

I’m the assistant to one of their agents, Kane; he’s a junior agent as he has only had his own acts for about 18 months. I came on as his first ever assistant, which gives him the opportunity to go out and focus on booking and potentially sign more acts!

It’s mainly administration duties at the moment, but now I’m starting to learn more about the bookings. Kane’s been teaching me a bit more about getting availabilities, discussing fees and what shows are right for what acts. Now I’ve got the basics behind it, I’m learning more about it and it’s really interesting. When I was doing the admin side I would see a show in the diary, but now I’m starting to understand why it is there and the reasoning behind it.

That’s one of the great things about being an apprentice, as you start from the very beginning in this new industry, with everyone more than happy to help you.

Last week I went to a show for one of our acts, which was their first live performance. After planning it all before,  it was really great to see them actually perform.

 

What skills have you learnt so far?

Organisation is one of the key things I’ve learnt. Having a task system and managing emails, making sure I reply to everything and chase people for things when I need it. I wasn’t bad at it before but now I’m so much better, you need those skills to be able to be good at this job.

 

What’s been your favourite moment since you’ve started working here?

Last week I went to a show for one of our acts, which was their first live performance. Most of our acts are DJs and now one of them is pursuing the live sector so the set is more technical and settlements are used to finalise fees.

After planning it all before, from making sure the presales and ticket links went out to sending the itinerary, it was really great to see them actually perform.

CODA is such an amazing company. I think having your foot in here can help you a lot as I’ve made a lot of contacts.

 

Have you faced any challenges during your time here?

I think one of the main challenges is if you have a day off it can be quite hard to catch up when you come back. Especially now it’s festival season, there is so much to do. I’ve got a lot of acts playing at the moment, a lot at the same festival, so you need to plan it all out and make sure you know what’s happening. It can get very busy so you just have to focus on the situation.

Where I last worked I was answering the phone and dealing with customers a lot, so I think that also helped me get the job as I could bring that to the role.

 

Has working here helped influence your future career?

Yeah definitely, CODA is such an amazing company. I think having your foot in here can help you a lot as I’ve made a lot of contacts. Having not worked in the music industry before I wasn’t really sure what’s what, but now I’m here I think it’s amazing. Having learned about the live side of it and the recording and publishing, it’s just so massive. Along with the bookings it’s nice to learn more about it and there is so much more to it than I could ever have imagined.

 

Could you give any advice to someone who could be starting a similar role or starting a placement?

I would say when you come across a job make sure you research the company. When I found this role I was researching on the website and noticed some of the acts have two agents. I made a note of this and asked about it when at my interview. I think they were pleased I had researched the company and had looked on their website. Also make a note of all the skills you have already, so any administration skills you might have. Where I last worked I was answering the phone and dealing with customers a lot, so I think that also helped me get the job as I could bring that to the role.

You can find out more about CODA here and more about the Creative Employment Programme here.

Roxana, Indomitable Productions

Interview

For me creative thinking is about two things: being open and being silly. If you’re open and willing to play and explore your practice with other people, you’ll find directions and material that you never imagined.

We talk to Roxana from Indomitable Productions on their new play Photo Finish and what it’s like to be in a contemporary performance collective.

 

Can you tell us a bit about Indomitable Productions?

We first formed Indomitable around one particular show. Co-founders Guy and Jess came to me with an idea and from there we decided to be a proper company. Since then Guy Withers (Tenor, Graphic Designer Puppeteer and all round creative) and I steer Indomitable Productions. We now see ourselves as a collective of people rather than a company. For us it’s about collaborating with creative people we respect and whose work we are inspired by. My rule is if they challenge the way I see the world, then I want to work with them.

We make work based on content and not form. If there’s a good idea then I think that during rehearsal it will find its own genre. We don’t restrict it or decide before it happens. I also believe the work we make is dependent on who is in the room. This maybe sounds silly or obvious, but I really think it’s integral. We don’t limit ourselves to opera, but because of the people we bring to the space it does tend to be music orientated.

Bach to Front Indomitable Productions

It’s the word ‘collective’ that I love. We get to meet these incredibly creative people, bring them together and make work from the places where we share joy or anger or wonder.

How do you use creative thinking in your work?

For me creative thinking is about two things: being open and being silly. If you’re open and willing to play and explore your practice with other people, you’ll find directions and material that you never imagined. We spend so much time from our perspective; up in our heads, where we learnt what we know. Sometimes the biggest gesture of trust is about saying, ‘wait… how do you see this?’ and it offers you all a new place to work from.

The psychological goodness of laughter comes from silliness and that’s what I think should fill the rehearsal room. It’s these silly ideas that feel like gut-instincts that excite me most. Once you’ve made space for people to take and offer these creative risks, it places foundations in for the bigger creative risks. For me this is what builds a good working relationship.

 Bach to Front Indomitable Productions

What’s the best part about being in Indomitable Productions? 

I think for me, it’s the fact that I have other people to make stories with. It’s the word ‘collective’ that I love. We get to meet these incredibly creative people, bring them together and make work from the places where we share joy or anger or wonder.

I think it’s relevant and something that we’re perhaps not even ready to discuss yet; it’s that which really excites me.

Innocence and Experience Indomitable Productions

Tell us a bit about the new play your producing, Photo Finish?

Photo Finish is a new play by James Rushbrooke, winner of the Papatango Prize for new writing. It’s a one-man show in the style of a Ted-Talk, which tells the story of Luke’s journey to find the girl he fell in love with on the back of a Polaroid picture. The play looks at romance, determination and leaps into the unknown.

I’ve always been inspired by James’s writing, to me his style is a mix of Mike Bartlett and Charlie Brooker. It’s exciting but also scary as every time I read his work I end up realising that what he’s talking about is not that dissimilar to our world. Photo Finish is no different, I think it’s relevant and something that we’re perhaps not even ready to discuss yet; it’s that which really excites me.

We are also working with Ollie Savidge, who is lighting and projection designer for the show. His skills alone are enough of a reason to see it in my opinion, but you’ll have to come along to find out!

I think producing for me is about loving what you’re selling. Because that is what it is, it’s a sort of transaction.

Britten's Five Canticles Indomitable Productions

What advice would you give someone looking to get in to producing?

I think producing for me is about loving what you’re selling. Because that is what it is, it’s a sort of transaction. If you love the show, then you’re the best person to sell it on. My advice is to find a demographic that love it like you do and your job will be easier. Although it takes more time than you think, ultimately writing marketing material is just an equation. Read some copy and you’ll spot it, it’s just a slightly different language.

The best piece of producing advice I got was: don’t work when you’re tired. I know we’re all exhausted creatives, but seriously, if you’re tired take a nap and start a fresh. Whether it’s your show or someone else’s, it’s not worth you getting ill!

You can see Photo Finish at the Waterloo East Theatre on the 23rd-25th July. To book tickets visit the Theatre’s website.  If you would like to find out more about Indomitable Productions have a look at their website here.

 

 


Work Stories: Georgia, Sadler’s Wells

Interview

A lot of what I do is project to project based, which is great, as it never loses momentum. It’s always a bit exciting

This Is It! speaks to Georgia about working as an Intern on the Creative Employment Programme at Sadler’s Wells.

 

What were you doing before you started working at Sadler’s Wells?

I was volunteering at a drama company in Camden. This is a theatre, film and training company that focus on launching young people’s careers in acting. I was working on the writing and producing side of a show with them.

 

 I work across a lot of shows, so I am very lucky in that I get to see a range of shows at different stages.

 

What was it that interested you most about applying for this position?

It was a really unique in that it was a really good position but also a very well regarded famous company. I think there’s a lot you can learn from working in such a large company and a lot more possibility for progression. So as a first step in to the industry, it was a really good role.

Sadler's Wells

 

I’ve learnt a lot about budgeting and the influence of the Arts Council, which I think is really important. These I feel are all transferable skills, which can be applied to any kind of theatre.

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Sadler’s Wells?

I work in the producing and touring department. A large part of my role is administration, but also other jobs that run along side that, like Arts Council support, the logistical side, which is really interesting to see. I work across a lot of shows, so I am very lucky in that I get to see a range of shows at different stages. I see shows at their conception, still in the research and development phases as well as ones that have been fully launched. It’s nice to see the creative bit at the start, how the art discipline, forms and then what happens when they are off the ground. I got to be involved with auditions as well, which was really fun.

I’ve also taken over the touring blog, which is quite exciting. It’s nice to have a mouthpiece to write about Sadler’s Wells and the touring department.

I got to go France where a show was touring, so that was a big plus!

 Sadler's Wells

What skills have you learnt so far?

I’ve learnt lots about the research and the preparation that happens before things go on tour. I’ve also learnt a lot about budgeting and the influence of the Arts Council, which I think is really important. These I feel are all transferable skills, which can be applied to any kind of theatre.

It’s been good, as I have worked on one smaller scale show and another that’s the total opposite, so it’s great to see how these things can work within the framework that’s been provided. It’s really good to see the framework of both a small and large budget and how different things operate within it.

I think that a lot of stuff I do, in general it doesn’t really feel like an internship it feels like a job.

Has there been a moment or day that’s been a particular highlight?

I’d probably say the trip to France. I had worked on the show for a few months, so it was really great to go out there and see it. It was great to be there with everyone involved including the dancers and musicians. I also got to meet the tech and wardrobe team and find out a bit about what they do, which was really nice. It was really nice to see what you know on paper but in the flesh.

A lot of what I do is project to project based, which is great, as it never loses momentum. It’s always a bit exciting, even if I have a day, which maybe seems a bit duller because it’s slightly more data based, that project is then done and I move on to the next job.

 

It’s been really good in that everyone here has been super supportive. It’s very much the emphasis that once people are in the company the company allow them to flourish as much as they can.

 

Have you faced any challenges during your time here?

I think that a lot of stuff I do, in general it doesn’t really feel like an internship it feels like a job. A lot of the jobs I do seem difficult at first, so it’s a challenge in that sense. For example we had a premiere for one of the tours with about thirty people travelling. It was difficult at first to work out what name is what and things like that. I think you just need to be really organised.

Sadler's Wells

Would you say working here has influenced your future career?

Yes, I would say it has. It’s definitely made me more knowledgeable about what a day-to-day job in theatre is like. Before working here it was difficult to know exactly how it all worked and so it’s made me a lot more knowledgeable about that. I feel a lot more confident that I know what I’m talking about.

It’s been really good in that everyone here has been super supportive. It’s very much the emphasis that once people are in the company the company allow them to flourish as much as they can. It’s not a big company in the sense that you’re a cog; it’s more that they want you to grow and flourish with them.

 

Can you give any advice to somebody who might be starting a similar role or a placement?

Just to be super friendly to everyone, that can make the biggest difference. Once you’re in the office be really chatty and friendly, it’s a really small thing but I think it makes a huge difference. Then if you want to do different bits of work and get more responsibilities for yourself, you have that connection with people, that’s what it’s all about.

You can find out more about Sadler’s Wells here and more about the Creative Employment Programme here.