Friday, April 15, 2016

"Just Show Up" The Key to Furthering your Career!

Just Show Up, The Key to Furthering your Career!
by: Jim Thorpe / DVT Entertainment

Here is good topic for everyone, that is "Just Show Up" which entails multiple aspects of this business. The way this business is changing, some things just can not be controlled by you the artist, and you need to be able to find, learn from and develop relationships with those who can add to your development. I am going to break this discussion into various areas where I think you need "Just to Show Up" along with some events that may be beneficial for you to attend.

Your Performance as an Artist:
So how does this pertain to "Just Showing Up", that is half the battle on this one, After seeing countless live performances Artists tend not to show up in all their performances. Hopefully you know what I'm talking about. I see a lot of artists go through the motions during their show. Every show should be at the highest level possible for every performance. No matter if there are 5 people in the room or 5000, People paid money for entertainment and they deserve the best you can offer. On the same topic, you never know who is the crowd even the club staff your playing to. A Half Ass performance will not do you favors. Over the years I have seen numerous bands such as Halestorm, Rage Against the Machine, Walk the Moon, Jeff Buckley and G Love play to low draw rooms (5-30 people) but they all played like it was 5000 people in the room, This is before they were household names and the main reason they got to the level they are at is because of their drive to put the best performance possible as consistently as possible. I think sometimes artists aren't being real to themselves, maybe out of ego or maybe lack of knowledge. That is why every show should be recorded and reviewed after the performance to see if it was lacking. And if so, make the necessary changes. Settling for sub par should not be an option.

Networking Events both Music and other Media:
This is the one I really think most artists drop the ball on, that is meeting new people. Most of these events are 2-3 hrs. max. Is that really cutting into your time?? If you're really looking to expand your brand as an artist you will eventually need people to help you get there. That is why Networking events are so important for you to "Just Show Up". Yes, this is about schmoozing, but its also meeting new people. You never know who you are going to meet. My whole music career on the booking/management/business side has been built on networking. To be honest it took me a good year in attending different functions to really learn how to utilize them effectively. I realized you never know who you are going to meet. I set a goal to meet at least 3 new people at each event, I still do this after 25+ years. With Networking Events there are so many unseen potential opportunities for artists to benefit from.

Up Comming Networking Events:
Rotation Records 2nd Annual Music Industry Mixer Wed June 1st
DVT Entertainment's Music Industry Night Every Thursday Night at The Grape Room 2nd Floor
Ronbomb's Last Wednesday of Every Month at Connies Ric Rac
The Recording Academy - In the Mix April 27th, at the Hard Rock Cafe

Music Conferences and Music Festivals:
There has always been a false misconception that these events are about making money for organizers. While we all have seen it happen here and there, those types of problem events don't last very long. Do your research, learn about each specific event/festival and you'll begin to understand why they are still around. Because they are based on models that work for all parties involved and they provide the opportunities so important in the development of musicians. Once you decide that festival/event is of interest to you...regardless if you are selected to perform or not,"Just Show Up". The majority of bands think the performance aspect is the most important. Its actually only a small piece. There is so much to be accomplished at these events other than performing. If the event has a Music Industry Panels/Key Notes/Mentoring, you as an artist should be all over this. This is a chance for you to see what is going on in the industry, you are trying to succeed at. Its also your chance to meet these people and have conversations about music with them. A totally missed opportunity is meeting the other Artists who are performing at these events, most have Artists from all over the country and even international selections. That is where the best opportunities are for you to grow your brand, networking with other bands out of your market. Setup show swaps, understanding other music scene markets, find out what works for them, etc. "Just Showing Up" at these events goes further than you can imagine. I have had bands attend a few of the events I'm involved with who were the typical "Skeptical" artists. After they attended, with out even performing, have realized what they were missing out on and took full advantage of the opportunities.  When you are there, make sure you meet the people and/or staff that are involved with these events, it shows that your supporting their event and might help you with getting a performance slot on the next event. So "Just Show Up".

Up Comming Networking Events:
Launch Music Conference April 21st - 24th - Lancaster Pa
South Street Spring Festival May 7th - South St. Philly
15th Annual Dewey Beach Music Conference Sept 22nd - 25th - Dewey Beach, DE.
(Still accepting Artists Submissions)
5th Annual Liberty Musicfest Aug 18th - 21st - Philly, PA
(Still accepting Artists Submissions)
3rd Annual Elm City Musicfest Nov. 3rd - 5th- New Haven, CT.
(Still accepting Artists Submissions)
Beardfest Jun 16th - 18th - Hammilton, NJ
Hollystock Music and Arts Festival Aug 13th-14th - Mount Holly, NJ
Electric City Music Conference Sept 15th-17th - Scranton, PA.
(Still accepting Artists Submissions)

Your Scene:
Hahaha.... everyone saw this coming =) Not going to beat this to death but "Just Showing Up" at shows, venues is so key your success and also the scene's stability. Also it's another networking opportunity. "Just Show Up" pay attention to what is going on in your scene. For Example, I had a band ask about getting into a club that has been closed for 3 yrs, and about certain media outlets that are now defunct. The funny thing is, the band has been actively playing. So building yourself in scene is also realizing what is really going on in it. The more you stay informed the more opportunities you may find.

Final Thoughts:
I hope everyone can take something away from this topic, times are different and you will be surprised who is willing to help you as an artist. "Just Show Up" to some of these events & I guarantee you, it will help progress your career. Maybe steer you in the right direction, get shows, meet people who want to be apart of your team, you may meet future fans, so the opportunities are unlimited to you... only if you "Just Show Up"

When you go out to any music event use the HASHTAG #justshowup let us know where you are at on the indie scene!!!

Here other great topics to check out in our Blog!

Band 101: Releasing Your Music in 2016