Building Your Team

Build Your Team

I have just wrapped a much need week-long vacation in Jamaica with my wife. As we were laying out getting some sun (yes I am rubbing it in now), I took some time to reflect about the people that are a part of my life/career and the various roles that they play.

As a freelance production person in the touring industry, you are you (for the most part) are your own human resource department. With this comes a great responsibility to look out for yourself in every aspect of your life. The best way that I have found to do this is by building a team – a team that can support you and get your back through any situation that arises.

My team is comprised of several people – each with their own specialty in what they do. Without them my life would be much more difficult. Here’s a brief breakdown of the people that are a part of my team and what they do for me.

Troy Von Haefen is my financial advisor. He keeps me on track with my retirement accounts, financial goals, tax planning, insurance advice, and budgeting. Troy is a fee-only based planner, meaning that he receives no commissions from any products or services that he recommends me. I know that he is always looking out for my best interest with no ulterior motives.

Joy Black is my accountant. She is also a former IRS agent, so I wholeheartedly trust her to process my taxes correctly as well as find all possible deductions and benefits based on my line of work. She also handles payroll for my company, files my quarterly state and federal reports and taxes, as well as answers the silly questions that I throw at her!

Bill Speight is my life coach. I meet with him once every couple of weeks just to sit down and chat life through. We talk about current obstacles, problems, or just anything in general that’s on my mind. It’s good just to have a neutral sounding board to talk about what life throws at you. There is nothing wrong with having a counselor/life coach.

Adam Warren is my attorney. At one time I had hoped I would never need an attorney, but inevitably at some point in our careers we usually do. Adam helps me with things such as creating and reviewing contracts, and other miscellaneous legal needs as they arise.

Grant Belden is my trainer. I meet with him usually about once a week, or as schedule allows. He helps to push me physically, plus his accountability helps keep me on track from when I am not eating as good as I should (which is more often than I care to admit).

Wade and Egbert is my insurance company. They supply me with the much-needed insurance for both general liability, and coverage for the equipment that I own. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of making sure you’re covered well before the need ever arises.

Dr. Shearer is my primary physician. Although I don’t see him as regularly as other people on my team, I still make a point to have my annual physical. GET AN ANNUAL PHYSICAL!

My wife and kids are also a huge part of my team. Without their patience and support, I would not be able to do what I absolutely love for a living.

The Big Guy. Although we all come from different spiritual beliefs and backgrounds, I also believe that spending time in reflection, prayer, or whatever may be your thing is also a big part of being a well rounded person.

The Touring Tree – The Importance of PEOPLE and NETWORKING

I get asked quite a bit about getting into the touring business, career paths, and networking. As all of my former Belmont students will attest, I am huge proponent of PEOPLE AND NETWORKING – I preach this constantly. This is also the reason that we started the quarterly TCW Networking nights this year – a simple event to give touring professionals an opportunity to network and visit old friends/make new ones. The touring business is a close knit community – we all have mutual and common friends. The best advice that I give to my students is to stay in touch (without being annoying) with the people that you cross paths with in your career. Gigs/Tours are RARELY given in this industry by a paper résumé alone – we all know people (who know people). It never ceases to amaze me at how we cross paths with people from past tours throughout our careers and how those relationships seem to stand the tests of time (even if we go years without seeing each other).

To illustrate my point, I took the time to create what I call my “Tour Tree” – which as I have discovered is actually two trees. This was a lot of fun to do because it also allowed me to reflect on the amazing journey thus far, and the people have been a part of it along the way.

The bottom line is: be nice, work hard, have fun, and leave a positive legacy. This is a high turnover industry and you will find that you will have a far more rewarding (and long) career by carrying these traits. This is what the people around you will remember. Be well…..and stay in touch.

Industry Spotlight: Erik Parker

Parker
Name: Erik Parker
Occupation: Lighting Director, Programmer
Hometown: Sacramento, CA
Current Town: Nashville, TN
Years in Industry: 7 years

Acts/Shows worked with:
OneRepublic, Billy Currington, Emerson Drive, Gloriana, Here Come the Mummies, Mark Schultz, Point of Grace, iShine Live

What is your faborite part of being on the road?
I’ve met a lot of really cool people throughout my career. From the fans to stagehands, I really enjoy that part of being on the road. I also like to see the world. In the last year I’ve been able to knock several places off the bucket list, and it’s been incredible! One of the highlights of my entire career was walking along the Great Wall of China.

Who were some of your early mentors?
My greatest mentor has been Chris Lisle. From the moment I was in his class in 2007, he became someone I looked up to. Over the years I’m thankful he has become a great friend and has been incredibly supportive! Also Brent Barrett at Bandit Lites has been a great friend and supporter. He sent me out on my first LD tour gig and has been supporting me and giving me advice ever since!

How has TCW impacted your life and/or career?
I’m incredibly thankful for the people I’ve gotten to meet through this whole crazy thing! It’s been a great way to build a network and make new friends. As someone that is reletively new in the touring industry, I have gotten a ton from the workshops that we have held as well. This project has turned into an incredible journey and I’m stoked to see where it leads next!

Website and/or Social Media Links:
www.ErikLParker.com
www.twitter.com/eriklparker
www.facebook.com/erikleeparker
www.instagram.com/eriklparker

TCW Networking Happy Hour

pour houseJoin us at Pour House Nashville April 15th at 7pm for another TCW Networking Happy Hour! Feel free to come and go as you please and bring anyone you like. Our goal is simply to give an opportunity for the touring community to hang out and get to know each other better. You’ll be responsible for all bar tabs, transportation and good conversations! See you there!

For more information about Pour House Nashville visit:http://pourhousenashville.com/

Mentorship Program: It’s Not Too Late!

Good news! It’s not too late to sign up for the TCW mentorship program! The application process is simple, so head on over to our Mentorship Program page for more details.

It is our goal to assign each mentee with a mentor that shares their similar interests, career paths, and goals to allow for the most relevant advice and topics for both parties. Though it is our goal is to make the ideal matches, we do not guarantee that anyone will be paired with the “perfect” candidate, or that all applicants will get paired in this first, inaugural round of the TCW Mentorship Program.

Much like the annual workshop, this is a free program and neither TCW nor anyone involved in the TCW brand will receive any commission or ‘kickback’ related to this program. We are solely going the extra mile to accomplish what we set out to do when we started in 2011 which is to provide advice and guidance for the advancement of Touring Professionals.

Industry Spotlight: Chris Lisle

imageTOURING PRODUCTION PROFESSIONAL SPOTLIGHT INFORMATION

Name: Chris Lisle
Occupation: Concert Production/Lighting Designer, Event Production Manager
Hometown: Nashville, TN
Current Town: Mount Juliet, TN
Years in Industry: 2014 marks my 23rd year!

Acts/Shows Worked With: Robert Plant, Miranda Lambert, One Republic, Chris Young, Billy Currington, Quincy Jones, Pistol Annies, Peter Frampton, Sara Evans, Lee Brice, Kip Moore, Jennifer Nettles, Nick Carter, Babyface, Keith Urban, The Recording Academy, IEBA, City of Nashville (July 4 and New Years Eve), many more!

What are you working on these days?
This year has started out busy, putting out new designs and lighting systems for One Republic, Lee Brice, Kip Moore, Sara Evans, Billy Currington, Jennifer Nettles, and Chris Young all in the first 8 weeks of the year! We are also in the process of expanding our offices and renovating our visualization studio.

What is your favorite part of being on the road?
The sound that the audience makes when the house lights go down – it still gives me a rush. Also, days off in cool towns – through the years I have many fond memories of restaurants, clubs, bars, etc

Who were some of your early mentors?
There are several key people that have helped me through the years- and people continue to help me! A few notable people: Mike Golden at Bandit Lites and Jim Bauman (former LD for Alan Jackson).

How has TCW impacted your life and/or career?
TCW is without a doubt a dream come true! The growth and interest that we have had over even just the past year has been amazing. My hope is that it continues to positively impact my fellow touring production professionals for years to come!

Website and/or Social Media Links:
www.chrislisle.com
www.facebook.com/clisle1
www.twitter.com/chriselisle

We’re in FOH Magazine!

Check out this article in FOH Magazine about TCW 2013!

Introducing the TCW Mentorship Program!

We are excited to announce a new division of the Touring Career Workshop, the TCW Mentorship Program. Though we spend most of our time working on an annual workshop that acts as a Human Resources Department for the touring business, a secondary goal this year is to pair together those who want to teach with people that want to learn.  With this program we are dedicated to partnering the up-and-coming touring professionals with the folks that have been making the business go round for an extended period.

It is our goal to assign each mentee with a mentor that shares their similar interests, career paths, and goals to allow for the most relevant advice and topics for both parties.  Though it is our goal is to make the ideal matches, we do not guarantee that anyone will be paired with the “perfect” candidate, or that all applicants will get paired in this first, inaugural round of the TCW Mentorship Program.

Much like the annual workshop, this is a free program and neither TCW nor anyone involved in the TCW brand will receive any commission or ‘kickback’ related to this program.  We are solely going the extra mile to accomplish what we set out to do when we started in 2011 which is to provide advice and guidance for the advancement of Touring Professionals.

Rules and requirements of the TCW Mentorship Program

Mentor Requirements

*Must have at least five (5) or more years experience in the touring production industry

*Must be at least 25 years of age

*Must be able to dedicate a minimum of two hours a month for interaction with mentee (via phone, email, in person meetings)

 

Mentee Requirements

*Must have five (5) or less years experience in the touring production industry or be pursuing a production related degree in a college or university

*Must be at least 21 years of age

*Must be able to dedicate a minimum of two hours a month for interaction with mentor (via phone, email, in person meetings)

 

Mentorship Pairings Guidelines

*Pairings must be of same gender

*Pairings must spend at least two hours of interaction per month (in person meetings, phone calls, emails) to be monitored periodically by TCW staff

*Alcohol and drug use at official mentor/mentee meetings is prohibited and be cause for immediate removal from the program

*It is of the assumption that the mentor and mentee will settle any cost associated with mentor/mentee meetings individually unless otherwise agreed upon. The mentor or mentee may choose to pay for lunch/dinner/coffee but this is at each person’s discretion and is in no way expected or mandatory

*Both mentors and mentees must sign an agreement/waiver to participate

Event: Networking Happy Hour

TCW would like to announce the first ever “Networking Happy Hour”.  This will be held at Craft Brewed (http://craftbrewednashville.com) on January 21st from 7-9PM.  A very informal event, feel free to come and go as you please and bring anyone you like. Our goal is simply to give an opportunity for the touring community to hang out and get to know each other better.  Our goal is to hold these periodically to help keep everyone connected though out the year. You’ll be responsible for all bar tabs, transportation and good conversations! See you there!

Check out the Facebook event page here.

Welcome to the New Website!

Welcome to the brand new website!!

Here at TCW, we are excited to start of 2014 with a lot of great things in the works — The first, a brand new website! We will be adding more info periodically, so be sure to check back with us! Also, if you see any glitches, feel free to head on over to the contacts page and let anyone on that list know. We’ll do our best to get it fixed.