stacy's career/education path (how to become a tour manager)

humbled af that you'd request this list and super happy to answer any questions you have about anything having to do with the music industry.
  1. so, I knew I wanted to work in music from a young age, but when I went to college, I decided to major in criminal justice. I was already interning and involved in the "scene," so I just studied something that fascinated me.
    BUT if you want to study something that will actually help you with your career, take business or communication classes.
  2. my internships included three record labels (one major, two indies) where I did A&R and social media (Myspace coding, anyone?) to name a few. with the major label, I stayed on for two years while I was doing other things to help run the intern program.
    I think that interning at different labels really helped me gain a solid understanding for that aspect of the industry.
  3. I went to a lot of shows and I was (probably) very annoying. I introduced myself to a lot of people, I asked a lot of questions, I observed everything people were doing.
    something that's super important is that none of the friends I made were fake relationships for my personal gain. if I've ever been friends with someone in this business, it's because I actually care about them. keeping good people around you is so important. bad people are never worth your time, no matter what/who they know or can help with.
  4. I went to events where people in the music industry would speak about their careers and I read books about the industry.
    Don Passman's "All You Need To Know About the Music Industry" is a great read. Martin Atkin's "Tour: Smart" is another amazing one.
  5. I started selling merch for local bands and then started getting referred for bigger bands coming through town.
    I'm a bit of an anomaly because not a lot of people make the transition from merch to tour management
  6. in 2009, i decided to quit my job and tour manage my friends' band (Brave Citizens). it was a small tour and I was making next to no money, sleeping in a van, and eating subway for every meal, and it's honestly probably the happiest I had been in my life up to that point.
    getting experience was important and I'm lucky I got to do it with people I loved.
  7. from that, I got offered another tour (Dredg), which was the first time I'd been out with people I didn't already know. they quickly became some of my favorite humans.
  8. I got hired for more and more shows passing through Orlando. when I wasn't working a show, I was at a show. I'd sometimes go to two shows a night and I probably went to shows a MINIMUM of four times a week. I basically just submerged myself in it.
  9. in 2010, I landed a position on Van's Warped Tour. someone started a rumor about me and one of the guys I worked with went behind my back and sabotaged me by talking shit to our boss (who wasn't on the tour and just took him at his word) and I got fired half way through the tour.
    I don't usually tell this part of my story but it's an important one. if you work in the music industry, you're going to work with people who you clash heavily with and you're probably going to get fired at least once.
  10. I decided I had enough with touring for a while and that I wanted a career in management. so I landed an internship with Red Light Management and decided to uproot myself from Florida and move to Los Angeles.
    this was a massive leap of faith. I had no job lined up, only the internship, no real friends, nowhere to live, not a lot of money saved up, and a whole lot of disdain from my father.
  11. I busted my ass at my internship. I treated even the smallest tasks very seriously. I asked a lot of questions. I always kept myself busy and never gave myself downtime. I got to know a lot of the staff from the internship and they got to know me.
  12. within two or three months, I got offered a job as the receptionist and I took it. I am a really organized person (so important for tour management!!) and had fun with the position. it also gave me the ability to get to know a lot of people within the company.
    in my downtime, I helped the managers without assistants on things like expenses. I helped whoever I could with whatever I could.
  13. I also ran our intern program which was (and still is) BEYOND fulfilling and an amazing way to learn some employee management skills.
    I learned how to interview people, I strengthened my patience. I developed ways to help grow my interns. a lot of them have gone on to do amazing things and it's honestly one of the things I've done that makes me the most proud. some of them had their first shot at the industry because I chose to hire them, and seeing how successful they turned out is all kinds of gratifying.
  14. from there, I was offered four different positions as a manager's assistant within the company. I waited until I found one that felt right, and I took it. even though I was an assistant, I helped my boss a lot, everywhere I could. especially in regards to live shows and social media, which made me really happy.
  15. I positioned myself properly with clients and took on more responsibilities and got promoted to being a day to day manager.
    day to day managers are the people that work under the head managers. I describe it as the managers are the ones who put the big pieces together and then the day to day managers come in and figure out logistically how to make it all work (and then do most of the work to make it happen).
  16. one of my clients didn't have a tour manager so I handled all of her one offs (non tour shows), and when she was finally ready to do a full tour, she asked me to tour manage her.
    this was my version of living the dream at that point in my life. salaried position and still able to tour? the best
  17. I continued to do shows and appearances with that client as well as another client for as long as I worked there.
    I was at the company for almost four years, leaving in the middle of 2014. having that much experience at one company and showing incredible growth through the company was very important.
  18. I decided to leave Red Light. I had been there for a long time and I felt ready to learn under someone else. so I got hired at Three Six Zero Group / RocNation. mostly because I could say that JayZ was my boss, but also for the opportunity.
  19. I was a day to day manager for two clients, one of whom was a DJ that played 200+ shows a year and (guess what?!) didn't have a tour manager. so I advanced all 200+ shows a year and I joined him on the road for some of them.
    the biggest show I advanced with him that I tour managed him on was Coachella last year. that was massive. the biggest one I advanced but didn't attend with him was Mysteryland in Amsterdam (400,000 people!). 200 shows a year is an actual insane amount and sometimes he'd play two European countries in one day. logistics were insane but I kicked ass at it because like I mentioned earlier, I am organized AF.
  20. I wasn't feeling as fulfilled as I had hoped there, so I decided to leave.
    this was the second biggest leap of faith ever because it was toward the end of the year (most music companies won't hire in the last 3 months of the year) and I didn't line anything up because I really didn't plan ahead on leaving, I just kind of woke up one day and realized I wasn't happy and I needed change in my life.
  21. the next day, I got a text from one of my friends who tours with Third Eye Blind saying they needed a tour manager. the next thing I knew, I was on the phone with the singer, got hired, and was on a plane before the end of the week.
    this was an insanely gratifying experience because it took me no time to find the next thing.
  22. I tour managed Third Eye Blind for the remainder of last year.
  23. one of my friends forwarded me an email about someone looking for a tour manager, and on a whim I decided to apply.
    third eye blind wanted to keep me on full time to handle digital, management, and tour management, but I wasn't sure that it was what I wanted to do full time (despite loving those boys to the ends of the earth).
  24. a few weeks went by and I had basically forgotten I applied for anything, but I got a note saying they were interested and I interviewed and was offered the position... and that's how I started working with Troye Sivan, who I currently tour manage.
    I had no idea who Troye was before that initial phone call, but as soon as I listened to his record, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to work with him.
  25. tldr: work hard. stay organized. be genuine. don't let the word "no" or any failures stop you. and kick ass out there. I'm always here if you have any questions!