Careers Talk AUS | Michelle Kam | Careers Talk AUS
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music_pr_management

Michelle Kam

Interview with Michelle Kam, Wonderlick Management

Michelle is the General Manager of Wonderlick Management (part of the Wonderlick Entertainment group). She has worked for Wonderlick Management since May 2010 and started as an assistant. 

Artists on the management roster currently include (as of July 2017): Boy & Bear, Grinspoon, Airbourne, Pete Murray, Josh Pyke, The Paper Kites, Montaigne, and The Outdoor Type. 

Can you tell us about your career background?

I studied a degree in Music Performance at Uni and while studying I interned for an indie record label/management company a few days a week. I also was a music teacher for 3 years, I worked at a music venue on a casual basis behind the bar and I also managed a friend’s band and booked them gigs.

I started off just wanting to work within the industry to get an insight and pickup contacts and skills for myself as a performer, but I soon realised management was an easier path than trying to make a living as a performer and from there, the person I was interning for put me forward for a position at Wonderlick where I’ve been working at now for just over 7 years.

What does your job entail?

My job varies a lot but the best blanket statement I could give is “problem solving”. I take care of the management arm of Wonderlick (we are also a record label and publishing company) so my work is everything involved in touring a live artist. I am the day to day contact for our roster and I’d say a big majority of my work is tour marketing and promoting.

What would a typical day be like for you?

Because it’s such a varied job, there really isn’t a typical day, it just really depends on what’s happening with our artists at that given time. We are mostly email based, so it’s just taking care of whatever comes in each day.

If one of our artists are touring, which is most of the time, my day will consist of mainly marketing plans and activations, which includes graphic design and booking and analysing advertising. Though this varies also depending on if we have a promoter on board looking after the shows or if we are in house promoting.

There are days which have me organising an artists scheduling for promo, days where I’m booking travel and running through plans with tour managers, and days where I’m taking care of visa applications. Basically doing everything to make our artist’s lives as easy as possible while on the road and making sure they get the exposure they need for whatever they might be promoting at the time and making as much money as they can.

I work very closely with our booking agents, tour managers, labels, merchandise companies, promoters and publicists, all both locally and internationally so I spend a lot of my day talking to them.

 

What do you love about your job?

I love that there are a lot of different things going on all the time, so there’s rarely a dull moment and I love going to shows and seeing audiences lose themselves for a minute in a live show and knowing that I helped to make that happen. Also 10am starts and being able to go to work in jeans and converses is a pretty big plus.

What are three tips you can offer young people interested in pursuing a career in entertainment business management?

1: Get involved wherever you can in whatever you can in the industry. When we’re hiring I look for people who have done more than just studied, people who have taken initiative to try and do something in the industry, whether it be a merch seller, someone who’s organised the live music nights at the local pub or someone who works at JB Hi Fi.

The more you try to immerse yourself in other things like merch selling, the more chance you might have of meeting someone who could be looking for someone or know of someone who’s looking. For example our tour managers chat to the merch sellers all the time and when we’re hiring we often ask our wider team if they know anyone.

2: Fake it till you make it. If you’re working as an intern and get asked to do something you don’t know how to do, try and find out the answer yourself first before asking (obviously only applies to generic things, not specific tasks unique to that company only). Google is amazing and you can find out/learn almost anything there.

I’ve learnt how to use Photoshop entirely off youtube videos. Knowing extra skills makes you more valuable.

3: Be open to working in other fields where your skills can translate to the music industry. For example working in a job that focuses heavily on online content creation and marketing is valuable to most businesses these days and will stand out and is easily adaptable to the music industry.

In reality my job is Marketing, Content Creation, Publicity, Brand, Relationship & Account Management and Admin, all things that can be practiced in other industries.

Wonderlick website – http://www.wonderlick.com.au/