One of the biggest questions I’m asked these days are how I’m able to attend a bunch of concerts, specifically over the summer. While many people are doing their 9-5pm internships in cities that result them in a massive amount of debt, I chose to waitress and instead focus on growing my brand and improving my filmmaking skills. Maybe it’s not the life I truly had asked for, but in all honesty, it’s a lot more fun than sitting in a cubicle all day slaving over my paycheck. Instead, I get to connect with hundreds of amazing artists who share the same passions that I do–creating things that people will love.
So, how did I obtain press passes? No, I didn’t have to jump any fences to sneak into concerts, nor did I pay $500 a ticket to go, either. In fact, it was quite simple. Here are some simple steps for your enjoyment.
- Grow your brand so that people can’t say no. Though it took practically my entire college career to grow CasElizabethCecilia, it finally got to the point in which employers and people that I’d run into would ask about it and inquire on my skill set because of what they saw. Make sure to always have a great backing of followers and connections before you approach larger-scale venues, especially if you want to get an honest response.
- Surround yourself with the right people. Now, going to a somewhat-rural university like I did, there were only a handful of people that I would have considered to be “top-notch” filmmakers who were also serious about their profession being filmmaking. One thing I would suggest is to reach out to people who you admire and hope for the best. I’ve ended up meeting tons of people along my travels because I’ve followed them on social media, attended one of their classes, or followed in their styles of filmmaking or editing. When you surround yourself with the right people, not only will your skill set skyrocket in its capability, but you’ll be able to have a great connection base for future gigs and opportunities.
- Never discourage yourself when people remind you that you’re replaceable. In this industry in particular, you’ll run into a billion other filmmakers, bloggers, authors–you name it. The point is, there’s a lot of talent just waiting to be scooped up. It’s important to keep your head up high, however. No one wants to hire someone who isn’t confident in their work, and you will feel a lot better getting a recommendation from someone when they make a remark on how pleasant you are to work with.
- Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. One of the biggest fears I have is being hung up on. I’m not sure what it is, but it’s just the feeling that a total stranger doesn’t want to talk to me freaks me out. But, it’s something you need to overcome if you’re going into the filmmaking and journalism industry. It’s not good enough to e-mail someone, especially when you know a thousand other people are e-mailing that specific record company or booker every day. Think about it. Manager’s reach out and help out the artists they know first because they have personal contact to them–if you reach out to someone via e-mail and don’t get a response, they realize they don’t know who you are, and they throw you into the pile of “no’s”.
- Always follow up, no matter what. I’ve personally been at fault for this one, and trust me when I say I felt like an ass down the line. Following up with an artist’s management is the fine line between being a jackass and being a courteous and grateful artist. It let’s the management team know that you’re serious about your job, and therefore more likely to be obtaining future credentials or access to connections in the future. It’s a big deal, and though a lot of people don’t take it as seriously as it should be, it could make a lasting impact on someone’s career path.
Before you go embarking on the tough and bumpy road of obtaining a press pass somewhere, look at the artists you’re looking to shoot. Then, look to see your following. If you’re just starting out, e-mail or call the management team of the artist who’s opening for the headliner, which puts you in a relatively good position to meet not only the headliner, but the people who follow on tour with them. Smaller artists are also dying for connections and are more likely to approve your request as well.
With that being said, good luck young artists! Stay tuned for more! As always, xoxo.