Alumni Update: Michelle Owen, Entertainment Business Management
Graduated From: Entertainment Business Management Diploma (2013)
Michelle Owen, a graduate of the Entertainment Business Management Diploma Program, is currently on the road with The Glorious Sons as their Tour Manager. The band has already played shows around the world over the past 8 months and next week they’re headed to France to open for The Rolling Stones in Marseille on Tuesday, June 26th. Since graduating, Michelle has had numerous other jobs in the Music Business, including multiple positions at Black Box Music (executive assistant, label services, and full-time grant writer), as well as being Lead Vocalist in her own band The Hammer Antics. Even though she’s had all of these interesting experiences, Michelle tells us that the tour “is definitely the most interesting thing I’ve done in my entire life…I’ve been cursed with high expectations of what interesting is now.”
We checked in with Michelle to find out more about the tour so-far and ask her a couple of questions about her time at MWI:
Can you tell me a little bit about your current role as Tour Manager for The Glorious Sons and your experience so far?
“My experience has been incredibly positive and fulfilling. I’ve worked for the band for over 4 years now, but only for the last 8 months as their Tour Manager. I previously worked at their label and management company, and it was only a few months after I left that the band approached me directly to be their Tour Manager. Being given the opportunity to go on the road has been amazing and one of the best years of my life. We’ve been fortunate enough to travel the world together; we’ve been to the U.S., Europe, Australia, and it’s been insane. They are my second family at this point and we always have a good time together. It is a 24/7 job and can be stressful, but I wouldn’t rather be doing anything else with my life. These boys are doing some amazing things and have worked so hard, they completely deserve all of their success.”
What has been the most helpful aspect of your Metalworks education?
“I was lucky enough to have teachers who went beyond the curriculum to teach me very valuable life lessons and educate me about the world and its history. They were also passionate about music and kept it real about how tough the business was going to be if we continued our pursuit post education. They provided me with their wisdom and all the tools I needed to be successful and I’m very grateful to them.”
Do you have any words of wisdom for current students?
1) “Be ready to work harder than everyone around you. When I was at Metalworks I spent my spare time interning at the band’s label. You have to be tough as nails to keep up in this business and you also have to have the ability to believe in yourself and push through the harder moments. You have to have the perfect combination of ego and humility. I’ve worn a lot of hats since I graduated, I’ve been a grant writer, a label liaison, a co-manager and now a tour manager, and there have definitely been moments where I questioned my choice to work in the business, but honestly, this job has completely restored my love for music and the business. It is possible to surround yourself with good people and hard work does pay off.”
2) “Trust your gut. I stood by these guys from the beginning, even when it wasn’t as popular to love their music. Now they’re opening for The Rolling Stones at the end of the month and have a Juno Award winning album and people can’t get enough of them. If you believe in an artist and their music, then put your head down and do everything you can to make their dreams come true. Ignore the noise.”
Michelle finished up our interview with some universally applicable advice “Be tough, be passionate, and never forget to be an honest and respectful person.”