4 Career Options for MA in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment

A career in the entertainment industry does not always mean being in the limelight. Many people work behind the scenes, producing and promoting live entertainment acts. If you are wondering how to become a music manager, producer, artistic director or radio promotions manager, read on for more information.

1. Music Manager

For people who have a passion for music, great interpersonal skills and a keen sense of organization, a career as a music manager can be fun and rewarding. Music managers bring together the people and projects that help music artists and record companies succeed. Working with event promoters, publicity agents and talent-booking agencies, music managers coordinate all aspects of a project for an artist or record label. That means helping all parties find consensus, remaining calm under pressure and focusing on the long-term strategic goals of the client. The job of music manager varies greatly depending on the client. For example, the priority for artists who are not affiliated with a record label might be to generate as much work as possible to help them get noticed, while an established artist who is signed to a label will have different goals.

One of the first steps in becoming a music manager is to research the music business – identifying the most influential promoters, broadcasters and record companies, how they conduct business and who the decision-makers are. Having a strong professional network also helps, so it’s important to seek out opportunities to make new contacts. Being at the right place at the right time is key to getting noticed and breaking into a managerial position. Most music managers start their careers as something else, such as a promoter, assistant, engineer or music artist. Some even start their own operations to gain solid experience.

2. Producer

Whether producing a theatrical event or a concert tour, the role of producer is essentially the same: to facilitate the work of the creative staff and oversee the planning of the production. Responsibilities usually include securing the rights to production; raising funds; hiring managerial staff such as a general manager, tour manager and director; and hiring creative talent such as a musical director and choreographer. The producer also leads the development of the technical elements of the show such as costume, set and lighting design. Finally, the producer oversees hiring of cast and crew, advertising, marketing, budgeting and securing the appropriate permits for the show.

A producer should have a formal education in live entertainment event management or a similar field. A background in business or finance is also beneficial as the producer must balance both the financial and creative aspects of a show. A producer can be a rewarding career in the entertainment industry, but also one that is full of risk; not every show will be a hit, so a producer must be aware of the potential for a flop and be willing to try again.

3. Artistic Director

The artistic director of a performing arts organization is responsible for maintaining the artistic vision of the company, much like a chief creative officer. Primarily, the artistic director makes decisions regarding show selection, considering themes, subject matter, financial considerations and logistical feasibility, as well as the overall cohesiveness of the season program. Like a producer, the artistic director coordinates with the general manager and other senior staff to set budgets and calendars, as well as the hiring of artistic and production staff. In addition, the artistic director may serve as a spokesperson for the arts organization, trying to attract more patrons through relationships with community and media representatives.

A degree in the performing arts is required for this career in the entertainment industry, and a master’s degree is recommended. The artistic director should be able to articulate a clear creative vision and must be able to collaborate with and successfully lead a diverse staff. In most instances, the artistic director has prior experience as a director and may have served as a stage manager or producer. The artistic director has a great deal of creative freedom, but must answer to the board of the organization regarding the success or failure of a particular show season. Therefore, it’s important to understand and offer programming that appeals to the theater’s community.

4. Radio Promotions Manager

The promotions manager primarily negotiates the radio station’s participation in events such as fairs, concerts, parades and other local festivities to elevate the station’s brand recognition within the community. Radio stations often collaborate with area merchants on events designed to increase the radio station’s audience while driving more customers to the local business, and the promotions manager is responsible for coordinating the details. This individual also works with record labels or concert promoters to coordinate on-air giveaways related to specific artists in exchange for advertising for the artist. The promotions manager prepares for off-site events by ensuring that the venue has all necessary equipment and that staff fulfill their duties and represent the radio station in a positive light.

An educational background in marketing, business and music is recommended to become a radio promotions manager. This individual must be familiar with the radio station and its audience and should be adept at contract negotiations, scheduling and invoicing.

Whether you enjoy marketing, business or creative direction, there is a wide range of careers in the entertainment industry for individuals who have a strong background in live entertainment and a desire to work behind the scenes.

Learn more about Frost School of Music at the University of Miami’s online MA in Arts Presenting and Live Entertainment Management.






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