Jared Paul has walked a long road to get where he is now. He is the head of Faculty Management & Productions, which produces high-profile tours for established brands like “Dancing With The Stars” and manages globetrotting artists like New Kids On The Block, Sabrina Carpenter and Il Divo.
He paid a lot of his dues working at the
Once the partners of that group went their own ways, Paul founded Faculty. He gradually began expanding from management into production and today his company is able to blend the two elements in a very hands-on way.
He called us soon after New Kids On The Block completed its most recent tour of arenas and stadiums. We were able to chat about his career, what he looks for as he continues to sign new clients, and some of the things he is most excited about moving forward.
So how did the New Kids On The Block tour go?
The New Kids wrapped up an unbelievable tour, maybe their biggest in years. It was called “The Total Package Tour” with Paula Abdul and Boyz II Men. Believe it or not, the New Kids have been reunited for nine years now, and next year is the 10th anniversary of them coming [back] together as a band. I think this was their sixth major North American concert tour since then. They sold half a million tickets. Nearly every show was sold out. It was just a tremendous success, creatively and commercially. I’m very proud of them and very proud to have been a part of it.
You manage acts but you also produce their tours?
I am an artist manager as well as a tour producer. … I play a very heavy role working with Live Nation and our agents at CAA seeking out opportunities and artists that we might want to invite to come with the New Kids. We try to make sure we jam-pack the evening with a lot of value, hit records and unbelievable, legendary artists. So I kind of put my producer hat on when I’m out there, thinking about what would make the ultimate evening.
As a manager, I think I draw on a lot of my producer skills, on the touring side, coming up with the ultimate evening. So there’s a lot of crossover there.
I’ve always maintained two sides of my life professionally, and I love them both dearly. I love being a manager. I’m a very hands-on, creative manager with my team. I try not to take on too many clients and I really try to pour myself into the ones we have. And then, at the same time, I’ve got a whole staff that works alongside me producing these tours, which we’re having a lot of fun with.
What do you look for in new clients?
I think, at the end of the day, it comes down to, first of all, are they a fit for the whole team here? There are 12 of us here at Faculty. We work as a team; we are a very tight-knit group of people. We want to make sure that everyone that touches a project feels ownership and can work as a team and buys into what we are doing.
I think the through-lines for most of the clients that I’ve had a lot of success with are, of course, their drive and their talent, but also that they are fan base driven.
While I am very lucky to have artists that have had massive hit records, the through-line that I look for is: “Is there a community of people that believe in this client, or can a community of people be built?” I think it’s through building that community that I’m able to work with my clients to hone their art, but also to build a business model that can sustain itself. Because while it is very exciting to have chart success and streaming success, and all those things that happen in the current climate, at the end of the day these artists really live or die by whether they can put proverbial bums in seats.
We work very, very hard to build our artist fan bases, to keep them engaged and keep them growing and interact with them on a regular basis by coming to their towns and playing shows.
I grew up pretty into the Grateful Dead and Phish and Dave Matthews. What always excited me the most was finding out that these bands had communities of fans that flocked to their shows and these special behaviors that only the people that attended the shows knew about. When to clap, when to dance, how to yell back, how to behave in the parking lots, the history of the band, that kind of stuff. It just feels real and tangible to me. So, while you can’t draw a lot of parallels to Il Divo and Grateful Dead, you can say they have a global fan base of incredibly engaged people that love them, and there’s a lot to do to keep those people happy and to give them what they want.
We’re always looking for ways we can keep those people engaged and what more can we do for them to satisfy that.
How do you set the schedule for their tours?
One thing I have surely learned as a manager is: How can they miss you unless you go away? We had a strategy where we’ll come to your town and we’ll throw the ultimate party, but we’re not gonna throw it every six months. We tour in most countries on a two-year cycle and we do other special events on an off year through our cycle.
It’s not like the band disappears entirely; we play other countries and we rotate. For all of our clients, it’s really important to have a reason to go back, have a set-up strategy, support package if that’s what you need, play the right buildings, for the right price on the right days of the week, work with the right promoters. It all has to work out. And then that’s when I think the community will come in droves.
I think if you overplay your hand or come back too often, it loses its special status. You have ups and downs. And we work really hard with our clients to make sure that we’re strategic and that it’s well thought out from releasing music to concert touring. And I think that extra strategy is what goes a long way.
Can you talk a bit about the TV shows you have produced tours for?
You have to understand these billion-dollar brands, the people that are responsible for them, what makes them tick and how to make them not only creatively and financially successful, but one of the most important things is you try not to hurt the TV show or the film or the intellectual property.
If we ever did a tour that was supposed to be an extension of something much bigger and, instead of helping and satisfying the fans, we did anything that ended up damaging or that could possibly be perceived as damaging, it would be 180 degrees away from what’s expected of us. So we spend a lot of time making sure that that doesn’t happen.
When you are producing the “Glee” tour, you are working alongside geniuses like Dana Walden, Gary Newman, Ryan Murphy, legends in this industry. They’ve got this unbelievable success on their hands. I believe it was Taylor Swift and One Direction-level business – we were doing 60,000 people in a market across two days. There were days that we were doing two shows, two days in a row. You just have to take it really seriously and respect Ryan and respect the talent and do a great job.
[TV tours] are a tremendous part of my career and one thing has led to the next. Now I’ve been able not only to get licensed properties, but create new shows from the ground up. I love doing it and I get to draw on a lot of my skills as a manager. And I think it is my field as a manager, of building and protecting brands, in addition to my understanding of creative, finances and touring and all the things we do on that side of the business. I think the two things combined is what makes Faculty a unique package.
Yes, there are a lot of people in the business, but I don’t think they share the same skill set, and I think that’s why we’ve been able to be successful.
You helped organize Boston Strong, which was a response to the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. What was your reaction to the Ariana Grande attack in Manchester?
Obviously, we’re all devastated when anyone in any place in the world, whatever they’re doing, is attacked in any way. It’s obviously a horrific reality of the world we live in. It’s very sad. I think when people are trying to have that night out that they so desperately deserve and congregate in a public assembly and they have to worry that someone [might] punish them for no reason, it’s a sad state of affairs.
I applaud humanity and I think that people work very hard at the venue level and the security level, as do public figures and the police. Under the circumstances that we have been challenged with all over the world, the governments and the people that run the facilities have truly stepped up at the highest level to make people feel safe. I appreciate that. I had several tours we were operating at the time of the Manchester attack. We have many, many friends who we were in contact with out on that tour and we were trying to get updates on their safety. And to be faced with continuing our tours and getting on stage the next night, I really feel like, what I saw out there was a defiance that people weren’t going to allow an act of terror to interfere with their day-to-day livelihood. If anything, we saw an uptick in ticket sales in the weeks following, I think because people wanted to be amongst their friends, they wanted to do something fun.
I’m proud of all my clients for not cowering in fear. They live public lives and we talk a lot, unfortunately, about the tragedy that Christina Grimmie faced in Orlando.
These are public figures who assemble their fans and also put themselves front and center. I’m really proud of the people that I get to work with. They have been defiant in their approach to continue what they are doing and not let it phase them. And they have a lot of support that I think people luckily have stepped up to support them in those efforts. We certainly do the best we can to run the safest possible events and coordinate with local authorities in any way we can to support efforts to keep everybody safe.
On the production side of our company we have continued to broaden what we are doing over here. We have other extremely successful tours this year. The “Dancing With The Stars” Tour, which I’ve been working with for over 10 years, we’re gonna end up doing over 100 live shows this year, playing theaters, casinos and mid-size venues. It’s been extremely successful.
But we’ve also launched our third, sold-out tour that we created with Julianne and Derek Hough this year called “Move Live.” It sold out
I’m really proud of the team here. The creative team and the fact that we’ve been lucky to take that one on the road three times now and do unbelievable business. It’s something that we’re proud to be a part of, as well as the “Dancing With The Stars” Tour that’s out on the road this summer.