By Veronica “V” Fuchs (they/them)
Live events have always been a core part of my personality. When I was 10 years old, seeing Miley Cyrus in Quito, Ecuador, absolutely changed my life. Since then, I’ve traveled across the United States for all different concerts – one day having an epiphany that I could play a role in the production teams that put on the events that mean so much to me.
I’ll always remember the feeling I got in my first class at the University of Central Florida when they started to discuss concerts and touring. I finally felt like I was where I belonged. Later, I took a class revolving around entertainment technology and discovered a whole new side of the industry that I knew existed but didn’t know the extent of – I was hooked.
In this same class, where I was writing case studies about technology usage in The Weeknd’s Superbowl performance, I met a classmate who shared my passion.
Instead of viewing her as competition, we became friends and developed a bond. I’ve noticed the competitiveness among young entertainment professionals in this industry. They’re intimidated by each other, gatekeep and don’t share their resources, instead of focusing on building each other up and rising to the top together. I like to share resources among colleagues and celebrate each other’s accomplishments.
Natural friendships and connections are important within the entertainment industry and essential when it comes to networking. It’s important to make yourself stand out and ensure that you leave a memorable impression on those with whom you speak.
Demonstrating your kindness, enthusiasm, work ethic, and overall good attitude is important when meeting industry professionals including young up-and-coming individuals. My classmate saw the mutual passion we shared and introduced me to Well Dunn; she was a part of the organization and thought I would make a good fit as a mentee. Little did I know how much my life would change all because of the impression I left in the classroom.
Working with Well Dunn was a life-defining chapter. I attribute most of the wonderful opportunities I’ve had and friendships that developed to my time with them. I was paired with the most incredible mentor, who has become my very dear friend. Even a year after the experience ended, we’ve kept in contact and continue to support each other. The relationship we developed is one I will cherish forever; it has absolutely changed my life.
He brought me along for Lollapalooza, my first ever event to work alongside him and simply watch how things operate. I was blown away and immediately felt the pull. I remember standing stage left listening to the crowd sing along. A single tear rolled down my cheek because I finally understood what I wanted to do in life. I quickly learned about backstage etiquette and touring lingo. Things that to an outsider don’t sound important, but when on site are essential to understanding what is occurring, allowing you to do your job efficiently. I loved every moment and absorbed everything I possibly could like a sponge.
After Lolla, I got home and felt the itch to be back on a show site. I began working as a local VIP representative for every show I possibly could in Florida, to the point now where I am directly emailed to work shows all over the state. Putting yourself out there and hustling to make your name known through hard work and dedication pays off. It’s not an easy game to play and it takes a lot of self-discipline, confidence building, and the ability to brush off negative moments so that they don’t discourage you. It’s very easy to become discouraged when you don’t hear back from someone you reached out to or you don’t get the job you applied for, but it’s important to take them all as learning experiences.
Later in 2022, I was invited to submit my resume for an internship program, with a touring production that wanted to bring on a student to learn the ways of the road. Out of all the candidates, I was lucky enough to be selected and taken on my first-ever U.S. arena tour.
After a month out with them, they decided to keep me on as their first-ever production assistant. So now, I tour with Tame Impala internationally, assisting their production team with anything necessary. They have created an environment where we’re able to learn and grow, instead of being made to feel bad for not knowing how to do something. Even now, as I write this, I am sitting in the front lounge of our bus on our way to London for All Points East, while they all cheer me on and ask how school is going.
As a young industry professional, my current touring roles have given me a platform to operate and exist in an inclusive environment when I have been able to teach the crew about non-binary individuals and pronouns. Together we’ve created an environment where the crew can learn, have wanted to learn, and most of all, where I feel respected.
What this has taught me more than anything, is how important it is to have open conversations about gender, sexuality, and race to ensure that we’re doing everything possible to promote and provide a safe and progressive workplace. I’m extremely proud to come from a generation who are constantly seeking positive change, strategy, and conversation in the industry toward making it more inclusive, respectful, and diverse. I’m excited about this industry’s future and to see the lasting impact that my generation has on it.