The resume is dead. You know your friend who got that sweet job working for the firm of their dreams? Ask them how helpful their resume was. Better yet, ask the person who HIRED them how helpful it was. Dollars to doughnuts, your friend snagged the interview because their roommate’s boyfriend is a product rep for the firm, and the firm’s HR department likely made their mind up about your friend after a good Facebook stalking.
Music is no different. The press kit is dead. Networking is everything.
If there’s something you’re trying to accomplish with your career and you’re just beating your head against a wall trying to make it happen, take a step back and consider the resources around you. Don’t overlook how people who are already familiar with your work can be helpful.
Starting my career in Michigan, I wanted nothing more than to play The Ark. It was the crown jewel of acoustic venues and anyone who was anyone had played there, but try as I might I couldn’t get booked. I sent press kits, I called, I played open mics there, I made friends with the sound guys . . . no go. It wasn’t until after I’d given up that I got a call from someone in a national act with whom I’d made friends. “Hey, we’re looking for an opener on a few dates and thought of you.” Wouldn’t you know it, one of those dates was at The Ark.
Later in my career I was trying to create a buzz in Nashville. After an unsuccessful year of hair dye and stretchy pants, an old friend from Michigan opened some new doors. Turns out, the guys who engineered one of my first records in Detroit were friends with the vice president of a major Nashville label. One phone call from him and she approached me directly, asking to meet with her and play some songs.
Not to freak you out, but you’re being watched. Everything you’re doing right now with your career is making an impression on those around you. If you’re making good quality art, building trust by acting with integrity, and making a contribution to the creative community in your area, you’re building currency that you may be able to cash in down the road. You may not need to go beating down doors to get that great interview if you start acting like you’re already on the job.
Ashley Peacock is a singer / songwriter living in Northern Kentucky, one half of alt-country duo The Chance Brothers, and former frontman of The Times. His songs have been featured in various compilations and on television, including The CW's One Tree Hill. He owns and operates a recording space, Cathedral Studios, in Norwood, Ohio. Contact him at email@example.com.