They’re looking for a few good men…and women.
Geiger told me he went to New Orleans, to speak at a convention of music educators. Why? Because he wanted their best and brightest, he wanted the cream of the crop to come work for him at WME.
No, Geiger doesn’t make the decision. He’ll pass people through, like the person Mother Hubbard recommended, but he wants a better caliber of person for their training program.
They take fifty a year.
Forget the summer internship, that’s a whole ‘nother deal, albeit worthwhile. WME is looking for fifty people a year go to through their boot camp in L.A., New York, Nashville, Miami…do you have the goods?
Everybody says there’s no opportunity.
There certainly isn’t any at the labels. I have a friend who manages a household name act, he feels sorry for those who work at the label. While the top dogs gallivant around, the workers burn the midnight oil for little compensation and almost no possibility of moving up the food chain. Take a look at these companies…it’s still the same damn baby boomers, even older than baby boomers! So when you complain you can’t get a job at the label, all I can say is you’re looking in the wrong damn place.
But are you cut out for the WME training program? Are you ready to put your nose to the grindstone and work?
That’s the problem with millennials. They want the reward quickly, with positive feedback along the way. I know, because I had dinner with an exec for a publishing company just the other night, she said college students come in and refuse to take a starter job, they refuse to make tea. She laughs and forgets them. She had a starter job, she still makes tea, despite having a fancy schmantzy title. Want instant rewards, work for yourself!
Then again, that’s a long hard road, and there’s no mentoring.
But, as stated above, Geiger doesn’t want just anybody. He wants those with insight, who preferably have already achieved something. Yes, that’s the dirty little secret. Have you booked some bands or are you still wet behind the ears? Do you want it all on a silver platter or have you been kicked around yet are both excited and humbled?
We have not had the best and the brightest in music for a very long time.
And yes, Marc Geiger is looking to traditional music business programs. But I asked him about those who attended Ivies, who can think but need to be trained. He told me WME was open to all comers, to bring it on. And that you can apply on the website, and what he was telling me was not news.
But it was news to me.
P.S. You’ve got to be a college graduate. Don’t bitch about all the money spent, don’t tell me you’re different, this is the entry price, kind of like needing to be sixteen with hours of experience to get your driver’s license. Used to be college started you up the ladder, now it gives you a chance to climb the ladder.
P.P.S. Two years, that’s how long the boot camp is. You’ll get enough money to pay your bills, but not a whole hell of a lot more, not that you’ll have time to spend it. This is a delayed gratification program, like life.
P.P.P.S. Assuming you make it through, and many wash out, then you’ll be assigned to a department, and ultimately you’ll get your freedom in four to seven years when an opening arises. Yup, four years in you’ll be making 60+, assuming you’re good. And then…then you’ve got to show your mettle, you’ve got to demonstrate your wares. They don’t pass you along just because you’ve been there, you’ve got to show initiative, you’ve got to demonstrate results, and if you do, you can make a lot of money. Yup, the board has tilted. The power’s no longer with the labels but the agents and the promoters. And WME is actively looking for people. You’re not going to start off making what you would at the bank, but you might love your work, and that’s what life’s about.
P.P.P.P.S. Carole Katz. She’s the sieve, she’s the decider. I debated leaving her name out, making you hunt for it, because it’s those with initiative who win, but I’ll give you some focus. Don’t barrage her with e-mails and inundate her with cookies. Send something of substance, this is not a two-dimensional beauty contest, WME wants to know who you are, then they want to teach you their method.
P.P.P.P.P.S. It’s an arms race. Geiger’s not the only one looking for people, WME’s not the only agency with a training program. And yes, you can start on your own and merge later, but generally speaking that’s a different kind of person, like Tom Windish, who wants to remain independent. If you’re looking for opportunities, I just gave you one. But competition is fierce. Welcome to the music business.