Get Your Foot In the Door: For Free OR Paid!
The entertainment and creative industries always seem so mysterious, but here's a few ways to gain some experience.
Apply for an Internship
It's never too early to apply for an internship. Internships are a great way to see if the industry is right for you. Many companies have reputable internship programs, e.g. Atlantic Records, Capitol Records, Universal Music Group, Sony Music Group, etc., that are available all over the globe. Smaller company internships are also just as valuable, if not more so. Although these can be highly competitive, it does push you to learn beforehand. Research the industry, the company, and evaluate what your career or professional growth goals are all during just the application process alone. *Please be sure that your internship abides by the labor laws in your City/State/Country
Join a Group
I know, I know - sounds more simple than applicable. But there are a lot of organizations, clubs, and foundations that look for talent and interest. Whether it be a small local community church group or a large global foundation, all major talents start somewhere with a community that supports them. Look into your role models and see where they got their roots from, what foundations/charities/organizations that they either have or actively participate in. See how you can utilize your talents or interests within the group to not only lift yourself up but others as well.
Put Yourself out There!
Soundcloud, Youtube, Instagram, TikTok, all these platforms are available to you, essentially for free! The only way people will know about you is if you put yourself out there! Sure it may have a slow start and may in theory seem easy, but most people find it hard to showcase themselves simply because they either don't know where to start or they don't start at all.
Volunteer or Work
Love shows/festivals/concerts/events? Want to go for free or possibly get paid? Volunteer or work! Most music performances, especially large festivals, need a lot of hands-on workers. Look into your favorite shows and see where you can be of help. Not only will you still see your favorite artists, but you have a higher possibility of networking with key staff to help set you up for your future career. Also, having these experiences show your interest in the music/entertainment industry and can be a major plus to your resume! Usually can't get the day off? Try working for companies like Afters Ice Cream, Pressed Juicery, or other known suppliers that usually hire their own workers to work the event. Scheduling your shifts to be around your favorite artists while getting paid to do your normal job is so much better than paying to go to the event and taking away another day out of your "vacation/sick" bank.
Be a Brand Ambassador, Campus Rep, or Street Team Member
Have little to no experience? Apply to be a Brand Ambassador, Campus Representative, or Street Team Member for your favorite companies or artists! Not only do you get work experience, but you'll usually have access to their events, shows, and swag (exclusive merch, etc). You usually will be working under or directly under the major heads of the company, so learn what you can, show your dedication, and rep your team!
Go to Events
Okay, this one can get pricey - but it's worth the investment. There are so many events now, whether that be in person like SXSW, or virtually via your favorite artists' online panel/program. Show interest by asking solid questions related to the industry/company/artist and again, putting yourself out there. Remember that you paid for this event, and you need to find your way of getting the most out of it. Take every freebie, look and research every brand flyer, say hello, breathe, and smile at everyone you meet! You never know who could be standing next to you in the queue or sitting next to you in the conference room. So have fun, learn as much as you can, and make your moves!