Nashville Show Spotlight: Prismatic Tour

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On June 27th I woke up like any other day.  I brushed my teeth, combed my hair, added a million sparkles to my hair, and put on a purple tutu…Okay so maybe not just like any other day.  No Today was the day my friends and I had been waiting for since mid January when we had bought our Katy Perry Prismatic Tour Tickets.  We had countdowns on our phones, had planned ridiculous outfits, and my roommate would text me constantly reminding me of our plans for Friday night.

10443491_10204171619752245_6972232469165806601_nWe arrived at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville (duh) early before doors opened at 6:30 to take advantage of the photo ops and giveaways.  My roommate Sarah and I are notorious for winning said games and giveaways.

915579_1507514249460686_1529245513_nAfter hitting the booths, we made our way toward the doors and the merch (aka merchandise that is wayyyy over priced and requires waiting in line for a good 20+ minutes-unless you’re me and make your own line) table.  Here we met the cutest five year olds dressed almost exactly like us.  They sang us songs and told us all about their outfits down to the sparkles.  Their mom was also pretty awesome as we spoke about them growing up and going to college.

We then headed to our seats where the first set was already in process (whoops!). Ferras-or something of that nature-reminded me of a pineapple with his bleached blonde hair pulled up into a top bun.  He sang me 80’s ballad sounding song after 80’s ballad sounding song in his lack luster attempt to be a modern day Prince. (reasons his CD was free at the merch table).

source: Kevin Mazur/WireImagesource: Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Next up on the chopping block was Capital Cities, another 80’s sounding EDM bad which is known for their one hit wonder “Safe & Sound”. One thing I wasn’t expecting to encounter was when the bad decided to dance to a track remix of their popular song…I mean dancing to your own song is a little tacky. They then attempted to teach the Bridgestone a good ol’ fashion white boy line dance to no avail but at least it allowed for some stretching before Katy took the stage.

source: Billboardsource: Billboard

After fueling up on some sports style munchies (we had kinda forgotten about eating real food in all the excitement that was getting ready for 3 hours) we waited un-patiently for Katy.

10479064_10204171620272258_7897628773181052324_nAnd then it happened in a glorious glow in the dark display.  She opened with “Roar” in which we traveled with her and her light up tribal warriors to the jungle setting.  The legit coolest aspect of this set had to be the built in treadmill to the stage and the trapdoors, or maybe it was the Prism Lotus she was delivered to us from.

10413098_493539567443568_35873289_nFollowing this mystic jungle we were transported to Ancient Egypt where Katy was Cleopatra and our warriors were now mummies and Egyptian royals.  Complete with a moving dancer pony; she sang “Dark Horse” just for me (or so say I).  I mean Juicy J was a talking sphinx with sunglasses.  Throwing it back, “I Kissed A Girl” (the song that introduced me to Katy and that I hid from my parents) took us under the pyramids to a world of mummies.  “ET” turned our pyramids tops into aliens….

…and then We ended up in one of my biggest nightmares ever.  A land where people were dressed as cats.  (I may or may not have a fear and distrust of anything small and feline).  I tried to block this part from my mind.

929135_1431391743802459_1141358852_nFor a break down set, Katy appeared to us dressed in butterflies and singing from a giant sunflower.  Here she spoke with the crowd about life’s ups and downs and how to enjoy every day you have.  she also told us of her old Nashville stomping grounds where she learned to write and attempted a career in Christian Music.  She then sang one of my favorite songs, “By the Grace of God” which is a testament to the time after her divorce from Russell Brand.

Next thing I knew there were giant balloon emogis flying around the arena and then it was all over…or was it?  No way, we had an encore with green hair and a giant birthday cake (her latest single off of Prism “Birthday” played obviously) and glitter cannons.

10520246_256610361207839_1291169011_nBut was if over after that?  No, we still had time for PrismVisionYou see, PrismVision is a magical experience requiring Prism Glasses which we had received upon entrance. Katy sang “Firework” as digital fireworks and pyrotechnics detonated flawlessly.  All seen through the sparkly PrismVision which made everything shiny and even MORE SPARKLY.  Yes, one could probably reach this point by getting high, but the intentional PrismVision made the set.

source: Celebuzzsource: Celebuzz

After “Firework” Katy crawled back into her “Prism Lotus” and waved goodbye to us all and it was officially over.  I felt like I had run a marathon, like I had gone to Vegas for two hours, like true magic had happened in front of our faces.  Cheers to you Katy Perry on one hell of a show.  And Kudos-I had to wait a week and a half to process and find the words to write this blog.

10469219_10204171622272308_3733321242963719689_nSo after a Katy Perry concert what do you do?  Well going home and watching Friends or King of Queens on Nick@Nite is not an option.  So we hit the town.  We swigged beers in a honky tonk singing “Wagon Wheel” with the hottest out-of-towners we could find. Then crossed the street to a club complete with terribly mixed pop music and enough douche bag guys willing to buy you overpriced alcohol just to dance with you.

10451064_10204171622752320_3781652105691112032_nNeedless to say rolling into bed at 2 am I was tanked. Completely and utterly exhausted from a day that seemed it would never end-and as if I wanted it to.

So friends, do yourself a favor and buy some tickets when Prismatic comes to a city near or far from you.

Best-Jess

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So You Want to Get into the Music Industry

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Check out this blog post and other’s this summer on Now That’s College!

Every year freshmen infiltrate Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee with the dreams of making it big in the Music Industry.  Whether that means playing, writing, producing, managing, or marketing music-they descend into this town looking for their “break” which will usher them into the big leagues.

What they lack to understand is that they aren’t alone.  Not only are there upperclassmen vying for these jobs and opportunities, but there are post grads, those opting out of school, and newly unemployed industry professionals on the chase.  Not to mention the people in New York, Atlanta, Austin, and L.A. who are trying to make it as well.

And as the Industry becomes increasingly smaller and smaller by the month with mergers, acquisitions, and bankruptcy-the available employment opportunities begin to dwindle.

For lack of a better word: the Future of the Music Industry is Bleak.  Blame Generation X, the Government, the Recession, the Internet, Piracy, and really anything else you can capitalize…but its still a reality.

So why do we still attempt the impossible? I mean, the odds are not “ever in your favor” when it comes to this type of profession.

Maybe its the last frontier to make the American Dream a reality.  It and professional sports, seem to be the only occupations left that can be won by the common man and lead them to a better life.

Maybe its all those Disney TV shows about kids turned pop stars that brainwashed our generation.  Maybe its the “You’re Special!” notation that our generation grew up on.

Then there’s the overarching theme: We are all helpless hopeless fools who have been romanticized by our love of song.  Some days I like this one: the struggling artist.  I mean we are the ones in all the movies who end up making it and get the girl…right?

But if there is one thing I have learned after living and working in Nashville for four years (and trust me I acknowledge that I have much left to learn): it is that this sense of entitlement and this foolishness cannot get you a job and it will not put food on your table.

So If after reading all this, if you still cannot squash the notion of falling into this abyss; I have five tips to help you get an edge on everyone else who is on the hunt for your dream job.

1. Buy A Suit

Regardless of how you imagine the music industry is fashion-wise, you need to buy a suit. Sure, you probably won’t be wearing it every day to work, but when you show up to an interview you want to look your best.  You want to look as serious as you are.  (And if you’re not serous, stop wasting yours and everyone else’s time).  Put your best foot forward and spend some money on this; odds are you will be donning this monkey suit quite a bit.

Ladies you need a nice dress/skirt/Hillary Clinton Pantsuit that does not show off your assets.  In this industry, mainly dominated by men, there will come a time when you are accused of using your womanhood as a way to get ahead.  If it hasn’t happened yet (and bless your heart) it will. You will also have to prove that the info in your head is actually useful for things other than fetching coffee.

To all my artists out there, this is still relevant to you.  Gigging every night will not get you the contacts you need to get a head in this industry, so just buy the suit (or at least something nice from Nordstrom) so you can have a day job.

2. Volunteer

Yes, for free.

source: Grammy365

source: Grammy365

In Nashville, it is very common for labels and different associations to ask for help around album releases and festivals such as CMA Fest. You may find yourself stuffing press packages, escorting artists, or manning an information booth passing out koozies….

Volunteering may seem unimportant or boring-and at some point it will be-but it puts you in the right place at the right time with the right people. You will meet contacts this way which can lead to future employment.  That is, if you do a job worth remembering.

Leading into my next tip, these are also Resume Builders.  Adding these opportunities to your resume make you look like you have experience (which you kinda do), a good work ethic, and an interest in working in the industry from the ground up.

3. Have Your Resume Reviewed

To all my Business people:

source: LinkedIn

source: LinkedIn

PLEASE USE SPELL CHECK.

PLEASE KEEP IT TO ONE PAGE.

PLEASE HAVE MULTIPLE COPIES-nothing is worse than showing up to an interview without having more than one copy.

PLEASE USE LINKEDIN, PLEASE.

As for Artists with their Youtube/Instagrams/Twitter Accounts/CD Baby/Reverbnation Websites/Facebook Pages:

BE SOCIAL-like actually interact with people who are interested in you.

MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS EXCELLENT QUALITY-nothing worse than shitty sound recordings or your mom’s shaky video.

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HAVE A ONE SHEET

4. Get A Degree

10342431_10203741885249151_7696620081474085990_nRegardless of what you want to do in this industry, I highly recommend getting a degree.  Sure Iggy, Steve Jobs, and Taylor Swift didn’t need one, but the kicker is you are not them.  And with all the odds I laid out to you, its better to be safe than sorry and get something you can fall back on in the event that this whole crazy dreaming doesn’t pan out. Many Colleges and Universities offer Songwriting, Entertainment Industry Studies, Production, Vocal/Music, and Music Business Degrees.  So invest in yourself and get one.

5. Intern, Intern, Intern…Then Intern Again

Lastly, Please Intern, and then do it again and again.  You will learn so much about the climate of the industry and you will meet so many people who can help you with getting to where you want to be.  Some internships suck.  Those are the ones you take and still learn something from and move on.  Some internships are awesome.  Those are the ones you take and hopefully run with. Internships lead to contacts and jobs.  They are you’re big break silly. Regardless if you are bringing your boss coffee or transcribing Luke Byran’s newest interview, it is the relationships you make that will help you in the long run.  In this business its not only what you know, but who you know. So put the entitlement aside-and intern.

As for my Artists:

Play everywhere and anywhere.  Going on a family vacation? Play for the locals.  At a party? Plug in your iPhone for a song or two.  Play Everywhere and Anywhere.

Pass out your links to where people can find your music.  Get a following.  Make friends with people who are trying to get into the business/are in the business and help each other.

 

That my friends is only the tip of an iceberg and I could probably write a book of do’s and don’t’s, but hopefully these will help you reevaluate if this is for you or not.  And if it is, hopefully they lead you to where you need to be.

My Best-Jess

The 2014 CMT Music Awards: Behind the Scenes

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cmtMusicAwards-2014Last night I had the opportunity to work backstage at the CMT Music Awards in Nashville at the Bridgestone Arena.  But when I say last night, that means I got there at 8 AM that morning…

10401726_499656626801643_121387829_nUpon arrival I had to go through credentials to get my assignments and backstage pass. Then all of the Artist Escorts (aka Me) had to gather together to learn the run down of the arena and the many paths we would need to take throughout the night.  Memorizing dressing rooms, appearance schedules, which elevators and stairs take you where…it was a lot to take in.  Thankfully, the Talent I was assigned to was not performing so I had a low key schedule until they arrived.

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Starting at about 9 AM, the final dress rehearsals began for the show prior to the final show run through.  The ever talented and beautiful Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert took to the stage to sing their new duet “Somethin’ Bad” which is featured on Lambert’s newly released album Platinum.  Between the glitter cannon and the bad ass lyrics, we all knew this performance would be the highlight of the show.

2014 CMT Music Awards_Cham640Then came the rehearsal for the opening act where Luke Bryan, ZZ Top, Florida Georgia Line, and Jason Derulo (and his ever allusive dancers) all performed a mash up of their songs “La Grange”, “This is How We Roll” (which features Luke Bryan), and “Talk Dirty”.  From pyrotechnics to strategically planned remix, the act had the potential to epically fail.  Timing had to be just right, and it took several go throughs to get it down.  However, by the last run through it was show ready.

openingWe broke for lunch around 1:00 PM and that gave me some time to run through my Talent’s schedule and switch out my walkie’s battery pack.

lady-antebellum-cmt-music-awards-2014Next thing we knew, acts were arriving and the buses and dressing rooms were filling up.  Lines began to form around the Bridgestone and press was filing onto the red carpet.  Catering at Craft Services and the Crown Royal Room began to serve up food and drinks.  People were running golf carts to and from the bus lot frantically picking up and dropping off acts to rehearse.  The best way I could explain it is organized chaos.  Everywhere you looked people were running and tracking their acts.

imagesAfter picking my Talent on the red carpet, we took an elevator down to the backstage level. Here we had time for them to access the press room, WonderWall, and the Crown Royal Room to mingle with the other Talent onsite as well as their managers, publicists, and friends/spouses.

2014 CMT Music Awards - ShowYou’re main job as an escort is to be a babysitter for lack of a better term.  You keep track of where they are in the building 24/7.  You make sure they are where they need to be when they need to be.  You keep them calm, fed, glamed up, and hopefully on time.  I think that was the hardest aspect for me; trying to babysit my Talent without feeling weird.  After all, they were adults and honestly I think they were capable of going places and coming back to me on time.  Yet its live TV, and we run on a strict timetable with no room for error.  I had a booklet at least 20 pages long of our detailed schedule down to the second.

By 8:00 PM my feet were toast and we were not even half way through the show.  And I was pretty hungry seeing we hadn’t gotten a dinner.  Yet keeping up with mine and others talent (“Anyone have eyes on Luke Bryan?”, “Jess to Kelly, What’s You’re Twenty?” “Copy that”) made the time pass pretty quickly.

Next thing I knew the show was pretty much over and “ZZ Top has left the building…Lady A has left the building…Tyler Farr has left the building…Can anyone find the Derulo Dancers?” came flooding over the walkies.  As the mass exodus of stars caravaned down our hallway, they for once seemed like normal people.  It was like a college reunion where all these people who lived busy schedules were able to finally reunite and be with people who understood their lives.  They caught up and planned after parties or when they would finally catch up again.  For once, I wasn’t feeling the star struck wide eyed feelings I had to suppress all day.  These were just people under the fancy clothes and makeup.  They work harder than most people and for a few seconds in that tunnel they got to just be themselves.  It was very cool.

CMT-Music-Awards-2014-Show-PicturesAs Miranda and Blake, Carrie and Mike, Dan + Shay, and Brett Eldridge funneled out into their limos and buses, we finally met to turn in our gear and head out.  Sitting in my car had never felt so good, and I was so excited for the thunderstorm we had in Nashville last night to fall asleep to.

Perhaps I’ll get to actually watch the show sometime this week (I honestly only heard a few parts), but if I do so say myself; my view was ten times better.

-Jess

Nashville Concerts: Demi Lovato’s Neon Lights Tour

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A few weekends ago, My roommate Sarah and I fulfilled one of our childhood dreams: to see Demi Lovato perform live.  We bought the tickets almost a year in advance and had had count down apps on our phones letting us know down to the minute when the concert day would arrive.

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Not In Adult Land Anymore

We bought pink temporary hair dye and Demi’s line of nail polish (the New Black), wore our best rock-n-roll outfits and hit the town to sing all the words to Let It Go, Did You Forget (in a fake crying voice of course), and Sky Scrapper. Yet for some reason, it did not hit us until we arrived that we might be the oldest people there (minus the poor dads who had been brought along because their preteen daughters needed supervision).  Yes, the atmosphere was totally different: the vendors walked around selling Gatorade and cotton candy instead of Budlight and Coronas, between performances there was a teenage magician, and the girl sitting next to me habitually cried at the sight of anyone famous.

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I know what you’re thinking: this sounds awful. And all the piecing cries of 11 year old girls was, but all was forgiven by the excellent performances by Fifth Harmony, Cher Lloyd, and of course Demi.

Lights, Camera, Action

Fifth Harmony (a runner up girl group from America’s X-Factor) opened the show with a simple but classically choreographed set in which they covered a Destiny’s Child song that no one in the crowd (basically because they were all not born when the song was a hit) knew the words to.  They closed with their new single Miss Movin’ On which is basically a girl power ballad that got everyone on their feet; including me because who doesn’t love feminism.

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Cher Lloyd (an UK X-Factor runner-up) brought even more sass to the stage with her hits Want You Back, I Wish (one of my favorites), With Ur Love, and Oath.  She would also join Demi on the Stage for Really Don’t Care which features Lloyd.

cherAnd then it finally happened, through lots of stage smoke and screaming preteens, Demi appeared and killed every song she sang.  From her hits such as Heart Attack to Neon Lights, she belted every note and even though you could tell she was a little tired (this was the second to last stop on her tour when ended in Indianapolis), she kept the crowd energized.

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 Thriving not just Surviving

Demi also took time out of her set to devote to awareness about Self Harm, Eating Disorders, Substance Abuse, Depression, and Mental Health issues.  She doesn’t try to hide the fact that she struggled with all of them, nor that she ended up in a rehab clinic for several months to help her with the daily battle of dealing with all of them.  Her Bravery in sharing with the world all of her past allows for so many people to acknowledge their problems and also seek help.  Lovato also added that though its a daily struggle to be healthy, that shes “pretty F*@king happy now”.  She then played an acoustic set of Warrior on piano.

1607123_10203491780916699_1890208690_nTo end the night Demi encored with Sky Scrapper and Give Your Heart A Break.  The night was not only fun but inspirational and I was really impressed at how different it was from any other concert I have ever attended.  It was positive and geared toward a healthy and proactive lifestyle while still addressing realities of our world.  And I think that really resonates with who Demi Lovato is: Pink Hair and smiles with Realities and Scars, thriving not surviving.

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How To Make Chocolate Cake

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This week has been pretty busy as I prepare for finals and graduation, but on Tuesday I had to opportunity to attend a Grammy U event with Will Hoge.  Will Hoge is a Nashville native songwriter whose song “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” (made famous by the Eli Young Band) was nominated for Grammy Country Song of the Year, ACM Song of the Year, and CMA Song of the Year.  His newest hit “Strong” has been featured in the new Chevy Silverado campaign, was number 2 on the Shazam charts, and has sold almost 200,000 copies.  Hoge’s newest album Never Give In (and one of my favorite tracks off the album) was number 4 on the American Airplay Charts and in the Top Ten for 15 weeks.

Ken Tucker, a former professor of mine for PR in the Music Industry and a former Country Weekly managing editor, conducted the interview portion of the night.  We began discussing Hoge’s roots which can be found in Franklin, TN where he was surrounded by a family with strong musical influences.  Though he picked up guitar later than most (his later high school years), Hoge quickly took to writing.  When asked about when he first got into music, Will said, “I fell for it pretty hard…and joined my first real-quote unquote-band in college with some older guys looking for a singer”.  Though he attended Western Kentucky for college and planned on becoming a teacher, he soon realized in his sophomore year (what he calls his Senior Year) that music was what he really wanted to pursue.  After dropping out, Will moved back home and focused on writing professionally.  Songwriting, “…was the first place that [Will] …really felt comfortable and [he] felt this sense of self-expression that [he] hadn’t found anywhere else”.

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The next single off of Never Give In is “Still Got You On My Mind” and was featured on a recent Episode of Heart of Dixie.

“More Than Your Life Story”

Will Hoge also touched on where he draws inspiration, sometimes from his own life and sometimes on character’s he creates.  He even went on to say, you can empathize with creating characters which you may not know, but can imagine how things would be if you didn’t have certain things in your life.  Will went on to say that there comes a point that you realize “Writing is more than your life story”; and compared it to the Beatles and their Sgt. Pepper Album he grew up with. The key to writing a song that is not your story is to “inject enough truth and realism into [a song] to make it believable”.

Will Hoge also shared with us his family and how they have impacted his writing.  From being a father to his relationship with his wife-Will is able to share his experiences in his work flawlessly and to adapt them to create songs which can showcase varies forms of humanity.

“You Can Have Career Highs And You’re Kids Don’t Care”

After “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” hit number one, the Eli Young Band and Will were thrown a number one party.  Will brought his whole family-including his young sons, and everyone enjoyed themselves with toasts and mingling.  However, by the end of the party some invitees were not happy.  Will asked his sons if they had had fun at the party and they had some news for him: No, There was no cake and you need cake at a party.  Needless to say, Hoge will have cake at his next number one party and I hope we see one for “Strong”.Selling Out and Making Cake

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The “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” #1 party.

When Will was first asked by Chevy to use “Strong” he admits he was a bit hesitant.  Could this move to go commercial be seen as selling out?  He debated it for a bit and realized that it could help the song and maybe he’d get a truck out of it, or it wouldn’t help the song and he could get a truck out of it.  An industry friend of Hoge finally told him.  “You can’t keep making vanilla cake and expect it to be chocolate cake, at some point you have to do something different to get chocolate cake”. In order to make big things happen you have to take big risks. By partnering with Chevy for the deal, Hoge as an indpendent artist was able to brand his music side by side with Chevy (a prominent country music supporter and known for a blue collar customer base, similar to that of country music) to attract a larger fan base.  Now not taking the deal would not have ended Hoge’s career, but it sure has helped it.   “Strong” has done well and he has gotten a truck out of the deal.  Hoge says he has no regrets.

“Ain’t Nothing Gonna Knock Him Off The Road He’s Rollin On, He’s Strong”

After being signed to a label for a bit, Hoge felt that having his own label would better suite his creative and business aspirations.  Recently, he started his own label Cumberland Recordings.  He says he is a great boss and that going on your own can be tough; “at the end of the day it’s just a different set of headaches”.  However, Hoge is not intent on being a label mogul, but wants to focus on music and independent projects.  After a serious accident a few years ago, Hoge found a renewed spirit to chase what is important.  To Hoge that will always be his family and music.

“Some Dreams Keep On Gettin’ Better, Gotta Keep Believin’ If You Wanna Know For Sure”

Will Hoge is a rarity in today’s Nashville as his focus on artistry and music is forefront.  Some days I get so caught up in the business world and the strategic planning of the industry that I lose sight of what brought me here in the first place: making chocolate cake.  No not actually chocolate cake, but music that was real and authentic and worth being heard.  Having a message and a purpose.  We are taught in school that music is second, marketing deals and contracts, and budgeting tours, and saying what’s hip is first.  As a Senior, there have been times in the past four years where I’ve lost sight of the magic of music.  It’s why I fell in love with this city and why I want to be a voice for musicians and artists one day.  Will Hoge isn’t writing for Luke Bryan, he’s not trying to be someone he’s not: He’s writing what he feels and he’s doing a pretty damn good job at it.  And he’s doing it his way.

My first day at CMT, the Eli Young Band performed “Even If It Breaks Your Heart” and to close the evening Will Hoge also played it.  As my internship winds down and graduation nears, everything is coming full circle.  Why I came here, what I believe is important.  Being True to yourself.  Thinking back on the 17 year old girl with a Crazy dream to move to Nashville and everyone told her she’d never make it or that she could come home whenever she wanted.  And now that girl is graduating and she’s making her dream a reality.  Its all a bit cheesy, but for artists we all just feel things a little differently than most.

So here is to the pursuit of making Chocolate Cake.

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Will Hoge performs at the Grammy U Finale Event

Changing Roles and Changing Communities

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Hello Again Friends!

I’ve been very busy working on some great new projects for CMT so pardon all the past tense posts!

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I’ve got a new view here at CMT overlooking Broadway and the Bridgestone/Ryman buildings.  I’ve also been working more closely with our CMT team whereas I focused on all of Viacom before.  Currently I’ve been working on Music Research, dabbling in some Contract Drafting, Managing some database materials, and reviewing some content for our new program lineup.  As we near the CMT Awards, I’m sure I will be busy working on tasks for that night.  MTV is also having their Movie Awards this SUNDAY at 8pm CST!! Let’s just say I’m secretly willing anything Hunger Games and Jennifer Lawrence to win. 

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Another thing that has been showing up in my inbox is how Viacom is giving back to the community.  Viacom offers their staff additional vacation days to do community service and to help better their community.  They even offer a website that will help employees track their hours and connect them with service projects.  Their Corporate Social Responsibility website Viacommunity outlines their projects and helps promote goodwill across the company. 

The mission of Viacommunity is: “to better the communities which Viacom serves, and make a positive social impact on the people and areas where we work and live. It’s about leveraging the power of Viacom’s brands to drive action on the issues that matter to stakeholders. And it’s amplifying those acts, spreading their impact to help others make a difference. Plain and simple, it’s Impact. Amplified“.  This is something that not only I agree with, but something that I feel I will require in a corporate atmosphere when I am looking for a job. 

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In my time at CMT, departments have come together to help build a home for Habitat for Humanity and have even hosted a Career Interest Day with students at our partner school McGavock High School.  CMT and Viacom truly invest in their community and encourages its employees to do the same.  By investing in our communities we can better understand our consumers and can give our employees a chance to feel more connected to the areas they work in.  This outlet benefits both the community and Viacom. 

Nashville Concerts: Brad Paisley’s Beat This Winter Tour

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In the past couple weeks, I had the opportunity to see Brad Paisley’s Beat This Winter tour finale.  My friends Lindsay and Ryan had two extra 8th row floor tickets and so my friend Chelsi and I joined them.

Prior to arriving, we read Brad’s Tweet which said “Cannot wait to play Nashville TN tomorrow. Big fan of the ABC show. Always wanted to visit there. I hope it’s just like on TV.” which is an obvious pun to the show his wife Kimberly Williams Paisley used to be featured on.

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Danielle Bradbury opened the night with a similar set to the one she did on CMT’s Listen Up-which we taped a few weeks back.  Chris Young was the second act  promoting with his newest single “Ah Naw”.

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However, Brad, in Headliner Fashion, came out with all the bells and whistles.  From his excellent guitar skills to the amazing graphics and laser show which was used during “Southern Comfort Zone“, the production was elaborate and left the crowd wondering what would happen next. What did happen next was better than any hologram, Carrie Underwood graced the stage to perform their duet “Remind Me“.

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One of my favorite things about Nashville shows, and especially those shows that end in Nashville, is that special guests always show up.  Carrie Underwood was not the only one to pop up on stage as Randy Houser, Sheryl Crow, and Eric Close also made appearances as Brad closed the show with his hit “Alcohol“.

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One thing I really liked about this tour was that it was very team oriented.  Everyone seemed to get along well and everyone appeared on stage at the end-even Brad’s Mascot of himself-to support and celebrate the end of the tour.

After a great night out with friends and witnessing the live aspect of the business, I remembered being invited to the tour’s after party at SEEN night club as part of the CMT taping we did awhile back at the location.  Although we did not stop by I heard it was a great networking night and that tour went out in style.  This is all just a reminder of Nashville’s Golden Rule: its not always What you know, its who you know.