Pretty Good decision ..for bad timing
The decision to attend higher education was not, I repeat was not, the most practical one. After just coming out of a divorce, receiving a special needs diagnosis for my daughter and embarking on a new twin business venture, I’m probably not the best person to ask, ‘ when is the best time to get a degree?’. Nevertheless, I had one sister graduate and another sister had just signed up for a degree and was encouraging me to do the same.
At this point, I had been working in the music industry for over 8 years and developed an organic career, moving from Vocal Coach to Tour Manager. For me, always having to adapt, update, create and learn on the job, had become a passion blessing and career curse. Let me go back a bit…
My music industry engagement became more focused when I moved to the Caribbean for 6 years. I was working in an environment where the talent meter was high, and the music industry structure was low. To accomplish anything in such an environment you’re looking at working tirelessly, having to revise and rebuild several times over to get a model that works for the audience, client and artist. Although this keeps you in a constant state of creativity and innovation, it can be quite frankly exhausting and at times depressing.
Working in an industry that is pretty much male-dominated on the business front, means facing resistance at times. Although things are changing with more females becoming label Vice Presidents, many of the women I’ve met in the music industry have, like myself, developed businesses out of passion and secured themselves into roles that later profiled them.
As an Artist & Music Business Developer, Industry Consultant, Event Producer and Tour Manager, working in a self-employed capacity as a mother of two and adding ‘mature student’ would mean attaching a whole other level to my life. Anyone who has to effectively project manage the careers and visions of others will know that it’s one thing to do this for others but a whole different ball game when it comes to balancing your personal life.
What higher education offers me and my business?
Firstly, higher education seems to offer a way to understand how and why things work to operate efficiently. Secondly, approaching this from an academic level generates a stability and confidence to navigate the industry and its varied roles.
I took the leap and enrolled, aiming to complete a BSc (Hons) Business Management with Creative Industries at GSM. My hope is that this degree would confirm what I have been doing, extend knowledge base and develop my businesses. It has proved to be very beneficial on all points. It’s an ongoing adventure! Where modules have directly impacted and enhanced my business.
Personal/Business and time management have been key, particularly as business hasn’t stopped. Since enrolling my businesses I have:
- Consulted for a major festival
- Event development consultant
- Event production for an international artist U.K debut
- Event production for Hurricane Relief Fundraiser
- Industry speaker at two industry workshops
- Project development of music video awards
- Stage managed at a major festival
- Started online webinar courses for Artist and Music Industry personnel
- Tour Coordination for Virgin signed Artist, opening for Sir Elton John
- Tour developed for Integrity Music signed Artist, 5 Island Tour
- Travel logistics for MOBO Awards 2017
- Tour managed two double show drama productions as part of a world tour
The adventure continues with the development of a new business with the help of Formation Zone and the launch of another. Sometimes if you wait for the perfect timing your vision will never come to pass. The support from GSM London and building a close team of colleagues to work with has been how I have managed so far, oh and great productivity software lol!
Artiste Services, Music Promotion, Events & Tours Services at https://www.artistehub.net
Bespoke Artiste and Project Consultancy and Development at http://www.audreygray.com
Online secure ticketing at http://www.leveltickets.com
Audrey Dawn Gray