Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?
I am Paige Martin, 21 and a music business graduate. I have an artist management label with my sister called Twins Management which we started when at university. I am active music fan while also making a music industry professional of myself. I am as passionate backstage as I am in the crowd.
What does your job involve? Give us the typical outline of a day?
I am the Venue Operations Apprentice at the O2 Apollo Manchester with Live Nation. As the nature of my apprenticeship is to train me within all areas of the day to day running of a music venue, each day can be different for me while I am gaining responsibilities in the process. On a show day I range from putting up show times to cashing up bar tills to being around to help staff. During an office day I set up shows for onsales within the box office, record details from the shows and set up social media. Social media and marketing is something that I get involved in any day while taking control of the venues Instagram.
What’s great about your job?
I love that no day is the same as the day before. I've even had the opportunity to take photos from the photographer's pit for the venues social media. I meet great people, as a large-scale venue we have a lot of casual staff so it's nice, on a show day to see so many keen people working together. I'm also lucky to work closely with such great people on the day to day, the venues management all have stories to tell from their past within music that I love to hear.
What are the bits you don’t like or find challenging?
As cheesy as this will sound, there isn't really anything that I don't like about my job. The only thing that is challenging is the fact one day you can finish around midnight after a show and then the next day be in work early in the morning for a non-show day.
What are the highlights of your career to date?
I spoke on the apprentice panel for the Creative & Cultural Skills conference at The Lowry which is probably one of my biggest achievements alongside a sell-out event for the labels talent showcase. In terms of highlights, I have worked gigs for bands that I love and that I listen to daily. It's amazing to see a show being setup, announced, the run up to the event and then the buzz on a show day to everybody leaving a show buzzing.
How did you get into an arts job? Have you also worked outside the arts?
I've had part time jobs through college and university but this is my first full-time job. During university I did a work experience module and I contacted Paul Latham of Live Nation, expecting rejection purely based on the fact that even small venues, even music retail shops had rejected me. Paul Latham was the ONLY person to offer me work experience and he placed me at the O2 Apollo. When I completed my required hours, I stayed on at the venue working on the bars and then I applied for the apprenticeship and I was the lucky one! I owe Mr Paul Latham!!
Can you describe your biggest challenge so far in your career? How did you overcome it?
After I finished University I was frantically trying to get a job, I started out optimistic applying for music industry jobs but they can be hard to come by so I had to start applying for anything if I wanted to stay in Manchester and pay rent. I accepted this job without knowing the pay so I had to prepare to be working a full-time apprenticeship and have a part time job. I realised it's important to have a backup especially because this is the only industry I have ever wanted to work in.
Have you noticed any changes in the industry? If so, what?
Things change constantly within any industry but I think music is quick to adapt to these changes. This starts with small changes like Mobile tickets instead of physical paper tickets to bigger changes how people are receiving any information about the shows/venue with the help of social media.
You’ve been granted the ability to send a message to 16-year-old you. What do you say?
Do NOT let anyone stop you from getting your dream job. No industry, job or goal is unrealistic. Times have changed from when your teachers and parents were at school and there are many different routes you can take after school to achieve different jobs, look at all of your options and take the route that is best for you.
Do you have any advice for young people interested in doing your kind of job?
I wrote a blog post about how to get closer to getting your dream job. My main advice is that if you stick to it and stay confident and aware of opportunities it will pay off eventually. https://lifeofpaigemartin.wordpress.com/2018/01/15/5-tips-to-get-your-dream-job/
Want more tips on working in the arts? Head on over to Creative Choices, a website filled to the brim with advice on how to get into the arts.