Berklee Blogs

First-hand accounts of the Berklee experience

Kelsey Michaelson, Artist Management – Internship Series

I started my internships about a month ago…finally!  I’ve been looking forward to interning since I started at Berklee College of Music. Originally, I was only going to have one internship, but landed a second internship at the very end of the semester – and there was no way I was turning it down.

The two internships are extremely different, I could tell before I even walked in.  Position Music, a licensing and publishing company, is run out of a very nice town home in a residential area of West LA.  There are six employees, including the owner.  Just a couple of miles away is the offices of Career Artist Management (CAM).  The office is in a 25-story building with a parking garage, right in the middle of Westwood Village.  CAM is just one of the many music companies on the 11th floor including Frontline Management, ReignDeer Entertainment, and Strategic Artist Management.  There are even more Frontline Companies on the 10th and 20th floors, including Azoff Music Management Group.  Just being in the same building as all of these companies is crazy, exciting, and such an amazing experience.

I found the internship search very stressful.  I went into the search with a specific internship site in mind, however I was extremely flexible to see where my search could take me.  I ended up applying to about 25 different companies in 4 cities – LA, Chicago, Nashville and New York.  I decided I would apply to at least one internship per day.  It made me stay up to date, however I didn’t feel overwhelmed.  Many of the internships I applied to I found through the OEL database, however I applied to a handful that I found on my own.  I searched what companies managed certain artists and made cold calls to see if they had an internship program.  I also went to my Music Business teachers and asked for their advice, which was great.

I landed the internship at CAM without really applying for it, and I really thank Jeff Dorenfeld in the Music Business department for that!  For the final term paper in Jeff’s ‘Music Intermediaries’ class, we had to interview a manger, agent or entertainment lawyer.  He told us to “go big”, see if we could reach the person we really wanted to.  One of the top people on my list was Jordan Feldstein, and he was kind enough to spare some time so I could interview him over the phone.  Jordan, who is the founder and owner of CAM, started managing Maroon 5 ten years ago, when he was just 22 – he helped make them the superstars they are today.  At the end of my interview, with words of encouragement from Jeff, I asked Jordan if he took interns. He said yes, that I should talk to Heather, his assistant who I had been talking with to schedule the interview – and that was that!   I was so excited – I’m most interested in artist and tour management, and that’s exactly what CAM is all about.   Heather is my supervisor at CAM, and knowing exactly what I wanted to go into, she paired me up with Wayne Sharp, head of tour marketing at CAM.  Talking with Wayne on my first day, I found out that he’s a good friend of Jeff’s – just proving that as large as the industry seems, in a way it’s really small.

In just four weeks, I’ve already learned so much and met so many people.  I’m putting everything I have, all of my time, energy and all that I learned in my classes into my internship.  I get there early, leave late, and my hard work definitely hasn’t gone unnoticed. It’s such a great place, and to be surrounded by so many talented and all around fun people day after day is so not only awesome but also reassuring that I’m on the right path.

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Kelsey Michaelson is a Music Business/Management major at Berklee, interning with Position Music as well as Career Artist Management in Los Angeles during the Spring 2011 semester.  Kelsey, winner of the Newbury Comics Scholarship will be graduating in May 2011 and plans to stay in sunny LA!  She can be reached at kmichaelson at berklee dot net or via Facebook at facebook.com/kamikes.

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1 Comment

  1. Devon

    Hello Kelsey,

    I appreciated reading your experience about your internship experience.

    I can really relate to – getting there early and leaving late, I had a similar experience during my internship for Clear Channel Radio at 106.1 KMEL for 3 years.

    I am a song writer and I wanted to know based off all that you learned about Artist management if you could provide some insight into how to get my foot in the door to write for Maroon 5 and other major Artist and Bands.

    Your insight would be invaluable and very helpful .

    You can response to devon.burnett@gmail.com

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