Entertainment careers. What exactly comes to your mind when you first hear that? Probably, lots of fun, parties, crowds and millions of new boys and girls around people who work there. Right? Not always.
It is a common stereotype that working in entertainment is not a real job, but constant pleasure and fun, especially jobs such as promoters, event organisers, DJs and others, whose names are usually associated with events and shows.
For us, as their clients, it looks like they are having the most fun and relaxed time when they work at these events; they have a party almost every night, they meet new people, they do such interesting things, it seems. But the question is, what is there behind the scenes that the public never gets to see?Dj Flex, a UK-based fashion show producer and DJ performing in venues such as North Pole (Piano Restaraunt) or Halo Club in Bournemouth, says that he can’t call what he is doing anti-social, but admits that when he works he is actually not there to have fun: “You are there to play music for people. So you don’t really get time for talking,” he says. “It is not anti-social, but it generally depends on who you are, if you want to talk to someone, you will”.
So, what do their shifts really mean to them? Fun or work?
Michelle-Ramona Devits, one of the promoters in London’s top clubs, doesn’t agree with any of the stereotypes at all. She says it is true that everyone thinks that as long as you work in entertainment, 90 per cent of your schedule is having fun. But it is not.
One of the most important things you have to do as a promoter is networking: “If you’re not focused on aggressive marketing on social media and always find new contacts you’re wasting your time,” says Michelle.
She tells us you need to invest lots of your time in order to get some results for future, know about latest events everyone would want to attend and start promoting them as soon as possible, trying to make better offers than others because then people will actually have a reason to choose you.
When it comes to the work inside the club, Michelle says it is nothing like “get drunk and have fun only.” There are many unseen aspects like waiting outside for your guests in freezing cold temperatures, taking care of drunk guests and their belongings, making sure nobody “steals” your guests.
“You play in front of hundreds or thousands of people, but you still do it alone. Its a weird mix for sure.”
“Also, if your guests are too drunk and they make a scene when getting back from [having a] cigarette or they cannot get home safely it’s your job to cover that in front of the staff and make sure they have a good time, so their experience is positive and they come again on your guest list,” Michelle adds.
Vik Toreus, is an international DJ, re-mix producer and co-director of HV Entertainment, who is working in some of London’s top venues. He told Artefact that there is a “lonely aspect” in this type of job, and that even though there are opportunities to meet new people and talk to someone while trying to do something creative for the audience as a DJ, there needs to be a strong level of focus.
Looking at these events from a different point of view, most of us don’t notice that all those people who are organising entertainment for us are actually working non-stop during the event. They are on their feet all night long, making sure everyone else is having a great time.
“You perform alone a lot of the times, travel alone and come back to your studio alone. You play in front of hundreds or thousands of people, but you still do it alone. Its a weird mix for sure,” Vik tells us.
On the dark side of entertainment careers, there is also the fact that you never know who those people you meet really are. It is quite common that some of them pretend to be your friends just so they can party more in good places or meet other people they need.
What is more, newcomers to careers in entertainment need to be careful about the potential bad influences around them, especially alcohol and drugs; it might seem OK at first to have few shots with new friends, but you never know what it can turn into.Max, who also promotes for top London clubs, says that working as a promoter allows you to socialise with a lot of different people, which is good because you meet a lot of individuals throughout the night in the club. “Also, a lot of people get in touch with me through social media which allows me to make new friends after a good night out.”
He admits that even though his job is to bring people inside the club, he still makes sure his clients are OK and looks after them. “Also, no matter how busy I am I always have fun at the club and I enjoy myself. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be doing it,” Max adds.
Max agrees that some stereotypes about entertainment industry are probably true. People often do have much more fun there than in other industries. For him, as a 20-year-old student, partying and living the nightlife is very interesting right now anyway: “So yeah, for me it’s always fun when I’m in the club surrounded by friends and we all have an amazing time,” he claims.
There are a wide range of opinions depending on the particular type of job and age range. While some young people are taking it to their advantage, getting the most out of the industry, there are many others who are more seriously involved in it, and who admit that work is still work, not a time for relaxation.
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