You have likely heard the saying “The Show Must Go On.” Do you know what it actually takes to make that happen? What really takes place behind-the-scenes of that show?
Touring is a lifestyle; a unique way of life that merges travel, creativity, and passion. Behind every performance is an enormous amount of work done by numerous individuals. That work and planning begins weeks, months, and even years before the show actually happens. While countless people dream of going on the road or making a career in “show business”, fewer are able to sustain this exhausting yet exhilarating way of life.
Life on the road is hard and show business is challenging. Maintaining a family and staying healthy can be nearly impossible while “chasing the dream.” Having the right knowledge, tools, and support system can make a huge difference to one’s individual success while also impacting everyone around them. As a result, the show will be a much better experience as well.
On the road, anything can and will happen. There are unimaginable stories, horrific situations and countless memories. The public gets to experience the sights, sounds, and smells of the lobby, while waiting for the lights to go down for the two to three-hour show. Yet, the rest of the day and all that is happening behind the scenes, during the show, as well as before and after are simply a mystery.
One of the phrases we heard most on the road was “…you should write a book.” So to tell our stories, this podcast was created and developed.
“Everything BUT The Show” is a podcast that shares stories about touring and life behind-the-scenes in the music industry. Each week you will hear fascinating interviews and tips and strategies we have learned along the way to create a successful “Road Map for Life.”
It is our hope that you will not only be entertained, but more importantly encouraged. Thanks for spending some time with us today. Sit back, relax, and let’s talk about “Everything BUT The Show.”
Growing up in a small town, Eric has vivid memories of his early years and the music that accompanied those days. Whether it was playing on an 8-track or vinyl, that music would set the stage for his career.
At the age of eight, Eric began playing drums and the piano. Soon after came the saxophone, guitar, and bass. His hometown of Marion, VA was no thriving metropolis for live music, but he made the best of it and played every opportunity he had. In high school, he worked for the country station WMEV Radio. As his entrepreneurial talents surfaced, Eric founded a mobile DJ service that he would own and operate for many years to come.
Eric had big dreams to move to Nashville one day, and after graduating high school he followed those dreams. While at Belmont University he began his touring career. As an original member of Denver & The Mile High Orchestra, he toured as a professional sax player for seven years and later transitioned into FOH/production management. He even got his CDL to sit in the driver’s seat of the bus when needed. After ten years, Eric wrapped up his time with the band in the role of tour manager, which would become his specialty.
During his sixteen-year career, he was the tour manager for many notable Contemporary Christian and Country artists and tours. Some names on his resume include Winter Jam, The Story Tour, Matthew West, Sara Evans, Little Big Town, and many more. There was never a dull moment on the road as he experienced small two-hundred seat shows, to stadiums packed with forty-thousand people. Sometimes this meant traveling with one artist while other times he was moving a tour of more than a hundred people across the country.
Since completing his final show as a tour manager on March 31, 2014, Eric has continued to be an integral part of the music industry. He has a passion to build great relationships, create a positive tour culture, and invest in the music industry. As part of the Compassion International family, he currently oversees tour operations for Compassion LIVE.
In addition to his love for the touring community, he considers it an honor to be a part of the faculty at Belmont University where he teaches Tour Production. Eric is also a certified Ramsey Preferred Financial Coach. In his free time, you can find him on a racquetball court, writing a book (about his own tour experiences, of course!), or hanging out with his beautiful bride, Emily.
I grew up outside of Atlanta, Georgia in a small town by the name of Covington. I spent my early days living with my parents, grandparents, and older brother. I loved baseball, football, and growing up with five best friends that I still know and love today. One of my favorite childhood memories was riding with my grandad on Sunday afternoons to a little country restaurant to pick up fish for my grandmother. I can still hear Clarence say, “What’ll it be today, Mr. Jay? The catfish or the perch?”
Fast forward many years later when I was finishing my freshman year at Samford University. I decided I wasn’t going to keep playing football for the school and began to contemplate whether the Pharmacy career path was really the right fit for me. I found myself sitting in Sunday school one morning and a friend randomly asked me if I could sing. Before I knew it, I was singing and traveling with a college ensemble. It was during that time I became sure of two things – that I did not want to be a Pharmacist and I loved music. At the end of that school year, I followed two of my friends from the ensemble to Nashville to audition for the school of music at Belmont University.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree, I landed my first gig as a road manager. I spent the next seven years traveling on the road. I was learning and handling all aspects of touring, managing artists itineraries, and overseeing and executing shows and concerts. During that time, I tour managed some of the biggest names in Christian, Country and Pop music. I came off the road full time at the end of 2002 and stepped into an Artist Manager role at Proper Management. Since then, I have overseen the career of my artists, managed the day to day activity, produced large scale tours, and built and maintained relationships with industry executives. In August of 2012, I became the owner of Proper Management with my business partner and colleague, Nick Barre.
Having many passions, knowing and loving people as well as watching a song transform a heart are the forefront for me. There are many parts of the process that I love, but perhaps the pinnacle is seeing a song go from an idea in the studio, to hearing it on the radio, to the live event on stage, and watching that moment transcend time and space. In that moment, time stands still, and Truth, in the form of a melody, changes a life and offers hope.
With nearly twenty-five years in the music industry, many things have changed but one remains constant for me: music has changed my life and I am forever grateful for its impact on my heart and soul.
I am a lucky husband to my beautiful wife of over twenty years and a dad to two amazing (albeit challenging) teenagers. On any given weekend you might find me at the ballfield watching a game, doing yardwork, hanging out with friends or family around the firepit, or if I am lucky, riding my bike, unless of course, I am out visiting an artist at a show!