R.O.C.U. Must Haves for Women to Rock on Tour!
With Women’s History Month at an end, Roadies of Color United got together a panel of women who are currently in the entertainment industry for a live webinar. This panel included Cherise Peace the moderator for the event, Akiko Hanazaki, and Elise Murray. These women shared their knowledge of the industry and tips for women to rock on tour.
Cherise Peace started off with some quick introductions of our panelists.
(Cherise P.) Moderator
First up Akiko Hanazaki. Akiko is a wardrobe stylist and has been in the industry for 8 years. She most recently worked with Lin-Manuel Miranda who played Alexander Hamilton and Lauren Hill. She currently resides in Australia but was born and raised in Japan.
The second panelist E’lyse Murray is currently an Artist manager/Artist Agent. She has been in the industry for 33 years. Some of her career highlights include Cameo, Fantasia, Patty label, Gladys Knight, George Clinton, and many more.
During this live webinar, both panelists had some very informative tips for our audience who are new or trying to get into the industry. Cherise asked the panel:
“What is something you found out is a reality of touring that you would want your younger self to know? And how would you tell her to handle it?”
Akiko: “I would say to always be focused, there are no days off. People think we go touring and we get to sightsee but for me, it’s always about staying focused. Especially right now with the pandemic, we hold a very strict tour. I would also say always keep an eye out for fashion and know what’s going on in the fashion industry. Lastly, keep in contact with all the designers in each city you work in.”
E’lyse: “The first thing I would have trained myself to have boundaries, we go the extra mile until there is nothing else left. Often, we the worker don’t know our cut-off, we don’t know when to stop, we’ll keep going to please. We become people-pleasers, we become yes people. When you can establish that relationship when you can tell your artist the truth and own their truth by you being an example of the truth that’s a great thing. Often artists take advantage, and you must know when to cut things off. I would tell myself there’s a cut off it’s okay to say no and set those boundaries.”
With the panelists focus on tips for women, and those that are new or interested in joining the industry. There are a lot of tips that need to be shared. Cherise went on and continued with the same question and asked our panelists.
What would be another item you would say is a reality in touring you’d want your younger self to be aware of?
(Akiko H.) Stylist
Akiko: A reality in touring to be aware of is Organizing ahead, checking the weather be prepared to change the outfit in case the weather is different than expected. Stay organized.
Cherise followed up with: How do you keep up with the wardrobe organization?
Akiko: I never give them just one outfit I always give the artist choices about 10-15 looks and we work together. I always carry containers, and bags, in my suitcases all organized. It’s good to have everything with you just in case.
Cherise: Elyse I would love to hear your next Tip from your expertise in agency and management?
E’lyse: Well, piggybacking off Akiko I’d say organization in the entertainment field, have your files organized, alphabetized, and make sure you have all their needs met. Make it easier for you and the artist when touring be strategic when organizing your tour. There is a precise formula when it comes to organization. You are dealing with promoters and finances, and have contracts signed. I also say maintain faith over fear, people often fall and refuse to get back up in fear of falling again and in this business it’s scary you think you’re doing the right job and the right thing. But you can hear one thing from the person you work for, and it can throw you off and set you back and make you fearful to move but if you have your faith, you’ll be fine.
Cherise: When you think of life on and after tour what would you say is one more thing that you would want your younger self to be aware of?
Akiko: Stay low profile, it’s important to me to build up the trust of the artist, stay focused on what you do, and plan the future for what you want to be. Like what you do. Keep a lot of the artist and backstage photos to yourself. Don’t post anything on social media, to me when people come to a show, they are coming to see outfits and music. They don’t want that to be ruined, by a post on social media. I want everyone that comes to the show to be surprised.
Cherise: Mrs. E’lyse Murray, what would you say is another must-have in the realities of touring?
(E’lyse M.) Artist Manager
E’lyse: Immediately have an accountant to take care of her books. Have an attorney early on. Have some accountability. Stay focused, drown out all the things I would hear about myself “she’s never going to make it she’s a woman” drown out all that negativity. Read some books about the law, and accountability. Dirty little secrets no one wants to tell you by Cheryl Cobb.
The panel closed with some shoutouts and mentioned a few projects they were working on and some projects that are coming soon. Roadies of Color United would like to thank Cherise Peace for moderating the webinar and our panelists, Akiko Hanazaki, and E’lyse Murray.
Give Cherise, Akiko and E’lyse a follow on social media! And be sure to check out the full video below!