Katie Maclin exchanged emails with Joy Caroline Mills in June, 2015.
What is your occupation?
I am an independent touring singer/songwriter. I book all of my own shows and negotiate my contracts. I also produce my own music.
How did they you get started?
I got started by auditioning my material in local coffee shops, calling venues, and e-mailing venue owners when I was 13. I played all kinds of shows, both paid and unpaid until I established the reputation I wanted.
What services do you offer?
Currently, I only offer my skills as a live acoustic music performer.
What are your clients typically looking for?
My clients who book me to entertain at their venues typically look for a quality EP, compatible availability, and how big the fan base is.
What skills are required to do your job?
I have to be business savvy, and not take things personally if a venue doesn't respond when I reach out to them to get booked. I have to be able to market myself and argue for compensation. Some graphic design experience is helpful, as well as knowing how to write a pitch in an e-mail. At the actual show, I have to be able to perform well and stay calm under pressure. I also have to be social and network with as many people as I can.
What do you like about the business?
I get to meet all kinds of people, and I get paid to play music. There's nothing better.
What they you most challenging?
Perseverance. It gets extremely discouraging, and not everyone likes what you're doing. Someone always wants to be the critic.
What’s the biggest change you've seen in the business in the last 5 years?
I have noticed two things. Women don't have to be a size 0 to be successful in music. We've seen Adele, Meghan Trainor, Ella Henderson, Kelly Clarkson, etc. sell smash hits without being skinny. The other thing I've noticed is that live music is experiencing a rebirth. People are going to see shows again.
What are your plans for next year?
I'm planning on continuing to tour nationally, attend some songwriting conferences in Los Angeles, and maybe even move to California.
What opportunities do you see in Indiana?
Opportunities in Indiana are very few, but they're out there. Basically I've had to make my own opportunities, and network within a very close-knit community. It's important to be kind to everyone you meet, because everyone knows everyone in the Indianapolis music scene.
Any advice to people considering going into the music and entertainment business?
Make sure you've got a thick skin. Know who you are as an artist/engineer/performer, and always fight for what you know you deserve.
Any thing else you'd like to add?