The fourth person working in live music to get a spotlight on my blog is tour manager Jim Runge, an industry veteran of over 25 years. Jim is also one of the panelists of Tour Management 101, a webinar series about tour management that I’ve been listening during the industry blackout.
By openly sharing his experiences as a tour manager on the webinars well describes Jim and his character. He wants to give back to the industry that has been good to him throughout the years. He has a humble attitude towards his career and recognizes the value of working hard and not always going money first to achieve your goals.
I met Jim at Tour Link Pro conference (now restructured as the Live Production Summit) I attended for the first time in 2017. When I saw him in his signature attire, a classy suit, I knew this person knows what he’s doing and wouldn’t let anyone tell him otherwise. This is Jim’s story.
What do you do in the music industry?
Mainly a Tour Manager for 25 years. Have done some lighting, Production and was a personal assistant.
Basically, being a tour manager means doing anything it takes to get the job done. Sometimes it’s wrangling the artist and focusing on their happiness. Sometimes it’s running the entire tour, sometimes it’s just dealing with the business side of things.
How did you end up working as a tour manager?
Luck (or unlucky, depending on the day). I happened to be in the right place at the right time……..a few times. I think a little luck with always trying to do the best job possible has gotten me more work and better jobs.
Always go a step beyond. If you work hard, you will be noticed. Plan on being broke for a long time. Do it for the experience, not the check. If you keep going and truly love it, it will pay off.
What is the best thing about your work and on the other hand, the biggest challenge?
The people. It’s, usually, like a big traveling family and some of my best friendships have come out of the industry.
There are a lot of challenges. Living with the people you work with, never really being able to escape. Having no real life, having to try and find that balance between home and work.
How is the Coronavirus affecting you and your work?
It’s put it at a standstill. It’s scary. I’m in a better place than most as my band is still taking care of me, but most others are not in that position. It’s a scary time and who knows when it will end and what will be left when it does.
Your best survival tip for fellow people in the industry in this situation?
Look at all your options. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Reach out to others, stay connected. It’s a good time to check yourself and foster relationships.
Feel free to promote yourself and your services, how people can find you on social media, etc.
I’m on all the usuals. I can be found on FaceBook, Instagram, etc. I love mentoring people in the industry and give back to something that’s been so good to me.
Current news about the live music industry:
Variety: Songwriters, Self-Employed Music Workers Eligible for Relief in Federal Stimulus Bill