PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO RECORDING ARTISTAlternate Career Titles:
Music P.A., Assistant, Executive Assistant, Celebrity Personal Assistant
Career Overview: Makes the Recording Artist’s personal and professional life easier, screens calls, runs errands, schedules meetings, keeps track of day to day activities.
Career Salary Range: $37,000 to $110,000+
Become a Personal Assistant to Recording Artist
Many Recording Artists hire Personal Assistants to handle some of the day-to-day chores related to their personal and/or business lives. The Personal Assistant is the right hand to an Artist, meaning they often get to meet other Recording Artists and celebrities, eat in fine dining establishments, travel first class on different airlines, stay overnight in four-star hotels, and attend award shows. This is not the case for every Personal Assistant, as only those working for well-known Artists will get to take part in these high-powered activities.
A Personal Assistant is with the Artist almost 24/7; this is nowhere near a nine-to-five job. Responsibilities can vary greatly, ranging from shuttling the Artist’s kids to school to scheduling recording sessions, and can even include checking the Artist’s e-mail or buying a gifts for the Artist’s family and friends. The Personal Assistant must assist the Recording Artist in every aspect of his or her life and career.
Personal Assistants must be extremely organized, as they are in charge of creating a calendar of the Artist’s personal and business responsibilities including concerts, travel dates, meetings, interviews, recording sessions, phone calls, and other events. The Personal Assistant may also schedule and book meetings, interviews, and appointments. Other responsibilities include answering phones, screening calls, or making calls on behalf of the Artist.
Another part of being a Personal Assistant is to act as a gatekeeper or buffer between the Artist and the large number of people who want to speak to him or her. Some might be seeking concert tickets and others might want permission to do an interview. Whoever may be calling, the Personal Assistant must be able to tell people “no” if necessary.
The Personal Assistant is often responsible for travel arrangements, and will be asked to make plane reservations and hotel reservations. This is not always easy as the Artist may be performing a concert late into the night in one part of the country and then will need to be scheduled to do a television appearance across the country the next day.
The Personal Assistant often comes into contact with a great deal of private and sensitive information about the Artist, and it is essential that he or she keep all information confidential. Due to the pressure Artists may face on a day to day basis, many Personal Assistant become confidants to the Artists for whom they work. The Personal Assistant will also work closely with the individual’s Manager, Agents, PR Team, and Road Managers. His or her allegiance must always be to the Artist first and foremost.
Another large duty of the Personal Assistant is to keep track of all receipts and expenditure in case they’re tax deductible or billable to the record company. To remain organized, the Personal Assistant may log expenses and receipts into a computer program, or will just turn them over to the Artist’s Manager or Accountant.
When the Recording Artist has a problem or needs something done, he or she calls on the Personal Assistant. The PA must be able to handle any situation calmly, quickly, and effectively. For those seeking a job in the music industry that is challenging and presents new opportunites and situations each day, this might be a great career choice.
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Some individuals earn $35,000, while others earn $100,000 or more per year. This is dependent on the specific Recording Artist, and on the position’s required responsibilities and experience, as well as on the professional reputation of the Personal Assistant.
Those who are qualified will find employment prospects to be fair because good Assistants are always in demand. New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville are cities with the most opportunity, but Artists are located throughout the country.
Some climb the career ladder by finding similar positions with more popular Recording Artists, while others stay with the same Artist and advance their career by increasing their range of responsibilities. Others go on to become Personal Assistants for record company executives and some find positions working with celebrities outside the music industry. (To purchase a current record company contacts list, click here.)
Education and Training
Most require a minimum of a high school diploma or the equivalent, but sometimes a college background or degree may be preferred or required. Requirements are sometimes waived in favor of experience. There are courses, seminars, and workshops related to organizing, the music industry, stress management, time management, party planning, computers, or writing that can be extremely useful.
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The Personal Assistant may be required to hold a valid passport and drivers license, as many Artists travel overseas and may need reliable transportation.
Experience, Skills, and Personality
Some employers prefer someone who has experience as a Personal Assistant, while others prefer individuals who have extensive experience in the entertainment or music business. However, some may just want someone who can demonstrate that they can do the job well.
In terms of skills, Personal Assistants are professional, responsible, organized, and have the ability to keep sensitive information private. Good verbal and written communication skills are essential, as is the ability to be resourceful. Good judgment is also critical, and the individual must have the ability to multitask effectively.
Unions and Associations
The Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants (ACPA) will have information on this type of job.
Suggestions for Getting Started
- Look to start as an Executive Assistant to gain experience.
- Consider looking for an internship at a record label or company within the music-industry to gain experience and help you to make valuable contacts.
- Send your resume and cover letter to artist management companies, record labels, booking agencies, personal assistant staffing agencies, entertainment business law firms – (purchase your Entertainment Attorneys contacts list), entertainment publicists, and Recording Artists or bands.
- Check the classified section of newspapers in areas like New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville.
- Check trade magazines such as Billboard for advertised openings.
- Check traditional employment sites such as monster.com and hotjobs.com.