Live music has always been my passion, so when I was given the incredible opportunity to work in the music touring department of the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency, Creative Artists Agency, I could not have been more excited to purse my passion as a career.
CAA’s massive global presence undoubtedly contributes to its longevity as one of the most dominant forces in the industry, and my station in the New York office was just one of the many all across the world, from Los Angeles, to Nashville, Atlanta, Miami, Chicago, Memphis, London, Beijing, Stockholm, Munich, and Switzerland. But due to the collaborative culture ingrained into the company’s ideals, the offices are all interconnected and accessible at any time, feeling more like a tight-knit family than an international corporation.
Whereas other agencies function by agents individually signing and servicing their clients, CAA works in a team-based structure, where one artist has a team of agents advocating on their behalf and working together to negotiate the best opportunities for them. So it was very common to see music agents across the company collaborate on booking tours, each person on the team handling a different territory and communicating as liaisons between talent buyers and artist management. My experience at CAA was very unique in that I was not assigned to one agent/assistant team, but instead was scheduled to rotate to everyone in the department, making every day a new shadowing experience working with various artist rosters, from new hip-hop stars to classic rock legends. By the time I finished my eight weeks there, I could confidently understand the intricacies of a music touring deal from start to finish. And because I was constantly pushed to go outside of my comfort zone to learn more, I was able to explore the music sponsorships and music marketing teams as well.
The internship program itself outside of my assigned department revolved around pre-professional workshops and speaker sessions given by influential agents throughout the company in music, film, television, sports, consulting, marketing, even the president of the company taking time out of his day to sit with the interns. We were really treated like valuable members of the community and were constantly encouraged to learn about every part of the company, getting to know as many people around the office as possible. We were also invited to special company-wide presentations, whether that was listening to Arnold Schwarzenegger talk about climate change, the co-founder and CEO of Netflix talking about the future of entertainment, or a panel of women agents relaying their experiences in a male-dominated industry.
This internship was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that I will never forget. Having the opportunity to attend any concert in the New York City area, bonding with coworkers at shows, and reporting back to agents all across CAA’s offices was a rewarding experience and a dream come true. Mentorship could not have been easier to find with everyone in the office eager to sit down with me and answer any questions I had about their work, and there was no shortage of advice given back to me for my future career. Getting to come into work everyday and look around to find everyone else equally as excited was another factor in me genuinely enjoying my internship this summer, and there is no doubt I will continue working in music.
Kara Saffrin is a Senior Studying Radio /Television/Film who interned at Creative Artists Agency in New York.