Below is the results of an interview between Jason Rehkop, an Entertainment Management student at Missouri State University and Mark Guynn, Booking Agent for the William Morris Agency. The interview was conducted in the fall of 2001.
What is your actual position? Booking agent in Christian music.
What is the typical description and responsibilities of a booking agent? One of the basic responsibilities is looking for up and coming artists, establish relationships with artists, route tours, get buildings on hold, and work with promoters.
What are the employment opportunities in this industry? Good, especially from a booking standpoint. Lots job possibilities out there.
What are the salary ranges for a booking agent? I can’t get into that. Salary is based on skills possessed.
What kind of education and training would be recommended or required for this job? My opinion is that it is very beneficial to have a college degree, whether it be recording management. artist management. marketing. or communication.
What kind of personality traits would make a person successful in this industry? A people person, willing to work with people, verbal communication, written communication, and being able to make relationships. This business revolves around making relationships.
What have been the most visible changes in this industry in the past decade? It has definitely been consolidation. More big corporate companies are buying out the smaller ones.
Is there a specific region this job is more dominate in, and where? Los Angles, New York, and Nashville; however local and underground music can take you anywhere.
What is the typical career path? Where does one start and where does one hope to end up? Starting in the mailroom, to personal assistant, junior assistant, and finally an agent that handles a large territory.
What should a person never do in this industry? Burn a bridge. You never know when you may have to turn around and cross it
Are you associated with any professional associations? I am a member of the Country Music Association, Academy of Country Music, and Gospel Music Association.
What is your favorite thing about the booking business? My favorite thing is working with people, the art of communication, love of music.
What are your least favorite things about the business? Wasted talent. Someone that deserves a shot, and doesn’t get it.
What kind of tips can you give for getting a job in this industry? Number 1 is being passionate about what you want to do. Your infectiousness can make up for what you lack. Get to meet as many people as you can. Never underestimate the power of someone’s personal assistant.