Saint John: Everybody is local somewhereWritten by Kc Saint John | | SYLT@toledofreepress.com
A solid foundation is the strength: Support Your Local Talent. That is exactly what this campaign was designed to do — support your talent.
The idea behind Support Your Local Talent started in Toledo when I was growing up and I found bands wouldn’t stop here to perform. Even though they would travel through Toledo to get to Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago and Columbus, they would not stop. Why not?
My sales pitch was, “You are coming through anyway, why not pick up a paycheck?” And then when we did get touring bands to stop, they wouldn’t allow local support acts, which always hurt the touring bands’ draw because the shows missed the excitement of seeing a favorite local artist open for a national act. When you don’t have that local push, you are missing something important (not to mention extra ticket sales). My argument: “Everybody is local somewhere.”
After quitting my major label A&R job in Chicago, I went back to helping the “local” artists that really need my help everywhere. It’s the “teach a man to fish” philosophy. That is when Support Your Local Talent really took off, based out of the Metro Smart Bar in Chicago. It reached coast to coast with talent, promoting cross platforms of music and art.
Thank God, times have changed a little but the music industry has changed a lot. With the way we buy and sell music and art, how we promote it and in how we develop talent, it is all continually changing. That’s why when I hear people tell me they are going to school to do what I do, I encourage them to just step into the real world because what they teach you in school is a pipe dream compared to what the industry is really like; you are gonna be upset you paid all that cash.
We didn’t take Disturbed multiplatinum on the “Sickness” album by following the book. We didn’t break OK Go out of a book. Don’t get me wrong — educate yourself! Master your talent! Clock in and clock out like a “real” job because if this dream and passion is going to sustain your lifestyle then you have to work at it like a “job.” My tightest bands practiced no less than 20 hours a week but if you love what you do, you should continue to do it and work for it. It’s your talent — you were given it, we can only help guide it — so I guess it’s up to you to get involved, too.
So, with Toledo Free Press Star’s continual arts community involvement, we have decided to become even more involved with helping artists and musicians acquire what they dream. Together, we can get to the next level, “For we are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams.”
Now the first problem most people run into when they decide to become an aspiring musician or artist is that they also just made the decision to be a promoter, manager, distributor and all the other aspects of what it takes to survive in the arts. Well, we are now here to help you with that.
We can make Northwest Ohio resources available to you; we are going to raise the bar together.
Not only are we going to inform you and suggest ideas, but we are also going to go above and beyond, with events and media that will take the Toledo art and music scene to the next level, whether you are a budding artist or maybe your next level is management or touring. Many hands make for light work.
So in the spirit of helping an already prosperous scene, Toledo Free Press Star wants to invite you to mail presspacks, audio submissions and portfolios to us, care of Support Your Local Talent. Please make sure we have contact information so we can let you know that your item was received; that’s where it all starts.
Again, all genres and all media is welcome. As you know, The Star’s staff and writers are very heavily involved in the positive growth of Toledo in all aspects, and that includes your talent! We look forward to an exciting and amazing 2011.
Submission can be sent to Toledo Free Press Star and Support Your Local Talent at: Toledo Free Press Star c/o Support Your Local Talent, 605 Monroe St. Toledo, Ohio 43604.
Kc Saint John is a glass artist and fire breather who enjoys teaching and creating with a focus in glass. He works to develop talent and promote unity and information within the community.
He is a former Chicago WEA A&R Rep and major label multiplatinum talent manager of Chicago’s infamous cabaret Metro Smart Bar and is now back in Toledo’s Old West End, “Enjoying Toledo and all it has to offer.” Kc owns Lost Peninsula Arts & Glass; a music/art school and gallery and manages The Glass Dojo, a collaborating artists’ group. Visit www.kcsaintjohn.com.