Shane Hamill is rounding out his 25th year in the music industry as DCR Nashville’s account manager. Having started as an audio tech back in 1992, Shane has had to wear many hats to end up where he is today. As he nears his first year at DCR, Shane talks about his past experiences, his role for clients as an account manager and how it all applies to the overall success of a full service production company.
What is your role at DCR Nashville?
Basically, I currently serve two roles; account manager and operations. As account manager, I manage a majority of our clients and existing accounts. I also try to look for new clients. Another part of my current role at DCR Nashville is to oversee operations. I help create systems and processes to help operations run more efficiently to increase the overall product quality and services.
What is your role with clients at DCR Nashville? How do you ensure success for them?
I see my role for clients as being their problem solver. They come to DCR because they have some sort of need, and my job is to find out their exact need. Clients don’t always know exactly what they need, but they have an idea. So, my job is to ask the right questions and find out what they really need. Once I can figure out what that is, then I can help fill in all the pieces.
As account manager, I manage their needs as well as the relationship. I manage how they view and interact with DCR. My goal is to instill trust, so we can solve their production needs for their tour or show and/or exceed their expectations of the final outcome.
What’s day-to-day like for you at DCR Nashville?
I manage operations, write quotes, and do some project management. Project management allows me the opportunity to ask good questions of the client to be sure we’re giving them the right products. For example, if they’re asking for a specific lighting fixture, my job is to ask why they need it. If they don’t really have a specific reason, then I can help them further by asking about budget and then saying, ‘well, if budget is an issue, we have this other fixture that would do all the same things that the more expensive fixture does, but you save money and you’ll still accomplish what you need to accomplish.’ They may not know that because they are not familiar all of the manufacturers or various fixtures.
I’ll also put together quotes that have all the parts and pieces for either the client or our guys to use to execute that event. I also assemble the event staff, if that project requires us to put together a crew. I’ll check with them on their availability, make sure they understand what the job entails and make sure they get paid the correct amount.
Then I take the event information and go to operations/warehouse and explain the event to them what the client is expecting, what we’re going to do and how the order needs to be prepared, executed and package. So, I kind of touch a lot of different areas in that process. A lot of companies break these duties up and delegate to several roles within the company, but because DCR Nashville is petite, we take on a lot more of those responsibilities with fewer people.
Did you have a background in the music industry?
This is my 25th year. I started working for the music industry full-time in 1992. There were no schools or universities that taught “how to be a roadie” back then. We just trained as we went. It was the school of Hard Knocks.
I toured as an audio technician, a backline/guitar technician, monitor engineer, front of house engineer, production manager and tour manager. Not all of them at the same time; well sometimes. I worked in pop/rock, country and CCM. I hung up my touring hat after my 20th year of touring and took a “desk” job. My body has thanked me for that decision.
Any additional advice or takeaways you want to share about working in music business?
Two things – relationships and knowledge. One of the big things that I’ve learned in this industry: Relationships are everything. Whether you’re a crew guy working on the road, a production manager or you’re a manager for an artist. Relationships mean everything. That’s how you build trust with clients. That’s how you get job offers. The other thing is: knowledge. I started out as an audio guy, but I quickly learned after 4-5 years in the business, that I was only going to get calls or put on jobs as an audio tech if there was an opportunity. So, I took advantage of an opportunity to learn how to be a backline tech. By learning how to tune guitars and set up amps, I expanded my knowledgebase and value. I then went on to learn other aspects of the touring industry from lighting to video. That allowed me to become a production manager, because the more you know about those sort of things, the more intelligent you can speak on behalf of your team. Especially when you’re having to advance a show and make sure that the artist has what they need to perform the show that they want to perform. That’s always one thing I share with a lot of young people. Learn everything you can in the industry, because the more you know about different areas of the industry, the more valuable you become. It’s one of the first things I tell anybody when they say, ‘I want to do this, I want to be a lighting person or video tech.’ I’ll tell them, ‘that’s great, but don’t pigeon hole yourself, because it makes it difficult to find work all the time. And if there is something you don’t know, make sure you know someone who does know that you can call on. The more you know, the more well-rounded you are, the more you can contribute to the team. And finally, it really comes down to teamwork. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re on the audio crew, the lighting crew or video crew, the whole thing must work together to put on a great show. If it doesn’t work together well, it’s not a good show and the team suffers. If it does work together well, and the team works great together, then the whole team wins in the end.
Want to know more about our team? Keep up with our blog to catch Q&As with the hardworking crew at DCR Nashville.