MEB Editor Maria Gironas got a chance to interview a music-maven with quite the resume within this industry, Jacklyn Krol. Not only is she a founder of the successful online music site Stage Right Secrets, she is also a publicist, tour manager, editor…well, let’s say A LOT of hats. Above all though, Jacklyn has time and time again proven to have a heart of gold and has not let her good fortune change her. As she continues to try to figure out this industry for herself, she was kind enough to offer advice to future music industry hopefuls in the interview below.
MEB: First, thank you so much for interviewing with us. To start, could you state your name and role in the music industry?
JK: Hi, I’m Jacklyn Krol! I’ve held a few different titles: Tour Manager, Personal Assistant, Photographer, Reporter, Runner, Editor, Publicist, Merchandise Manager, Promotional Team Coordinator, and Stagehand.
What was your start in the industry?
After injuring myself, my dream of becoming a gymnast flew out the window, but music helped me get through the rough time. I realized how much it helped me and how fascinating the idea of touring would be. I started volunteering at a few Vans Warped Tour dates at the label tent and for a few bands as well. A lot of great people gave me great first steps into the music industry. I met Sara when I was 16 and the next year she let me do merchandise for a band and gave me some amazing advice about the industry. The day I met Victoria, I was in the hospital, and doctors had told me to rest for the next couple weeks and didn’t want me to work this outside festival in the heat. I told her that she thought I was nuts, but I did manage to work at the festival for a few hours with only a little trouble. Warped Tour really connected me with great people like Sara, Mike (who helped with the label tent), and Victoria. Those three people really gave me my start and I’m still good friends with them today.
What made you interested in the music industry?
Seeing one of my favorite bands live, I focused on the stage hands and watched the people behind the scenes and soundboard doing their jobs. I really appreciated their contribution for putting on such a great show and it was something I wanted to learn. Of course, when I told my parents this, they were concerned their almost sixteen-year-old wanted to get into the music industry and not a “normal” job. I couldn’t picture my life without music, as cliché and overused as this saying is. It’s still amazing to have people ask what I do, and I love seeing their reactions once I tell them.
How does one become a music publicist?
I started off as a street team coordinator for one of my artists, Tess Dunn, and once I started learning about Public Relations I realized I had faith in myself and my abilities. I’m currently doing publicity for Tess Dunn, The Voice’s 2Steel Girls, Once Upon A Time, The Cleopatra Complex, and The Lost Boys. I had no idea how much of a time commitment this was – I was taking on PR for Tess and Once Upon A Time while being a full-time college student, collegiate cheerleader, taking care of my grandmother, and running my website simultaneously.
Tell me a little about your blog Stage Right Secrets. What was the inspiration?
Starting off, I realized at 16 years old there weren’t many jobs I could do (because most venues and tours for liability reasons need workers to be 21+). I didn’t want to just sit around and wait, so a few friends of mine urged me to join the press world. I really hated seeing entertainers getting asked the same boring questions. My first interview was with Cassadee Pope, and I was dying on the inside, but she was such a sweetheart that it was more like a conversation. I even got her to yodel! I had no idea what I was doing at first, and I am still learning, but I thought it was a great idea to get fans more involved in interviews. Most of our questions are from the fans. We also have given away meet & greets to some of our followers as well as autographs and tickets!
What have been some of biggest struggles you have faced in the industry?
The under 21 rule was pretty hard to deal with; I couldn’t do some interviews because of age restrictions at venues. I just turned 21 so I’m really excited to see what opportunities and events I can cover. I don’t like some people’s stereotypes of women in the industry. I really want to discourage people from thinking “Oh she just wants to date someone in a band” or “She’s a girl so what can she do?” Even though I haven’t personally had a problem with getting a job because I am a woman, I still feel like I have something to prove. Some people may watch me do a job or interview and give me dirty looks wondering why I’m really there….I just want to do a good interview for our readers or help put on a good show.
There is always debate within the music industry on the state it is in, some say it is dying, others that it is evolving. What are your thoughts?
I believe that it is evolving and dying simultaneously. People don’t buy as much music anymore because they’re downloading it from YouTube or different websites, which has been hard for bands and artists to make a living. The incredible thing about our generation is the bridge in social media interaction between the fans and artists. I think it’s amazing that artists can now talk to their fans, read their thoughts, and communicate with people throughout the world. I give those artists who take the time to do this a lot of credit.
What do you find the most rewarding part of your job?
The best part is being able to hear so much great music and to meet so many interesting people. I think it’s incredible to see all of these amazing places I wouldn’t have been able to see without touring or working! I love being able to give a pass to a diehard fan and watch them meet their favorite band. I also have some great people in my life because of my jobs.
What were some things you wish you knew going into the music industry?
I didn’t realize how hard it was to take care of “typical” life things: college, cheerleading, coaching, family, and friends. I always feel out of the loop with friends being gone or busy frequently, and I’ve lost a few because I haven’t been around. It’s been an adjustment I’m still dealing with, learning how to handle my schedule. Bethany and Robb are two friends of mine who I look up to in the industry and I always go to them for advice.
What’s touring like?
I’ve only been on a few but everyone says if you can do Warped Tour, you can do any tour. I’m still finishing college so I only have summers free for now. Touring is nothing like I thought it would be, I first started off in a van tour and it was rougher than you’d think. I’m really blessed I got some amazing opportunities I couldn’t take because of school, but I hope to tour full time after I’m done with college for a while!
At this point in your career, what are your current goals?
I would really love for SRS to do more red carpet events. I hope to do more internships with different companies to try and learn every aspect I can about the music industry. My ultimate goal is to interview Maroon 5, Taylor Swift, or Def Leppard! I would love to do a full North American tour doing a job I haven’t done before.
How can a potential intern apply for an internship for Stage Right Secrets?
We just had our opening for interns and we received 58 applications. We were all blown away! We will have applications for summer/fall. If you follow us on Twitter and Facebook, we will keep you updated on opportunities!
Last question: for anyone wanting to work in this industry, what would be your best advice for them?
Work your butt off, and don’t expect overnight success or a job handed to you – it takes years. Volunteering and interning are your best friends! Always ask for advice! Eat healthy on the road!
Once again, Jacklyn, you are great and thank you so much!