Touring Production Newcomer of the Year Michelle Shaiyen talks to us about her career highlights and why networking is so important.

Did you study? If so, where and what?   

Yes! I studied Commercial Music Performance at Westminster

What was your very first industry role and how did you get it?

I took part in the first ever 3T course with Sony and Native Management which gave me the confidence to move into an industry related role. I started as a Festival Accountant as it was closely related to what I was doing in my 9-5, and then pivoted into repping for the same company. 

What has been your biggest achievement or ‘pinch me’ moment so far?

Definitely getting the opportunity to work on Beyonce’s Renaissance tour as it’s not something I could have ever dreamed of being a part of!

Is there one person who has helped or pushed you, been a support?

AJ Sutherland who ran the 3T course!!! He’s the most supportive and encouraging person you could wish for – he also knows everything about everything so he’s a great person to have on our side! 

Where would you like to be in 5 years from now?

Great question… There are so many more avenues I’m discovering the more I work in the industry….Not sure where I’d like to be exactly, I just hope I’m still doing something I enjoy and feeling confident in it.

Is there more industry should be doing for newcomers?

I definitely think there should be more opportunities for people to shadow and assist on roles. I think that as much as the opportunities themselves are important, it’s equally as important that companies/teams are welcoming and offering support to newcomers, giving them a real chance and not just doing it for the sake of saying that they have…

How important is networking for newcomers?

I don’t love “networking” itself….but I will say, just being a good vibes, hard-working person that people want to be around is a great start. 

Will you come back to the awards as our guest next year? 

I would love to! 

How did you feel when you won the award?

In this industry it’s not like an office job where you have an appraisal and they tell you how well you’re doing, so I find it’s difficult to gauge. You see so many people doing lots of cool things and accomplishing great achievements so it’s hard (for me anyway) to acknowledge when I’m doing well, so it’s really lovely to be seen and recognised as worthy of achievement!

What made you want to work in the production industry?

I had initially studied performance and just didn’t enjoy the performance part…But I loved everything else about it and I guess just dabbled in different things behind the scenes and found myself in production. I enjoy production as you’re a sort of through-line to all departments and get to be across a bit of everything.  

How has winning this award affected your personal or professional life, and what are your future goals?

If I’m honest I do feel a bit of imposter syndrome but I’m also trying to remind myself that winning doesn’t mean that everything I do from now will be perfect, that I still will make mistakes and that doesn’t make me less worthy of winning. I just need to keep learning and growing and becoming the best I can in what I’ve chosen to do!

What advice would you give to other newcomers who aspire to achieve similar recognition?

I would say immerse yourself in the industry. Go to gigs and events, talk to people, volunteer, join facebook groups…if you’re part of an underrepresented group, look into 3T….be serious about what you have to offer and someone will give you a foot in the door!

Are there any upcoming projects or initiatives that you’re excited to work on and why?

Currently spending the year working on a bunch of stuff with Live Nation. I’m working on repping bigger shows of my own and assisting stadium productions. Excited to see the different types of larger scale productions and to learn as much as I can from how they each operate!

Related Posts