Cory Wolff

PUTTING IN WORK: Create your own opportunities

PUTTING IN WORK: Create your own opportunities
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I’ve shared this story before about how I got started working in music. I can relate with the struggle that musicians face when they’re just starting out, and I thought I would share my humble beginnings with you, my NEPA Scene friends.

In 2010, I made a decision to leave the career I’d been in for 13 years. From my humble beginnings as the pretzel boy at Lackawanna County Stadium, I had worked my way through the restaurant industry as a manager and chef. I ran big restaurants and was successful, but by 27, I had enough. It wasn’t what I loved.

After many years of internal debate, I decided to follow my passion of working in music. But, there was one problem. I live in Scranton! Many great bands have come from the area, like Breaking Benjamin, The Menzingers, Title Fight, and Tigers Jaw, but the city isn’t exactly a hub for the music business.

So what was I to do? Sure, we have a Live Nation venue and a few medium-sized theaters, but the openings there were extremely limited.

I created my own opportunities.

I needed to learn the business and how things worked. Stuff like how to book a tour, how to get press, and how to market an album. This is when Everyone You Know Entertainment was born.

Initially, it was meant to be a record label to release albums for my friends, but it has grown into much more than that. Since 2010, the label has released nine albums, and I learned more every time we had a new record. I figured out how to do an album marketing plan, I learned how to contact the press, and how to build hype with an album release party.

My proudest moment was when I organized the Culture Shock! Free Music Fest.

Things were going well with all of the album releases, but I still needed to learn more. I still needed to build my network and make connections. At the same time, I felt I should give back to my community and the local music scene. Culture Shock was born.

Culture Shock was a free music and art festival held at Nay Aug Park in Scranton. It had two stages with over 15 acts, an art show, video game tournaments on large projector screens, food and merch vendors, and more. I learned so much about the business from Culture Shock. I worked to promote the festival and even got a local paper to give us the cover! When I started this journey in 2010, all I could do was hope to get press like that.

By creating my own opportunities, I gained valuable experience and connections.

I wasn’t always this way. For years I thought that things would come to me. I had to learn the hard way that you need to go get it, whatever it is. Take action, create opportunities, and you’ll get to where you want to go. I jumpstarted my career by creating opportunity, and you can too.

Go get it.

Putting in Work: The Beauty of Music & Business is a bi-weekly column filled with thoughts, inspirations, and experiences from a music marketer born and raised in Scranton. Let’s step our game up together.