Multi-Instrumentalist and Vocalist
The adjective that best describes Terese is dynamic! However she is also a talented multi-instrumentalist and vocalist.
In a typical day, Terese spends 90% of her time on the business end. She has to do booking, marketing, promotion, and research, (looking for venues, festivals, and gig opportunities on the internet). She also spends time doing interviews, sending out mailers, writing an email newsletter for her fan base, and updating promotional materials.
In addition, as a band leader, Terese has to manage more than 30 musicians on both coasts, to form a regularly appearing 7 to 8-piece band, which she describes as a sort of a happy “dysfunctional family.” She schedules, contracts, pays, and rehearses the bands. She writes out the arrangements and then has to learn the music too. Terese keeps track of the musician’s music, sets it up, and organizes it before each show. Coordinating everybody’s schedules and a lot of organizing requires her to be nimble and flexible.
Terese grew up in a small town in Upstate New York by the name of Canandaigua. She always wanted to be a performer. During her childhood she mimicked other singers, sang, made up songs, and began piano lessons at 5. She got involved in the local theatre (the Fingers Lake Junior Theatre) and performed in all kinds of plays, sang in the church, and learned how to play other instruments besides the piano like the guitar, drums, etc.
Terese attended the College of Visual & Performing Arts at Syracuse University where she got a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. She described the Drama and Music Theatre Program as being like a conservatory program where acting, singing, dancing, and other things related to theatre were offered.
She feels her education prepared her for the artistic side of her career, but feels there were gaps in her education regarding the business aspects. However, after college she went to work in the insurance industry. The owner of the agency Terese worked for trained her in how to negotiate sales, prepare marketing materials and how to motivate people to buy an insurance product. A lot of finance and math was involved. Terese also learned how to prepare a balance sheet and a profit and loss statement. She did this for many years before becoming a full time musician.
Terese says that the biggest work-related challenge she faces is staying healthy. As an entertainer you are working late at night and attending a lot of parties. It’s a very hectic lifestyle and it is difficult to get enough sleep and exercise. Finding a balance between her drive to succeed in her career and having time to regroup is never ending. In addition, she must always be looking for new opportunities and prepare for 6 months into the future.
Terese markets herself on the internet, plus for each show she produces posters and post cards. She also makes use of email and snail mail lists. Also, the club she is performing in has a patron mailing list and promotes the show.
The most rewarding/enjoyable aspects of being an entertainer are the music, being on stage and presenting an entertaining show that makes people happy. Also, Terese loves setting and achieving different goals. Keys to success in this field aside from talent are relationship management, maintaining a positive outlook, not procrastinating and excellent follow-up skills.
Terese likes the clean, crisp and unique look. Her stage apparel is a mixture of some rock and roll combined with the punky look. Since she does not feel comfortable in dresses, she prefers performing in pants. She has several suits, one with a tuxedo shirt. She wears black satin pumps with11⁄2″ heels that stay on when she moves around the stage and sparkling drop earrings. She spends $3000.00 for photos and clothes twice a year for publicity shots.
The newest development in the field is the way music is distributed. It is changing every day with the internet. Today it is not necessary to have a major record label pick you up to have a successful independent music career. However, that would be terrific!
Terese loves sports and watching other entertainers. She also helps other friends on both coasts market themselves.
Some of Terese’s favorite entertainers are Keely Smith, Liza Minnelli, and Frances Faye.
I interviewed Terese during a 10 week gig at the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko, San Francisco. Visit Terese’s website.