Spring 2012 intern Avi Serfaty reflects on four months interning at boutique booking agency Ted Kurland Associates. Avi describes the ins-and-outs of working for a booking agency and provides targeted advice for future interns

My four months at Ted Kurland Associates in Allston, MA, have been a tremendous learning experience. After finishing my internship, the only regret I have is that I did not do more than one! Ted Kurland Associates is a boutique booking agency, with a client roster containing the world’s top jazz and blues recording artists. Some of the artists I have had the pleasure of doing work for include Pat Metheny, Chick Corea, Jon Anderson of Yes, Stanley Clarke, Soul Rebels, and more.

The person directly in charge of my day-to-day work at TKA was David Greenberg, the Director of Marketing. Mr. Greenberg was an outstanding guy to work with. He was completely down to earth, funny, and easy to talk to. Not only was he a nice person to hang out with, but he also happened to be very smart, and had great marketing ideas. He also taught me a lot about developing artists, and show promotion.

At first, I stood by and watched David work. He would be designing a one-sheet or ad material for Stanley Clarke, or Gary Burton, and I would soak-in Adobe Photoshop. I am a very hands-on type of person, so I was eager to apply my knowledge fast. I was also instructed on creating news articles for the various artists on our roster, which were placed on the Ted Kurland Associates website. In addition to maintaining various parts of the websites, I would update the Soul Rebels website and add tour dates. I also aided everyone in various office tasks, including filing contracts, making DVD and CD duplicates, updating mailing lists from bounce sheets, and cold calling various people to update our email lists.

Every so often, I would have a huge stack of contracts placed in front of me, which although may sound daunting, was actually quite the learning experience for me. A tip I would give to future students interesting in being an agent, or promoter or manager, is to go through all these contracts, and get accustomed to different offers, numbers, and details. Going through the contracts and being able to see what people make was fun too! In addition, I really got to know some agents, by sitting in their offices and filing, and talking to them. One agent I particularly liked hanging out with was Jack Randall. Jack is one of the domestic responsible agents, whose territory covered the West Coast and Midwest. Jack was very approachable; he told me a bunch of cool stories, and tips on the business. We bonded over good 80’s rock, and he still happens to be one of my favorite people there.

One thing I found interesting about the agency was seeing everyone’s interactions, and who reported to each other. David would be working on an email newsletter for Pat Metheny, and he would get emails back from Ted and Pat’s manager, giving their corrections (there were always plenty). All of the agents at some point or another would come to David’s office, to ask him about something he was working on for one of their artists.

Tune in on Thursday to hear how Avi’s experience with TKA is already paying off, along with even more targeted advice for future interns...