Behind the scenes of Music Takes Action (MTA), from brainstorming to the big day itself, there are two Ferris students working to make it all happen.
“I’ll try to describe it to people and they’re like ‘Oh, you’re planning it, so what do you do?’ And I’m like ‘Do you have like 20 minutes for me to tell you my life story of what I’m doing?’” Megan Yuchasz, Ferris music and entertainment business senior and MTA co-coordinator said.
Yuchasz, along with fellow music and entertainment business senior Veronica Anderson, is in charge of planning MTA this year. It’s a task they say brings valuable experience, major time commitments, and a lot of emails.
Both are full-time students planning to graduate after this semester and are looking for jobs and internships. Anderson commutes to campus, often being on campus during “hours I wouldn’t usually be here,” and both say that the job takes the majority of what would be free time.
“When you think you have free time you don’t. You could be doing something for MTA,” Yuchasz said.
Anderson echoed that sentiment.
“There’s always something you can be working on. An email you should send, or a social media post you should be copywriting.”
Despite the time commitment, the duo agrees that the experience is an invaluable one that provides not only a bright spot on their resumés but also a significant amount of real-world lessons that can be applied in their professional careers.
They said they’ve run into a lot of problems throughout the process to this point, including having to change the opening act after putting time and effort into trying to get a different performer. The problems they’ve faced and solved have been their biggest teaching experiences so far.
Anderson said she feels like you don’t know you’re bad at problem solving until you have a problem and need to solve it, but the two agreed that with all the problems they’ve faced and solved, they feel they can conquer anything they may face in the workforce.
Yuchasz plans to pursue event planning for a sports team, planning off-season events and booking performers. Anderson, who photographed last year’s MTA, plans to use her degree and experience to go into music photography or festival production.
For now, the pair has put their talents into the many behind the scenes actions that go into planning a concert. Using the information gathered from Entertainment Unlimited’s (EU) annual student survey, which received only about 200 responses this year, Anderson and Yuchasz began to contact agents to find an artist that fit the genre of hip-hop or pop (the top two selections) and budget.
From there they had to narrow down their choices to an artist they felt would attract students and put on a good show. Then after meeting with university officials and getting everything ok’d, they were able to book the acts.
Even once an artist is found and booked the work isn’t nearly over. Advertising and ticket sales become the new immediate priority along with planning for everything that goes into the day of the show.
Despite all their hard work, Anderson and Yuchasz say the credit isn’t all theirs and that they couldn’t do what they do without the help of their fellow EU members and advisor Nick Smith.
In addition to the advice offered from former MTA coordinators and Smith, EU members help with the process by selling tickets and working as stage heads, hospitality heads, and the other various jobs that need to be done to make the show happen.
While this year’s headliner, Hoodie Allen, may not have the commercial success of blackbear and Jesse McCartney, who headlined each of the last two years of MTA, Anderson and Yuchasz, along with many other Ferris students are excited for the show he puts on and the nostalgic aspect of his music.
Allen’s “All American” album, which is his most successful and well-known work, came out eight years ago. Anderson, who had seen Hoodie Allen perform on multiple occasions said he puts on an exciting and interactive show.
In fact, Allen is known to throw cake into the crowd and to crowd surf on a blowup raft during his shows.
Student tickets are available in the EU office located in UCB 121 on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for $5. Students are able to purchase one ticket at the $5 price between Feb. 10 and Feb. 21. After that, ticket prices will rise to $15. Tickets will be available at Wink Arena on the day of the show for $20 and can also be purchased online through Star Tickets.