Zach Moore, Creative Director
I’m about 40,000ft in the air flying back to Ann Arbor from Los Angeles. And even though I’m sitting in what feels like the most crammed seat on Spirit and there’s a baby crying in 14B, I’m dreading the prospect of walking back into class tomorrow even more. The MUSIC Matters LA trip has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had, but it’s always been so tough to explain to people exactly why that is. The natural reaction people have when hearing about the trip is that it’s an excuse to skip out on a week of class under the guise of some sort of ‘professional development’ experience. While it’s not to say that the trip may include an occasional concert or trip to the beach, the objective of the trip extends far beyond that. The purpose of the trip is two fold: to gain valuable insight from leaders in the entertainment industry that we can bring back to the org, and to give an inside look at careers in the industry for those of us that aspire to such roles. That, and making your friends jealous on Instagram.
I am fortunate that this was my second LA trip with MUSIC Matters, and it’s safe to say that this time was on another level. We had eleven people (including our two washed up, alumni chaperones), five full days of meetings, and too many orders of In-n-Out. Our Airbnb may have gotten a bit crowded, but it wasn’t a big deal as most of our time was spent meeting with some of the most prominent companies and leaders in the music, media, and entertainment industry. A personal favorite was when we met with John Westphal at Sony Pictures Studios. We were able to sit down with him and discuss the state of the TV industry and the studio system in LA. John also gave the team some great advice for breaking into the entertainment industry. With graduation right around the corner, that was particularly insightful (please hire me). Oh, and we got to visit the set of Seinfeld in the Sony Pictures Museum. I slid into the apartment Kramer style… it was pretty cool.
Another favorite was meeting with VaynerMedia. With our growing Creative Committee, it was great to speak with them on their process for going about creating compelling content and engaging stories. From the importance of varying content forms, changing consumer interests, and the keys to good branding, there were so many great takeaways.
Though, some of the biggest highlights were those that weren’t on the itinerary. What made the trip special were times like wandering the beach in Santa Monica because we arrived too early for our meeting with Uber or hearing stories about the Grammies from CBS that I probably shouldn’t repeat. And having the pullout couch all to myself in our Airbnb.
Just like that, the best field trip ever has come to an end. Even though I took a staggering 589 photos, I still don’t think they can capture how special of an experience it was. There’s just something about it. Maybe it’s the weather. Maybe it’s the content worthy sights. Maybe it’s meeting the coolest people in entertainment. Maybe it’s driving down Mulholland Drive listening to Future’s “I Serve the Bass”. Maybe it’s just vibing with everyone else on all of your eclectic tastes in music. Whatever it is, it was a hell of a lot better than sitting in this Spirit seat. Seriously it’s like I have six inches of leg room. The baby still hasn’t stopped crying by the way. With that said, I’m going to get back to catching up on all the homework I missed.
For your added enjoyment, here are some tunes that had heavy rotation on our bluetooth speaker:
“Havana” by Camila Cabello
“Gucci Gang” by Lil Pump
“RAF” by A$AP Mob
“Biscuit Town” by King Kruel
“No More Parties in LA” by Kanye West
“Touch of Grey” by Grateful Dead