As a stressed-out, cynical and panicky Senior with a little under three months left of my college career, I would like to just step back and take a look at my internship history; where I am, where I started and my entrance into the local music scene.
Since declaring Journalism as my major, I have held three internships - or I should say - three music internships. I haven’t wavered outside of the industry. I chose Public Relations because of it’s mobility and job availability, but let’s be honest - it was always going to be the world of music for an obsessive nerd. I’m lucky to say (or I consider it lucky) that these gigs I ended up taking weren’t just any corporate slogging bouts of gopher work, no. While corporate internships provide invaluable skills, I was grateful that these jobs were personable and local internships, helping introduce me to the new era of Memphis music - an area that, as of 2011, I had no experience.
Growing up in a small suburb about 30 minutes outside of all the cool places that existed downtown, I heard about Elvis and just as quickly got over the fad. I’ve never been to Graceland. I didn’t start my acting career with a precocious child credit in The Rainmaker. Justin Timberlake has always been famous. These accounts of Memphis media never meant much to me as I developed my own taste that now feels only slightly sentimental. (Never found those DMB CDs.)
Jump forward to 2014, past my time in a start-up PR firm and through my summer as a Recording Academy intern slapping the name “GRAMMYs” on anything I could find. As a current intern at Archer Records, I’m still meeting the local critics, Rock ’n’ Roll chanteuses (hello, Amy LaVere), and interacting with some homegrown legends. Throughout college, I’ve grown to appreciate Memphis’ history and it’s importance to different aspects of pop culture.
But Memphis gets a bad rap for being stagnant - for being beaten down. For the most part, that’s the attitude, sure. But these people in this local industry, independent by name and by classification, all seem to be moving against it and toward the same goal.
A goal by the new era of Memphis art. Not just music, but film and various opportunities available to any person that might be open to creating the modern era in Memphis. It’s an increasingly attractive proposition for those that may look to other cities for creative or even entrepreneurial endeavors.
So if you’re looking to move away and get famous, do so. There are places where it’s easier. But stay in Memphis if you’re willing to be a part of something bigger. Namely, the revitalization of the arts in a city with artists in spades.