Q:Can you give me an overview of the skills & experiences you need to have in order to be a successful and reliable merch guy? How exactly do you get paid? From the band or from a label? How much do you make per tour/year it can be a general estimate?
Skills needed to be a successful and reliable merch guy:
Social Skills - On tour (specially as a merchandise manager) you must be social. Dealing with strangers is the thing you do the most (aside handling money). It is very important that you get a good read on people (something you develop over time) as they approach the table and treat them accordingly. This also applies to crew and band. Nobody wants to spend months on the road with somebody who is a complete drag. If you can pee in a bottle because there are no stops soon, pick up a drive shift because everyone else drank too much, and just provide a positive atmosphere you’re name and work ethic will carry you a long way.
Money Management - This is a very crucial skill to develop not only as a merchandise manager, but as a human in life. Last thing you want when the end of the night approaches is for you to be short on money. Remember, this is arguably the most important thing for the band and its what everyone depends on. Your pay, the bands pay, the crews pay, gas money and a lot of other things come from merch, so if you are losing money, you will also lose your job.
How exactly do merch guys get paid?
This question has only one answer, the band. It is the band that makes money, it is because of the band that the label gets a % and so in the giant equation of things, regardless of how you cut it, in my book the band is paying me.
How much do you make per tour/year? It can be a general estimate?
This question i cannot answer, not because i don’t want to, but because there are just too many variables. The longer i sell merch the better i become at it. The better i become the bigger the band i work for and the more pay i get. However, the better i am and the more money i make the less bands there is to work for because sadly, there are more “not popular” bands than there are “popular bands” so the pay situation is complicated.
Also, each band may offer different contracts. Some bands might pay you $800 a week with no perdiems or buyouts. Another might give you $500 a week with perdiems, buyouts and a 2% of all sales.
The length of the tour and the amount of work you will be doing also has a great affect on the pay. In summary, i have no idea how much i make per tour. On my last tour i actually made no money and on the one before that i was making over $1,000 a week sooo….yeah i’m the least qualified person to answer this question because money has absolutely no value in my life.
If i did have to give you a number i would say…hold up let me work out an equation:
A-average size band pay: $300 a week.
B-yearly tour u.s cycle for a band: 4 tours.
C-average tour length: 5 weeks
A x C x B = $6,000
Average Merch Guy Salary = $6,000 a year.
My skateboarding photo is blowing up , haha!
I have no idea who set this into motion, but thank you so much =)
One day like 100 something notes and out of nowhere its over 5,000. The internet is a scary place children. Sometimes in a good way.
A while back I wrote a story about my explorations and since then you guys have been asking for more, so here’s last night’s.
Unlike last time, due to the location of this theatre, this expedition had to take place once the sun had set. This would provide good cover for us to sneak and overall just tranquility. There’s just something about nighttime that makes exploring an entirely different experience and to be honest, being relaxed comes in handy when doing an activity that could land you behind bars.
The crew this time around consisted of Brave (dude in the last photo of this set casting a shadow on the movie screen by using the good old flashlight) Depot (good homie of mine who was also mentioned in my previous exploration post) and myself.
Once we arrived at the location it was game time. We started by trying to find a way in and as usual, you gotta want it to get it. After trying a few doors and walking past a cop car positioned near a firefighter station (literally about 125 feet from the building we were trying to trespass into) we found the magic spot. Quite as shadows we snuck in and slowly closed the door shut behind us. It was dark now, pitch black, but we were in…and it was time for the exploration to begin.
First order of business was to go upstairs and check things out. It was dark everywhere but there so we figured it be a good place to start. Immediately after going upstairs we are greeted by an old computer and just rolls of film (second photo in this set), lots of them. It was clear to us then that not many people had been in there since it closed, and it personally felt good. No caving in roofs, no graffiti on walls, it was just a place that had been left behind and we were now there to keep it company.
Shortly after messing with the film and computer we walked down this creepy hallway (3rd photo in the set) and stumbled upon a locked office door. Brave shares our enthusiasm when it comes to “locked” things and in under a minute (after some improvising) the door was open and we were in the office. Seeing as the building had running power and a blasting AC unit we agree to turn on some lights (we regularly wouldn’t do this but his room was so well covered that we had no fear people outside would see the light) and what we saw was great. Posters, 3D glasses, Keys and everything else you could imagine finding in a movie theatre office was at our disposal. (4th & 5th photo on this set)
After the office room we left (leaving everything as we found it, lights off and doors locked) to explore the rest of the building. Not much time passed before yet again we came across awesome stuff! This time a room with all of the theaters equipment. Movies, projectors, expensive super cool gold looking 85mm lenses (6th photo in the set) and tons more. This room was by far my favorite of the night. Id be lying if I said we didn’t spend 5 minutes in there (5 minutes is a good amount of time when exploring. Remember we want to go in and out fast. We aren’t trying to have s picnic)
Lastly we wrapped up the exploring by going to the most exposed part of the theatre, the lobby (first photo in the set). This was the most dangerous part of the night because the lobby is near the front of the building being blocked only be the main doors (which are glass). So yeah, lights were off limit. Anybody outside could see us if we got stupid, thankfully, long exposure is a thing and so yey :)
We finished the night strong with pizza at a near by joint and once again, a successful exploration with the homies was complete. I’m not sure where we will go next but I have a pretty good idea ;)
Q:Today over the announcements at my high school they read your Suicide Sign quote for awareness week and me and my friend Alex flipped out. Just wanted to let you know. :)
Thats pretty dope =) thanks for sharing :D
Hey there guys :) Today I would like to do something a little different. I’m not sure if you guys knew, but September 10th is world suicide prevention day. So on this day, instead of posting a friend or individual and their story, I would just like to remind you all that you’re not alone. This has been said and posted everywhere (specially recently with the tragedy of Robin Williams) but I really do mean it. In my travels I’ve come across so many who have been tricked by others into believing they’re in this world alone; that could not be further from the truth.
If you are ever feeling down (and I know what I’m about to say might seem crazy) just gather some strength and try helping someone else out. This might seem contradicting since you yourself are struggling with problems, but it is these problems and the fact that you’re fighting them that makes you relatable to someone else. It is this thinking process that reassures me that nobody is alone in this world. There will always be problems and people with them, and it’s only when we talk about them that we can help each other out. It is this mentality that keeps me pushing on with this project.
I’m not a perfect person and I will never be a perfect person. I struggle with many things and at times think “how could I ever help anyone”. However, when I come here and read the encouraging comments (all written by individuals who have their own problems to worry about ) I’m reminded of how the simple action of just trying to help out, despite not feeling so great, ended up being the most uplifting thing I could’ve ever done.
So if you’re out there, if anybody is out there…get up my friend, you are not alone.
I’m not entirely sure why it took me so long to start doing this, but after much plea from all of my followers over on instagram [@carlitos_n] I have decided to write about my explorations.
These here are a couple of photos from today’s trip. [please do not ask me for the location of this spot, I will not disclose that information]
Earlier in the day my friend Depot hit me up saying that he wanted to hang out. Coincidentally, my friend Eli who lives about an hour north of us had also gotten in contact with me to do the same; I figured it be best to kill two birds with one stone and planned for us 3 to hang together.
After meeting up and snacking on some Wendy’s, we parked the car, got our gear, walked for a few minutes and there it was, the creepy doll head. If you were to be by this area (which I have no idea why you would be by this area) seeing the doll head is the cue that you have made it to the entrance. Not necessarily an entrance in the traditional sense, but in the sense that if you walk about a block into the thick woods, west of the dolls head, despite not entirely seeing anything but trees, you will eventually hit the first building.
The first building (the last 2 photos in this set) greets you how any abandoned haunted building would, with no doors where doors should be and every visible inch of concrete covered in graffiti. Within minutes of entering, sure enough Eli found a spot to climb (Eli likes to climb everything and anything) that was in this tiny room with rust and just the right size hole for him to go up into (second photo of this set).After looking around for a few seconds he had his plan of action down and flew right up there (fast forward to the 5th photo of the set to see where he ended up).
As Eli walked the roof I stayed under him (literally, just look at the 3rd photo of the set) hanging from the roof. The room, now getting darker from the sun set had a very creepy feeling and I took full advantage of the lighting situation. However now with not much time on our hands we decided to stop the fooling around and head further into the woods.
After what seemed like a pretty good trip filled with spider webs and mosquitoes, we had finally reached the hole (fourth photo of the set). Depot had come across this a while back when he had came alone and like a wise man, he didn’t investigate. However, now with two super attractive and potential lethal friends like myself and Eli, he was fully confident we could creep in. What found was dope! bullets - nasty water and animal bones, what more could we ask for :)
Overall the trip was absolutely awesome. From the environment to the architecture, it was all one of a kind; I’m grateful I got to experience it. I’m not entirely sure when I’ll return, but when I do, I hope it’s still standing. There’s something special about discovering things long forgotten, experiencing it, capturing it, placing your mark and then leaving it as you found it, alone.
Too often personal connection gets lost because of over exposure. I have seen many favorite spots of mine “disappear” because of this. If you have something special, remember what it is that made it special. It’s okay to share with your friends, but be aware that sharing is not the same as giving. The moment you give the location away, you’re giving a piece of what made it special away with it.
Q:I think you seriously have the most fun and positive online presence of anyone connected to the industry. Keep rocking it dude, I hope you inspire the folks on the road with you as much as you inspire the rest of us.
Well thanks Anon =)