I’ve worked on way too many Jesse McCartney, Nick Jonas, and other heart-throb shows this year. How do I know this? By the sheer number of times I’ve seen someone turn red, lose their mind, nearly pass out, and giggle incessantly when they meet the artist.  

Recently, during a pre-show meeting with a student committee, someone asked me for tips on how they could be more professional when in the presence of someone they really admire. I was very proud of this student. She realized that, as a member of the programming board, she had to behave very professionally backstage and during the meet and greet in order to represent her school well. In case you find yourself in this situation, here are some quick tips to keep in mind:

1. Take a deep breath before you start your day, as well as before the artist enters the building. Taking that pause to calm your heart, mind and body can make a difference.

2. Keep the giggling to a minimum. Scream, giggle, and make whatever crazy noises you need to at a different moment… not in front of the artist.  

3. Treat their dressing room like it’s an artist’s bedroom. It is their private sanctuary. This means always knocking before entering the private dressing room area. Remember to only knock on their door when you absolutely need something pertaining to the show, and don’t enter the actual room. This is also for your own safety. If you need to enter the room because they’ve asked you to for some reason, keep the door open, make it quick, and consider bringing a staff person or advisor with you.

4. Respect the artist’s privacy in the backstage area, too. They don’t have to be “on” backstage, so don’t expect them to entertain you.

5. Put. Your. Phone. Away. Because of #3 & #4, please put your phone away when you are working a show. It is inappropriate to take photos of artists backstage, during a private sound check, getting in and out of their runner vehicle, getting picked up at the airport, eating, etc. When you are working, your priority is to make that artist feel at home and welcome, and never to get the best selfie with them. Same goes for the meet and greet. If they want all photos taken by one photographer, don’t be the person that tries to grab a selfie. You will open up the floodgates and then everyone will attempt to do the same.

6. Do not ask for autographs at random times. If your committee wants posters or something else signed, have all of those items in the artist’s dressing room with a few sharpies and they will sign them. If you’re worried they might miss it, put a small sign next to them. Keep the items to a reasonable number and gather those items later on when they are not in their dressing room. 

7. If you happen to overhear where an artist is going to be hanging out after the show, please do not text your friends or post on social media. Remember that backstage is their home, and those conversations are likely meant to be private. If they ask you for recommendations though, don’t hesitate to offer some!

Basically, it comes down to being a good host. Help the artist when they need help. Be open and available, take care of things they need, answer questions, and be professional.

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]

Jolene Chevalier

Founder & Talent Buyer | How To Concerts

Jolene has been a middle buyer for over a decade, helping colleges and others with their concerts, comedians, and speakers. (And, yes, she is named after the Dolly Parton song.) She would love to talk with you about helping to book, plan, and prepare for your event.

920.764.1200   |   [email protected]