In last week’s edition of #IAmaBoss, we chatted with three of tech’s most creative and forward-thinking bosses. Today, we’re turning our attention to the music world. This week’s bosses seriously love a good song, and they’ve built their careers around this passion. From performing on Broadway and music festival stages to writing breaking news stories and children’s books, these women prove there’s no one way to rock the music industry. Scroll on to discover their career advice, the scoop on their morning routines and more!
Meet the Bosses
Sarah Jane Perbix: Sarah has been embarking on national and international tours over the last five years as a member of indie rock band Cloud Cult and with songwriter Jeremy Messersmith. She has performed at national festivals such as Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Rock the Garden and Millennium Park, as well as TV appearances on Late Night With David Letterman. This year she decided to make her long-time dream a reality: opening a music school in her Minneapolis community. She has been teaching music to kids and adults for 16 years and now finally gets to invite fellow musicians to teach all instruments at Sarah Jane’s Music School, a creative and positive space for children and adults to learn.
Kate Wetherhead: Kate is a writer, actor, director and producer living in New York City. Her first book, Jack & Louisa: Act 1, was co-authored by her collaborator of five years, Andrew Keenan-Bolger and recently published by The Penguin Group. Kate and Andrew also created, directed and produced Submissions Only, a critically-acclaimed web comedy about the absurdities of auditioning in NYC. On Broadway, Kate has appeared in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and Legally Blonde: the Musical. Her Off-Broadway credits include The Other Josh Cohen, for which she received a Drama Desk nomination, along with Ordinary Days, Sarah, Plain and Tall and Tatjana in Color. Jack & Louisa: Act 2 will be released in February 2016.
Alyssa Pereira: Alyssa has written for everyone from entertainment mag (SPIN Magazine and PAPER) to academic publications (Indiana University’s Latin American Music Journal and the French Journal of Popular Music). Currently she works for CBS Radio as the Digital Content Producer for the station’s San Francisco-based sites and also contributes to a range of music and lifestyle sites, including Radio.com, Consequence of Sound, and San Francisco-based 7×7, Time Out San Francisco and The Bay Bridged.
What is Your Morning Routine?
7:30am: Wake up. Make coffee and fresh juice for husband.
8:00am: Feed and care for three pets (Ogee the dog, Dottie and Stella, cats).
8:15am: Feed and care for myself,
8:30am: Walk to the music school for morning lessons.
Kate: I’ll wake up around 8:30/9:00am, husband on right, dog on left. If we’re not in a rush, we’ll all sort of snuggle together for five or 10 minutes. After that there isn’t much of a routine; every day differs depending on what’s going on. The dog has to get walked and fed; that’s the only constant. If I’m in rehearsals for something, I’ll shower and eat a quick breakfast, make the bed, check my email, then head to the subway. If it’s a writing day, then God help me. The procrastination manifests itself in all kinds of ways: running errands, going to the gym, cleaning the apartment, trolling the internet, returning emails, watching Netflix… it’s just embarrassing. Unless there’s a real deadline looming. Then my fingers fly across the keyboard.
6:30am: Wake up and see if there is any breaking news I need to cover.
6:45am: Write/edit for 45 minutes.
7:30am: Eat breakfast (always fresh fruit, veggies and coffee), feed my cat Penny.
7:45am: Check email.
8:00am: Get dressed (It’s easy; I wear a lot of black).
8:30am: Head to work.
Tell us about your favorite weekday breakfast
Sarah: Fresh juice! Carrot, apple, pineapple, ginger, lemon, kale… or anything else lingering in the back of my fridge.
Kate: My eating habits are terribly erratic, but if I actually do it right and make breakfast, I enjoy soft scrambled eggs with shredded cheese, a toasted multi-grain english muffin with butter and jam, plus some fruit (apple slices, melon or berries, depending on the season) on the side.
Alyssa: When I have the time, I’ll mix whatever veggies I have (usually kale, broccoli, spinach) in with some eggs and cheese with caramelized onions.
What are your productivity tips?
Sarah: Silence and a bright sunny room.
Kate: Stay as busy as possible. The more I have on my plate, the more I get done. I accomplish far less when I have fewer commitments. My other tip is to find someone who makes you accountable. My collaborator Andrew Keenan-Bolger and I are good for each other in that we always have to answer to each other
Alyssa: Drink so much water. Drink more than you think you need and then drink some more. The busier you are, the easier it is to forget.
What is one life “hack” you keep in your toolkit?
Sarah: Maybe this isn’t that much of a hack, but I use old socks to clean windows and surfaces. Once they have a hole, they go into my “rag bin” for one last bit of life!
Kate: I use wet naps to clean stains on fabric. I probably shouldn’t, but they seem to work!
Alyssa: Put dish soap on a pan just off the stove. It’s way easier to clean.
What is your drink of choice?
Sarah: I live in a neighborhood full of micro-breweries. Most of the time you’ll catch me drinking a lager from a local tap room.
Kate: That is so hard to answer! I have favorite drinks for favorite occasions. But when I’ve worked really hard at something, I like to reward myself with a dirty (not filthy) Ketel One martini. You gotta earn a dirty martini.
Alyssa: A bourbon Manhattan. It’s simple, classic and even the poorly made ones are still pretty tasty.
Tell us about one maker who you admire.
Sarah: I admire music-maker and songwriter Jenn Wasner of Wye Oak. She can shred on guitar and also sing beautiful and deep lyrics. I’m in constant awe of her band’s talent.
Kate: I recently worked with director Leigh Silverman, who works constantly and is almost always working on new plays with exciting writers. She makes great theater, great connections and great inroads as a female artist. She’s a really special person; I adore her.
Alyssa: My mom. She retired a few years ago, and she’s taught herself more in the last year than I could. She’s learned to brew beer, make pottery, pour soap, cook complex dishes… she’s a badass lady.
I wish someone had told me _____ when I graduated from college…
Sarah: To do what you love. If you do what you love and stick with it for many years, those years of experience will turn into an amazing career.
Kate: To become certified in something. Sports training, yoga, pilates, massage therapy, it’s great to be able to fall back on something other than waitressing.
Alyssa: To stay loyal, be humble, reach high, work my ass off and always follow my gut.
Does their advice resonate with you? Know a #girlboss we should interview? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and she could appear in the next column!