Inside Soundcheck Rehearsals in Nashville: Part Two
In this second post in our Inside Soundcheck series, Jan Greenfield offers a glimpse into her role as general manager of Nashville's unique entertainment business ecosystem, from the day-to-day to the holiday.In Part One of this series, I introduced you to Ben Jumper, the owner of Soundcheck. Ben's second in command, Jan Greenfield, has been part of Soundcheck for a bit longer than Ben.
As General Manager, Jan oversees the staff and daily running of the business. "On a more detailed level, I take on the booking of the rehearsal rooms and deal one-on-one with our storage locker clients."
In addition to the many artists and locker clients that frequent the halls of Soundcheck, there are several well-known companies that have rep offices at Soundcheck.
"We have the top-of-the-line equipment," Jan stated with pride. "Everything is state of the art. That's one thing. The one-stop shopping is pretty awesome. Clients can come here and stop in at Shure, Peavey, Tour Supply…that makes for a great experience."
It's always interesting to me to hear the stories of how someone got started in the music industry. Some people are born with musical talent and others just love being around the industry. For Jan, it was a series of many different events.
"Honestly, it was quite a fluke," she confessed. "I had a friend whose husband had a jingle company. She told me one day that they were struggling to find a receptionist. I said I'd come fill in.
I had a son who was born prematurely, so I was home with him for about a year. But at that time, he was old enough to go to day care. One thing led to another, led to another, and thirty years later, I'm still in the music business."
Of course, I had to put Jan on the spot and ask her what it is like working for Ben.
"He really has a vision," she said. "He is very much a big-picture person. It's really interesting to watch his vision and what he's done at Soundcheck. Since I've started, it has changed and grown tremendously. He has gone places and done things that just weren't happening prior to him taking over. He was excited and ready to grow the business. That has been fun to watch and to learn from. He believes in hiring a good staff and letting them do their job."
A company is only as strong as its employees. I can tell you from my experiences and interactions that Soundcheck hires solid staff members. Each one seems to work on autopilot and is well trained for many different scenarios, both technically and in dealing with people.
"We have the best staff. The staff, our tenants, and our clients: that's what makes it so much fun to be here," Jan explained. "Most people think it's glamorous. It's the people that make it a fun job, not just the fact that we are working with artists. Everybody is very caring and conscientious. It's so nice not to worry about things being taken care of because everyone has that same level of caring for the company and for the clients. We work so well as a team. The staff and the tenants all work well together. We feed each other information and help each other out. The flow of information back and forth just makes everything easier. We are a business. We are here to make money just like everyone else. First and foremost, we want happy clients because we have relationships with those people. We go that extra step to make their experience here great."
Soundcheck has been the setting for many personally meaningful interactions. Meeting artists for the first time, seeing groups reunite for their rehearsal, and working together to make the very special Christmas parties happen every year.
"When everything is just clicking and this building is full of people," said Jan, "there's an energy to it. People here are working, and I don't think some people understand that. Sure, the Soundcheck staff is working, but everybody here rehearsing is working too. This is their job, and they are here to do a job. We take that seriously.
It happens every day: someone will walk in and be happy to see someone they haven't seen in a while. It's a coming-together point. They may not see each other again for a while, but they are meeting here. It's just such a good feeling.
In the end, seeing everyone happy and getting their jobs done...that's what is fulfilling to me."