Emily Berke is a management assistant, artist manager, radio show co-host, college student and general badass — and this interview below between her and I will prove it.
Waldman Management is extremely lucky to have Ms. Berke. Learn why here:
SW: First and foremost: How did we meet?
EB: We met while I was writing for a small music blog my freshman year of college. I interviewed the band you played in at the time and ended up interviewing two more bands that you managed over the next couple months. When I finally headed back home to LA for the summer we met up for coffee and I began interning for you that day. The rest is history!
SW: It sure is! You’re currently in your senior year at Drexel University in Philadelphia. How do you balance a (more than) full time gig and being a full time student?
EB: Some weeks are harder than others, especially now that school is almost done and my senioritis is making me antsy to leave, but sometimes the two actually mix. It’s been convenient to be on the east coast and able to head up to NY pretty easily and I’m actually currently working on a senior thesis regarding artist managers (and the joke that no one really knows what they do). I don’t think I’ve ever figured out the perfect balance, it’s all about fitting things in throughout the day without pushing yourself too far. If anything, the key is knowing when to stop and take time away from work and school and focus on yourself again.
SW: I think that that is a very important skill to learn. A solid life/work balance is necessary. Why Drexel? Why Philadelphia?
EB: I found Drexel through a College Board quiz laid out to find your perfect school. When I was a high school senior I knew I wanted to work in music, but I wasn’t sure that would be my end all be all. Drexel offered a program called Entertainment and Arts Management, which focuses on the business side of the entertainment industry as a whole, and I figured it would be perfect in case I wanted to move away from the music industry. Philadelphia itself was never planned. I knew I wanted to go to an out-of-state college (I’m originally from CA) and I knew I wanted to stay in a city, but NY was too intimidating to me. Philly was perfect and I’m definitely going to miss it.
SW: I love Philly’s food and “fuck you” vibe. What’s a typical workday like for you?
EB: One of the things I love about my job is that it changes every day. On a typical day I’ll check emails, hop on phone calls, do some A&R outreach, and help Scott with whatever needs to be done that day. Other days can include updating the website, editing for Waldman’s Words, graphic design, sending invoices, and posting on social media. My day to day is always different, but that’s what makes it fun.
SW: I like to keep you guessing! You have a theater background. How did that help with artist management? How did that help with Waldman’s Words?
EB: Improv! I had two-ish years of improv training while in high school and to say it changed my life would be an understatement. It taught me to think on my feet and always speak with confidence no matter what. Being able to speak without hesitation, especially in a field where you’re still learning is difficult, but learning improv helps me get out of my head a little bit. Waldman’s Words is all about timing. Having 3+ people in a room or over the phone can get a little messy if everyone is not on the same page. Luckily, Scott is a great host and is able to keep the show moving smoothly, so it’s pretty easy to navigate.
SW: Oh, you! Always turning things back to me! Thank you. You’re nearing the end of your tenure in Philly. What are your plans post college?
EB: Immediately after I want to sleep for like a week or two. Then it’s situating myself back in LA and immediately off to work full time at Waldman Management! I love my job and Scott has been a great mentor, so I’m stoked to finally be able to come into an office and finally be able to give my full attention to working and learning with WM without the distraction of school.
SW: I did NOT pay you to say that. Thank you again. You have an extremely supportive family. How do your parents feel about you working in the music business?
EB: I think my parents were a little surprised when I first said I wanted to work in the music industry because I had absolutely zero music background. All my parents wanted for my sister and I was for the two of us to do things that made us happy. I spent all my time as a teenager going to concerts and I think that they saw how much I enjoyed it. I think every parent is a little nervous when their kid leaves college and begins a career, but I’m grateful they’ve been supportive and I hope I’ve been making them proud.
SW: You are very fortunate. Not everyone has that. Besides 1D, what bands that you don’t work with comprise your daily playlists?
EB: I go through phases with music. Right now I’m listening to a lot female rock and roll, so Suzi Quatro, Allanah Myles, and that Meghan Kabir cover of “Live Wire” from The Dirt. Some other favorites include Bad Suns, SWMRS, and more recently, Billie Eilish.
SW: Now I am learning more about you! Sweet. Tell me about your experience co-managing your first band: 18th & Addison. This project has been nothing but a pleasure, and you have been killing it thus far!
EB: I love 18th & Addison and I’m so lucky I get to work with such a lovely and talented group of people. As a first time manager it’s definitely a bit easy to get overwhelmed and you want to make sure you are doing the right thing for your artists. Being able to co-manage with Scott and see how he works has been a blessing, as well as having a band that believes in us as a team. It’s been exciting and I know it will only get better.
SW: Truth. Lastly, and most importantly, you and I are both sweet green addicts. What’s your favorite salad at sweet green?
EB: Sweet green’s best salad is a harvest bowl, no substitutions, and light dressing. Don’t @ me. It’s only on the east coast menu, which is tragic, but hopefully Sweetgreen corporate finally comes around and adds it to their west coast locations. At least just the Culver City or West Hollywood one’s would be good enough!
SW: Maybe we should co-manage them! All kidding aside, you’re the best and I appreciate you.
That’s it. Thank you so much for reading. Be sure to check out what Emily is doing on twitter and instagram at @emilyberke, and be sure to see what we as a company are up to on our @waldmanswords socials and at waldmgmt.com. Emily is the future of the entertainment industry. Get to know her now.