Local Band Manager Balances Motherhood with Career in Entertainment
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 21:10
“Music is my thing,” Emily Engles, band manager and Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards board member, said. “A lot of people that would have a free night open go to the movies; they go putt putt golfing. I don’t. I find a show to go to.”
Engles has worked in the entertainment industry for around 7 years – it’s when she booked bands at Stir Cove for Harrah’s Casino when she took notice of Omaha’s local music scene.
“It’s just a lot of fun to discover and support all these local musicians,” Engles said.
She now manages two local bands: Rock Paper Dynamite and The Decatures. Engles is also a board member for the Omaha Entertainment & Arts Awards (OEAA) and works full-time at Audio Visions, a company that provides sound equipment for concerts and corporate events at venues like the CenturyLink Center.
Engles added, “I’m rather busy and I’m a mom so I’m trying to balance the baby and the music, and I somehow do it.”
Engles said she hopes to someday make band managing a full-time position.
Nominations for the OEAA were announced Sept. 9 and both bands that Engles manages snagged nominations in the music category for Best Rock. Rock Paper Dynamite was also nominated for Artist of the Year and The Decatures for Best New Artist.
“It does get some questions, but I am very good at explaining the process of how bands are nominated and how they win,” Engles said.
Bands are nominated by the public through a website the OEAA provides. Bands ask the public to nominate them, Engles said. Public nominations get distributed to one of the OEAA committees – Performing Arts, Visual Arts and Live Music. She said the committees check to see that the nominations are in the correct category and choose the top six that were nominated. These nominations go to the voting academy (the OEAA Academy), which is made up of local industry folk, such as, bar and venue owners, writers and “sound guys,” Engles said.
“It’s an educated vote … it’s based on people who really know the music scene,” Engles said, “It’s all legit.”
The OEAA Academy ultimately decides the winners.
Board members meet once a month and plan showcases. The summer showcase is one of the biggest fundraisers to help fund the February awards ceremony; it’s a two-night event where more than 80 bands perform at seven venues throughout the Benson area.
“Putting together an event like that is hectic, but it’s what I love to do,” she added.
Then, on Dec. 6 is the nominee showcase – “that is easier to plan because you already have the list of bands that are going to perform in one night,” Engles said. Finally, in February is the awards show, with an after party at the Slowdown.
“The awards ceremony is just a fun mix of people,” she said.
Engles shared everyone supports everyone – local musicians support and appreciate local performing and visual artists.
A few years ago she was at one of Rock Paper Dynamite’s shows and thought they sounded amazing, so she approached the band and asked if they needed help. Now, two years later, she’s their manager.
“A couple years ago I started working the door for OEAA at The Waiting Room Lounge and six months later I’m on the board. It’s easy to get involved,” Engles said. “I’ve taken a turn to appreciate local music.”