The Touring Career Workshop is a free event created by Chris Lisle and Erik Parker designed to serve and educate their colleagues in the touring music industry. The inaugural TCW was held in November 2011 at Belmont University, and was attended by over fifty industry professionals. In 2012 TCW moved to the Soundcheck Annex, with over 100 attendees. In the past several years well over 300 people attended. TCW is an official IRS 501c3 non profit.
As trends in the music industry show a steep decline in recorded music sales over the past decade, the necessity for an Artist to tour/perform live to gain income is at an all time high. Even in a down economy, people need to be entertained. Although ticket sales aren’t as great in some markets as they used to be, and though many touring productions have tightened their budgets, the touring world is still very much alive and kicking.
It wasn’t long ago that the term “roadie” brought to mind a few different visions of “sex, drugs, and rock and roll”. The carefree, wandering, and “party” lifestyle of past days has now become a viable and profitable career path for many. As Chris reached his twentieth year in the touring business, he took a hard look at the state of the industry. One of the most disturbing things that was recognized is that many of the early generation of “roadies” had not prepared very well for their latter years. Financial and health troubles appear to be some of the most common problems that are faced. Chris thought to himself, “what could have been done to prevent this”?
The bottom line of it is, that unless you work for one of the major vendors and are blessed to have a great benefits package, you must fend for yourself to provide the tools needed to get by in life: health insurance, retirement plans, and the general skills to run your own business. Make no mistake about it, if you are a freelance technician in the touring business – you ARE your own business. This is where the vision of the Touring Career Workshop comes to life: a simple workshop where a lot of the success tools needed are presented by experts in each of their respective fields. There is NO admission fee to the TCW, and there is NO pressure to purchase any of the services that are presented during the workshop. Attendees will listen to brief overviews on a variety of topics, and at the end will have the opportunity to set up meetings with the vendors if desired. Chris Lisle and Erik Parker receive no commission or fees in any way from any of the vendors. We are organizing this to give back to our industry, with the hope that several people can walk away from the workshop motivated with the tools needed to have the best career that they can!
Originally from Nashville, TN, Chris Lisle has over 25 years experience in the entertainment industry. He has worked in a variety of roles including Production Designer, Lighting Designer, Tour Manager, Production Manager, and Show Producer. Some of Chris’ present and past clients include: Robert Plant, Miranda Lambert, One Republic, Dave Koz, Billy Currington, Peter Frampton, Nick Carter, Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Chris Young, Jennifer Nettles, Lee Brice, Kip Moore, Chase Rice, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, IEBA, Sara Evans, Keith Urban, LeAnn Rimes, Lee Ann Womack, Phil Vassar, The Recording Academy (Grammy’s), and many others.
Chris is the founder and Executive Director of the Touring Career Workshop, a non-profit that serves as “Human Resources for Touring Production Professionals”. Chris is also an adjunct instructor at Belmont University, teaching classes on Production Design and Tour/Production Management.
Chris is a 2016 graduate of Leadership Music, and is a member of the CMA, ACM, and the ESA (Event Safety Alliance).
In his spare time, Chris enjoys spending time with his son, IronTribe fitness, and relaxing on the water.
For more info and photos of Chris’ work, please visit www.clldllc.com.
Erik Parker isn’t from Nashville, but he came loving country music so he fit right in. He’s served as lighting director traveling with bands throughout the world such as OneRepublic, NeedToBreathe, Jennifer Nettles and Brooks and Dunn. Parker has also designed stages of all sizes at events such as the KAABOO festival, Midnight Music City: A Nashville New Year’s Eve, Nashville Chapter Grammy Block Party as well as designed and programed tours with Judah and the Lion, Dave Koz, Simply Three and many others.
In addition to his career and passions in live concerts, Parker has aspirations of helping people create the life they dream of. No matter what life throws your way, as he would say,
“You Got This”!
Here at TCW Jessica oversees our many of our outreach initiatives through marketing, events, and education. As a graduate of Ferris State University she has her bachelor’s degree in Music Industry Management with a minor in Special Event Planning. Originally from Upland, California Jessica moved to Nashville to pursue her goals of becoming a tour manager. Outside of the organization Jessica has toured in as a merchandise manager, a production assistant and is currently serving as VIP Coordintor with Jason Aldean.
Director of Outreach
Mike Marcario is a Concert and Event Lighting Designer based in Nashville, TN. He came to Nashville as a drummer but soon after his first tour as a lighting technician found that he wanted to be involved in concert lighting for a career. From the time he started in this business in the summer of 2010, he has worked with artists from all genres, including Robert Plant, Nick Carter, Sara Evans, Jennifer Nettles, Third Day, and Sanctus Real. He is currently on tour with CCM artist Tenth Avenue North as their lighting director. His peers recognize him as “one of the most animated directors in the business” and “a guy with impeccable timing”. Mike resides in the Inglewood neighborhood of East Nashville. He still plays drums from time to time, but has found his true passion in lighting design and programming.
Originally from Chandler, AZ, Mark Anderson made his way to Nashville, TN to complete a B.S. degree in Audio Engineering Technology from Belmont University.
After graduating, Mark spent the next 5 years touring with several artists in a variety of roles ranging from Stage Manager, Monitor Engineer, FOH Engineer, and Road/Production Manager before joining the CLLD team in 2015 and extending his expertise to the Touring Career Workshop events.
Joe moved to Nashville in late 2011 to pursue a career in graphic design. A few years in Joe found himself looking for more and shifting focus to the road, landing his first gig by mid 2015. He instantly fell in love with the industry. After spending the first few months of his touring career filling in various positions, Joe found his niche as a video tech and has been rocking it ever since. His growing touring career paired with his design background made him the perfect fit to create cool stuff for you to look at here at TCW.