The Career Problem We Are Solving
It’s no secret that for many artists, it takes more than just art to make ends meet. Many people who complete music performance or acting degrees don’t have full-time, well-paying jobs in their field. They need to find additional sources of income. Often, this means juggling two separate careers, splitting time between their artistic craft and sporadic freelance work, or scrambling to find (usually low-paying) part-time jobs, like waiting tables or working retail.
And faced with this reality, some give up entirely. Despite having worked with a singular focus to pursue their art for years, they end up with lives that don’t include their craft at all. They're often left with a feeling of failure, the betrayal of leaving behind a goal they'd been pursuing since childhood.
If any of this sounds familiar to you -- we get you! Why? Because we're speaking from our own experience -- we too are artists who fit the above description at one point in our careers.
But now we’ve found a better way, and we’re here to help you do the same!
We are specifically focused on helping people in the arts build a more sustainable career and lifestyle through jobs in the technology field., to support their artistic endeavors. We are starting out by offering a mentoring and training program that helps people prepare for jobs as Database Administrators for the Salesforce.com platform.
Stage and Screen Careers (SASC) was founded by Eugene Carr, a cellist turned tech entrepreneur, along with several former colleagues. The origin story of SASC goes way back to the early 2000s, and the way we all came to work together.
Gene was the co-founder and CEO of PatronManager, a technology system that provides ticketing/fundraising/marketing and CRM to cultural organizations. PatronManager was aligned with one of the biggest "business-to-business" software companies in the country, Salesforce.com, and needed a staff of certified Salesforce Administrators to support its customer base of theaters, orchestras, and other performing arts organizations.
Rather than filling these roles with engineers and "techies" -- who might know a lot about software, but not about the arts -- PatronManager chose to hire for arts expertise instead. The dancers, musicians, actors and the like who formed the team had an interest and general comfort with technology, but had no formal education in it.
The company provided training, mentoring, and career guidance, and successfully coached these formerly “arts-only” people into starting technology careers that supplemented their ability to continue their craft. These were flexible, well-paying, and challenging jobs that provided both a steady income and a sense of community with like-minded people.
Today many of PatronManager’s former employees have continued on this career path, working at other technology companies and earning salaries that put many of them in the top 10% of wage earners in the US.
Importantly, nearly all of these employees have also managed to keep some element of art and/or performance in their lives. You can watch interviews with several of them talking about their careers here.
Eugene Carr, Founder and CEO:
Gene is a Oberlin Conservatory cellist who served as the executive director of the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and then founded several tech start-ups, the most recent of which was Patron Technology, and it's arts focused product, PatronManager.com. He is also the founder/director of a summer street music & arts festival in Great Barrington, MA, Berkshire Busk!.
Rachel Hands, Founding Advisor:
As a leader of distributed teams ranging in size from 4 to 40, Rachel has spent over a decade in the Salesforce.org ecosystem working to create equitable, effective work cultures that enable employees to do their best work in support of the nonprofit organizations she’s most passionate about. .Before finding her place in the tech world, Rachel spent her days as a classically trained horn player with a Master’s degree in music history.
Samantha Colvarro, Mentor:
Samantha is a multi-certified Salesforce professional with a passion for learning. When not on Salesforce, Sam participates in productions at her local community theatre, both on stage and off.
Ellen Hindson, Mentor:
Ellen is a 4x Certified Salesforce professional and classically-trained oboist based in San Diego, CA where she lives with her partner. When she’s not nerding out about Salesforce, she’s usually making reeds, volunteering, hiking, or perfecting her pastry-baking skills.
Michelle Paul, Advisor:
VP Growth Strategy at BackOffice Thinking, a technology consulting company that works with non-profits (and two time Jeopardy! champion)
Jude Shimer, Advisor:
Jude Shimer believes in technology as an art form and a tool for racial, social, and economic justice. They specialize in user-centered Salesforce architecture for nonprofit and government organizations, currently supporting New York City's Division of Energy Management in their work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.