Archive for the ‘Artist Management’ Category


Jac Bowie catches up with Best selling Author, TV Radio presenter, Speaker & media personality, Bessie Bardot.

JB: We were lucky enough to have you as our MC/Host for the 2006 Burlesque Ball. Can you tell me what you thought of the night?

BB: It was a decadent night of fun, frivolity with beautiful burlesque performances by world renowned acts. Everyone really got into the spirit of things, dressing up in stunning corsets and everything Burlesque.

JB: What is it you like about Burlesque?

BB: Looking through the history of Burlesque I honestly feel that it redefined a woman's role, at a time when women were only seen as weak creatures who could faint at a moments notice Burlesque gave women the chance to be truly powerful on stage, in many ways it was an entrée to women's liberation.

JB: One of the great, positive things about Burlesque, is it's celebration of women's beauty in all their shapes and sizes. The modelling world seems to be picking up their game, in Milan recently for example, there was a positive move in not hiring ridiculously thin models for their parades. And also there have been recent deaths in the modelling world relating to Anorexia. What are your thoughts on this?

BB: It's about bloody time they took a stand, my first business was a model agency focusing on women with real curves, yet still so many of my models were trying to diet and lose weight thinking it might get them more work. The reality is consumers are sick of only seeing fashion on women with hips like a teenage boy, don't get me wrong – all women are beautiful and there's loads of women who are naturally thin, but as a curvier gal I found it really frustrating never seeing a healthy image in magazines. I think it's healthiest to have models represent all the different shapes women's bodies come in: pear, rectangle and everything in between.

JB: I once read that you found it hard originally with modelling agencies due to your figure, but overcame this to become a very successful body model. Can you tell me about that?

BB: Yes, loads of agencies turned me down, they said I wasn't tall enough and they'd didn't know how to sell me with my curves. So I did some free lance model work and then decided to start an agency so that all the girls who had unusual shapes could get work as well.

JB: You even wrote a book about your experiences in the modelling world. Can you tell me a little about the book?

BB: Ahh yes. Casting Couch Confidential is a cautionary tale about the pitfalls of the modelling world. It's a collection of true stories from models all around the world, some named and some choose to stay anonymous – the stories are shocking, funny and sad. Ultimately it was good to get it all out there to break the fantasy of a model's life.

JB: Now let's talk about a mutual friend of ours, Mr Richard Branson. Is he your regular fishing partner or what?

BB: He he… I've known Richard for about 8 years. But it almost didn't happen. He was launching Virgin Mobile and was standing at the front door shaking every guests hand as they walked in. I was quite shy then and was going to walk past and it was my hubby Geoff who almost pushed me forward, it turned out that there had been an interview on me in his inflight mag that month and he remembered my name from the flight over. So we had a grand ol chat. You're right most recently we went fishing, culminating in a news piece about his new venture Virgin money… and Richard decided to help me cool off by pushing me into Sydney harbour. I'll get him back. Most important thing is I managed to save my shoes and sunglasses, its amazing how fast reflexes become when accessories are in jeopardy!

JB: I want to first of ask you about this hot new show you have debuting on Arena in March.. Erotic Star. Can you fill me in?

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BB: Sure, its an international reality show based around the hugely popular pole dancing phenomenon and the resurgence of burlesque. 10 performers live together and each day go through challenges and eliminations. One will become the Eroticstar and take home $25k cash, a car and a bundle of other prizes.

JB: I hear the show was a huge success in the UK. How do you think the Australian viewers will respond to it?

BB: Yes, they loved it so much they played it twice a week. It was actually made for the UK, they saw the pilot and said "we love it, we want it in 3 weeks" so we shot 8 episodes in 8 days, I also produced with Geoff so from a production point of view shooting in real time was fantastic – true reality tv! Now its coming to Arena on 24th March, I'm sure Aussie's will love it, it's a real fly on the wall look at what these girls go through to hone their craft, much like an elite athlete but with more glitter.

JB: Geoff and yourself have been making a good dent in the Australian entertainment industry for many years now. Tell me about your new venture, Movers & Shakers?

BB: Why thank you. We've opened Australia's first and only celebrity contact brokers service. It's a popular concept in the US – just one place that anyone can call to contact any celebrity. Whether its for a private party, a product launch or a corporate staff reward day we can get any celeb (nationally or internationally) for any event.

JB: So I could hire, for example, Hi 5 to come sing at my son's birthday. God he would love that. What would something like that cost? Can anyone hire a celebrity for their event – no matter how big or small?

BB: Yep Hi 5, any celeb you want we will contact them for you. Rates depend on who you want, how long for, and what you want them to do. Obviously its slightly pricier to get your favourite singer to perform, many book their fave celeb to come along and mingle with guests. But as a guide you're looking at $500 - $5,000 and beyond.

JB: You had a recent trip to Iraq. Can you tell me about your experiences there?

BB: Iraq was incredible. On my first trip there I was MCing concerts throughout 12 military bases in the middle east. We're talking flying in the middle of the night in chinock helicopters, flying into Baghdad in Hercules' coming down fast and flying just above rooftops to avoid missles locking on. Sleeping on stretchers inside tents with sands bags around the perimeter, staying in Saddam's palace. It was quite full on but the troops are so grateful to get a moments distraction from their lives over there – for one hour they can shut off the day and enjoy Angry Anderson sing and relax. I loved it so much I went back last Christmas, Geoff and I both hosted concerts over the holiday period, even bringing in the new year with a countdown in front of 6000 Aussie, US and British troops. I will never, ever forget it.

JB: It's so great to see someone getting out there doing such positive PR exercises. It's inspiring. You have also just released a book giving positive advice for girls and women who want to achieve their goals. Can you tell me about that?

BB: I wrote this book because I would have loved some career advice when I was leaving school, I ended up in a dead end job as a receptionist, then at 21 after a horrible divorce I realised that I hated my life and I had to make a change so I pieced together a formula to finally work out what to do with my life. It covers how to create a new career, persona and personal brand. How to rein in emotions and get past fears that hold you back. How to truly become confident with your body and finally how to present yourself in the best light to achieve what you want career wise through style and personal brand. Its for any woman who is stuck in a rut, starting out or starting over.

JB: I know a lot of the women and girls who read this book will be inspired to go and chase their dreams and career inspirations. What do you think about mentoring? Do you mentor anyone?

BB: Mentors can be incredibly useful, but I don't think you need to stick with one person. All the most successful business people say they're key to success is to surround themselves with experts in each field, so I have several people I turn to – based on the area I need advice on. After receiving lots of emails from girls wanting advice and mentoring I do make myself available to talk through issues on career, self worth/confidence, relationships, health and general dissatisfaction with life. I used to be a counsellor for a welfare agency so I guess there is still a big part of me that likes facilitating some kind of life change in those ready for it.

JB: You mention in the book there is a formula, "The Six Steps of Success". What are these steps and what do they entail?

BB: There are 8.

Step 1- Find your passion and make it work for you. This true key to mental & emotional success which usually leads to financial success. When you truly love what you do you'll happily work harder because the topic of your work is a breeze. With depression levels at an all time high its obvious, we cant just kill our soul for a buck and get by anymore. Find what you would do if no one paid you to do it and discover how to turn that into an income.

Step 2- Beat fear and your inner voice. We have up to 60,000 conversations in our head everyday. And many of them are negative – "I'm not good enough, smart enough, hot enough, successful enough"… blah, blah, blah. No wonder we feel deflated and unmotivated. The truth is scientists have discovered that our brains literally cannot tell the difference from what we THINK we are, and what we PHYSICALLY are, and do. So what we tell ourselves shapes our future and success. Its not positive thinking, it's just a matter of catching personally negative thoughts and changing them one at a time. And secondly fear is the highest factor holding us back from achieving more and enjoying life. When you think about it, fear is simply our body's automatic response to something out of our comfort zone. We're only afraid of fear! So put yourself in 'fearful' situations regularly and you wont have that instant charge every time your challenged.

Step 3- Plan your journey. Sit down and write down all the things you do each day – next to it put a value between 1-10 on how much you get from it (personal satisfaction, money etc) then work out what you can get rid of. Next write down a to do list of what you need to do to make your passion your career and redesign your life. Once its on paper its harder to lose track.

Step 4 – Create your personal brand. Everyone has a personal brand, it's the three or so words that people think of when they meet you for the first time, see or hear your name. It's made up of Visual, verbal and experiential clues. What you wear, what you say, the tone of your voice, whether they had a good experience last time they chatted with you, were you late…. Etc, etc. So find out what your brand is now, then take the power back by planning subtle changes which will help you pursue your dream career and life.

Step 5 – Build specialised credibility. Whichever area you have chosen for your career path, you then need to build credibility to support that: volunteer, work experience, study, join clubs, read books & magazines about it, join clubs – immerse yourself in it and you're more likely to truly become it.

Step 6 – Get organised. Create a database of everyone you know, and collect different categories. Even if it's your Mum and uncle right now, do it and keep building. The more people you have in your 'network' the more success you will have. Imagine you've moved to a new city and need to start fresh and meet people. In a few years you may be of some help to them and they may be of some help to you, either way we need others to inspire and educate.

Step 7 – Advertise. Put simply, the more people that know what you do – the more success you will have. You don't need to constantly talk shop or shameless hand cards out, it's just a matter of people knowing which industry you're in so that when they have a need for X, Y or Z – they think of you. So get out there and meet new people, talk to strangers at a party, flex your conversational muscles because its almost impossible to make it business being a hermit.

Step 8 – Use the magic formula.

BEING – (or getting) good at what you do

OVERCOMING – your fears

MAKING – relevant contacts

ACTION – take the action to pick up the book, knock on the door, speak to the stranger and most importantly – do what you say you will do.

Look at life like a big waiting room, every second a new door appears with an exciting new world behind it, but you choose to sit safely in your seat as they close forever. You choose – they're your seconds for the taking.

JB: You and Geoff have had quite a few books published now, and they seem to compliment each other rather well. How closely do you work together on these?

BB: Geoff was the whole inspiration for me to begin writing, he's published six titles now with another four on the drawing board. It wasn't easy at first but we now have a system that works well for us. Each book we write we email chapters to each other for changes and proof reading. This is incredibly helpful when we get a little stuck with dreaded writers block and since we think so similarly anyway it makes sense to work this way. Geoff is truly incredible though, he could write a whole book in two weeks, and a brilliant article in two hours. I'm constantly in awe!

JB: And you both work from home, how does living together, working together work for you?

BB: Ridiculously well! We've been married 9 years now and never seem to tire of each others company. I think that comes down to being best buddies and having our own unique strengths instead of competing against each other. We work as a team, Geoff is the big picture guy, great with coming up with new concepts and thinking in headlines. What he doesn't know about PR isn't worth knowing, a really incredible mind. And I love making the plans happen. I'm all about details, to do lists, order etc. So we work closely with each other and our office manager brainstorming on ideas, delegating tasks and all working towards one goal, We get done in two hours collectively, what offices will spend up to a week on. I love it!

JB: What is a typical day for yourself & Geoff?

BB: Wake up between 6-7am, have a 45 minute walk around the botanic gardens and harbour, we chat about what we dreamt last night, what we've got on that day and plan & brainstorm on new ideas. Then breakfast on the balcony and reading daily papers. Morning meeting together with office manager – discussing what needs to be done on each project. Then the day is segmented up with a bit of writing time for both of us (on new books, speeches or columns) Some email time (1000+ emails daily) often some sort of radio/tv/mag interview or speaking job (Geoff and I speak on career, relationships, motivation, branding, media training etc) and working on projects for our PR clients and our Celebrity Contact Business. When we're being good we take a break at 6pm to go to the gym or have another walk. A light dinner, watch some current affair programs then back to work on the computer working on tasks that don't take up a lot of brainpower and can be done with a movie playing the background (for me that's usually database stuff or accounts, for Geoff that's creative work like logo designs & web layouts). Then to bed around 11.30, where we read (Geoff- New Scientist, Psychology today, Mind magazine. Me- the occasional trashy women's mag, then I read over Geoff's mags when he's finished) and off to sleep.

JB: Now I would also like you ask you some questions from the famous Proust Questionaire.

JB: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

BB: Living near the water with my boy and child or two, with that wonderful feeling that comes with knowing that it's completely up to you what you want to do that day. Being your own boss and having the power to choose whether to work or play.

JB: What is your greatest fear?

BB: Oooh I've had many. My first one was singing – I never sang, not in the shower, in the car, happy birthday, nothing. So I took my own advice from the book and worked out that the pain of getting past it was less than the pain of living with the fear so I learnt to sing and belted out Eartha Kitt's "Santa Baby" for the troops in Iraq on Christmas Day. It wasn't perfect, but I did it and it was really quite liberating. Now I don't know if I really have a greatest fear, I'm open to change and even if my world collapsed, that would just mean I would need to adapt to a new life, that's not so bad. It keeps life interesting.

JB: Which historical figure do you most identify with?

BB: Probably Mae West, she was cheeky and frank but still had a mind for business. I think any woman has the struggle to maintain different sides of her personality when society seems determined to keep us in a box, clearly marked.

JB: Which living person do you most admire?

BB: I admire bits of people as opposed to just one whole person. No one is perfect and to idolise someone is to put them on a pedestal with yourself below, that's so destructive considering every single person has both good & evil traits deep down.

JB: What is your greatest extravagance?

BB: It used to be shopping but then I looked around and realised I'd spent much of my adult life buying things I didn't want or need so I held an intervention with myself and I've now almost become an anti-consumer. The search for the latest everything doesn't seem to make anyone happy. So now my greatest extravagance would be good food, cheesy romantic comedies and watching "Will & Grace" – which I have on a rotating basis dependant on my mood.

JB: Which talent would you most like to have?

BB: To be able to salsa dance. It looks like so much fun.

JB: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

BB: Everything in the last 9 years. I was a receptionist in a computer company with little education and no drive to speak of. I never would have guessed what the future would hold. Pulling myself out of that well worn rut and turning my situation of a broke, divorced, depressed, inexperienced and scared girl into something different required so much energy and gumption – I'm still surprised that I did it.

JB: Where would you like to live?

BB: I could live in many places, I love it in Sydney, I'd love it in New York or in the South of France, or Tuscany or Greece or Barbados or England…. I could go on. I like to keep my dreams flexible as life changes every day.

JB: What is your favourite occupation?

BB: I like having the freedom to be open and honest and express my thoughts and opinions. TV, radio, writing – all of those are vehicles for this. I honestly thank my lucky stars everyday that I chose that life instead of one in corporate mediocrity.

JB: What is the quality you most like in a man?

BB: Tenderness. The ability to have in depth conversations, cuddle up on the lounge, watch girly movies and truly care about the person you're with. Geoff has all that in spades and combined with his mental and physical strength I have a 'dirty Harry meets Sally'. The perfect combo.

JB: What do you most value in your friends?

BB: That we don't have to fill silences, we can be together and enjoy moments of quiet. That we don't have to be out partying to have fun together. That they just let me be me, and visa versa. And them understanding that I cant commit to dinner out in a months time and I won't be calling them everyday yet they know I couldn't live without them in my life.

JB: Who is your favourite hero of fiction?

BB: I loved Anne of Green Gables. She was so gutsy and opinionated and always getting into trouble. I watched it relentlessly as a kid and still remember how she was intensely creative and passionate even back then when women were seen and not heard.

JB: What is your motto?

BB: "Know thyself". You don't start driving without reading the map now do you?


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Went to Grant Dwyer’s (AdPro Management) and Todd Tai’s (Australian Geographic) party a few weekends ago.
Had a fabulous time. Had a lovely chat with Valerie Taylor and met some very interesting characters..

My girls, Lorelei & Sarina performed, along with Grant Galea.

Check out the pics xx

Raj Suri, Jac Bowie & Kashif Amjad

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Kirri Liepins is a true gem in the music PR world. A 22-year-old girl from Newcastle who started her own business (Rock Solid) fuelled by an unwavering love for homegrown music. It hasn’t been easy, she’s had to face a lot of criticism for being a young successful person.

Kirri can you tell me about your music interests first. Who did you grow up listening to?

I’m a child of the eighties, but I didn’t pay much attention to the Kylie Minogues and the Duran Durans populating the charts. My earliest memory is of a time when I was three years old, sitting in my dad’s garage watching him work while listening to his records. He would play a song (for the sake of example, The Cars’ Drive) and spend five minutes telling me what chart position it reached, trivia about the band members and just what made the song so great. He taught me a lot about music. He was also a guitarist in the seventies, so he could tell me about the business. He planted the seeds to let my love of music grow. I was raised on a steady diet of music from various eras – from 1940’s jazz to British punk. For the most part, though, I was raised on Australian music.

At what point did you decide you wanted to pursue a career in music PR?

I was 16, in high school and facing questions of what I wanted to do once I finished my HSC. I knew that I wanted to be involved with music, but as I explored the possibilities, I realized that I might not be the one performing the music. Instead, I wanted to be the one working behind the scenes, telling the world about these brilliant musicians I would find.

Can you tell me what steps you took in terms of education and experience in order to make things happen for you?

The very first thing I did when I finished high school was to register in a Music Business course at Hunter TAFE. I stayed for two years and graduated with an Advanced Diploma. During my studies I became a member of the group that founded A Major Music Expo, which branched out in 2003 as Newcastle Music Week. I also gained experience wherever I could, like writing for U-Turn Streetpress and helping out with production for a children’s TV series (which included music as well as learning tools).

When I decided to develop Rock Solid, I didn’t really expect such a strong response. While some showed plenty of support, others questioned whether I’d be able to pull it off – not just because of my age, but because I was a woman about to start a business. Something about those two factors unsettled a few people. I think it’s hogwash! I resent the fact that some have not taken me seriously because of my age and gender.

You have achieved so much for your years. What would be your career highlights?

In 2004 I trekked to Sydney to assist with publicity for Jon Stevens, who I’d known for several years. When I saw the first show of his tour, I was overwhelmed with pride and joy. I think I cried – a very uncool thing to do! I think the thing I’m most proud of, however, was hosting the first Rock Solid Showcase last month. Seeing my beloved artists performing on the same stage, having a great time, made all the hard work and sacrifice worthwhile. Funnily enough, it’s when the audience is having a ball that I feel the most satisfied. I know I’ve done something right.

I heard you manage Jon Stevens’ official Street Team. Can you tell us what this entails?

This came about when I was working in Jon’s Sydney office. His managers were tossing around ideas for a street team, and what this team could do, and I volunteered my services. My job at the team’s ‘head honcho’ involves inducting new members (teamsters), providing tools and encouragement for the entire team and motivating them in their work. I also developed a rewards scheme, which keeps them pretty happy!

How do people join Street Teams?

Generally I ask them to submit a registration email with their details, so I can tailor their teamwork to their specific regions. I don’t ask them about what they’ve done before, or what other teams they may be a part of. All a teamster needs to bring is their love for their favourite musical act. The biggest fans tend to promote the acts in their own ways, independent of a street team membership, but being part of a street team allows them to work with other fans and have a lot of fun.

What would they be required to do?

Teamsters do the typical street team tasks like handing out flyers, sending requests/votes to radio stations and posting on message boards. But I also encourage teams to be creative and get involved by offering their own promotional ideas. For example, members of Jon Stevens’ street team have met in Sydney to talk about the team, discuss what is and isn’t working, and share new ideas for other ways they can help.

Now there is also news of a music-orientated tv series you are co-producing. Can you tell me more about that?

I am one of four Newcastle-based industry professionals who are keen to create a music-orientated program for our region. I guess you could call us producers, but we all share our work. There’s no room for ego in this team! We filmed a pilot to test-run the idea, but due to technical problems with the filming we’ve had to start again. At this stage we have no idea where the show will end up, but we’re going to keep working on it because we want to take Newcastle’s talent pool into the homes of music fans around the country.

Your business, Rock Solid, focuses on Public Relations and Fan Relations. Can you explain to me the importance of Fan Relations and how you go about building on this?

Rock Solid started out as a street team management business, and during that time I realized the importance of a relationship between the band and its fans. Essentially, the fans are the employers – they have the power to make or break the careers of their favourite artists. So I figured that if you have a fanbase that works closely with the band and its management team, both sides will be rewarded with a steady flow of support and feedback. More importantly, it demonstrates the power of advocacy. A fan with a hundred people in their phone directory is a very powerful person. Imagine what an entire fanbase can achieve if you nurture and support them.

Can you tell me about Rock Solid Radio?

This is a project I started last year. I loved the idea of having a streaming online radio station, accessible to the whole world, to showcase unsigned and independent music – not just homegrown, but also international talent. Getting airplay on traditional radio is only one of many ways to broadcast music to potential new fans. I had a little party at home on the night of the launch – just some friends and I waving party favours and CD’s! It sounds corny, but I was just so glad that RSR would give great artists a chance to be heard by those who otherwise wouldn’t know about them. I add new songs to the playlist as often as I can, and I strongly encourage acts to post or email their works.

Who are your main clients in your business?

Jon Stevens is the biggest name on the roster, but in 2007 you will hear from a fantastic singer-songwriter called Tearsun. He’s starting to make huge waves – he’ll be recording with Stuart Stuart in March and he has a meeting soon with Molly Meldrum. You’ll want to keep an eye out for my other clients too: Wohteba, Lout, The Wireflys and Roxy. They all have unique styles.

Who would you love to work with?

In a dream scenario, my roster would include Sir Paul McCartney, Neil Finn, Sarah McLeod and the Scissor Sisters.

What’s next for Kirri & Rock Solid?

I’ve become involved with a beautiful group called the Lovelorn Living Party. We recently created the Bohemian Love Theatre’s Shiny Ticket Follies, which took the Peats Ridge Festival by storm. We’ll be touring the country later this year. I play drums/percussion and help to manage the stage each night. It’s a wonderfully creative and invigorating experience.

I’m aiming to host a few more Rock Solid showcases this year, and if all goes well I’ll be taking the showcase to other cities. I’ll also be raising money through various activities for Support Act Limited, a great organization providing assistance for musicians and industry folks in crisis.

Of course, while all of this is going on, I’ll be scouting for more Australian and international talent to add to Rock Solid’s books!


For more info: check out www.rock-solid.net.au

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Hi All

About to my my second appearance in The Courier Mail.

Keep your eyes peeled for my story on Burlesque.

Should be published this Sat (10th Feb) or next (17th Feb).
Look in ETC (Entertainment Section)

Rather different story to the last one. lol. Yes I was the “Cart Tart” hehe

ps. I didn’t go home with Geoff Heugill. I haven’t even met him 😐 lol

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In case you weren’t aware, I am now managing Australia’s Top Showgirl Duo, Lorelei & Sarina, since early Dec 2006.

The girls have been flat out over the xmas season, and we are really looking forward to working together in 2007.

If you haven’t seen it yet, check out their official website at www.loreleiandsarina.com

To book the showgirls for your event, party, corporate gig etc – contact me at jac@loreleiandsarina.com .

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