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EP 217: Douglas Coleman – Owner of DJC Music & Productions | Talk Show Host | Singer/ Songwriter (autogenerated)
Dane Reis: You booked it. Episode 217. Okay. I am excited for today’s interview because today I’ve got on Douglas Coleman. Douglas, are you ready.
Douglas Coleman: Yes, I’m ready.
Dane Reis: Brilliant. And Douglas is a singer songwriter, musician talk show, host, and owner of DJC music and productions. So what does a man do after 20 years in corporate America? In Douglas’s case, he continues to pursue the musical dream.
He has carried since his youth Douglas set out to have a career in music in the early 1980s, but became frustrated and opted for the corporate world. Though his musical temperament and the business world were at odds. He stayed his vocational course for over 20 years before surrendering to his muse, leaving his job and setting up a studio to chase his musical dream.
Douglas of that is a very quick summary and synopsis of who you are, what you’ve done your career and a little bit about you. Why don’t you expand on that a bit, fill in the gaps and a little bit more about what you do in the entertainment industry.
Douglas Coleman: okay. Great. Wellfirst, thanks for having me on the show. I appreciate it. I grew up in Boston and when I was 18, I moved to New York city. With stars in my eyes and I was going to become the next Elton John or Billy Joel cause I’m a piano player, singer songwriter. And I hooked up with a band and we started playing in little clubs around New York city and out in long island.
And at the same time, I was going to the American academy for dramatic art and I was studying acting well, the band got a little bit too busy, so I dropped out of the school. And stayed in the band. Full-time about a year and a half, almost two years into my, pursuant of a career in music. My father got very sick and I had to return home to Boston and he subsequently passed away.
And then everything changed at that point, because originally I was planning on just going back to new. But with a heavy persuasion from my mother who said, you got to stop all this nonsense and go get a real job, finished school, stop on this, And so I said, okay, all right, fine. So I finished school and I got a job working in corporate America.
I don’t want to name the company because it’s a big company. I don’t want to give them any advertising. So I worked there for 20 years. The money was really good, but I felt my soul be. I don’t know, sort ofsucked out of me if you will. In the 20 years that I worked there, I wrote two songs, barely played the piano had no, this was pre-internet most of it.
So there wasn’t really any outlet for me to do anything. I was going to do music. I’d have to do it for real. After 20 years. When I had enough money saved up and a pension that I could draw on. So I wouldn’t starve to death because I didn’t want to go back to the starving artist routine. not at them, 43 years old.
I quit everything. I was a major midlife crisis and I sold my house. I quit my job. I moved to Las Vegas seven. Uh, PO box got a driver’s license and a, you store it. And then from Las Vegas, I took off and went to Thailand because I figured I just needed to get as far away from all of it as I could
Dane Reis: Wow.
Douglas Coleman: head and to just I don’t know, shift gears, if you will change the channel in my brain, So
I ended up with a job there teaching English, because at that time they were just basically taking anything. If you came from one of the English speaking countries, they’re a little stricter now, I think, but at time you could pretty much just get in there without any issue.
So I landed a job at a university 300 miles north of Bangkok in the middle of the rice Delta. Very beautiful country up. And worked there and rented a small house and then started writing music on my off time after work. And I wrote probably 25 to 30 songs in just those couple of years. When I came back to the United States, I set up a recording studio in Las Vegas and started writing the music and.
Found a producer. He found me actually, and started working with a producer. We put out four tracks. They did pretty well. At the same time I was promoting the music going on podcasts, which was a new thing for me. And I found that while some of them were really good, some of them were not. And I thought, you know what?
I could do this. I could do. This kind of work and help other people help other musicians. Because at that point, podcasting was just get getting going. It’s not like it is now. So I started the Douglas Coleman show and started audio only first did a very simple format and that’s been going since 2015 and last year during COVID we started the Douglas Coleman show V video edition.
And that has been going for just a bit over a year, and we’ve done 294 productions. We’ve been very busy with that show. That show really took off people like the format. And, we got a lot of interest in people wanting to come on the show. So that’s what Douglas Coleman does and DJC music and productions, which is my company.
That’s what we do. We produce music we can reproduce to different content
Dane Reis: Yeah, very cool. I am excited to get into this interview more and explore more of that. Uh, You’ve had such a journey through your career, and this is exciting. And for everyone, I had the pleasure of being on two episodes of Douglas’s podcast. So you can feel free to check that out as well. It’s we had a lot of fun, just, uh, having lots of good chats about the industry and things like this.
So you can always check that out. And of course I’ll have the links in the show notes, so you can check that out, but less. Move on to this first section here and Douglas, look, I am a sucker for a good quote. What is your favorite quote? You’d like to share with everyone
Douglas Coleman: Does this have to be something I made
Dane Reis: now? It can be anything you want.
Douglas Coleman: Uh,the more I get to know people, the better I like my dog mark.
Dane Reis: So good. I love that. How, how did that come about? How do you, how does that work its way into your life a bit?the dogs are always with me. I’ve got two dogs, I’ve got a German shepherd. Who’s 125 pounds who looks for OSHA’s, but he’s just a big puppy.
Douglas Coleman: And I’ve got this little mixed dog, half shits who have poodle and. He’s the older one and he bosses the German shepherd around and they’re just always in my life.
They’re always around. I bring them to the studio with me when I do my interviews, during the video show, I put them out in the hall, but in the audio, they just come in, they sleep right at my feet while I’m talking. They just bring me so much joy and pleasure and serenity, if you will.
Um, you know, and they, and they never stray from that. There was never a moment. I mean, they can piss me off sometimesif they start barking, whatever, but they’re very true to them selves. And they’re very true to me where I have found through my life that not all people are, people can be very deceptive with language.
They can say one thing means something else. people can be very two faced and dogs are not. And I think that’s the big difference. I think, the honesty that you get from a dog is very refreshing. So I would be a much more miserable person
without them in my.
Dane Reis: There you go. Well, let’s get into this section here, Douglas. And of course you are an entertainment professional. I’m an entertainment professional. And I think that you’d agree that this industry can be one of the most subjective, brutally, honest and personally emotional industries in existence.
And you know, as well as I, that in order to create and have a successful career in this industry, it takes a lot. Of dedication and hard work. And while yeah, there is an outrageous amount of fun and excitement and fulfillment doing what we do. There are also our fair share of obstacles, challenges, and failures.
We’re going to experience and we’re going to have to move forward through. So tell us, what is one key challenge, obstacle or failure you’ve experienced in your career and how did you come out the other side better because of it.I, it’s hard to pick just one because there’s
You have some fair.but I would say probably. If you decide to do this as a career, as a business, in other words, try to make money at it. Then you’ve got to approach it as a business. And if you are wearing too many hats, if you’re the creator, if you’re the artist, if you are the businessman, the manager, the
Douglas Coleman: social media person. If you’re doing all of it, it can be really daunting. But the biggest problem that I saw for myself was separating your content as a commodity versus some artistic expression from your soul because other people are going to look at it as simply a commodity in the sake of numbers.
How many listeners do you have, is this viable for advertising and sponsorship? And
Dane Reis: and.
Douglas Coleman: they’re not going to care how well you speak or what your logo looks like or what you look like or anything. All they’re going to do is look at it as a commodity and for the sake of making money off of you. And it can be very disheartening for people when they’ve put their heart and soul into whatever it is that they’re creating.
So the challenge has always been to separate that the more you can separate it, the better you’ll be adapted, being able to handle both sides. I think we got into this conversation and on my show
Dane Reis: Yeah, a
Douglas Coleman: traditionally people had managers to handle all of that and they could just concentrate on their craft and not have to deal with the, the business side of it.
But what’s happened with internet is that it’s created this DIY environment where you’ve got to do it all yourself, and you need to establish yourself to a certain level before you could even interest a manager who would work in the traditional sense off of a committee. There’s a lot of people out there would be happy to manage you for an upfront fee.
I’ve seen lots of those people out there, but that’s not typically how it worked was if you got work, you both got paid and it was up to the manager to find work for you, feed it and find you any work you didn’t get paid. And neither did he. So as more people are doing it themselves, I think that’s one of the biggest
Dane Reis: Yeah, for sure. Yeah. We definitely dug into a lot that conversation on on your podcast and. it’s tough. Right. And you can kind of understand, especially from,know, an agent or even like a, you know, a regulated or like a union kind of regulated agency, a, like an actor’s equity agent, you know, they can only take 10%, right. They can’t take more. You have to, if, um, so that there’s there’s that, which is good. Um, and still the issue is, or is becoming even more and more I should say is that. The way they get paid, like you said, is it’s a commission-based thing. You get work, they get you know, they get money. Everyone gets paid at the same time.
Right? So that’s, it’s a big win-win scenario, but they still need to get you in the room. They still need to get a producer, whoever it is that is doing the casting to. See you, right. And unfortunately, because there’s so much DIY, because there’s content out there and people, uh, and marketing, social media and things like this, that to be someone who a producer or a casting director wants to see, it can be very challenging if you don’t have all of that DIY stuff, it’s kind of this catch 22, scenario.
Douglas Coleman: You’re right. It is. And I suppose not, I dunno, I’ve never actually pursued this avenue, but I suppose you could just pay your way into the room. I’m not sure if that would be the best scenario or not, because you can have a lot of money in new talent and then you would just lose your money and you’d get in the room and they’d say, Nope.
So I don’t know if that’s the way to go or not. there is a lot of stuff out there and to get your head above water really is the challenge. And I think that’s what, we’re all doing. Everybody in this industry. Now who’s doing anything on their own. It’s getting yourself known and recognized. Social media is a big player in that feet.
And the better you can be at social media, the more possibility you have to get seen. On the other hand, some people are really bad at social media. They’re really good at their craft, but they’re not great at promoting. Other people are less good at their craft, but really wonderful at social media. I’m starting to believe that you just simply cannot do it all yourself.
Yes, it’s DIY, but that doesn’t mean you do it alone. And I’ve learned that as I’ve gone on, I’ve got one full-time person for my show, my producer, John, and a couple of part-time people that I pick up what I need. But it’s getting to the point where I’m going to need somebody to handle the social media, or at least guide me to do the social media.
I know you’re supposed to engage with your fans, but I’m just not that good at it. Not, not in that sort of regard. And, and maybe I need some lessons. If there’s anybody out there who teaches how to engage with your fans, let me know, because.
Dane Reis: uh,
Douglas Coleman: That would be something I would be interested in getting more information about, I can go on social media and chat with people and post things.
And, but I’ve seen other people that just have the most unbelievable social media pages. they’re posting like every five minutes. I just don’t have that kind of time.
Dane Reis: Yeah, it’s it’s tough in being in real time and stuff, and that’s kinda. A lot of platforms as well have evolved over time. Right. They started off with, well, let’s, let’s start with, I mean, they started before Facebook. Let’s, let’s start with Facebook, you know, and you know, you could exactly right, but you, you could post things and it was, I guess it was less real time.
And as time has gone on, it has become more and more real time and it’s become more and more video and less. More challenging, I guess it depends on what talking about. Uh, but it can be more challenging to schedule content or create content if everything that you do is in the moment. Right. Uh, so it can be very time-consuming, because it’s it’s harder to batch the workout, depending of course, depending on what it is that you’re pursuing or what you’re promoting.exactly. And I’ve seen some podcasts led. Muddy running around in the studio, filming the host from all different angles and doing, two second clips, putting them all together. , and making like a one minute. Teaser for the upcoming episode. And you see the host at, you know,16 different angles, front up, down sideways profiles, up from between his legs, up to the microphone,all this flash and glam lighting and stuff in that voice.
who the guests, the upcoming guest is going to be. beautiful, but that takes a
Douglas Coleman: lot of work that would take a couple of hours to put together, and I can’t be the camera man and the host at the same time. So something like that is where you need help. Now, how successful that kind of advertising is?
I don’t know. I dunno, it looks nice. did it get, inspire me to watch that show? No, it didn’t. But all I did was I went, wow, nice trailer, but again, for me, the guest wasn’t anybody I was particularly interested in hearing. So I think it has to come back to content rather than flashing glam, but flashing glam can certainly get people’s attention.
No, but then you’ve got to have sort of the goods to back it up to
Dane Reis: for sure. A hundred percent like marketing is important, right? Like it that’s what gets that’s what gets eyeballs on your thing initially, but it, like you said, it has to fall back on content. You know, I know a lot of people will sometimes use excuses. They’re like, oh, you know, they’re so good.
They’re so successful. Okay. Well let’s. Who are they? You know? And then you figure out that their parents have been involved in the music industry or whatever it might be for years. And there, you know, and you’re like, oh, well, do you have these inside connections through the industry? And while that’s all fantastic.
I mean, I guess, uh,there’s, I mean, there’s loads of people like this, , but at the end of the day, that person is still had to get into the room and had to deliver. Right. And. At the end of the day. Yes. They shortcut it. And they got in front of the right people much more easily than maybe others, but they still had to.
deliver when push comes to shove.
that, I mean, that’s a different kind of marketing That’s the marketing side of it versus the, the content side. You still have to show up and provide the goods.
Douglas Coleman: Exactly right. And as cruel as this sounds, and I don’t mean to burst anybody’s bubble or wake them up from their dream. there are some people that just aren’t going to make it for whatever reason. It doesn’t mean you don’t have tests. And it doesn’t mean that you can’t do it just because you love doing it.
But I think some people need to be realistic. Because the road is a hard road to travel and you really got to put in the dedication and the time effort and try not to do like I did in wait 20 years to restart yourself again and find yourself 20 years older. And the whole world changed because of technology.
I had a lot of catching up to do when I came back to this, I mean, So,not everybody’s going to make it. There are many,many musicians and actors and writers out there. They will never see a nickel from their craft and there’ll be working at whatever job they work to support themselves to the day they die.
Now is should you give up? No, not if you can afford to do both. But I think there is a reality there. Now the only person I believe that can decide whether or not you should give it up is yourself. you’ll hear that from other people. as an example, my mother told me, you can give this nonsense up.
You never can make a career out of this. And I believed her for 20 years, but after 20 years, I felt things stealing my soul and I had to go back. Otherwise I would have died. I’ve been like the guy in Joe and the volcano. You remember that movie where he’s sitting there in that gray metal office that’s how I felt and I had to get out.
and so now I’m doing it. The show is holding its own. We’re making a bit of a. On the business side. We’re not, I’m not retiring and buying an island just yet, butit’s moving along and, I’ll keep doing it at this point in my life. I got nothing else to do. So I might as well because I love doing it.
Dane Reis: Beautiful. Well, let’s move on to a time that I like to call your spotlight moment. That one moment in time that you realized, yeah, I want to. And entertainer or an in the entertainment industry for living, or maybe it was, yes, this is what I need to be doing in this industry. Tell us about that.Okay. I think the one time that it really hit me was after I got accepted to go to the American academy of dramatic art in New York, we had an acting class and I got up and did this little, this little sketch. It was literally impromptu thing. And. I think improvisational is the word I was looking for, not impromptu
Douglas Coleman: and improvisation.
And it was just a minor little thing. I’m sitting alone at a table putting together a model ship, and one thing led to another and things started to go wrong. And I started to react accordingly and I was getting hit with questions. The entire class was erupting in laughter, including the teacher and this teacher.
I respected her greatly, but she was not easily amused because she had been there for a long time and it’s all. And this was back in the days when they allowed the teachers to smoke in the classroom, but not the students. It was very bizarre. And so she’d sit there in her big chair with her cigarette.
Douglas Coleman: Go. And looking over her glasses at you, While you’re doing it with this stern sort of face. And she was rolling. And after I finished, everybody stood up and gave me a standing ovation for a couple of seconds. And when it quieted down, the teacher looked at the rest of the class and says, that’s where you people all need to get.
And when she said that, I was like, oh my God, what did I just do? And I thought, okay, I’m in the right room. I’m in the right place.
That’s when it hit me. very cool. Well, let’s let’s piggyback on that real quick and let’s talk about your number one, booked it moment. Walk us through that day. What was going on in your life? and what about that moment? Makes it your favorite book? That moment?I would have to say that was probably, but then there was another one with music where we played and I forget the date, but, we played at the long island music festival, you know, with the band there. And there had to be five or 6,000 people. It was like a mini Woodstock because it was outside.
It was hot. We couldn’t hear ourselves because the sound just went into nowhere and we didn’t care. And we played for about 20 minutes. People were crazy. People were jumping up and down, yelling, screaming. there’s nothing quite like playing in front of 5,000 people and everybody glued to you.
So I think that was probably the best book did, and we actually were good enough to play there because there’s some fine musicians that play at that, uh, at that,
Dane Reis: very cool. Yeah. There’s nothing quite like the energy of a live crowd. You know, I love all this virtual stuff and I think it’s here to stay in a lot of regards to the industry, but we do it ultimately for. that live experience, right? You can’t, if you can’t replace that energy.
Douglas Coleman: There’s nothing like it live is as the best.
Dane Reis: absolutely. Well, let’s take a moment to talk about the present.
What are you working on now? What are you looking forward to? We’re kind of, I don’t know, coming in and out this pandemic, uh, how do you see the entertainment industry moving forward in the next couple of years?
Douglas Coleman: I’ll take the three questions one at a time. How’s that? Okay. The projects I’m working on now is expanding the V show because we started the V as I mentioned, we started the V show out of COVID because my idea was to provide a virtual talk show for people, particularly authors, who were trying to promote their books, who couldn’t go on book tours, because COVID shut all that down.
So we were doing a virtual book tour and have authors come on and talk about their books. And we set it up in a, a living room style, sad, so that it gave a little bit more of a relaxed feeling. And I was just talking with them at potentially a book signing kind of deal. So we want to expand the show.
Now the COVID is winding down, hopefully to actually have live guests. In the studio where I can talk to somebody in person face-to-face and I would love to have a small studio audience, like maybe 50 people,think a small scaled Ellen degenerates type show. And. So that’s obviously going to require a much bigger building than what I’ve got now.
So that’s where I’d like to take the show is to set that up. And it would be actually a third show because we would want to set that up as a subscription-based show where we would have live bands, we would have interviews. we would have interaction with the audience. We could do giveaways, we could do all kinds of stuff.
Separate that from the V show, which I would still do on a one-to-one basis with people who want to promote their books or their product, whatever. And then I’d still like to do the audio podcast once a week. So I would have three different shows. Run them on different platforms. So for example, the audio podcast would go out to all the audio platforms, apple, iHeart, and Spotify, those places, and it would be free.
The V show. We charge a fee for the people to come on because it’s a promotional vehicle and that would be free on YouTube. The live show in front of the live audience show taped live, I guess it’s called that one would be subscription-based and people would have to sign up and pay a nominal fee of, three or $4 a month.
And they would get all the shows on one spot commercial-free and we would do. Giveaways on the big show where for example, we thought if we had authors on that, we would give away books to all of the subscribers, probably an ebook format. And it would be good for the author because the show we could actually buy the book.
Like just for example, we buy 2000 copies, ebook copies of their book that gives them some money. They’d be happy to come on and promote their book. And then everybody who is signed up, who is subscribed to the show would get the free copy of the ebook. So that was one thing that we were thinking about doing similarly with music artists, we would send out download cards for their latest single.
To people that they could download on Spotify or Amazon or wherever. so I know I’m stealing these ideas a little bit from Oprah who used to give away cars and, but you know what it works. It’s a great marketing tool for shows. And depending on your budget, depends on how glorious the prize is.
Can be. okay, so that answers question one and two, entertainment industry, generally speaking, I think it’s going to get worse before it gets better. And when I say worse,
I’m going to bring up.
something you said where. More time. You said, you know,Facebook, when it started out, people posted pictures of their cats and what they had for dinner.
And now it’s getting into real time video stuff where people have to film themselves, walking to the supermarket and picking out their food and all of it’s going up on Tik TOK. And one minute segments, I think that kind of. Living is going to get worse. And as AI and crutches, people are going to stay home and send their AI version of themselves out into the world, doing all kinds of stuff.
And you’re not going to be able to tell the difference. So that’s what I mean by worse. I think that’s where it’s going. I’ve already seen it. I’ve already seen an AI music art. Who doesn’t exist and the music is all computer generated. So it’s a computer geek who has suddenly become a rock star.
Dane Reis: I mean, I I’ve uh, I’ve an app called what do they call it? I might, I might be completely slaughtering how you pronounce it, but it’s, uh, it’s an app slash company that creates music for their their main target market is for like ambient electronic music for say a convention. Or some kind of meeting some open space. you need you need some kind of open, you need some kind of music going on right in the background to create some kind of, um, beyond, and It’s all generated via AI. And it they’ll have just, just different vibes. Right. It’s just instrumental music, but it’s just randomly generated, It’s pretty crazy. It’s you know, but if you just want, but it’s a great app.
If you just something to be in the background and be kind of electronic and listening to it does a good job.you know what it is? It’s sophisticated white noise. That’s where
Douglas Coleman: Know, instead of having a fan going
an air conditioner compressor, you know,you’ve got something a little more interesting.
Dane Reis: yeah. There you go. Well, let’s move on to one of my favorite sections in the interview. I call it the grease lightning round. I’m going to ask you a handful of questions. I want you to answer them as quickly and concisely as possible one after another. Are you ready?
Douglas Coleman: Yes. I think.
Dane Reis: All right. First question. What was the one thing holding you back from committing to a career in the entertainment?
Douglas Coleman: Self-confidence
Dane Reis: Second question. What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Douglas Coleman: don’t give up.
Dane Reis: Third question. What is something that is working for you right now? Or if you’d like to go pre COVID, what was working for you before our industry went on?
Douglas Coleman: The V show is working for me right now and getting people to get over this concept of earned media and little by little, we’re changing that with the show. So I’m pleased. I think it’s been working out very well.
Dane Reis: Um, fourth question. What is your best resource? Whether that is a book movie, a YouTube video, maybe a podcast or a piece of technology you found is helping your career. Right.
Douglas Coleman: Uh, definitely social media.
Dane Reis: fifth question. If you had to start your career from scratch, but you still had all the knowledge and experience you’ve collected from your career in this industry, what would you do or not do? Would you do anything differently or would you keep it the same?
Douglas Coleman: I would have continued with my career instead of taking a 20 year break in the middle that was too long. And I wasted the best years of my life doing something that I had no business doing.
Dane Reis: um, last question. What is the golden nugget knowledge drop you’ve learned from your successful career in this industry? You’d like to leave with our listeners.that’s a tough one.
Douglas Coleman: Again, I’m going to go back to the self-confidence because I think thatthat kills so many people, the lack of self-confidence. To get out of bed to do it, to put yourself out on stage naked, figuratively speaking, and whatever the world throws at you. You keep going. I’ve learned that, but it took me a long time to get there.
And I’ve seen people who are 15 and 16 years old who have been on my show who have gotten. And when they got it at that age, I salute them because it took me till I was in my forties before I could, before I got it. So, you know,bully for them, if they can find that at an early age, because the earlier you start, the better off you’re going to be.
And this seems to be getting an earlier and earlier, younger and younger, I should say, starts with people. Taylor swift, Justin Bieber, all of these big name multi-millionaire musicians got their starts when they were like 15 years old. And that’s what they’re looking for. I don’t think there’s too many record label mogul.
Cruising YouTube looking for some 60 year old man or a woman playing a guitar and thinking that they’re still in the 1960s. I think that, those days are gone. I think it’s a whole new world and they just seem to be getting younger and younger.
Dane Reis: And to wrap up this interview, Douglas, it is time to give yourself a plug. Where can we find you? How do our listeners connect with you? Is there anything you want to.
Douglas Coleman: Thank you very much. Yes. Everything can be email@example.com. Very simple there’s links to everything. You can firstname.lastname@example.org. If listeners want to connect I’m on Facebook, I’m on Twitter. I’m on Instagram and LinkedIn, uh, for promoting, if people want a good laugh, they can pick up my book.
Don’t do a podcast, which is a satirical. Look at the epidemic of podcasts that are infiltrated or. Society 2.4 million podcasts currently registered to notes, and I take a very sort of sarcastic look at it, in a quick read of 24 pages. I call it my pamphlet and it’s available on Amazon for 99 cents.
So don’t do a podcast by Douglas J. Coleman.
Dane Reis: Amazing. And for everyone listening out there, I’ve put everything, all the links. In the description of this episode. So you can easily connect with Douglas and also be sure to share this podcast with your fellow entertainers, coaches, teachers, arts, and entertainment educators, and anyone, you know, aspiring to create a career in the entertainment industry.
You booked. It is the number one resource of expertise on how to actually create a successful entertainment career case. In point, everything Douglas gave us here today in the interview. If you enjoyed this one, hit that subscribe button. So you don’t miss the next guest Douglas. Thank you so much for coming on my show.
I had such a great time on your show. It’s a pleasure to have youthank you so much. It. You and your show and thank you for having me.