It’s a pretty awesome thing to be able to give yourself the title of Boss Lady, and for producer and artist manager Peta Spurling-Brown, the title fits the bill. Peta has been in the colourful world of arts marketing and promotions for seven years including time with Adelaide Fringe, and set up shop as Hey Boss in 2015. She now produces and manages acts many Adelaide festival-goers would have seen and adored, including musicians Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum, comedian Damian Callinan, and Deanna Fleysher (Butt Kapinski).
We asked Peta some questions. She gave us some answers …
What part-time jobs did you have, growing up?
I started out in retail, firstly in supermarkets and then in CD shops (when they were a thing). I quickly developed a strong fascination in consumer behaviour and dabbled in merchandising and buying.
What scares you?
Failure. Or more specifically letting down people that I care about.
What makes you laugh?
The unexpected. I see so much comedy, that it’s often something left of centre that gets me. That, and gagging. For some reason I find the bodily function of dry retching incredibly hilarious.
What’s your favourite type of media to consume?
Viral video content is probably what I consume the most. But I guess I’m a sucker for anything entertaining and well thought out. Great design, or a great storyline will get me every time.
What do you like most about your work?
That I get to work with some of my favourite humans in the world. The artists I work with are not only creating the work I like to consume, but they are also my friends; and that is something very precious.
Five-year plans: a good idea, or unrealistic?
I think having something to work towards is always useful in reigning in big picture ideas. A five year plan with the realistic expectation that plans change I think is healthier.
What’s the best thing about summer?
Oh… and FRINGE! Ha. I should probably say Fringe.
How is your industry changing?
I’ve always thought of myself as a disruptor. I like to challenge the status quo at least as a way of making sure that growth continues to happen. The arts has faced huge cuts in recent years and there’s a lot of instability in the sector. This is devastating, don’t get me wrong, but I like to keep an entrepreneurial brain on my shoulders and look for opportunities in the upheaval. I think there is a place for funding in the arts, but I would argue that there are better ways to monetise what artists do. In this age of content, we have something very valuable. I’d like to see some funding models move towards setting up more sustainable business models for arts organisations so that as a sector we are less reliant on government funding in the long term.
It’s every promoter’s dream to receive a ringing endorsement from their clients, so make sure you see what Jamie MacDowell and Tom Thum had to say about Peta and Hey Boss.