In this edition of my blog series feature Behind the Art, meet Bridget Kendall. Married to Great White’s Mark Kendall, and also the executive assistant for his band, Bridget dove in headfirst when Great White needed a hand. Once a tour is booked, there’s much more planning to do than most people realize. Great White is fortunate to have Bridget working diligently to keep their shows sailing smoothly.
Behind the Art: Bridget Kendall
Executive Assistant/Road Manager for Great White. Follow Bridget online: https://twitter.com/thekzchic, http://www.officialgreatwhite.com
What prompted you to pursue the business side of music? How did you happen into it?
My husband. I started helping him as his wife with his day to day duties, and then it just evolved to where I was doing so much that I became his unofficial personal assistant/personal manager. When Great White parted ways with their management in 2013, we all just picked up the day-to-day pieces with no individual titles, just working together. We are now a well-oiled machine. It’s lovely! Our family is tight.
Who all is on your roster?
Great White and Mark Kendall. I have the privilege of caring for my 2-year-old grandson while his parents work and go to school, so that is my main priority right now. I am fortunate in that I am able to work from my home. I also am a committee member and volunteer for the Yucaipa Equestrian Center. So between that, my grandson, and Great White, I just don’t have time for anything else. I have consulted on several projects and worked a few festivals, but I just can’t commit to anything other than what I currently have.
Who’s the first artist that got you started? What’s the story behind that?
Mark Kendall and Great White. When the partners decided that they wanted to keep everything in-house, Michael approached me and asked if I would take care of the travel arrangements and assist him and the other partners with the day-to-day operations of Great White Entertainment. It’s an honor working for such a great team of individuals.
What all does your job entail?
Advancing all shows and working as a liaison between my artists, the buyers, and promoters. Booking all travel and working closely with each of the partners, agents, and publicists, and ensuring the top quality of our brand and business.
As a woman in a male-dominant business, what gender-based obstacles have you encountered and how did you overcome them?
Respect, I think, is the biggest obstacle. People tend to think you’re “just a wife”, and don’t really know what you’re talking about. Once people have worked with me, they understand that I am a wife, but business is business.
Was there a particular moment when you felt you’d “made it” as a music industry professional?
I’m not quite there yet. I continue to be a progressive worker, always willing to do what I can to help. I do have to say, however, it was a quite an honor to have received an email from an artist’s agent asking if I was available to manage her tour. That was quite a “holy cow!” moment for me.
How is managing your husband, and how do you make it work?
I love it. We work really well together and he is very educated in his business and the utmost professional. He’s my best friend too, so that makes all the difference.
What makes you want to research an artist that’s unfamiliar to you?
Their story! What they’ve had to overcome to get to where they are. I love hearing about what they’ve had to overcome to achieve success. I love Cinderella stories.
Where do you live and why?
We live in Yucaipa. Mark’s mother was ill with stage 4 ovarian cancer, and we felt that she needed help. We were living in Palm Desert and it was too far to commute. Mark’s aunt and cousin live in Yucaipa and it was close to his mom, so we chose this area. It’s a little town, rural in some areas, and we are two miles from Wildwood Canyon State Park. We are 70 miles out of the city, which Mark loves, but close enough that we can still do business when needed.
What is your morning routine?
I wake up, pray, grind my coffee, get my grandson Noah his juice and fruit, and we sit for an hour of morning sprout TV or music videos, and he plays his guitar and drums. I check emails, social network, and check voicemail.
What constitutes a productive day at work for you?
When all emails are returned, flights are booked for the next month, and the advancing is complete for my next 30 days of shows.
Is there anything unusual about your workspace?
No, I just need a bigger desk!
What do you keep on your desk?
Desk calendar (crucial for me!) note pads and a stack of notes that I have kept for the last 90 days. In addition to a heart shaped rock Noah and Ashley gave me.
What’s the view from there?
The view is a wall with a black iron cross and pictures drawn for me by my niece Lisa and nephew Timo from Switzerland.
Do you have a peculiar habit?
I don’t know if it’s a peculiar habit, but I love to cook to loud classical music, and do my housework to techno and dance music. Yes, I sing and dance while cleaning. (My husband laughs!)
Please recommend three songs (any genre, any artist) and tell us why you like them.
The Walker—Fitz and the Tantrums. That song just makes me happy! I hear it and break out singing and dancing! Doesn’t matter where I am.
Sugar—Maroon 5. My grandson sings this song; when I put the video on, he plays guitar and I have to sing and dance with him. Too much fun!
Every Little Wonder—Train Station. One of the greatest albums ever. This song, in particular, just takes me back to such a special time in my life.
As I’m also an author, I’d love for you to recommend three books and tell us why you like them.
The Bible. It’s my guideline to living.
Awaken the Learner—co-written by Darrell Scott. His daughter was killed at Columbine. It’s an amazing tool for educators and parents, and teaches how to improve cognitive skills and character in our children.
The Love Dare—Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick. It’s a daily devotional that helps you understand the depths of true sacrificial love.
Do you have an industry friend who helps and inspires you?
Gretchen Bonaduce. She is honest and understanding. She is my voice of reason, at times. Not to mention, she styles me, when needed!
Lisa Sweet. She is a prayer warrior and is so encouraging and helpful and shares business ideas. I have so much respect for her.
Diane Gibbs. She has managed her son, Brandon, for many years, and is another prayer warrior friend who inspires and encourages me.
You, Jill! You have taught me that it’s possible and I can make it happen!
Wow, thank you, Bridget! I’m honored!
Do you play a musical instrument? If so, which one(s), and for how long have you played?
Hahahaha!! No way! And I can’t carry a tune in a bucket! Doesn’t stop me though! I love to sing.
Do you have any superstitions?
When my husband leaves for his shows for the wee
kend, I don’t wash my sheets or his t-shirt that he was wearing prior to his leaving, until he comes home. (Thank goodness he’s not doing bus tours anymore! LOL)
What phrase do you over-use?
Amazing!, Dank!, Ridic!, and Adorbs!
Do you have a funny story related to your job, whether it be planning a tour, or on tour, or at a meet-and-greet with one of your artists?
Not a single story, but many. Mark’s drummer is a complete crack up, and anytime time I have the opportunity to travel, I always get an earful of “Audisms.”
What is something about yourself that is essentially unknown and maybe even surprising?
I don’t really care for concerts, and I am not a huge music fan. However, I do love the business aspect of it. I am a quiet, stay-at-home type person. I love being home with my family. I also love horses, riding, and barn life.
What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?
Read the fine print. Never give up. Have integrity, and make sure everyone in your circle are people of character. Ask a lot of questions, and if it doesn’t feel right it’s NOT right. Most importantly: be humble.
What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the business side of music?
Be honest and be a person of character.
Alex Kendrick, Awaken the Learner, Darrell Scott, Diane Gibbs, Fitz and the Tantrums, Great White, Gretchen Bonaduce, Jill Meniketti, Lisa Sweet, Mark Kendall, Maroon 5, Stephen Kendrick, The Love Dare, Train Station, Wildwood Canyon State Park, Yucaipa Equestrian Center