June 12, 2024
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Defying All Odds: The Rise of Marissa Mah as a Live Tour Manager

Every journey to building a successful career is full of obstacles. Your perseverance and the effort that you put in will make you more capable of achieving your dreams. You should not leave any stone unturned because you never know where your breakthrough will come. This applies to Marissa Mah’s story. She had to tread different paths and overcome challenges to get where she is today as a successful tour manager in the music scene.

Marissa manages live tours throughout Canada to the United States. She has an inspiring story that proves anything is possible if you set goals for yourself and know what you want. Marissa grew up with music all around her. She started playing several instruments at a young age, which became her passion. However, her parents wanted a different career for her. They preferred to see her in the operating room as a doctor or in the courtroom as a lawyer. But Marissa stood firm in following her passion.

Even though she played a few instruments and sang in the choir as a child, Marissa did not view music as a viable profession. She knows this better than most because she was born into a community with few ties to the music industry and parents who worked in sectors totally different from music. Her parents wanted her to pursue a career in medicine or law, but neither field ignited her passion. Marissa was still unsure about her career path when she got to college. She shifted from different majors, sometimes thinking she would end up in finance. Ultimately, Marissa chose music marketing as she was interested in the music industry’s financial side, which usually happens behind the scenes. But at the same time, she was already majoring in geography. Unconventionally, Marissa always thought outside the box and looked beyond the classroom.

Marissa’s first breakthrough and real-world experience came when she started working at a non-profit, Color of Music Collective. As unconventional as she is, Marissa applied for the position on a whim when COVID-19 was making its way through the world. This major internship also became unconventional. Marissa’s personality won her the job. After stumbling upon it, she contributed to a conversation in a virtual chat room during her time online. Her comment drew the attention of a product manager, and the rest was history.

Marissa is now a successful tour manager primarily because of her hard work and dedication. She works with North America’s most promising young musicians and collaborates on the most famous tours and most prominent festivals. The NLE Choppa tour in Canada was successfully managed by Marissa, who was responsible for selling out 50% of all dates. In addition, she was charged with organizing Tay Money’s first tour in the United States as well as the performances of various artists at multiple Rolling Loud festivals during the past two years.

Marissa, a passionate advocate for women of color in the music industry, has devoted time and energy to assisting other minorities in obtaining employment in the industry and helping other people of color through a non-profit that she has an affiliation. She also seeks guidance and assistance from other women and women of color who experience similar challenges. Since Marissa represents an increasing demographic that is pursuing jobs in the music industry, she is pleased that, as a woman of color, she is moving the needle in this area and opening the way for all other women with similar aspirations. In addition, she supports groups such as Live out L!ve, which provides resources and support to women in the live touring industry.

However, Marissa’s path has not always been smooth. From the opposition from her parents to her unconventional choices, she’s experienced it all. She also describes what she goes through as an Asian woman working in a male-dominated field. She is often looked down upon due to her gender and ethnicity. Marissa admits that these bad experiences lower her self-esteem and make her job challenging, but she has remained strong and challenged it by helping other women who go through the same.

Marissa wants everyone to know that no matter how long someone has been working in a particular sector or how knowledgeable they are, there is always something new to learn from other people within the industry. She asserts that it does not matter if you don’t think you have much to share or add to a conversation because of your lack of knowledge; your ideas still count and have the potential to impact the world around you.

Marissa urges people to learn from others in their industries. In her words, “Nothing beats networking, especially if you want to secure a job in the music industry.” She encourages everyone to network not just with those higher than you but to network laterally with colleagues, which has helped her become the decorated tour manager she is today.

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