Cool Jobs with Claire Fullerton
Claire Fullerton is the author of Dancing to an Irish Reel and A Portal in Time and other novels, but writing isn't the only career she's enjoyed. Take a look at the time she spent in Ireland working for The Galway Music Centre.
What was your job title for the position in Ireland?
I worked at a start-up business called The Galway Music Centre, which was dedicated to furthering the careers of local musicians. Not one of the four of us who started the nonprofit business actually had a title, as this was rural Ireland, and everything was done with a wink and a handshake. In essence, I organized the careers of local musicians: booking shows, creating a press-kit, and because there was a recording room at the Centre, I helped with the production of demo's.
Tell us how the job in Ireland came to be and how long you had the job.
I had the job a little more than a year, and I was hired the day I spontaneously walked into the Galway Music Centre to see what was happening. The business had only been open a week, and I got into a nice conversation with the young lad who started the Centre. The moment I told him I had worked in the Los Angeles music business, he asked me if I wanted to work with him. All of it was extraordinarily casual, but the good news I, along with three others, actually made the Centre into something viable by contributing a service for Galway's musicians.
What was the most rewarding experience you had while on the job?
Every experience at the Galway Music Centre was rewarding. The Centre gave me a daily base from which to acclimate myself to the nuances of Irish culture, as all day, every day, I consorted with Irish musicians. And the three locals with whom I worked became friends. None of us ever observed the line between work and play, and we spent a lot of time together. I was extremely fortunate to make friends with these Irish locals. Their friendship gave me a fast track to experiencing the Irish culture from an insider's point of view.
Who are some of the Irish musicians you worked with?
No one known in America, but all were known locally. Johnny Og Connolly, for instance is iconic in Ireland. He plays "the box," which is a Concertina, button accordion prominent in Irish traditional music. Johnny Og has recorded multiple records, is the son of Sean Johnny Connolly, who is revered for his prowess on the melodeon. Both of them are revered in the Irish traditional music community. Those I worked with at the Galway Music Centre were basically solo songwriters, but a few had a full band. They were all in search of securing a recording contract, and because I worked in the Los Angeles record business, I knew the steps to that.
What was the most enjoyable part of your job?
We put on a terrific show one night at an historic venue called The Kingshead. We showcased five local musicians, drew a good size audience, and actually made a profit. Other than that, it was thrilling to have the musicians show up at the Centre, always carrying their instrument.
Do you miss the job? And would you go back to it if you could?
I am glad for the experience, and can tell you I got a book idea from it, as I kept a journal the entire time I lived in Ireland. I've been back to Ireland since and plan to return as soon as possible. My long range plan is to have a home on the west coast of Ireland!
Sounds like a truly rewarding experience! Find out even more about Claire by visiting her website.