Samantha Jennings - A True Road Warrior Blazing Through Arenas Across the World. A Sleepless, and Badass Road Manager Extraordinaire.

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Samantha Jennings is a Road Manager and true Road Warrior having toured in tour buses and arena shows such as Luke Bryan, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Florida Georgia Line, Hillsong UNITED, and many more. In this conversation, Samantha shares her stories, wisdom, and insight in a very raw and honest way. She shares her story on how she got started in the business, and people that inspired her during her time at Full Sail University. Also, you’ll learn how a great work ethic and positive attitude has helped work her way up very quickly in the business. Sometimes it’s about knowing the right people, sometimes it’s about being at the right place at the right time, it’s always about having a great work ethic and attitude, and sometimes you’ll need to get all the cards to stack in your favor. Samantha is well on a journey to an amazing career in this crazy entertainment industry.

I first met Samantha Jennings at a show at House of Blues in Orlando, FL through Ana Reina, who has been a mentor to both of us. Shortly afterwards, Sam interned for me at The Plaza Live in Orlando. Through her work ethic and great attitude she quickly became a runner, which lead to the path that she is on now. She has gotten to where she is today through her work ethic and doing everything with a smile on her face. The craziest thing is that she has only been out of school for less than five years. She is on a path of doing many amazing things in life.

After we recorded the podcast, she came and guest spoke in one of my classes and was completely nervous. Not only did she deliver that same badass and raw honesty, but also the students totally loved Sam. They really appreciated hearing the truth on what really happens out on the road and the challenges of being a female on the road. However, regardless of all the challenges she continues to take down one obstacle after another like a true road warrior on a mission. Before this podcast, I haven’t seen Sam in five years, and it was really cool to catch up and inspiring to see how far she has come so quickly. We’ll definitely have to make her a regular on the show, and can’t wait to share more stories and lessons with the “Making It” listeners. Thank you Samantha Jennings, and thank you for listening!

Highlights from this Episode
Samantha’s first experience into the music industry (05:20)
What lit the spark for the business (05:55)
Bands that inspired Samantha (06:50)
Why Full Sail? (08:20)
Experience at Full Sail (10:30)
Lessons learned while working at The Plaza (12:40)
Responsibilities at the Plaza (14:26)
Runner job descriptions (14:55)
Reminiscing on events at The Plaza (15:35)
How to do a good job as a Runner (17:05)
How Samantha got the gob at Live Nation (18:20)
Differences between The Plaza shows and arena shows (19:45)
Preview of Tours worked (21:50)
Experience on Luke Bryan’s tour (23:20)
Difference between Luke Bryan’s tour and Macklemore (28:30)
First tour manager job (29:43)
Responsibilities as a road manager (30:30)
Advice to get started as a tour manager (36:05)
How to find the next job (38:10)
Challenges Samantha didn’t expect as a tour manager (40:50)
Touring Survival Kit (45:00)
Favorite moments on the road (47:00)
Samantha’s wishes for promoters (50:00)
Best way to manage a large team (53:50)
Local crew experiences (56:00)
How do the groupies get in (57:35)
First person who comes to mind when ‘successful’ is mentioned. (1:00:30)
First Concert / First Album (1:00:50)
Daily routine (1:01:40)
T-Shirt Message (1:04:22)
Making it to Samantha (1:07:00)

Quotes from Samantha Jennings
“I met the best people ever in Orlando.”
“Being at The Plaza gave me the tools to really know what goes on.”
“It’s important to work on every scale.”
“Attitude is everything.”
“If you have a bad attitude it makes it hard on everybody.”
“Just Smile!”
“It’s 18 hour days.”
“It has a lot to do with the artist and what to expect.”
“A lot of walking, super long hours, no sleep.”
“A road manager is just a glorified babysitter, and there is no time you’re not working.”
“If you’re not removing worry, you’re creating it.”
“I think there’s a difference between a road manager and a tour manager”
“You don’t walk in to being a tour manager.”
“You have to be willing to do any role.”
“It’s networking.”
“It really is who you know and who you meet.”
“I hate to say this because it bothered me so much because you want there to be a rhythm and reason but there isn’t. The opportunities just come up.”
“As soon as you wake up, you hit the ground running.”
“It’s about your attitude, you have to be cool.”
“You have bad days but you can never show it.”
“A good black zip up hoodie is a staple.”
“The people out there don’t realize what we put in to make this happen”
“It’s not all about money, its really about the experience.”
“We’re all out there because we’re responsible, we’re good at our job, we have our shit together.”
“If you can’t do your job right with a smile on your face, you’re gone. There’s tons of people who want your job.”
“The good news is nothing last forever, the bad news is nothing last forever.”
“It’s life, just roll with it.”

Links to people, places, and things mentioned

Childish Gambino
Trailer Park Boys
Kevin Stone
Adam Taylor

Rod Stewart
Stevie Nicks
Luke Bryan
Brit Nicole
Toby Mac
Colton Dixon
Thomas Rhett
Kevin Lyman
Shep Gordon
Scooter Braun

Places & Things
The Ramones
Warped Tour
Avenged Sevenfold
Foo Fighters
Blink 182
Full Sail University
Indiana University
The Plaza Live
House of Blues
Florida Theatre
Live Nation
Amway Center Orlando
Jimmy Johns
Hillsong United
Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki [BOOK] 

Get in Touch with Samantha Jennings
Facebook: Samantha Jennings
Instagram: TheSamanthaJennings 

Samantha Jennings Definition of Making It
“I think it’s always changing, especially in the industry that we’re in. Then again Scooter Braun, he made it.”
“Having an artist that I manage that is doing arenas and stadiums.”