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    Andrew St. Royal  /  June 3rd, 2017

    “Which button on the computer keyboard do you press the most?”

    The third most popular is the “backspace” key. 

    The second most popular is the letter “e”.

    The number one most popular is…

    An analogy came to me while I was interviewing someone for a job at St. Royal Entertainment.  This young man was pretty excited and admittedly nervous to be interviewed with me for the position of Entertainment Coordinator.  He was talking an awful lot, at times he would even interrupt me to finish a thought he was trying to form a question earlier. At other times he would agree with the things I was saying in such great detail that he would be reciting my points, paraphrased back to me.

    With all that going on, I could still see potential in him to do the job, if we could just work out a kink or two.  At one particular moment, I wanted to explain to him some of the nuances of the job while working with clients in the lead up to an event.  Some of the jobs involve helping a client to finalize the plan to integrate music into their special event, or designing the flow where we stitch music moments into the event to create the desired effect. Some of it is creating a ‘music story’ or soundtrack to a special event such as a charity fundraiser, or a wedding.

    I was explaining to him that my philosophy around good customer service has to do with listening to the client and developing that story based on their unique needs, rather than trying to sell them an item or service.  I wanted to calm him down as it was evident that he was selling his skills to me in some manner, so I asked him:

    “Which button on the computer keyboard do you press the most?”

    He thought for a moment, then declared,


    “Exactly,” I said. “And, as a saxophone player, which note do you play the most?”

    He paused to think.

    No answer.

    “My favorite note of all time!” I said, “The 13th note. The rest.”

    We also want to share our experiences in developing professional musicians and navigating how to actually make money as an artist in the ever-elusive music industry.

    The rest bookends every song, and every piece of music. It starts and ends the solo. It always comes before the intro, and after the outro.  All the best players and singers in the world respect the rest’s ability to frame a musical phrase. In a band, it’s an empowering feeling to just let the band groove while your instrument rests – listening happens.

    That moment in the interview with our now new Entertainment Coordinator, stayed with me after he left. This analogy was effective in getting the point across and has become a learning moment for me as an interviewer as I continue to grow the companies with new hires.

    Only a few short days after that meeting, I once again had that nagging impulse to create a blog, a missing piece in my ‘social media game’. After getting some feedback on some concepts from a friend, a formed idea came in strong and clear.

    The blog would be a platform to share an insider’s view of the music and events industry in Toronto, to document the journey of my companies and the teams behind them, to tell an entrepreneur’s story – my story, and we also want to share our experiences in developing professional musicians and navigating how to actually make money as an artist in the ever-elusive music industry.

    We had stories to gather:

    There are the entrepreneur stories detailing in between my success, and my failures growing multiple companies at once in the music and event industries.

    Of course, there are the music stories of the moments before soundcheck, of the hard working craftspeople who have devoted their lives and resources to develop as a musician or performer, and a look into the music scene in the great music city of Toronto, Canada.

    There are many stories from inside the event industry, behind the scenes, and from after the first in-person client meeting to event execution.

    And finally, the moments in between, the beginnings and endings, the listening. What we’ve learned and what we can share from those ‘rest’ moments.

    I hope you’ll enjoy these stories which bookend the chapters of our development.  This is the first of many more to come. 13note-rest-logo



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