You could say Amanda Bryant ended up at Missouri State University by chance.
Today, Bryant is a freelance assistant tour manager for a Grammy award-winning artist. But rewind to Bryant’s senior year of high school in Saint Louis, and she wasn’t dreaming of this job.
All she wanted was to go to college a couple hours away from home.
Discovering an unknown passion
Bryant made a nonchalant decision to come to MSU after spending a weekend in Springfield with a friend.
She soon would unearth a passion she never knew she had.
She entered without a major and discovered entertainment management her sophomore year during a career fair.
“I always liked music, concerts. I took a class and loved it. I was passionate about it,” she said.
Thanks to an internship her senior year at Country Music Television in Nashville, Bryant formed connections that helped her land a job after graduation.
“I wouldn’t have had those connections that got me the job if I didn’t do the internship,” she said.
“I learned a lot in my entertainment management classes, but the fact that we had to do an internship before we graduated obviously played the largest role of me being able to find work once I moved to Nashville.”
Playing the entertainment field
Bryant graduated in 2005. Her resume would make anyone with the same major envious.
She has served as production coordinator for seven Super Bowl halftime shows, one of her favorite gigs. She has a collage of Super Bowl memories.
“I really enjoyed the Lady Gaga year,” Bryant said. “She was great to work with. She took great care of her team, and also us, bought us flowers, just like very sentimental nice things that I had never seen an artist do. Katy Perry was really fun because we had people dressed up as bananas and palm trees. And then the Bruno Mars year was memorable because of the snow in Jersey, and also because it was one of my favorite performances. He just rocked.”
But her role with the Super Bowl is just the beginning.
From the Super Bowl to the stage
Bryant has been a talent coordinator for the CMA Awards, site manager for CMT Music Awards and sponsorship manager for various concerts.
She also has been production assistant for Martina McBride tours, production coordinator for Nashville Star Season 6, and production coordinator for Florida Georgia Line Cruise Music Video.
And on and on.
Her first arena tour was in 2008 with the Christmas Spectacular starring the Radio City Rockettes.
“It was massive. It was at least 50 trucks. It was my first tour, and it kicked my butt. But it was a perfect place to start because then everything else felt easier after that,” Bryant said.
A dream job
Bryant kept in touch with crews which is how she landed the next job as assistant tour manager (due to a non-disclosure Bryant signed with the artist, we cannot list their name).
In her job, Bryant oversees the day-to-day needs of the “B party.”
“There’s the A party, which is the artist and his/her family. The B party is band and dancers. And then the C party is all of the crew that puts the stage together and gets everything set for the show,” she said.
While Bryant loves her job, it can be grueling. There are 18-hour days, followed by a few hours of sleep, and then another long day.
But it has afforded her experiences she would never have, such as trips to Australia, Paris and behind the scenes at the Super Bowl.
“I can’t imagine not doing this,” Bryant said. “I love it. It’s my dream job.”
Most recently, Bryant was a part of the planning and implementation of the 2021 Inauguration Celebrating America Broadcast.
Giving back to fellow bears
Bryant is part of the Entertainment Management Advisory Council (EMAC). The EMAC advises faculty by suggesting involvement in industry events and curriculum development, assists with obtaining financial support for student grants and scholarships and provides an outside voice to the administration.
You can make a gift to support students interested in volunteering at yearly industry events such as: The International Entertainment Buyers Association Conference (IEBA), Super Bowl, etc.