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Meet Marissa Bergen from Yo Mama Productionz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Marissa Bergen.

Marissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
In 2015 I started a family band with my husband and my kids (The CheeseBergens). Shortly after that, my son Jesse started his own metal band Diabology. Since both bands had minors in it, most 21+ venues wouldn’t book us so I started doing a lot of DIY, all age shows in rec centers, backyards, pizza places…you name it.

After a while, I decided that it would seem more official if I turned the work I was doing into a production company. Since then, I’ve gotten to work with a lot more bands and a lot more venues..

In the future, I hope to continue growing to work with bigger bands and bigger venues and really make a difference in the SoCal local music scene.

Has it been a smooth road?
It was pretty easy to put a name on what I was doing and there are definitely a lot of bands in the SoCal area looking for gigs. But there are also a lot of challenges that come up when you are trying to organize shows.

Finding venues to work with and securing dates can be difficult. It can also be hard to get people down to support the bands.

A lot of bands are great to work with but it can be frustrating if they don’t communicate with you. It’s especially hard when they cancel at the last minute. Then you’re stuck scrambling to find a replacement.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
There are a couple of things that set me apart.

First of all, I specialize in all age shows. I do some 21+ but, for the most part, I’m trying to support younger bands and younger fans so that there are more opportunities to play and more places for kids to go and hang out and listen to music.

Another thing that sets me apart is my gender. When I contact people on Instagram, they have no idea I’m a woman and a lot of them call me bro or sir or dude.

I’ve been in the music business for a long time as both a promoter and a musician and it amazes me that it’s still, for the most part, an old boys club. I don’t know if that will ever change but I’m hoping to break down stereotypes by being a woman that supports the scene.

I also try to book females musicians at my shows whenever possible. Unfortunately, there are not that many that play punk and metal which are the genres I book most often.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
There are good and bad things about trying to promote any kind of art in a big city.

With music, on the plus side, there are plenty of venues and bands which makes it easier to put shows together. On the other hand, there’s also a lot of competition. Any time I book a show, I can count on there being at least 3 other shows in the area that same night.

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