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Meet Susan Clarke of Ready Set Go Music in Southern California

Today we’d like to introduce you to Susan Clarke.

Susan, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’ve dipped in and out of music for decades, starting with being a radio DJ in college (I did jazz, blues, and alternative rock shows), doing marketing for record companies, and I started my own music magazine which ran for three years. I’ve also played music (guitar) and managed bands and music has always been the central love of my life.

A few years ago I closed a non-music-related business I had started and wasn’t sure what to do next. I spent some time soul-searching and arrived at the conclusion that I needed to work on music again — and forever! I had a friend who was recording an album and I offered to promote it just to get some current experience, and when the album did much better than we expected, I decided I wanted to work with more artists, but to focus on event entertainment.

I knew a lot of very talented musicians whose style I felt would be a great fit for events, and I had a vision for a roster of event bands that wasn’t really like anything else out there, so I just went for it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I was lucky to know a lot of great musicians who wanted to get on board, so things came together quickly in terms of putting together my roster (which will continue to grow).

But as with most new businesses, the biggest challenge is getting the word out. Finding out where your target audience “lives” online and connecting with them and making them aware of your company in a way that reflects your company brand is either going to be time-consuming (if you do it yourself) or expensive (if you choose to contract out sales or social media/online marketing). I continue to experiment with finding the best ways to reach my multiple potential audiences (which are event planning businesses as well as direct consumers).

Please tell us about Ready Set Go Music.
Ready Set Go Music is a boutique agency that books music for weddings, corporate events etc. What sets me apart from other event entertainment agencies is that I present “Curated music for truly special events.”

There are plenty of identical -looking and -sounding event bands who play the same pop hits and disco classics (don’t get me wrong, these musicians are talented and they work their butts off), but I wanted to present different musical options for the client who is looking to create a vibe as unique as the handmade paper stock they chose for their calligraphy place cards.

Currently, my roster consists of four live bands: Guitarist Peter Kavanaugh plays sophisticated 60s style cool jazz with vibraphone; Django’s Caravan is an acoustic quintet that plays the exotic WWII era music of gypsy jazz legend Django Reinhardt; The Hot Pepper Jacks are an old-timey Americana string band that range from bluegrass to blues, and Alt Rock Rewind is the only band in Southern California that exclusively plays alternative classic rock from the 70s and 80s. I also have a unique DJ/musicologist (KXLU’s Reverend Dan, who’s also an ordained minister) who will custom spin event music based on any theme or genre requested by a client.

As a music lover and as someone who loves running a small business and working directly with clients, I’m proud to offer new entertainment choices for event hosts looking to create a memorable experience for their guests!

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
I always loved listening to music, and I remember sitting in front my clock radio in my bedroom aiming an old-school cassette player at it in case a song I liked came on, so I could tape it. I still have some of those old mix tapes and they’re so crazy, they have Ozzy followed by Dolly Parton and on and on. I was “curating” music back then and didn’t even know it yet!

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