Many incredible people have passed through the VACorps internship program since we first started hosting interns in 2006. “Oh the places you’ll go” is a series where our alumni share updates about their careers and life accomplishments. In this interview, Dan Brower checks in with us from Los Angeles, where he is working at the famous talent agency, Creative Artists Agency. He helps organize music tours for some of the world’s most famous electronic music artists and is a rising start. Dan was arguably one of the most beloved interns in the history of VACorps, so it’s no surprise that he is building such a successful career in a very competitive industry. Connect with Dan HERE on LinkedIN.
Please give us a summary of your career to date. What have been doing and where do you see yourself heading?
I’ve been working in various areas of the entertainment industry for the past 6 years. Initially working in advertising sales in television, I went to Cape Town with an internship at a production company through VACorps to gain more experience on the creative side of things. Ironically, while in Cape Town I became very interested in the music side of the business and decided to change my career path. I currently work at Creative Artists Agency, a talent agency that books worldwide tours for acts such as Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, and The Chainsmokers, assisting in the electronic music department.
I love everything I’m doing in music so I plan to continue my career in the live touring sector. I’ve also become increasingly interested in virtual reality so I intend to explore ways I can apply my breadth of knowledge across the entertainment business to this emerging technology.
What were the highlights of your internship experience in Cape Town?
Too many to name! Professionally, it was really rewarding when the company I worked at won a job to shoot a commercial based on a presentation I put together. I also had the opportunity to help out on set for a documentary shooting at a school in Delft township. Hearing directly from those kids on the hardships they face just to come to school and learn was really eye-opening, but I also felt so inspired to see how eager they were to gain an education even in the face of those obstacles.
In terms of the overall experience, the VACorps trips were incredible. Scuba diving the clear waters of Mozambique, a night safari in Kruger National Park, and rock climbing in Cederberg were all once in a lifetime experiences I will always remember. But I think the most special memories to me are the many sunsets I watched from on top of Lions Head in Cape Town. Watching the sun go down over the ocean as the city lights come up, surrounded by the beauty of Table Mountain is truly a sight to see. What really made all these experiences so special were all the amazing people I shared them with. The people I met through VACorps and in my travels to Cape Town were the real highlight and I’m so blessed to still have these friendships years after I’ve left.
Can you share an example of how your internship experience aided you with your career?
My experience in VACorps is the single biggest reason I am where I am in my career. I couldn’t have been happier with my official internship and it certainly would have led to opportunities in production back in Los Angeles had I decide to pursue that path. But the real turning point was when the owners of a local bar called The Foreign Exchange let me run with some ideas I had for live events. I had always been super passionate about music and they encouraged me to organize some branded events where I booked the music and ran everything from logistics to promotion. I absolutely loved doing it and getting a chance to apply my passion in a real world setting was the tipping point that pushed me to pursue a career in the music when I returned to Los Angeles.
What’s the single most important piece of advice you’d like to give to future VACorps interns and/or those considering participation in the program?
If you’re even remotely thinking about it, just do it. I’ve lived in Cape Town on two separate occasions and have met people from all walks of life who visited the city, some on a week-long trip, others for an extended stay that never left. But everyone I’ve spoken to who has visited Cape Town is deeply impacted by it and forms a very real connection with the city. The magic of the city is that it’s so diverse and really has something for everyone. There is this spirit there that is so inspiring and invigorating and will stay with you long after you leave. VACorps does a tremendous job of allowing you to grow both professionally and personally, while showing you the best of what the city has to offer, all the while providing you with a family to experience it with.
Any predictions for what we can expect from you in 10 year’s time?
Travel, travel, travel! One of the best things about my experience in VACorps was that I made so many friends from around the world. I’ve already made a few trips abroad to visit friends and it’s so great getting to experience a new place that someone you know calls home. And it goes without saying, but I know I’ll be visiting Cape Town again very soon!