BGSU alum lands dream job working on music tours, commits to helping others succeed

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – A Bowling Green State University alumna is using her dream job as a production crew member on major music tours to support and encourage others to join the industry.

Camryn Joyce attended the Vans Warped Tour in Columbus, Ohio, with her mom nearly every summer as a teenager.

She remembers being enamored by the rock concert's lights, stage designs and overall production and knowing she wanted to be a part of creating that magic.

“I knew I wanted to do that professionally one day,” Joyce said. “I would dream about what it would be like to be backstage, helping to create this massive production.”

Those concert experiences are what Joyce said inspired her to pursue a degree in media production and studies at BGSU and have motivated her to follow her dream of working on a music tour.

After graduating from BGSU in 2021, Joyce freelanced as a director, technical director and camera operator for companies in Columbus, Indianapolis and Miami.

She also worked as a stagehand at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, enhancing her skills and networking in an industry known for being difficult to break into.

“Sometimes you feel like you’re the bottom of the barrel when you’re working as a stagehand,” Joyce said. “But that's the kind of job you have to take to network and get where you want to be. You’re not going to meet people who can put you on tour unless you’re around people who are touring.”

As a stagehand, Joyce, a Columbus native, occasionally had the opportunity to shadow directors of major music tours.

During one of those encounters, she asked for advice for getting onto a tour. The director gave her the number for Solotech, Inc., an audiovisual entertainment and technology company based in Canada and the United States known for working with some of the biggest stars in music and entertainment.

Solotech features an impressive roster of clients on its website, including Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga, Pink, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and many more in recent years.

“I called them the same day, and they needed a camera operator for a big music tour they were doing,” Joyce said. “It was perfect timing.”

Joyce joined the tour almost immediately as a camera operator, traveling with the artist and production crew to various cities and living in hotels. 

“This is absolutely my dream job,” Joyce said. “I’ve been dreaming about this since I was 15 years old.

Joyce is now preparing to embark on another legendary star’s music tour, traveling by bus across the United States. She’s been rehearsing for the tour since the beginning of May.

Joyce said she will be building LED walls on stage as a LED technician and will likely be a camera operator during the concerts, responsible for projecting images of the artist on jumbotrons.

Jasmine Crighton, an associate teaching professor in the BGSU School of Media and Communication, said she often uses Joyce as an example in class to discuss all of the different career possibilities in the media production industry. She thinks Joyce’s story can encourage students to set the bar high for their futures.

“It’s a grind and really hard work, but working on live music tours is also one of the most exciting jobs I can imagine,” Crighton said. “I think it’s so cool that Camryn is living her dream.”

Crighton said Joyce constantly challenged herself as a student, proposing new and “out of the box” ideas for productions she created — an approach that has likely contributed to her early success.

“Based on my interactions with Camryn as a student and in discussions with her since she graduated, I’m not surprised she landed her dream job so early on in her career,” Crighton said. “I’m excited to see where this takes her.”

Knowing how difficult it can be to build a career in the production industry, Joyce said she’s doing what she can to make it more accessible and establish herself as a resource for BGSU alumni interested in live video production.

She sends Crighton the contact information of people she’s worked with to share with students and has helped former classmates get jobs in the industry.

“It would make me happy to see more BGSU graduates doing what I’m doing,” she said. “This industry can be hard to get into, so I’m happy to help others in any way possible.”

Updated: 05/25/2023 11:21AM