Jaimie: Well my guest today is Josephine Lancuba and from a young age Josephine had to make her own way in the world. She went from an unstable home and humble beginnings to successfully creating multi six figure creative arts and entertainment businesses fueled by passion, joy and commitment. After a whirlwind career as an artist that saw her perform on a multitude of stages, and on TV screens for a decade. well over a decade, Josephine leaped into the world of business talent and entertainment management, studio ownership and motherhood. She's not looked back since. Now Josephine is an award winning entrepreneur, a creative business coach and mentor, a speaker and TV presenter. A talent manager, a theatrical producer, studio owner and writer and she's also a member of Oz dance New South Wales is standing committee. Her much loved course talent manager bootcamp is where she coaches studio owners in developing their own in house talent management service Her goal is to help them increase their revenue, student retention and industry credibility. Now, Josephine has provided talent and worked with companies such as channel 10 Channel Seven TV, MSN, Telstra, Disney Channel, Australia, oz mompreneur oz Dan's New South Wales, Macquarie brand bank, McDonald's, McGregor's casting, and more. Wow.
Josephine also coaches, creative business owners and speaks on topics such as locking the key to your roaring resilience, which is what we are talking about today. Josephine, welcome to Pitch Perfect.
Josephine: Thank you for having me. I'm really excited.
Jaimie: I just think you are an incredible star. And of course you are in PR club, one of my star members in PR club and I'm so honoured that you are in that membership. I have so many questions to ask you. The first one I guess is tell me exactly what a talent manager does because I just have this stereotypical image in my head of like a stage mom pushing their four year old girl on to beauty pageants like what do you actually do as a talent manager?
Josephine: Okay, so it's definitely not toddlers and tiaras. I just want to point that out. Not at all. So it's actually something that I started many years ago in a different format and there's different types of talent management. So you know, even sports stars have talent managers, everyone from screen actors on stage actors mascot performers, there's a wide variety out there when it comes to talent management. And my career started more in line with live performers and events. So I was managing bands and music acts to start and then moved on to me working for a children's entertainment company that held major licences. So for example, the Australian in New Zealand licence, the Spider Man, the minions, the Care Bears, those sorts of iconic characters, which people take for granted when you see a minion at Westfield Shopping Center. That is someone who holds a licence which they paid like, potentially hundreds of 1000s of dollars for across Australia, New Zealand. And these organisations like Westfield that gets Spider Man in and I'm not talking about the birthday party guy that comes for 100 bucks to your house and I'm talking about the official shows, you know, like the minions appearing on the morning show on channel 10. These sorts of things. So that's what I was managing for this particular company. And it got me some really valuable experience because I got to travel overseas, I was managing talent in New Zealand for their festivals and events because New Zealand had to fly over our Australian minions, and other characters for Smurfs, things like that. It's actually really interesting spies but yeah, I got to be on set with my talent, managing them on site on channel 10, things like that, you know, running down the beach with my minions, helping them getting their suits, that sort of thing I'll never forget because I was chasing the minions one day at Mandalay beach like trying to get them ready and I remember I was wearing my you know, my slacks and my nice blouse and all the bits as you do and I remember just following over into the sand. It's been a lot of fun, I can tell you, but then it changed. So once I left that organisation I then moved into a different type of talent management. So then I ended up working with artists representing them for Film, Television Theatre, commercial musical theatre. So you know if someone if Telstra wants someone for a commercial, I can I can submit talent for that. And that's what I do. And it's funny because I I, I was an artist myself for many years, but then I went on to a different path and more the back end of it. So I ended up managing these artists that I started managing artists through my own Performing Arts Studio. And now I coach other studios on how to create their own in house talent management services, amongst other you know, studio ownership and creative business coaching, but that is one of the elements that I do teach. So it's a wide variety is the long answer to that question. You know, you can have a voiceover artist. You can have circus artists, like there's so many types of, of talent that can be managed.
Jaimie: And can anyone become a talent manager or do you think you really do need to have that studio ownership background to be able to do it? Well?
Josephine: Well, most talent agents don't have studio ownership backgrounds. But what I saw was a gap in the market where I felt at being a studio owner myself. I saw that studio owners actually are in a position where they develop talent, they Scout talent, you know, they they choose who goes into the front line who does all these things because they inherently understand it because they themselves were performance and a lot of talent agents work performance that studio owners get it. And so what I realised was that once these artists were being developed in these studio spaces, and they were looking for something more extra studio owners were just sending them out to these agencies and saying, oh, go try them go try them, but they weren't actually leveraging from what they've created and nurtured and developed within their own space and providing that stepping stone to the next level. So I thought, Why send them out? Like, just provide the service yourself? And it's yeah, so that's where it came about. That actually happened in COVID, where I had that ding ding moment, because I was still getting work through the agency. Because advertising didn't stop doing COVID. If you think about a television that's still running show, there were no live productions stopped. But advertising never stops. So I was still getting a bit of an income from the agency, whereas my studio income pretty much went to a halt at one stage. And I thought oh, if I the more studio owners knew about this, and then yeah, the light bulb started going off.
Jaimie: Wow, I mean, speaking of COVID You you run a very successful, remind me what you're performing arts studio, it's Northern Beaches, New South Wales, what's it called?
Josephine: So it's Musical Makers Club. We actually have four club sites. So we have one in Morrisville, which is Northern Beaches. We have one in Alabama, which is that Congra area, St. George region, we have one in Bellevue Hill, which is eastern suburbs. And I've also got one in Annandale, which is in the inner west. So I've got one north, south, east and west.
Jaimie: Oh, wow. Sydney, I don't know why I thought you were just on the beaches. Because Oh, okay. Yeah, that's where it's come from. So because I first met you in the room, we had many conversations over wine while we were watching the sunset in the other room fabulous. Over a year ago now. So what was that like? I just want to know like running a business which is in person. You had all these kids and parents what was that? Like? Just, I'm genuinely interested in COVID Did you just shut down or how did you how did you get through that time, which was a fairly long time?
Josephine: Well, it required it would cry, great resilience, I can assure you because I still remember that day, when that we were about to lock down and so I called an emergency meeting with my team in person before the first lockdown happened within 24 hours. And we were brainstorming what can we do what's possible and I actually remember having to step in to step out of that meeting just briefly to take a breath. Because this was my baby. I built it for the lesson near close to a decade. And it was really hard, because I knew I've worked so hard to build up this business and now it feels like it's all gonna get lost. So we did go online. We created a Google Classroom for our students and we had at the time a musical theatre production we were putting together called Peter Pan which everyone knows the story of Peter Pan, hopefully. And then, and then we decided in that meeting, we created Peter Pan break scenes in it and it was a lot of fun. We rent I rewrote the entire show. So I adapted stage production to screen and we got and we created the world's first and I'm gonna take credit for this even though Disney and licensing companies a month later jumped on you know the whole self taping musical theatre show during COVID.
We honestly I had not seen it anywhere prior. So I'm going to take credit for this. I created the world's do-it self typed musical movie made by and starring kids so kids would work with their coaches online and film their scenes we would sent we courier them costumes to put on. They filmed their scenes from home, taped it from home or with their teacher on Zoom. And we edited it together and live streamed it to our audience. It was mental so so we did live streamed as
they were performing you didn't or anything like that.
Josephine: Yes. So we made it into a film and then live streams the film to the to the parents.
Jaimie: Yeah, great idea.
Josephine: Yeah, but I don't haven't even heard that.
Jaimie: Well, hopefully you won't have to, you won't have to. And so you know, I guess you're you're talking today about “Unlocking the Key to Your Roaring Resilience.” Is that kind of where you first learned that you've got this ability to really get through things because of your resilience, or did it start many years earlier? I mentioned in the bio that you had sort of a challenging upbringing. Do you want to talk about that and how you think you've developed this
Josephine: And so no that was definitely not my first foray into resilience. I fit I was a resilient kid. I grew up in a in a house of domestic violence. And so I have had many struggles growing up and I and I've witnessed some really hard stuff. You know, I left home when I was 14 years old. And really made my and when I say in my bio, I made my own way in the world. I mean, it. I was jeez, I had to you know, ask for food stamps from charities to get by. Couch, surfed for a couple of years. didn't have enough food. I had to pay my own rent of 15 and 16 put myself through school. So you know, that is where my resilience comes from. And over the years, that experience turned into anger. A lack of motivation. You know, why me? Basically so there was because of that challenging experience? Very much. So it led to that why me call me sort of scenario especially as a young adult. But I learned very quickly that there was no one was coming to save me, right. And if I wanted to make something of myself in this world, I had to do it myself. And that's just that was just, you know, the cards that were drawn for me and I absolutely realised that the only way I can move forward was through forgiveness. And so I have a deep connection between resilience and forgiveness to me. One can't exist without the other and it doesn't have to be extreme. You don't have to come from a home of domestic violence. It can be small things but sometimes when people do us wrong, I have forgiveness exercises that I work with and that I can you know, I share in when I go and speak and workshops and things like that, but I have forgiveness exercises and it's a daily practice or a weekly practice, even where sometimes if someone pops into my mind, that's done me wrong, I have to go through a process of forgiveness. The forgiveness is not just for them, it's also for myself. So connecting those two is a really big part of it. And sometimes I and that's how I move through things when things are tough. I just have to be kind to myself, I have to forgive myself, you know, I you know, I forgive you. Thank you, I love you. These are the sorts of words and and I suppose those are the moments that I really push through and that's how I do it through that forgiveness factor. But that's been a big thing when it hit COVID.
Just because I'm resilient doesn't mean it wasn't hard. You have to practise resilience. Resilience isn't just something that comes to you. You have to actually work on it. And it's one of it really is a really big part of my life. And it's something that I teach my children as well because I don't want anyone to have to go through what I went through. I think we all need resilience. And that's something that I find to be lacking these days and we need to really work on it as a daily practice.
Jaimie: Yeah, I was gonna ask you do you think that resilience and I'm I consider myself to have a lot because I've come from a political background. I mean, through a lot of stuff. You know, I also I'm in the military. I spent some time in Afghanistan even though I wasn't on the front line. I was exposed to things that you know, a lot of people haven't been exposed to, and then political. You name it. I've gone through it. It's not about me. But I feel like because of those experiences, I've built up that resilience. Do you think someone has to go through these challenging things in life to build it up? Or do you think you either have it or you don't have resilience? Or maybe a little bit of both?
Josephine: I don't think you need to have been through great challenges to build resilience per se because everyone perceives challenge differently. So you know, if you've come from a wonderful background, everything was easy. You're going to have a different level of what you perceive as challenge to what I may have, but that doesn't mean mines right in your system. So no, you don't have to come from great challenge or rise from the trenches to have this level of resilience. But yeah, I suppose there is a level of challenge involved. It's overcoming challenge. That's what resilience is. So that's a big part of it.
Jaimie: Yeah, and speaking of overcoming challenges and adapting a little segue into your online business, so how has that transition being for you to come from a traditionally service based in person relying on the teacher being in the room and performances, audiences being there live to now are almost a completely online business with your coaching and your mentoring? What's that been like? And how have you kind of adapted that business model?
Josephine: It's been a really big transition. And actually, it's interesting because because I do come from that background of high resilience and working hard and you know, you've got to hustle to make it and I don't I don't love hustle culture. I'm not into it. But that's sort of how I felt for many years. To go into this online space. It's almost too easy. And that's not to say that the money comes easy and you don't have to work for it. That's not what I'm saying at all. What I'm saying is to come from having to be on site managing 100 people in a workshop space or, you know, going into show week with 600 attendees versus in a Zoom Room with 100 attendees or that's a totally different thing. And transitioning from in person to online. I'm loving it. Because there's so much ease with online. It's more scalable. It's it's definitely less expensive to run. And that's another challenge that I think in person service businesses are facing at the moment with the increases of costs like that those costs rising and affecting everyone. You know, when we hire a venue, for example, like a theatre, it already is astronomical. So when those costs go up, because staffing rates have increased and whatnot. That's major. So to be able to do things online has been life changing. I love it. I absolutely love it. And yeah, so that's been a really positive transition for me.
The only challenge is, you know, having to show up and be present a lot. So unlike an in person business, I can rely on team a lot more they show up to the classes, they do the things but when it comes to online, it's just really all about me. So I have to be present, and show up like online on socials and really deliver in that way, coming from a performance background. I can do that but that doesn't mean energetically it's easy. It's still requires a level of energy and mental preparation. So, so that's been interesting, because there are times when I don't want to show up and we all have those times. I am finding ways to do that. And again, it goes back to that resilience factor. I have what I call my Y list. Why am I doing this? I have my dreams list. These are things that I teach to my coaching clients and we refer back to our dream list, our Y list, and those are the things that keep us grounded and continue to propel us forward to continue showing up for our clients and for ourselves. Yeah, but that's been the main catch up with it.
Jaimie: Yeah, interesting about the whole thing about showing up I have a very similar background to you singing, dancing and seeing, acting growing up and I definitely think that that has helped with my confidence and also now we're we're so relying on doing reels and stories as an online business owner I have no problems getting up and I have no problems making a fool of myself and the other saying that will make fools of yourself on purpose but you're there you know, you don't give a she or he will think you're cheering with your pom poms and dancing around one bit um, that's what people love and you're going to attract your tribe, you know, and I just done a video on this this morning saying, “Hey, you get criticism from your friends and family”, but you need to ignore them because then all your clients have you copped it a little bit like putting your true self out there and just, you know, being Josephine?
Jaimie: You have.
Josephine: Yes, yes. Look, I gotta tell you, and as you know, as someone who's performed and you perform, you know, even today as a speaker, but you know, you've got to build a thick skin as a performer and that's probably helped me having that resilience, backbone, being a performer, because I can tell you now there's a lot of rejection in being an artist. And there's a lot of rejection in putting yourself out there even asking for speaking gigs. People are going to say no, and you've got to be resilient. You've got to know why am I doing this and you continue moving forward. But um, yeah, ask me that question again, because I had to go back there today, because that was a big one for me, but yeah.
Jaimie: No, I guess it was a really good answer. I'm, you know, talking about expecting the rejection. That was a really great message there. But, you know, when you're copying it from your friends and family, who might give you sort of she's on the side and say, What are you dancing around in pom poms for? How do you cope with that?
Jospehine: Oh, I love that. Yes. So you brought me back. Thank you. I actually lost a really good friend. And I was friends with her for 20 years. And as soon as I started showing up, and what and by the way, we also ourselves as our best selves on Instagram and online, but honestly, I see myself with those pom poms and dancing around. That is my authentic self. actually enjoy it. So yes, it is an exaggerated version of me, but it is me. I'm not putting on that. That's not me pretending to love the pom poms or I actually find that fun and I want to project that energy. Now when I started doing that, yeah, I did lose a friend of 20 years. She just ghosted me, and I'm pretty, pretty sure it's got to do with how I showed up online. I think it made them feel really uncomfortable. And that was a bit sad. So I have had that experience. I've also had people say, Oh, you're crazy and enjoy you’re crazy. And I just think, oh, well, you got to be in it to win it, right?
Jaimie: Yeah, I can relate to that. You’re not crazy. You’re not crazy. I mean, you’re not going to please everyone but I totally relate to that because I haven't necessarily lost friends that I know but I certainly have noticed a lot of them. Don't like my posts or don't get in touch as much anymore. And you can't help with things. Around the same time I started being the real me and I've come from a very conservative political background and military background and now I'm just being the real me consequently, sorry. Like coincidentally also my business has skyrocketed since I have showed up and being my true self. Does it get to you a little bit though, like do you go? Oh, you know, I'm being the real mean, as you said, this is the real authentic Josephine. Does it get to you a little bit to think? Did they not know who I was? Or how could they be so judging? Does it get to you a little bit or you just have to ignore it?
Josephine: Yeah, it's interesting. I had I kind of remember the show, but there was a show that someone compared me to as one of the characters once they saw me show up and when they're like, oh my god, Joe, you remind me of this person. And I was like, this person in this particular show was the mental case. Excuse me, like that is not who I am at all. I may be showing up knowing energy, enthusiasm, and joy. That doesn't make me an insane person that makes me fun. relatable. Then my following has definitely increased since I started showing up this way. So I don't regret I don't regret it for a minute. But it is it is challenging sometimes when you start to compare yourself to others in your space. So I try not to do that. Because when I look at other performing arts coaches, other creative business coaches, you know, black suit jackets, beige walls, and that's fine. You know, that's fine, but there is no one and I'm pretty confident about that. There's no one in my space that has the vibrancy. I have and I am okay with that. I, I'm a little nervous.
Sometimes I've just done my new brand photoshoot. And literally holding an electric guitar and one of them with like a blue leather jacket being like, yeah, cuz I'm talking about your rockstar brand. And I just and there's gonna be no one out there doing that in my space. You know, all of them have the floral backgrounds and like I said, The Baseballs and again, nothing wrong with that, but it ain't me and I'm not going to do it. And yes, there's a bit of nervousness when I start to bring out the new stuff because I am going to step it up even more to be honest which I'm excited about. And I just think hopefully that will bring the right client to me, maybe I'm not meant to have that client. So I'm meant to have different clients. So you know, it's just you just got to bring your true energy and hopefully the right people will come. But that's what the goal is, you know.
Jaimie: I totally agree. Yeah, I totally agree. And it's just like you and I could be the exact same industry. And I'm teaching one thing and you're teaching the same thing. But at the end of the day people buy from people and they're going to resonate with you and they're not me or vice versa. And so I think knowing that if you can just show up and be your true fun, authentic self you are going to attract your tribe. I truly believe that. So what's next for Josephine Lancuba. But what can we expect and what's in store for you?
Josephine: Well, speaking of tribe, it's been a really fantastic thing because I created a back end membership off my course talent manager bootcamp. Which the people within there absolutely love my joyful energy. I am their biggest cheerleader and and that has been really exciting. So what's next in that space is that back end, membership is going to become front end. And what I'm going to be doing is providing studio owners with ongoing mentorship through this membership that is going to be available to them no longer just for my course graduates but now for every studio owner that wants to be a part of it.
I'm also I've also taken on some speaking opportunities this year, I spoke with Australia, New South Wales. I've also been a speaker for as mompreneur and I'm moving forward in that space as well, which has been really exciting. Hence being a part of the PR club. getting my name out there just really putting myself out there in more spaces has been a really big part. So yes, I've got that front end membership coming out.
This January, which I'm really excited about. And I've also got a conference that I'm running on Friday the eighth of September. It's called studio innovation conference. And this has been in the works for a little while now. But I have finally released it to the public. And yeah, I'm excited. It's for performing art studio owners, teachers and their teams. And we're going to talk about all things innovation and how to move forward with the times with fresh ideas, new concepts, and just you know, we're going to talk about how we can apply chat G[T and AI to our businesses, everything from new processes and software systems. integrating new methods of deaths teaching strategies. I've got some amazing speakers how to create a performing art studio in your space, how to, you know, find new venues, so it's just exciting. Yeah, but yeah, I'll share the link with you and we can hopefully share that with your people. But it's it's just so much fun. I can't wait to do that one, yeah.
Jaimie: Ah, definitely. We will put all the links to that in the show notes. Josephine, thank you so much for coming on. It's been amazing. So many even takeaways for me and just timely reminders. I love it. And I'm sure anyone listening to this, whether they're in the performing arts industry or not will be able to get so much from what you've said today. So thank you so much for sharing.
Josephine: Thank you and everyone listening. Please do follow me on Instagram @josephinelancuba. And yeah, make sure you say hi, if there's any takeaways that you've gotten from this episode. I'd love to hear it. So DM me feel free to have a chat on before it.
Jaimie: Will do, thank you. Bye.