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article imageEmily White talks DC Trident, ISL, and Collective Entertainment Special

By Markos Papadatos     Nov 26, 2019 in Sports
Collective Entertainment talent manager Emily White chatted with Digital Journal about her background in music and sports, the DC Trident in the International Swimming League (ISL), and serving as an adjust instructor at NYU's Tisch School for the Arts.
"I set out to be in the music industry, which evolved into management, but I've actually never been a publicist," she said. "For clarity on all of that, my firm Collective Entertainment primarily manages musicians and works in the entertainment space; however, I was on a swimming scholarship, my parents are lifelong coaches, and my grandfather was an award-winning swim coach."
"Thus, when I saw Anthony Ervin's iconic return to the sport in 2012, I was inspired to reach out," she said. "As I had a slew of ideas for him since he's the 'rock star' of Olympic swimming, and it basically combined my two areas of expertise. In 2016, Kaitlin Sandeno and David Marsh separately asked me to manage them, which led to managing D.C. Trident from there."
"On the PR end, I've worked with countless world-class publicists over the years," she said. "So through my experience in the entertainment industry, I've always known how to work with journalists and the media. As it doesn't always make sense for my sports' clients to hire a publicist, I draft and service press releases from time to time, and set up interviews. Essentially, this work falls under the 'jack of all trades, master of none' role of being a talent manager."
On being a part of the inaugural International Swimming League (ISL) with the DC Trident, she noted that it has been "amazing."
"Kaitlin [Sandeno] is truly a joy to work with as a client, and I'm so proud of the work that she has done as General Manager of DC Trident. It's been a blast to apply many elements of the entertainment industry to our team, and it warms my heart to support our sport's athletes as they work so hard to achieve such greatness," White said.
Presently, she serves as an adjust professor at New York University's Tisch School for the Arts. "To be honest, it feels natural coming from a family of educators, and it feels very full circle. I've been blessed with an extraordinary career in the music industry, and it feels incredible to give it all away, in the Buddhist sense, to the students," she said.
On her daily motivations, White said, "I am a real deal, natural entrepreneur. What I mean by that, is my mind can't help to solve problems and create things that I want to see in the world. Sometimes, it is a curse, gut generally it is a blessing and I'm so honored to use such skills in application to my clients, company, non-profit, new book, speaking engagements and more every single day."
For young and aspiring agents, publicists, and managers, she encouraged them to read her first book Interning 101.
"Honestly, this is not a pure plug, but read my first book Interning 101. It's a how-to guide on breaking into the entertainment industry. It encapsulates everything I have to say on how to not only get into competitive industries but be successful from there; and is a coursebook at universities around the country," she said.
On her proudest professional moments, she said, "I'm proud to control my time, life and schedule; even though it is jam-packed. Freedom to create on my own terms is an incredible gift, and something I deeply cherish. As far as proud moments, Anthony Ervin winning gold at age 35 at The Rio Olympics was a very proud moment. I handle the business and marketing side of his career, so it's not like I'm one of his coaches. That was so exciting, special, and something I'll truly never forget," she said.
White is also extremely proud of Olympian Kaitlin Sandeno and all she has done as one of the first female General Managers in professional sports history this year. "I am really pumped about my new book, that will be out in January. It's called How to Build a Sustainable Music Career & Collect All Revenue Streams, and really summarizes my life's work in the music industry of taking care of artists and talent first, and fans a very close second," she said.
When asked if there were any moments in her career that helped define her, she said, "I think there were pre-career moments that have defined me. I was a nationally ranked swimmer as a 10&Under and then slumped for years from there. I worked so hard to get back to where I wanted to be in the pool, which led to a swimming scholarship at Northeastern University, which has one of the top music industry programs in the country," she said.
"From there, I did a slew of internships and most significantly began working with an incredibly innovative band in college called The Dresden Dolls," she said. "The Dresden Dolls took on an equally innovative manager named Mike Luba, who hired me out of college and mentored me until I launched my first company in 2008. Really, any and all success I've had in my career actually goes back to swimming. It was the extremely hard work of overcoming my swimming 'plateau,' and that led to my work ethic, along with time management and teamwork skills that one attains in the sport that has led to who I am and what I do today."
She underscored the importance of the International Swimming League (ISL) and what it does to help promote the sport of swimming. "It's interesting because I had a plan for an American Swimming League when I began working with Anthony. I feel strongly that if we tie in pop culture to our sport, we can make it cool and accessible to those beyond the swimming community, all while also still staying true to the sport," she said.
White continued, "At the same time, I'm not a billionaire, so I'm thrilled that someone has stepped up to make it happen. As mentioned, my career has been built on taking care of talent first, with fans as a close second. That's exactly what the ISL meets have been. The swimmers love it and have come together so quickly as a team. The fans seem to be having a blast as well, and the combination is pure joy for all involved."
On the title of the current chapter of her life, White responded, "Create what you love, make positive change and impact where you can, while finding peace and balance amidst it all."
White defined the word success as follows: "Freedom and control of my life and schedule is a success to me." "As is, the ability to create things that I want to see in the world. At the same time, I have immense gratitude to live in my beloved New York City, which is something I never take for granted. I grew up in a village in Wisconsin and never forget where I came from, what it has taken to get here, and where I want to go next," she said.
To learn more about Emily White, check out the Collective Entertainment website.
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