Cool to be kind


By Boswell Hutson

I love everything about music. From bumping Spotify on my way to class, to trying to make a career for myself in the music business, I breathe music. 

Through this love, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend loads of shows for free and lucky enough to have thrown shows for and interviewed some of my most favorite artists. 

While I’m incredibly humbled to have had these opportunities through my various jobs, I also realize none of them would have been possible if I hadn’t made an effort to build positive relationships with the various people I’ve met throughout my time working in music.

Having a respectful attitude when approaching those I work with has been repeatedly beneficial for me in music, as it’s helped me foster positive relationships. I wouldn’t have been able to get any of the interviews I’ve done if I wasn’t courteous and respectful to various people, whether it be security guards, tour managers, booking agents or others in the industry. In turn, I was rewarded with some of the best experiences of my life.

While it sounds sophomoric to tell people to “act nice” (kind of like a frazzled mom yelling at her misbehaving toddlers), I’ve found, oftentimes, it’s perhaps the most overlooked aspect of communication between people. 

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I’m not saying we need to become best friends with all of our coworkers; that’s ridiculous. What I am saying, however, is that we can be pleasant when engaging with those we work with, and in turn, as has happened many times to me, there will be pleasant, positive outcomes. 

Last week, while at a concert at the Canopy Club, I was fortunate enough to receive a pass to the back door because of some work I’ve done for one of the artists performing that night. 

I watched Ab-Soul free of charge from backstage — it was a pretty insane experience.

On my way out of the venue to grab a water, I noticed the security guard at the back door looked frazzled. On a busy night like that, I could only imagine how hard it must have been for him to do his job. I asked him how he was doing, and we ended up having a half-hour long conversation about pretty much every subject under the sun.

Not only did this simple outreach allow me to hear some pretty crazy stories, but it also helped when my pass fell off of my shirt later that night, and I needed to get let back in to the show. 

The security guard remembered who I was, and in a situation where I normally would have been locked out of the show for the rest of the night, I got to go back in — all because I just stopped to ask how his night was going, something so plainly mundane it normally wouldn’t even garner any mention.

I understand how difficult it can be to reach out to strangers, and oftentimes the conscious effort it takes to accomplish such a simple task can be daunting. 

In my case, simply talking to someone got me into a pretty big concert, even though I had lost my pass. I had no idea that would be the case, but because I always try to make a conscious effort to build positive relationships with the people I work with, I got to benefit. 

Other patrons at the show who didn’t give the security guard the time of day weren’t let in when they lost their passes because they simply didn’t make an effort. 

We shouldn’t just suck up to people in power though; that’s illegitimate and unnecessary. 

However, if we merely live our lives making conscious efforts to be understanding toward those we work with, communication between people would become infinitely easier. Approaching every interaction with an open and flexible mindset, whether it has to do with your projected career path or not, is almost essential, especially in anything that involves communication.

Maybe you can get into a concert when you’ve lost your ticket. Maybe simply being nice to someone will lead to a job offer, a research position or a positive life change. 

You never know, and with something so easy to accomplish, I wonder why more people don’t do it. 

I’ve been very lucky to find people at my various jobs who do engage with this positive rapport, and it has honestly changed my life for the better.

Boswell is a senior in LAS. He can be reached at [email protected].