Student balances career and classesBy Margaret Wilbourne | 02/17/2015 11:35pm
Senior Dodson Seitz is the booking agent and band promoter for Green Bar located downtown next to Wilhagan's. CW | Amy Sullivan
Between hosting WVUA’s “Geek Life” and “Relevant Radio,” holding two jobs and taking classes for his advertising major and art minor, Dodson Seitz’s life sometimes seems to mirror those of the comic book superheroes he grew up loving.
This past July, Seitz was hired as both the booking agent and venue promoter for Green Bar, two positions that had previously been filled separately, as they can be difficult to balance.
“They wanted someone to do both, and my [advertising skills] along with my WVUA connections helped me do that,” he said. “[Controlling both] definitely helps as far as planning out schedules and making sure I can advertise booked [acts] to different crowds to try and max out the venue.”
Taylor Stephens, a junior majoring in chemistry, plays in local band Badstick and is a close friend of Seitz. When he heard about the job opening, he immediately told Seitz.
“At first he was really stressed out because he really [wanted to do a good job],” he said. “Once the ball started rolling, though, he got really good. He had initiative and impressed the owner. Now he’s got a bigger network from it, and he’s really evolved from the job as a person.”
With no prior experience promoting and booking musicians, Seitz jumped into his new position head first. While he said he initially knew very little about promoting, he quickly learned the ins and outs of the business.
“Being an advertising major, I figured if I promoted shows well, a lot of people would come out, but I [realized] you can put up posters all around town and not make any money,” he said. “I sat down with my manager who gave me a lot of advice on the business itself.”
With the guidance of his manager, Seitz said he has learned about the music industry through first-hand experience.
“I learned how the local scene is very different everywhere you go,” he said. “There’s certain people who will make your venue do well and those who won’t. It’s important to make connections and learn to interact with people, which can be difficult.”
Michael Little, a professor of advertising and public relations at the University, first met Seitz while he was enrolled in Little’s visual communication class.
“There are a lot of advertising and public relations majors, but we only have a handful of people like Dodson,” he said. “He definitely has a fire for what he does and to him it’s not just a job, it’s, ‘This is what I want to do for a living.’”
Seitz said Little has become something of a mentor for him, and he often visits Little’s office to ask a technical question or to show him the promotional posters he designs for Green Bar shows.
“Students tend to be more reserved, but his work has really rich imagery,” Little said. “You can see Dodson’s visual side is eye-catching; his work has a vibe and it’ll stop you.”
Seitz labeled his artistic style as punk rock in nature, often taking inspiration from favorite films, comics and covers of albums such as Green Day’s “Dookie.”
“My inspiration for artwork definitely comes from old monster movies and the original ‘King Kong,’” he said. “I [also] grew up a punk rocker, and I always loved album covers from bands like Blink 182, Descendents, Nirvana – they’re very in your face, energetic, aggressive.”
While Seitz said he isn’t sure of his post-graduate plans, he wants to work with Green Bar as long as he can.
“A lot of people graduate, rush out and try to find a job. Me, I really like doing what I’m doing,” he said. “It’s more appealing to me to build my resume and portfolio while the opportunity is available in a job I really enjoy.”