Ep. 21: Australian Arts Manager, Drummer & Yogi Finds Healthy Balance

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Holly Norman is a freelance arts manager, event producer and musician. Some of her career achievements have included the production logistics for Melbourne Festival (2016 - 2018 - Contemporary Music), artist logistics for Darwin Festival (2016), project management of Perth International Jazz Festival (2015) and Melbourne International Jazz Festival (2019). As an independent producer and tour manager, Holly co-wrote the award-nominated Fringe World show Good Songs For Bad Lovers (2016) and coordinated the planning, execution and performances of an inaugural tour to the United States with Junkadelic Brass Band (Honk Fest West, 2015).

Holly initially majored in Classical Percussion at the WA Academy of Performing Arts, graduating in 2006 on scholarship exchange at University of Miami. In addition to percussion and drums, Holly is a singer, songwriter and storyteller who actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with leading musicians. She most recently performed in a debut season of the devised piece 'XENIDES' with Black Swan State Theatre Company.

Holly is a passionate and gregarious individual with an infectious zeal for her work, be it arts and events management or music performance. She has maintained an active portfolio of self-initiated performance and touring projects whilst making valuable contributions to the planning and execution of major Australian arts and cultural events. Holly is a registered 500 hour yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance, and is passionate about the integration of health and wellness with wellbeing for arts practitioners. She has taught workshops on music and wellbeing for Katherine Regional Arts (NT), Arts Wellbeing Collective (Arts Centre Melbourne) and St Bernards College.


Topics mentioned:

  • Growing up and learning music in Australia
  • Playing casually in orchestras
  • Perspectives on the classical orchestral scene
  • Applying for an assistant orchestral position with no experience
  • Arts administration
  • Working for the Darwin Festival among other notable festivals
  • Making the decision to pursue music
  • The importance of taking care of yourself
  • Being realistic about time management
  • Managing a “portfolio” career
  • Applying purpose and focus
  • Behind the scenes of a music festival
  • Seperating your job from your life
  • Understanding organizational/venue budgets
  • The power of communication
  • How to plan for variable income
  • Multiple. Streams. Of. Income
  • Being a full-time side hustler
  • Meal planning and grocery shopping
  • Healthy detachment and the self-worth stigma
  • Making a conscious decision away from orchestras
  • “What are your hobbies?”
  • The practice stigma
  • How your life translates into your music
  • The lure of teaching music
  • “Everything in life is sales”
  • Connecting with people and developing relationships

Resources & Names Mentioned:

Connect with Holly


[email protected]


Thanks for listening and keep thriving!


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