A career frequently takes turns.
“I thought I would become a teacher,” recalled Doris Schwartz. “But upon entering high school, I was drawn to the secretarial field. I entered the workforce right out of high school. I spent most of my career in the telecommunications industry — all secretarial.”
“Oftentimes I had been an independent in some field even though working full-time,” Schwartz said. “I had a hiatus from telecommunications for eight years after our first child was born. I had a short stint in modeling and then became a director for May Kay Cosmetics and stayed with them for about 10 years. I also worked for a nutrition company for just as long in sales.”
After 29 years as an executive secretary, Schwartz retired then attended leadership training through the Chamber of Commerce.
“I had a love for helping people,” she noted, “and those independent stints provided much personal growth for me. Independent work is not easy. It takes tenacity and oftentimes a thick skin. So when I was approached to help a singer/songwriter acquire more bookings, I knew I could help. I also knew my years as an executive secretary afforded me the tenacity, knowledge and background to be able to be a good booking agent.”
Today, Schwartz runs Dee’s Performing Artists.
“I represent three iconic singer/songwriters,” she said. “Their specialty is house concerts and listening room environments, as well as select wineries and fine brew pubs.”
The name, Dee’s Performing Artists, by the way, came from one of her singers.
“I don’t have a middle name,” Schwartz explained, “and I’m dubbed ‘Dee’ by many of the singers that I’ve booked for. Family and friends know me as Doris. Many in the music field call me Dee.”
Schwartz grew up in Marion and graduated from Marion Harding High School in 1971.
“I sort of fell into the role of a booking agent,” she said. “I attended a local event and met a singer/songwriter that I went to high school with. I was astonished that I had no knowledge of them playing, so I started helping them get some ‘gigs’ and giving them some exposure.”
“There’s a syndicated television show on PBS called ‘Songs at the Center,’” she added. “Songwriters are interviewed and then perform before a live audience. We attended those tapings several years ago at the McConnell Arts Center in Worthington. It’s there I met several singer/songwriters who heard I was doing bookings. So ultimately, I was approached by several to help them out.”
“As one of the musicians she books for, she does a great job keeping me working!” said Steve Mull, a Marion-based musician and music teacher. “She’s a great lady with a sincere interest in keeping her artists well taken care of! She cares!”
“This ‘gig’ I do is definitely from the heart,” Schwartz responded. “It’s never been about the money. It was a challenge I took on and I just love it! Could I make it a bigger business? Absolutely. I receive inquiries all the time from singers to help promote them, but I want to keep it simple and not have to hire any help. By working only part-time with bookings, it gives me ample time to also volunteer in the Marion community, another one of my passions.”
For more information about Dee’s Performing Artists, look on Facebook.
Aces of Trades is a weekly series focusing on people and their jobs — whether they’re unusual jobs, fun jobs or people who take ordinary jobs and make them extraordinary. If you have a suggestion for a future profile, let us know at email@example.com.