Listen to the interview (approx. 1 hr. 15 min.) or download it.
Graduated in 2010 with a major in Contemporary Writing and Production (CWP). Principal Instrument: voice.
Position: Freelance Food Stylist and Film Production Roles. Chloe works on generally-one-day projects to make food items particularly aesthetically pleasing for advertising. Sometimes she’ll work in an administrative role for a film project, which typically lasts one or two weeks.
Overview: After graduation, Chloe moved to New York City. She did a couple of music-related internships, but didn’t see the potential to make much money and was determined to support herself and pay her student loans. She had an uncle who worked as a film producer, and got part-time work as a production assistant, reaching out to others in the industry once she had some experience. She also picked up food styling as part of her work, often finding herself working to assist food stylists.
In mid-2014, Chloe moved to L.A., both to be near family and to reconnect with old friends. She worked entry-level jobs to get her foot in the door, and quickly moved up. In early 2015 she got a full-time job as a marketing content coordinator at 72 and Sunny, a marketing agency, but soon came to feel that a corporate job was “stuffy” and “not who I am.” Sensing her unhappiness, she was let go in mid-2015, and Chloe went back to food styling, which she enjoys a lot more, and have been doing that since–adding longer freelance gigs to supplement her income.
You can see Chloe’s LinkedIn profile here.
Choice Quotes: “It feels good to be part of a team. I love meeting new people all the time.If I like the team I work with often they’re doing more work and you just keep going.”
“You hit the ground running. You’re always on your feet, you’re always learning, and you’re working with people to problem-solve in real time.”
“I didn’t think I’d be able to get so many jobs with my Berklee degree, but people think it’s cool. I also learned how to write my resume for specific jobs. For example, when I was applying for that advertising agency job I re-framed my food styling as a “culinary advertising producer” and would play up the accounting and managing role.”
“It’s critical to get a good network for your career. Be aggressive about building it! I reached out to people who knew people who knew people I knew. And if they didn’t respond I’d try again a month later.”
Chloe as a Berklee student, performing a caf show with her band, “Chloe and the Spills.” “Putting together a band, and reaching out good venues to play in, was great practice for professional networking–which is so important to my career.”
Chloe in food-stylist mode, posing with her assistant and a heat gun. Chloe reflects on some similarities between food styling and her music education. “There’s no slack in performance classes it’s clear if you didn’t do your homework. Same for food styling. In both, you have to be 100% present.”
Chloe performing with a cover band in L.A. Chloe continues to write music, perform a bit, does the occasional session and music teaching gig, and has written theme music for a friend’s podcast. Full details on Chloe’s music page. “I’m enjoying music. The pressure is off: I’m not trying to make a living, and that’s very freeing! If a music career does happen some day, great! If not, I am still enjoying life, one day at a time!”