Grosse Pointe News | August 30th, 2018 | Pointer of Interest
Pointer of Interest: Woods woman models living the dream Teresa Welc By Melissa Walsh
Woods resident Teresa Welc lives out the mantra: “Don’t give up on your dreams.”
Welc, right, with husband, Steven, and son, Jack. Photo courtesty of Teresa Welc
“I was always very independent growing up and even before college I knew what I wanted to do,” she said. “I knew that I wanted to be in the entertainment industry.”
Welc said throughout her career she refused “to settle for complacency.”
Welc, 37, grew up in Macomb Township, graduating from Dakota High School in 1999 before attending Oakland University as a stagecraft major and swimming for OU’s swim team.
During her sophomore year she transferred to Michigan State University, where she worked at the Breslin Center as a production assistant. The job involved planning and logistics for the venue’s athletic events and concerts.
Welc enjoyed the challenges as a “runner” for the artists coming to town and began setting her sights on behind-the-scenes entertainment work as a career.
Meeting the challenges of “running” cultivated a confidence in Welc, for example, when the rapper Bow Wow required her to “run” to find Cristal champagne.
“It’s really hard to find Cristal on the campus of Michigan State University,” she recalled. “Even though I wasn’t 21 at the time, my job was to find the Cristal somewhere so someone else could pick it up.”
Welc said when Matchbox Twenty played at the Breslin Center Oct. 16, 2003, she landed a big break in the industry, which wouldn’t transpire until years later.
Welc recalled feeling “so stoked” when she learned she would be running for her favorite band. It was while picking up Matchbox Twenty lead singer, Rob Thomas, at the airport, she began learning from the band’s head of security, Jason Browning, the ins and outs of the professionalism she would need.
Browning, who later became Welc’s mentor, advised her, “You can’t show your emotion. You can’t show that you’re a fan girl, because you have to remain professional.”
Following the show, Welc said she told Browning, “If you ever need an assistant, I’d love to go on the road with you guys.”
Following college, Welc worked for the Detroit Red Wings as a seasonal temporary marketing assistant. When the season ended, the organization found her a position with Olympia Entertainment as an event accountant at the Fox Theatre. Welc’s work there centered on “settling shows,” or working with the local promoter to handle behind-the scenes procurements and payments.
“I had no accounting experience whatsoever,” she said. “But they saw potential in me. They knew I was passionate about the entertainment industry.”
Four years later, after settling more than 150 shows, Welc’s Matchbox Twenty encounter in college came full circle, when Browning, now the band’s tour manager, offered her the role of assistant tour manager for the tour beginning the next day.
Though Welc enjoyed her job at the Fox, she seized the opportunity, immediately resigning to join the band in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., the next day.
“No notice. You kind of ruin your reputation with a really good, well-established company in the Detroit area, especially in the entertainment industry,” Welc said. “So this was kind of a make-it-or-break-it thing.”
Welc toured with Matchbox Twenty and other bands until August 2017, when she adjusted her career to suit changes in her personal life.
She met Steve January 2011, while working at a St. Clair Shores restaurant between tours. They married October 2012. In December 2015, their son, Jack, was born. They’re expecting their second son late November.
Welc said missing her family forced a necessary search for opportunity closer to home.
“I lost passion for traveling on the road so much,” she said.
When Faculty and Management Productions in Los Angeles offered Welc a position as director of touring and production, she took the risk of asking if her new boss would allow her to apply her proven skills and years of experience in the industry while working from her Grosse Pointe Woods home. He agreed.
Managing the tours of popular entertainment artists remotely, Welc travels to LA periodically for meetings, which allows her work-life balance, as does playing hockey with the Grosse Pointe Chill.
Welc said her refusal to be complacent set her into a life she loves.
“I think the moral of my story is if you follow your dreams and passion, anything is possible,” Welc said. “It’s gotten me to a place where I still love what I do.”