Many famous musicians have their start as roadies, or other support personnel for bands. The same goes for actors. A lot of them worked in the theater or movie sets to be close to their dreams. It is actually the perfect mental exercise for an aspiring performer. When you work 40 hours a day in the environment you wish to break out in, it keeps you motivated as well as close to any opportunity that may arise.
Those wanting to break out in the music business are already talented at their craft, which makes it easy for them to obtain employment. The can go to a concert venue and apply as a technician or sound person. Their skills are always needed as larger groups need constant support before shows, and while on the road. The producers spend a great deal of time and money on getting the performance to sound just right, and that same quality has to be carried to every city they play.
Different venues have different sounds, due to the size and structure of the building. It is up to the music technicians to plan around these variables to create the best sound for the band. Such factors as the distance from the player to the amplifier can make all of the difference as far as sound quality and relay times. Every instrument has to be thoroughly tested and re-tested until the sound is just right. The drums are even a more serious matter. If the drum kit is far off on the back of the stage, the “miking” of the set has to be configured completely different. It is up to these skill technicians to make sure that everything is perfect.
Then, at the end of the show, it all has to come down to be packed and hauled off to the next city. The equipment handlers have to be pros and breaking down and organizing everything, so it can be put back up just as quickly. If equipment is scattered all over, it can cause delays in the show.
The theater is very similar. Skilled people are needed to build sets and costumes, as well as prepare the actors to go on stage. Each night has to be perfect, and there is little room for error. So the employees need to be knowledgeable enough to make the show go off without a hitch. It helps if all of these people are passionate about what they do. It really gives them an opportunity to be around their craft, and the current stars who can inspire them to keep working towards their dreams.
One of the classic examples is Jon Kois. He started working in studios, and setting up small clubs. He made his own luck when he met Tool at a small club in Philadelphia. They asked him to help them on their cross country tour. He later met up with Ronnie James Dio, and his band ended up opening for them at 12 different shows. Jon now credits his music success to those humble beginnings. When he teaches his drum lessons he always tells those stories.