In this episode, I explain who I am as it relates to my persona, new venture and website, Joe Costello Global and my ownership of Onstage Entertainment Group as the CEO, a talent management/booking agency located in Arizona and Colorado.
I explain how I was equipped at a young age with the skills to be an entrepreneur growing up in the restaurant business which later allowed me to use those skills to eventually start Onstage.
Now through this podcast, “The Joe Costello Show”, my website, my YouTube videos, talking in front of audiences, etc., I hope to share some of my life lessons that I believe could help guide someone who may be struggling in various situations that I have already encountered.
This is a short episode to simply give you, the listener, some additional insights to who I am and how I got where I am today in a really brief synopsis.
I hope you enjoy!
Podcast Music By: Andy Galore, Album: “Out and About“, Song: “Chicken & Scotch” 2014
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Hey, welcome everybody to The Joe Costello show. I thought on this episode what I would do would be to give a little background on my company Onstage Entertainment Group. I think what’s been happening is people are a little bit confused about who I am and what I do and they see Joe Costello Global. And to give you a little insight on that, the reason why it’s Joe Costello Global is because joecostello.com is taken up by some real estate, commercial real estate guy down in I think, it’s Missouri, I believe, and I’ve written to him a couple of times to see if I could actually buy the domain name, and I’ve haven’t had any luck thus far.
But then I started thinking about it and I wasn’t going to let that, you know, the whole domain thing slow me down. So I started Joe Costello Global, because to be honest, I wanted to be a sort of global in the way that I want to do a bunch of different things that help people. And that whole realm for me is about giving back and teaching life lessons and sharing what has happened with me. So that’s where that all came from but this episode is just to clear up what Onstage Entertainment Group is and how I fit into that. And I basically am just going to go back to where it started and just, you know, explain about the company, how I did it and where we are today. And this way they’ll be a clear distinction between Joe Costello Global, The Joe Costello Show, which really leans a lot more towards global, because I didn’t want to be pigeonholed into just music or just the entertainment world.
And then, you know, Onstage Entertainment Group is my talent management/booking agency. So let’s start there. So anyhow, as some of you may or may not know, I grew up in the restaurant business, which was definitely the foundation for me to understand business, be able to speak with people and have the confidence to understand what a particular venue or a room inside a venue would need in regards to its’ entertainment. You know, if it’s, if it’s a spot where people are sitting, having intimate dinners, the music has to be background. If it’s the lounge area where there’s a dance floor and it’s going to invite people up to actually dance, you’re going to want music that will provide dance music for these people. And then you have everything in between. When I grew up in the restaurant business, I saw some very elaborate weddings, I understand the flow of those things. And so at that time, I had no idea that eventually, like a lot of us eventually, that this would be something that would be helpful to me and I would be able to use all the pieces of being an entrepreneur, having this, you know, this heavy restaurant background growing up, you know, my parents own this and I and I worked my way up through it, going to music school and then becoming a performer myself.
So I literally am a combination of entrepreneur, business owner, understanding the restaurant business, understanding venues, understanding music, understanding the correct kind of performances that should be in certain areas. So if we fast forward through all the years that I did various other businesses as an entrepreneur, which mostly it was in technology and software and networking and things like that.
When I finally landed in Arizona in 2004, there was still one more business that I was going to open and see how it went. I opened up a home automation company which was basically putting in home theaters, lighting controls, audio throughout the house, you know, just centralized system controls that literally you could control your whole house. I don’t know, it’s probably, most of you would not know this show, but a long time ago, there was a show called The Jetsons actually wanted this sort of I think, you know, name the company that. But, and that was a very few futuristic show, just like Star Trek or any of those where, you know, you could hit a single button and all of these things would happen. So I thought that was fun. Little did I know the hard work that would go into it and the manual labor and me being up on a 15 foot ladder and all of these crazy things. So anyhow, when the two thousand eight crash came, where the housing market just, you know, disappeared. Literally when we would go and see a house being built or we would see a piece of land being cleared for a house to be built or a, you know, a slab of concrete being laid for that house, we would stop and we’d ask to speak to the general contractor and, you know, went from a couple of people fighting for one of those, you know, home automation jobs to one house and there was thirty five of us bidding on the same thing. So to me, I took that as a sign and I said, OK, it’s time to get out of the home automation business. I was lucky I didn’t have warehouses or trucks or a bunch of employees. So it was pretty easy to just sort of dissolve that and move on to the next thing.
For me, the next thing was I decided to get up every day and do nothing unless it involved music. And so I made a pledge to myself starting, this was towards the end of 2010, beginning of literally January 1st of 2011, that whatever I did every day, it had to involve music in some way, shape or form. So for me, that meant doing, you know, studio record and going to the studio and laying down drum tracks for singer songwriters or whatever, teaching drum lessons. And then at that time, I literally was the leader of, of all of my bands. I would get called occasionally to perform with other groups but at that time I, I had my own groups and I was pretty much playing seven days a week. There were a lot of doubles on Saturdays and Sundays, you know, you do an early gig and then you’d go somewhere else and do a later one that night. So I went from barely playing at all, owning this company to 2011, I started basically, I guess it was called JC Productions because I didn’t have an official corporate name, but I had these bands, I was paying these musicians to be in these bands with me and do these gigs.
And then we got an opportunity to perform, one of my bands got an opportunity perform at a high end resort here in Scottsdale, Arizona, called the Montelucia Resort. It’s now, it’s changed ownership a few times. It’s now called the Omni Scottsdale at, Omni Scottsdale Resort at Montelucia. And so that’s right on the corner of Lincoln and Tatum here in Paradise Valley in Scottsdale. And we went in and we did an audition on a Sunday afternoon. We got invited in and they said, just come into play two or three songs, we’ll feed you and, you know, it’s one of those it’s kind of one of those horror stories where you never want to go into a bar or a lounge and play for free with the hopes of getting a gig but this was different because it was at the resort level. The person that introduced us to the management, I trusted, I trusted the management. So here we go, we go and we do this, this, quote, audition air quotes, if you’re listening, not watching this video and we get the gig and they love the band so much they said, “Can you play every Friday and Saturday until we tell you we don’t want you any longer?” And I was like, “Yeah, sure, that’s great!” So literally, we went from playing around to some bars, sports bars and things like that, where there’s a million TV’s hanging and no one cares if the band’s there or not, to finally getting a really cool resort gig where people would actually sit in the lounge area and watch us and get up and dance. And so things were looking great.
Then what happened was we would start to get even more inquiries about doing a wedding on a Saturday night or a private party for a lot more money at, you know, at a corporate event or a private home or whatever it might be. So right when that happened, a light bulb went off and I said, you know what, instead of me just turning this gig over to one of my buddies and saying, “Hey, you know, this is the time we do it, we’re playing from eight to eleven on Friday and Saturday nights” are or this particular date coming up, I a light bulb went off and I said, let me find the right band for the venue, for the room and it would take a big strain off of management worrying about who’s coming in and I would basically vet any of the entertainment that had to replace my band on particular nights. So I started doing that and I was able to keep management really happy. All the bands I brought in to replace us on the nights that we couldn’t be there, worked out really well. And then all of a sudden it just kind of snowballed from there.
I think the word got out that I understood, you know, venues, I understood what rooms in the venues needed for particular types of entertainment, I understood the volume, I understood what the entertainment should dress like and it just that was basically the beginning of Onstage Entertainment Group.
And so here we are, we are in 2020 and I said this started in 2010. So here we are 10 years later and we went from one resort to at one point we had 9 full time resorts booking entertainment from us on on a weekly, nightly basis. We have a private country club up in North Scottsdale that we handle. We then decided, I think it was three years ago. There are companies that are called destination management companies and those companies are companies that are, do all the heavy logistics for corporations that come in and want to hold conferences in town, in Scottsdale or Phoenix or even in any town like Florida or any of the destination places where corporations would go and hold their conference. And so these companies, what they do is they handle all the logistics, logistics, because the events are so large that they have to handle the the enter the sorry, they have to handle the transportation from the airport to bring all of these people to the hotels where the conference is happening, they have to setup any the golf outings, cocktail hours, dinners, meeting rooms, any special events off property like cowboy barbecue out in the desert or whatever.
And the cool thing is, is that those companies also need entertainment. And I started to become a source for them for that entertainment. So now I went from just booking the nightly entertainment at these resorts, to then working with these destination management companies that we called DMCs to provide even more elaborate entertainment to the point where I would have synchronized swimmers in a pool for a cocktail hour or a couple of years ago, one of these companies had Jefferson Starship as their nightly entertainment and I booked the whole thing, picked them up at the airport, blah, blah, blah, all of that stuff, green room. So you can see that, you know, basically when the time is right, things come your way and as long as you’re open to them, you know, things work out.
So now Onstage Entertainment Group handles all, you know, any resort requests that we have and we’d like to get these clients and hang onto them and really be a great partnership with them. And then we work with the destination management companies to handle any requests that they have and it literally could be anything from an instrumental guitarist, you know, sitting in the corner for a cocktail hour. So like I said, synchronized swimmers in a pool to full circus acts all the way up to A, A, B and C list entertainment.
So it’s literally anything that falls in the realm of entertainment, we get asked for. So our roster grew from 172 forms of entertainment, we then expanded into Colorado last year in in 2019 and now our roster has exploded to over 500 forms of entertainment between here in Arizona and Colorado and then that also means entertainment we pull in from like Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Nashville, Chicago, New York, places like that.
So now we do not only the resorts and the destination management companies, but then we work with a lot of event planners who either will do private parties, anniversaries, you know, 80th birthday and then every every sort of wedding that you can think of. So we went from just being a music agency to now a fully functional talent management/booking agency and we handle all forms of entertainment. And right now, we’re in the state of Arizona and the state of Colorado and before COVID-19 hit, I was myself, a full time employee and two part time employees. Now, obviously, with no events happening and everything being locked down for three months, right when it happened, I basically had to strip the company back to just myself. So here we are on June 9th, 2020 and the resorts are just starting to open back up and we’re getting requests for entertainment for the lounges and I believe it’ll just get back to normal a lot faster than we think.
And that’s really the story of Onstage Entertainment Group. That’s, that other side of me that people that listen to the podcast might not know about or those of you that go to joecostelloglobal.com might not understand, OK, I don’t get it, he is, who is this compared to being the CEO of Onstage? But now, you know, I wanted to explain how it started.
We are still here alive and well and we’re really looking forward to the end of 2020 to really, you know, get going again but it’s nice that today a bunch of things started streaming in again and we’re looking forward to finishing out twenty twenty, not too bad, I hope.
All right. Well, thank you for listening. Now, you know who Joe Costello is, now, you know who Joe Costello Global is and now you know who Onstage is and I really appreciate you listening to this podcast. And we have some great guests coming up but this was an important episode to get out there so everyone understands who the man is behind the curtain, which is me and now, you know.
Thank you so much for listening. Love you guys! And have a great rest of 2020. Hang in there, it’ll only get better. I promise.