Shane Shuhart found his calling while watching the MTV premiere of Michael Jackson's music video-cum-horror film spoof "Thriller" in the early '80s.

"I must have been 5 or 6. I was sitting in my parents' living room as they were throwing a party," recalled Shuhart. " 'Thriller' came on, and I was just amazed."

By the time the New Jersey native reached high school, he already had a career in the music industry, managing and promoting his friends' bands.

Now the director of talent at Hollywood-based Nederlander Concerts, Shuhart promotes and books acts for major venues throughout the Western U.S., including the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood and his personal favorite, Griffith Park's Greek Theatre.

He wasn't an overnight success, though.

A few months into a job as a booking assistant at Philadelphia's historic Trocadero Theatre, Shuhart, a student at the Art Institute of Philadelphia at the time, got a big break. His boss recommended him to take on the position of assistant to Nat Burgess, head of the music department at the Agency for the Performing Arts in New York.

"That was my in to the music business," said Shuhart.

Having nowhere to stay in New York, he suffered through a two-and-a-half-hour commute each way via Greyhound bus.

"Every day I carried a briefcase," Shuhart said. "It had nothing in it except a pillow."

After two years of working as an assistant in New York, Shuhart was promoted to an agent position at APA in L.A., a job he held for eight years as he built a roster of clients, including bands like Flogging Molly, and watched them play bigger venues every year.

When it was time for a change, Shuhart decided he would see what it's like being one of the promoters that he dealt with daily.

"I'm on the opposite side of what I did as an agent," Shuhart said. "It's all sort of the same, but I have a great perspective doing my job because I've been on the other side."

He's not sure where the path will take him.

"But I know whatever I'm doing, it'll be in the music industry," he said.

Shuhart lives in Hollywood with his Maltese-poodle hybrid named Peanut, and enjoys traveling to Costa Rica when he's not attending music shows.

Jean Yung

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