According to the Motion Picture Association, there are 892,000 people in the film and television industry, and hundreds of thousands of them lost their jobs when the pandemic struck.
As a DJ and electronic music producer, Trent Edmond loves telling stories through his digital turntable.
“Every song I publish is a chapter in Downlowd’s story,” Edmond said.
Downlowd is his comic book creation and the character he’s built a brand around while playing live events and raves across the country. He also produced mixed tapes for Universal Music, but all of the gigs went pretty much overnight when the pandemic hit. Edmond said he was in Austin, Texas at the “SXSW Music Festival”.
“I think I was like three gigs, and then I just had to cancel all the other dates because it became very obvious that this was going to be a very serious thing,” Edmond said.
Like many others whose livelihood depends on live events, he didn’t know how he would pay his rent.
“It was terrifying. I live in LA,” he said. “It’s very real, and there are still people who don’t know how they’re going to survive.”
After briefly working for a moving company, Edmond responded to a job offer for a solar energy sales consultant, commission only for Solar energy partners, a solar brokerage company.
He didn’t know much about solar but was intrigued by the opportunity to do something to help save the planet.
“It’s no secret that we’ve been destroying the planet quite persistently for 100 years, so it’s time to try and reverse that as best we can,” Edmond said.
At first, he said he didn’t make a deal for three months, but suddenly caught fire, making four to five sales a week.
“I can do it from anywhere in the world,” he said. “I can do Zoom conferences.”
One week, he said he made $ 20,000 and is now a district manager, helping train other salespeople while managing social media.
He said the company receives up to 1,500 applications per week, and many people appreciate the flexibility to create their schedule while pursuing other passions.
“We have people who have gone from theater to solar power, and one of our reps who was the mentor with us, she took off for a little while to shoot a movie with Amazon,” Edmond said.
And without saying when the live events will return or what they will look like when they do, Edmond is just grateful for his new home in solar sales.
“Every time I wake up, every day that I wake up, I am delighted to talk to team members. I am delighted to be working on solar power. I am delighted to meet new clients,” said Edmond.
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