Sheila Conlin Talks About Think:EXP by Eileen Shapiro
Sheila Conlin is recognized as “the driving force behind creating the criteria, systems and approach to casting for reality shows.” Her background is in agency talent, her passion is music and she is currently the driving behind the scenes force of “Think:EXP”, the edgy and avant-garde project that, “strives to revolutionize the entertainment industry by bridging the gap between the human spirit and technological innovation with one of a kind, immersive concert experiences.”
Rockstar royalty, Scott Page, mastermind of Think:EXP, and saxophonist/guitarist for Pink Floyd, Supertramp, and Toto, joined forces with, Stephen Perkins, drummer of the iconic band Jane’s Addiction, Kenny Olson, founder of Kid Rock’s Twisted Brown Trucker Band, and Bassist Norwood Fisher from the LA band Fishbone. Together as the core musicians of Think:EXP they are creating a ground breaking, musical, spiritual, and technological, immersive phenomena, combing the powerful music of Floyd with outrageous bursts of virtual reality inside the LA Wisdome in downtown LA, who has entitled it “Beyond The Wall”. The faction plans to expand Think:EXP:Floyd to Think:Hendrix, Think:Bowle, Think:Doors, etc. Due to popular demand, and every show sold out, the project will also expand throughout the nation and throughout the planet.
With the most innovative, and compelling project reaching triumphant heights, Sheila Conlin has become the heart of the “behind the scenes” mainframe, and a directorial guru. I had a heart to heart, back stage conversation regarding this unique project and how she manages to manage.
What is your actual title?
I would give my title as C.O.O./ Booking/Talent Management.
How did you become involved with Think:EXP?
Oddly enough I became involved with Think:EXP through Kenny Olson. I discovered Kenny years ago in Traverse City, Michigan when I was Phyllis Diller’s tour manager. I had a night off and I went to a little bar and had a drink and saw this guy and girl on stage playing. I thought ” they sound like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin.” At the time it was Kenny and his girlfriend Carla, who I spoke with after the show. Carla was ready to go off to college and Kenny was ready to go to LA. I thought he was amazing and I asked him what I could do to help him out. He wound up moving out to LA and I wound up managing a couple of his bands. Then the ’94 Earthquake hit and he went home to Detroit. Shortly after that I became a talent agent, music and comedy agent at APA. Both of our lives went on but we always remained close. So, he told me about this guy named Scott that he was trying to do this project with, and he was coming to LA to play a gig. I was standing on the corner and waiting for him to park and then noticed this guy who looked familiar walking down the street. I went up to him and introduced myself and reminded him that he had recently played at my son’s high school graduation party. I had thrown a party for my son at CBS studios and a friend of mine hired a band to play. It was an amazing group of musicians, and the sax player just happened to be Scott Page. We had a blast that night. So I was looking at Scott and thinking how funny it was to see him here. Literally he had played at the graduation party a month prior. Kenny was supposed to at my kids graduation but he got stuck doing the CMA awards, so neither one of them knew that they were supposed to play together. The whole time this Scott that Kenny was talking about was the Scott I had already met.
What a crazy, meant to be thing.
I know. Then Kenny came up to Scott and informed him that I was the Sheila he was talking about and vice-versa. So I went and watched them play and the rest is history. I saw where they could use some help with the Green Room sponsors, this and that. My mind goes straight to business, bookings, what could you do? Music is my passion. I thought there was a couple of ways I could insert myself to really help them out, just from the people that I know and some things that I know how to do. I don’t even know how it evolved from there. Next thing you know I was bringing in wine sponsors, alcohol sponsors, helping with the guest list, meeting people in the green room. I felt like I was the ambassador for Think:EXP.
But you are.
I was literally the meeter/greeter in the glass house. I was making sure everyone was having a good time, then after the show it would be Scott and Kenny and Randy, and the whole band with all of us chatting about what else we could do. Then it became a smaller circle with Randy and Scott. I had a meeting with them in a cafe in Glendale and I had an agenda. I asked them if they’d thought of this and that and they decided they needed someone organized like me to help. So for me I just jumped on board, trying to help put the pieces together to help build the brand and keep the operations running on whatever we are doing, and keeping the band happy. Now I’m working with Randy and Scott, on tightening up the ship, getting more exposure, and getting more opportunities for the band to perform.
It’s a unique concept, what Scott has done with bringing in the core group members…they have this chemistry and they have this second nature each so professional, each in their own right, they have this amazing talent. They play off of each other so well. Then bringing in the vocals like Roberta and Kitten and Yolanda, and it’s just fascinating to watch the magic happen on stage. Then to marry that with the visuals that Scott has created to go along with this, then hearing the rest of the business plan and how this whole performance is going to evolve. So I know they were able to have this opportunity that came up very quickly at the dome and the shows just keep getting better. The visuals and the technology is all coming along and I’m excited to see where we’re going to be in the next 6 to 12 months. As you know it’s a process. You have to stay on top of the competition out there. I really don’t see any competition musicianship wise.
There is no competition when it comes to the music, you have the best of the best up there on stage.
The musicianship is great it’s really getting down the visuals and the timing. I think there is so much more thats going to be added to the show. The experience for the audience I’m super excited about. We are trying to stay consistent with the level of performance to give that audience every night and on top of that improve it each and every time. Then really take this to the next level with the technology that Scott has created to build the Think:EXP brand.
I think this is going to mushroom into something so big, beyond everyone’s realization I believe.
It’s there but it’s also a race against the clock. Competition is heavy for performances because everybody is trying to evolve and do something more interesting and different and have this immersive experience. Scott has brought to the table is the iconic music of the 80s and the 90s that has lived on forever and how to give the audience a new way to experience it. I think that is really special. I have a son who is 19 and I can’t tell you how much he and all of his friends listens to the music of Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Aerosmith, David Bowie, The Doors, etc.. I think this show actually speaks to the younger audiences as well as the tried-and-true fans that have been there forever. I think it’s genius of how he’s created a way to celebrate that music and to enjoy that music and to experience it through a different format. For me it’s a pleasure to be part of the music industry again which is ever so changing and evolving and to be able to work with such amazing talent in each and everyone of these musicians that get on the stage.
Think Floyd by the THINK:EXP supergroup is continuing to hold gigs in a 360º dome with the THINK:EXP and can be seen June 7/8 at the Wisdome in LA. Get your tickets on EventBrite today:
Photo by Billy Hess https://www.billyhess.com