Don’t Give Up Your Day Job: Mikee Carpinter

Mikee Carpinter
Props Boy, rock guitarist, colourist, band manager, music producer: Mikee Carpinter has surely held many a day-job


For over twenty years Mikee Carpinter has worked in both film/TV and music in New Zealand. If you grew up in the late 1990s and early 2000s you would have seen him in his signature visor hat on the children’s TV show What Now, as Props Boy, a character that came from him being the literal “props boy” for the show.

Alongside his career on set, Mikee found his passion for guitar, eventually forming and playing for the rock band Autozamm for over a decade. He is now a full-time colourist for commercials, music videos and film/TV. He is also the band manager for indie pop band Alae and co-runs a production company.

Mikee talked with fellow guitarist Danny McCrum about his multi-faceted career, digging deep into topics like what it means to evolve as a musician, the difficulties of thinking about money as an artist and what he’s learned about managing other people.

If you’re dying to know what went on behind the scenes of one of NZ’s longest running children’s TV programmes and how someone makes the switch from guitarist to band manager, you’ll want to have a listen.

On trying something you’re not yet good at:

“If you’ve got a passion for something like music and you can’t play guitar, well everyone starts not being able to play guitar. …You have to start not being good at something. And then it’s up to you to get good at it. [As a guitar player] you’re never gonna master the art of playing guitar.

“[I] remember those little winds you’d get though, when you were jamming on a scale you’ve never done and all of a sudden you’re like, I can’t believe I’ve been practicing for so long and now I can do it.”

On how to be a successful band manager:

Successful to me is reaching a fanbase of people that you know will enjoy that music. Like how do you reach out to the maybe thousand people that…you think will love this band? How do I get this band to them? Because that’s the toughest thing, right, in the world of oversaturated music and content and all that stuff I don’t care how many records you sell, or really how many people come to the show. It’s more about going, let’s make sure that what you’re doing that I believe in is reaching the right people.”

Written by Hannah Amante - a writer and copy-editor living in Wellington. She has held a stunning range of day jobs.

Written by

The Big Idea Editor

18 Apr 2019

The Big Idea Editor

Barnie Duncan. Image: Evan Munro-Smith
Some entirely original and quirky advice
Rodney Fisher, image supplied
Goodshirt’s Rodney Fisher shares his advice on how to navigate the industry
Performing in the community to enrich the likes of others - senior music students performing at the local library to celebrate NZ Music Month.
STEAM vs. STEM - why the arts must be proactively included in curriculum design
Sean Mallon and Sébastien Galliot, Tatau: A History of Sāmoan Tattooing
For those looking for a great new book to read, we have the winners of this year’s Ockham NZ Book Awards.