Thank her for your coffee. Look her in the eye, and appreciate the fuel boost she delivered.
Look her in the eye, and appreciate the sweet caramel iced coffee she lost a breath over when hesitantly ordering. She most likely was nervous the entire time trying to remember if it was 1% or skim milk. When she brings it to you, acknowledge her. Big or small, your appreciation means more to her than the check in the mail.
When you look at him or her, flashback to 15 years ago, 20 years, 30 years, however long ago, and remember when you were in the same boat. Remind yourself of the times you stumbled over your own words when introduced to the booking agent of the company, the stage manager, or anyone who was in a superior position.
The girl who brought you your coffee is just as nervous as you were 15 years ago.
She is still overwhelmed when she is assigned the simplest task, even after 7 years. She’s nervous to ask you questions without coming on as too overbearing or enthusiastic.
She is capable and has a brain full of thoughts ready to share. All she needs is an honest and sincere opportunity to share. Invite her into the conversation. She won’t jump in without being told because she doesn’t want to step on toes, but trust me, in her head she is reciting her ideas to an imaginary crowd that eagerly nods heads with ‘oohs’ and ‘ahs’.
She is ready to fail. More than you believe, despite her sensitive demeanor. Her failure will thicken her skin and she knows that. She knows the music industry is tough because she has heard the stories.
She will not learn until she has failed 100 times then 100 times more, she will not become a mentor to the next eager 15-year-old if she herself does not halve someone to look up to.
We never stop learning, we never stop being nervous around those superior to us, and we will never stop needing the coffee some production assistant panicked over getting you.