Booking Performances Like a Pro
Jenny makes an appointment to discuss performance opportunities. She's in her late twenties, a talented and ambitious pianist, who's won a few competitions. Since getting her master's degree two years ago, she's been teaching at a community music school. She also has a few private students, accompanies for a voice teacher's studio, and has performed with several new music ensembles in the area.
At the appointment, I ask how things are going. Jenny tells me, “The teaching is OK, I like working with kids, but this isn't what I had in mind for life after graduation. I really want to be making a living as a performer, playing solo recitals. I was hoping you could give me the names of a few artist managers so that I can get representation.”
I'm asked a version of this question about once a week: “How do I get a manager?” And it's similar to the question in chapter 4, “How do I get a record contract?” in that the answer takes some deconstructing.
Musicians tend to perpetuate myths about management, because they often are uninformed about the realities of the way artist management works. Fantasies are passed along from teachers to students, to colleagues, in a loop of misinformation. Circulated fairy tales often contain kernels of truth about how management either worked in the past or how it has worked in a few exceptional cases. The problem lies in accepting these myths as reality, as general rules for all.