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Showbiz: Best Friends Forever

Knowing some of the technical aspects of the entertainment industry and how it works is vital. First and foremost, a solid and trusting working relationship is imperative between the talent and the manager. There is an old saying in the industry: “A manager and artist’s working relationship is like a marriage.”

This pair goes through the “dating process” by getting to know each other, so to speak. Then there is the “engagement,” which is the process of building trust. And finally, the contract is signed. This means the talent and manager have developed mutual faith and trust in one another in order to begin the pursuit of a full-time working relationship. The manager will oversee day-to-day operations for the artist in the development of their act, which consists of countless hours in an out of the office.

A manager wears many hats. This includes making countless phone calls on behalf of the talent, and dealing with problems that arise unexpectedly. A manager works closely with booking agents, making sure engagement and/or personal appearance contracts are consumated and followed through properly. A manager also works with casting directors, producers, photographers, graphic designers, publicists, band members, tour managers, bus leasing companies, record labels, music publishers, and an array of other industry professionals.

There are countless activities that go into the fulfillment of management duties. The standard management percentage ranges from 10 to 20 percent of the talent’s gross earnings. Managers who represent “name acts” are not concerned about signing acts that require too much developmental time and effort. This makes it hard for new artists to break out. However, do not let this discourage you from pursuing your hopes and aspirations.

Good managers are always keeping their eyes and ears open for talent who have the potential for break out success. Managers are always seeking new artists to develop. They are always willing to take a chance on talent with potential and passion. Managers will always support their talent in securing recording contracts with record labels. They work hard to help their actors land parts in feature films, or to help their models to sign with renowned agencies.

Learning to be vocal
Professional vocal coaches are experienced in teaching various vocal techniques. Many of them have majored in music, while others are experienced in vocal production. Vocal coaches specialize in certain types of vocal coaching. For example, some may teach theory, while others may emphasize vocal projection, technique, and learning a certain vocal style that fits the singer’s voice.

Some singers will develop with a certain vocal coach for a long period of time, especially if they are continuing to learn something from every lesson. Other singers are not comfortable with a certain vocal coach because they are not growing, or they simply do not get along with the coach. The singer and the vocal coach must establish a solid working relationship together.

Some vocal coaches are somewhat strict, which can be a good thing. However, if the strict discipline is preventing the singer from learning, this can lead to a waste of time and money. When starting with a new vocal coach, my suggestion is that the singer should devote at least three to six months with that coach. It can be hard finding the right coach, but if you do, it can be quite rewarding. As a record producer, I often spend many hours in the studio coaching singers while recording vocal tracks. There are other times that I may bring in a coach to assist me with vocalists in the studio. Singers will often bring their personal vocal coaches to the studio on the day they are doing their vocal over-dubs.

Scoring your stage presence
Your actions on stage are just as important as maintaining great vocals or working the runway whether you are competing in talent competitions or otherwise. Our industry has been blessed to have many talented trainers who can really teach and bring out natural movements, gestures, what to say and what not to say on stage, image, how to dance, and how to get that natural eye contact with the audience and judges. Many of these techniques come natural with some talent which can make the process a bit easier. Even so, the ones with the natural gift still need to train with a professional.

Others who do not have that natural gift can be trained to make their performances come across with natural feeling. Various coaches specialize and instruct in each of these areas, where others specialize and train in just one part. For example, there are instructors who train in walking the runway, or the way to look for photo shoots, or work on how to answer questions for the interview segment of a pageant. Others may work on vocal training and various hand gestures and dance routines.

Showbiz: Pageantry Sound Studio

The people behind the records
Record producers will work with individual artists, bands, or vocal groups (such as a church choir). Sometimes, the record label will hire a professional to produce one of their acts. The producer will provide the clients with the best sounding product possible. A good producer will find just the right crew of musicians who play a certain style of music. Producers also choose the right recording facility and sound engineers. They perform pre-production work, including finding songs for the artists, or helping them with songs they may have composed.

The producer will often work directly with the sound engineers through various phases of editing and mixing. For a band, the producer will work closely with each group member to ensure that the sound and the song arrangements are coming across the right way. Oftentimes, sound engineers, musicians, songwriters, and singers are also producers and will hire a co-producer. It is not uncommon for some recording projects (especially albums) to have several producers, such as a producer, an executive producer, an associate producer, and/or a co-producer.

Get your act together
Acting coaches develop talent of all levels. Acting teachers will coach in areas such as film acting, scene study, character development, improvisation, sitcom, soap opera, commercial auditioning, on camera technique, and many other styles. The best actors are well trained in all areas, and can switch effortlessly from stage to film to commercials.

Actors should be pushed past their comfort zones when developing, so as to stretch and hone their instruments and craft. Actors should never stop training, as competition is fierce. There is always another talent out there training harder and longer than you. Never underestimate them.
Not-so-secret agents

A booking agent is a person who secures audition and booking opportunities for the talent. There are different types of agents. There are agents for models, actors, hosts, singers, musicians, bands, and specialty acts. Some agencies book all types of talent and have various divisions. If the act is signed with a management firm, agents will work with the managers to further the talent’s career.

 

Jim Purdy’s musical accomplishments and talents have been recognized and respected by entertainment executives and name recording artists throughout the industry. With thirty years experience in the entertainment industry, Jim has worked with Steve Wariner, BJ Thomas, David Frizzell, Mark Herndon (Alabama Band) and the late Chet Atkins. As a recording artist, Jim secured several top ten and charted singles, as well as a gold record for having two simultaneous hits in the top ten. Jim is an active sterling member of the “Country Music Association” and “The Recording Academy Of America” (Grammy’s). He is currently the CEO of Right Direction Group, seen at rightdirectiongroup.com.

 

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