Sunday, September 7, 2014

Do You Have What It Takes To Be An Artist Manager In The Entertainment Business?

I have speculated for a long time that I had little interest in a career in artist management, and author Paul Allen (2007, pp. 55-67) reiterates my awareness of that fact in Chapter 6 of Artist Management for the Music Business. While I certainly recognize the need for and appreciate the hard work of these dedicated professionals, I have no desire to become what I would describe as a professional babysitter. Much praise to those who do, however, because they are the bearings and grease that make the music wheel turn. (Oswald, 2007).

Do I want to prepare meal and drink budgets for a potential rising star’s showcase venue? Do I want to console an artist when a performance was not up to par? Counsel an artist on proper savings for tax purposes? Simple answer: Hell no. I have no patience for such things. These are grown up issues that grown up people know how to handle.  But that is just me.

The opposing side to my position is that a career in artist management can lead to all kinds of exciting things: The ability to travel incessantly, socialize as part of your job, meet brilliantly talented people, and potentially earn a very significant income. However, if a person desires a career in artist management, they had better decide so early in life. It takes years to build up the kind of network and power to get past gatekeepers and open the door to decision makers on behalf of an artist. (Allen, 2007).

As entrepreneurs in the entertainment business, we all must assess our strengths and weaknesses related to an opportunity. A weakness of mine (as it relates to this topic) is that I am analytical and unmoved by emotional appeal. If I managed an artist that had just performed their showcase and bombed, the first thing I would do is ask why, not give them a hug and reassure them that “it will all be okay.” In fact, my position would more likely be: “You just wasted my time.” That is not the attitude that most artists want in a prospective partner, and I am fully aware of that. Nevertheless, I am also aware that there is a need for a supportive manager/partner, and would be more than happy to point an artist in the right direction.


Allen, P. (2007). Artist Management for the Music Business. Burlington, MA: Elseviar, Inc.

Oswald, M. (2007). What Does an Artist Manager Do? Artist House Music. Retrieved from:

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