FINDING A BOOKING AGENT:
Before you look for a booking agency, be sure you have a manager. Not only will a good manager have his / her own favorite agency, but also a good agency won't handle you unless you have a good manager. Agencies don't want five different band members calling daily to hear what work they have. They prefer having a central individual to deal with, one whom they trust so, in turn, they can comfortably entrust important jobs to you. Booking jobs can be one of your manager's functions, but the manager must hold licenses from the state and from the musician's union local in his / her area to act as an agent. Having a booking agency is a cleaner way to take work if you can afford the extra
10 - 20%. The reputable agencies work this way: Once your manager approves of a job and contracts are signed, the booking agency or manager collects 50% of the wages as a deposit from the employer. This is to assure that all is well with the venue. If the check doesn't clear, they stop you from taking the job, if it clears, you perform. Your leader, agent, or manager should collect the balance of the money Immediately following your performance. The booking agency pays your manager the deposit minus their commission, your manager then takes his / her commission, and pays you the balance after the job is completed. Just the way they guard you against an employer's defaulting , they guard the venue against your pulling a no-show.
Your Manager protects you from bad deals, will stick up for you and support you. advise you on photos, videos, and song choices. Read and go over details of contracts on your behalf, sign contract on your behalf, keep your promo package up to date, Negotiate and set your fees.
Any person who's unwilling to sign a piece of paper documenting an agreement, shows the need for that paper with his/her signature. If he or she is not willing to autograph it, he/she must not really be prepared to deliver his/her part of the bargain. Don't be embarrassed about asking for a contract, a good business person will respect your desire for it. It protects him / her as well as you and cleanly precludes most misunderstandings. Both parties know what they're getting despite healthy imaginations, bad memories and downright devious intentions.
GETTING A MANAGER:
Getting a personal manager or booking agency is a huge leap, considering the number and the value of jobs you'll get. It also will lead you towards becoming a recording artist and an important concert attraction.
NOTE: ADAPT THIS TO YOUR SITUATION:
The difference between a manager and a booking agent is that an agent brings you job possibilities and a personal manager decides which you should accept. In other words, a manager is career oriented. He / She say's, "look, they've offered you this job down here for $4,000 a week, but it's in Mule Shoe, Texas. where a few people are going to see you. Now, I can get you a job over here that pays $2,500, but a lot of people are going to be there. And a few record executives might even drop in." Besides helping you get jobs, a manager guides you toward the future. He / she could arrange, and perhaps pay for studio time to record demos, which he / she would then take to record companies (he / she probably has friends at some of them), concert promoters, and screen you from bad deals, negotiate contracts (he / she should have a good knowledge of music business law", find investors, organize touring schedules, and organize a road crew if needed. A manager also should be creative enough to generate work.
Agents book you, and are paid a commission only when they book you. Managers are career oriented and are not paid by the booking, they are on your payroll and are working for you even though you don't see what they are doing until it happens Managers provide a service (they get paid no matter who books you).
"MAKING IT IN MUSIC"
Written By Kenny Rogers
Finding a Booking agent
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