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Should the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook hold true, employment for singers and musicians will grow by 10 percent between now and the year 2020. If so, the doors of opportunity for music managers will swing open even wider in a field that is already teeming with competition.
“It is so easy to enter the game through the internet, yet so difficult to garner any attention,” said John Hartmann, CEO at The Holodigm, a corporation that offers business training to those in the entertainment industry. “This means anyone can play and the truly talented can get lost in the haystack. The dynamic live performance is the driving force.”
A veteran agent, record executive and expert on the new music industry paradigm, Hartman has helped direct the careers of a slate of musical legends, including folk-singing trio Peter, Paul and Mary, singer-songwriter Neil Young, folk-rock group Crosby Stills & Nash and the Eagles, a rock band that originated in L.A.
Currently Hartmann teaches at UCLA Extension, where he considers music management a quintessential occupation.
In the classroom he teaches his students about workable methods to launch a potentially solvent career in the music renaissance. He pinpoints the most common mistake made by performing artists and their managing representatives.
“Most believe that they are supposed to pursue and land a record deal,” said Hartmann. “This is not true. They should start their own record and publishing entities. And the artist should choose a manager that they love, trust and whose life depends on the artist’s success.”
Hartmann reminds emerging managers that the role is multi-textured.
“There are hundreds of gigs between San Diego and Santa Barbara, become the dominant musical force in your one-hundred-mile radius and the world will come to your door,” said Hartmann.
“The manager must discover and develop raw talent. When a solid live act is created and an appropriate repertoire is assembled, the music manager must assume responsibility for the maintenance of the systems, including mechanics, protocols and politics of talent management. This is accomplished by building and operating a team from the eight core professions of entertainment. These are artists, managers, agents, producers, publicists, accountants, lawyers and crews. It’s a 24/7 profession.”
Thanks to the digital age, the music manager’s payment structure has become even more lucrative.
“In the old paradigm, a manager is paid 15 percent of the gross income,” said Hartmann, who has been active in the music industry for 56 years. “In the digital age, the manager is the artist’s partner and owns equity in the artist’s company and makes a commission or a dividend based on what is produced and sold.”
Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.