A distribution deal means that the artists generally owns their own material, and uses only the reach and expertise of a label to manufacture, distribute, promote, and sell their CD’s and product. With a label deal, an artist will generally share a larger part of their rights with a label, who will provide in theory, more backing for the development and management of the artist. Music will then usually be partly or wholly owned by the labels publishing side. The goal of most recording artists should be to get at least 3, but preferably 15 or more tracks radio ready, P.R. themselves like crazy, gain over 10 thousand fans via My Space, and get a major label distribution deal.
Always register your songs with a copyright and via A.S.C.A.P. or B.M.I. before you let anyone hear them. One thing to be cautious of however is to not spend your life’s savings on a full albums’ worth of material, that no one will want. It would be wise to be in touch with a band or music manager or agent who has expertise in the market and what labels want. Test your product before you create more of the same if it is not marketable. These words may be painful to you as an artist, but if you want to make money on your music, you need to be realistic and treat it as a business.
Most musicians do not know business, so they need to consult with experts who do. There is much more to the music industry than this of course, and there are always exceptions to the rules, but these are some of the basics. For further free information, you may contact my office at the number provided below.
THE THREE RULES FOR PARENTS WITH CHILDREN IN THE BUSINESS: If you are a parent with a minor, having them pursue this business, there are 3 rules you must never, ever violate.
1) Don’t let your child correspond in any manner, by phone, or E-mail with an agent or manager, or anyone else in this industry. All communication, until they turn 18, should go only through you.
2) Never allow a child under 18 to meet with an agent or manager, or anyone else in this business unless you are present, in the same room. Also, never leave them alone, even for a minute. Any professional agent or manager will not allow this to begin with. I never, ever allow a minor in my office, unless a parent is present each second. Even if they just have to run out to the car to get a picture they forgot, the child goes with them.
3) Never allow a child to do an audition, or job unless you are present every second. If casting or production tells you that you must wait outside, do not allow it. You are in charge of your child, and you have a right to have them in your sight every second, and you should. Even if it is a shoot at a big, professional film studio, you should be present and watch every second what happens. Standards of decency are at an all time low in Hollywood. Even once respectable companies geared towards children, are these days promoting children as sex objects. Some parents are also to blame. Do not think that just because the shoot is for so and so, everything will be fine. Take control of your child’s career early on; do not sell them out to something degrading. Be with them every second.
Never pay for photos for babies or toddlers unless you are rich and simply want to. A reputable agent or manager will not require a child or toddler’s parent’s pay for photos, as they will grow so quickly, the pictures will be outdated in 6 months or sooner. Modeling schools are completely un-necessary. Most top models did not go to a modeling school.
A good agency or manager will help groom and develop a model they are really interested in at no cost. That does not mean that you will not need to pay for pictures when they get older, you generally will. Agents and managers usually never pay for photos. Do not spend money on photos until you consult with an agent or manager you are signing your child with first.
Stanislavski is the foundation of acting, so any acting classes you get a child should be with someone who teaches that, has a lot of patience, is not mean, and again, you should be present, physically and emotionally.
A baby or toddler needs a clean bill of heath from a reliable doctor, in writing, indicating that the child can withstand the stresses of being on set under bright lights, action, and possible noise. Any child or minor also needs a work permit, and a Coogan account. You should never spend money in order to get either of these last two things. Any major bank should have some one that knows how to open a Coogan account. This is an account for your child whereby part of any money they earn goes in the account and is theirs by law when they are 18. The rest can be kept by the parents.
A work permit is issued by the State, and signed off by the child’s school principal, which they will generally only give if they child has all A’s, but at least nothing below a B on the report card. Any agent or manager that reps children can provide you with a copy of a blank work permit to get filled out. A complete copy goes to the school, to the state, to your agent, and to you. All parties get copies if authorized by the state.
Do not pressure your child in to the industry. Do not let the lure of fame and fortune completely destroys your sense of decency and integrity. Parents need to follow this as well as children. Being a movie star, rock star, or sex symbol may give you a great life of fun, fame and fortune on Earth, but most every star has a shelf life, and the human body of course, does too. Look inside yourself and examine what really matters to you, and reflect that in how you live and deal with your children if you have them. Be true to them, if you want them to be true to you and they themselves.
There is plenty more I can tell you about all of these areas, but these are some of the most important things to start. For more free information, you may contact my office at 310-226-7176. I recently saw an ad for a casting director charging a fee for a lecture on more basics every actor and model should know. In the next issue, I will expand more on what musicians need to be aware of, as well as answer all of the questions I saw advertised to be answered for a fee, so you do not have to pay for this knowledge, for free. If I can do anything for any of you, call me.
Booking for Kelly Norris or Mark Woolley contact:
www.bruceedwin.com the Hollywood Sentinel, (c) 2009.