Part Five covered approaching established music managers. Part Four went over the art of turning friends into managers. This section will be going over the pros and cons of parents who manage their children (Momagers and Dadagers).
Momagers and Dadagers: The upside to moms and dads who manager their musician progeny is that they really care a great deal about their clients’ well being. The downside to moms and dads who manage their children is they REALLY CARE about their client’s well being.
I was at a dinner not too long ago with a celebrity publicist and an executive who produces television shows. They were candidly discussing several of their past experiences and even some of their current experiences with high-maintenance clients. The amount these two put up with from spoiled actors and musicians was astounding. Later, when the topic of parents who manage came upm they both got a rather traumatic and distant look in their eyes and both said something to the effect of “Deal breaker,” or, “No way – I can’t work with parents who manage.” All of this came out after several conversations about hellacious behavior they put up with on a daily basis.
Some parents who manage their kids are excellent, especially when they want their child to be a musician because their child wants to be a musician. Things tend to get dicey if this push for a music career is coming from mom or dad making up for their missed opportunities in their own lives. Motivations aside, parents who manage are up against a rather large stereotype that can really work against them. (I suppose we can thank Joe Jackson for being a pioneer in this field.) Even a slight emotional outburst on a business issue from a momager or a dadager can get them branded as a crazed parent and can really put a damper on relationship building for the good of the project.
I do understand their perspective. After all, no one will ever care as much about the artist as they will. Sadly, I have seen too many instances of parents being unwilling to relinquish the reigns of a project when they were clearly lacking the experience to adequately deal with what was happening around them. If you are a parent manager do keep in mind that you may know what’s best for your child but that doesn’t always translate into knowing what is best for your child’s career. Keep the grip loose, moms and dads.
Remember that any help you can trust and that you know will stand by their word is good help to have in music. In a pinch, parents are not the worst option for getting a project launched but (as with any other manager) proceed with caution and keep an open dialogue about your intentions and the possibilities of how things might change should your business grow.
Next time, I will get to investors / managers. And that, the seventh and last article in this series will cover the topic of management for now. If you would like any other topics covered in this manner or have any feedback and / or suggestions for the site do drop me a line. I would really appreciate hearing from you.