I would argue that virtually anyone that works in the music industry has heard this statement at least once if not numerous times. If you are one of the lucky few that hasn’t heard it yet, give it time. It’s coming. What is this statement you ask? Well, it goes something like this and generally comes after briefly meeting someone or doing some sort of minimal work with/for them:
“We are going to be doing so much work together!”
The close second is, “I’m going to give you so much work!”
If anyone ever says these statements to you, I would advise you to proceed with extreme caution or if your b***s*** threshold has already been hit several times, run in the opposite direction. 99% of the time, anyone who says these statements is absolutely full of it. These statements are used for a couple of reasons (in my opinion):
- This person really has very little/nothing to offer but desperately wants to appear as though they are important
- They want you to believe that you need them.
Regardless of the reason, these statements have no place in real business. Virtually none of the lucrative work that I have ever picked up has come as a result of someone saying these statements or any permutation thereof. So, what sits on the opposite side of the spectrum to these BS-filled statements?
Two words: transparency and honesty.
Let’s face it, we all want work. But the promise of work and actual work are two entirely different things. Seek out and gravitate towards industry folks that put their money where their mouth is. Yes, it is way harder to find these folks than we would all like but they do exist. Often, you’re not going to get promises out of them. Most of these people will be kind and respectful but will promise absolutely nothing. They will be up front and honest about what they may/may not be able to do. This is for good reason. Their business integrity and transparency are more important than writing checks they can’t cash. Smoke and mirrors goes against their ethics. However, rest assured, when they call you and ask you for your services, it will usually be for real. Might be a big deal, might be a little deal, but real nonetheless.
Have you ever heard one of these statements? How did it play out for you? Please share in the comments!
Yep, you nailed it, Aaron. A music supervisor said that to Greg a couple of years ago, then quit calling, emailing and texting, and responding to same. My intuition that he might be an alcoholic was confirmed last week after he was found dead in the park he’d been living in, homeless. And this guy used to be HUGE in the biz. You just never know about people…
Reminds me of great advice we got from Gil Gagnon, our drummer friend who was VP of Post-production at Disney for 10 years: “Pay attention to what they say, but pay more attention to what they do.
This is especially important in Hollywood. People always want to give compliments or make promises. What matters is what they do. Do they back their smack. A small example is when I said I’d invite you guys to that gig, I did. Try to look for that in the people you deal with in Hollywood. Real people. That way you don’t hinge your future on a promise that never materializes.”
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I couldn’t agree more. Folks have to back it up.
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