The Pros and Cons of Being Your Own Fake Manager
Are you a musician? Is your group having issues? Ask Fan Landers! Critic Jessica Hopper has played in and managed bands, toured internationally, booked shows, produced records, worked as a publicist and is the author of The Girls' Guide to Rocking, a how-to for teen ladies. She is here to help you stop doing it wrong. Send your problems to her -- confidentiality is assured, unless you want to use your drama as a ticket to Internet microfame.
Fan, I am little-known solo artist in the midwest hoping to get a little career happening. After some trouble related to getting answers in booking gigs, I created an email account and a manager personae to see if that would help and listed "him" as my contact on Facebook and my website and my Twitter account too. Is this wrong of me to do? What is the worst thing that could happen if someone figured it out that I am lying? Sam
Sam, You answered your own question--someone would know you as a liar. As far as showbiz lies, though, having a fake manager is pretty low stakes and is more likely to get you laughed at then 86'd, unless you are running a pyramid scheme or catfishing or some other elaborate ruse.
Occasionally, in my dealings with small local bands I write about, I will contact their manager or hit up their "firstname.lastname@example.org"--knowing that it's very likely they do not have a manager of any sort as their videos have like 187 views and they play five times a year, first-of-four at a tertiary venue. Meaning, there is no evidence of another person's hustle or the idea that the band is lucrative enough to sustain or interest someone in being a 15-percenter of the $11 they make per show. In certain quarters, I imagine the appearance of having a manager is useful. In other, more DIY worlds, there is probably a modicum of stigma to it, so perhaps it's chancier if that is the world you are trying to establish yourself in. If it's working for you, or giving you traction that otherwise you feel like you don't or couldn't have with these clubs or whomever else, then I don't see a problem with it. Just make sure you are still working on developing connections and relationships with the people you need to, because ultimately, that's what will float you career--not the appearance of meriting management. Best, Fan
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