The Art of Showcasing
(Or your mom really likes the new demos -- is it time to cold-call record company presidents?) Ideally there are three things that I would strongly recommend you do before getting to the whole shopping and showcasing process.
  • Have your team (Management and Lawyer) in place;
  • Have professional and radio-friendly sounding demos;
  • And demonstrate that you are not waiting on major label funding (or anything else) to start you career. If you can, you should be pressing and selling your own records (see Producing a Demo/Early Album), getting airplay (See Chasing Radio Airplay), marketing yourself on the Internet (See the Marketing and the Internet section, beginning with Music and the Internet), and touring the country (See Promotional Tours), etc.
Having been a musician myself for the last 10 years, I realize that the aforementioned tasks are easier said than done -- but I promise you that these three things will be your guardian angels as you endure the showcasing process. If done incorrectly, this process can be as challenging and humiliating as going through puberty.
Your Team
OK, you say -- on paper that sounds easy. But back to step one: How am I supposed to find a decent team? Well, once again there is no science to this, no set of rules I can give you that will bring you from point A to point B. I will say this: as you are playing clubs and developing your following, meet and talk to every band, manager and promoter you encounter. Your strength as a developing act will be the people that you know and the people you are able to trade favors with. Ask the big local act in your home town what they are doing for management or if they've encountered a lawyer that they like. Managers and lawyers do seem to find new clients from existing ones, so this is a very viable way of encountering potential team members. Also, research what managers, lawyers and agents are successful, and would understand your genre. Take meetings with everyone who will give you the time of day.
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