If you’re just joining us now for the virtual panel on specialness that friends and colleagues have described to me as “intense,” “required reading,” and “wordy,” here’s what’s been going on this week. If you could hear Benjamin Linus‘ voice in your head when you read this, that would be great.
Previously, on Life’s a Pitch.
Jonathan issued a throwdown about how the human interest press publicists dream of actually distracts audiences from the music. He writes, “the more of a persona the person onstage has cultivated, the harder it is for this magical disappearance to take place.” After I punch some hanging meat and run up the steps of the Philadelphia Museum, I will respond to that. I asked Matthew if the competition for concert and album press coverage essentially tells audiences and buyers what’s special in the same way a marketing brochure does. He responded in a comment that most of his preview pieces were actually assigned by an editor, and that even when a performer or performance is profiled, he approaches the subject from a musical standpoint. James and Jonathan were asked to what extent a manager needs to know things about his or her clients beyond their repertoire and playing. James explained that an artist’s priorities–musical, career, personal–are what matters most in his managing of their career. He also points out that managers and bookers need to know presenters’ priorities as well. Jonathan responded in a comment that while he does discuss non-musical aspects of his life with his manager of 13 years, he is unsure how those conversations factor in to her discussions with presenters. I’m interested to hear from Michael about how well he feels he knows the artists he brings to Ann Arbor, since he spends short but concentrated amounts of time with them. James also responds to Jonathan’s post on audiences knowing artists, writing, “there are performers who are terrifically in
demand about whom we know practically nothing of their lives outside of
performance and who do not bring that kind of potentially-obstructive
personality to the stage, and there are commercially more-than-viable
performers who have chosen to make their persona an open book in
everything they do.” Maybe Matthew can weigh in about reviewing a concert of an artist he’s met or heard significant buzz about versus reviewing a concert of an artist whom he knows nothing about.
Let the smoke monsters, polar bears, and ghosts of Jack’s dad commence.