Please read the details before putting yourself forward for roles, and please don't apply if you are busy and/or unavailable.
The details were available here:
Should you put yourself forward for anything again in future, please ensure you communicate at all times. I fully understand that you have other commitments but it is your responsibility to make this known so that you are not compromising other people. It's also not fair on other applicants (who might otherwise have had the chance) to accept an audition and fail to attend.
Please, for future, arrange this in advance so at the very least the opportunity can be given to someone else.
Regardless, I'd like to thank you for contacting us and I wish you the best of luck with your future endeavours.
This is a log of audition absences and the contextual correspondence and circumstances in which they happened.
Writing an artist review is as important, if not more important, than obtaining a client review. Unfortunately, not enough people realise this and we were too late to realise this in one instance.
Red & Black Musicians Marketplace is a new Facebook group we've set up opening up an additional channel of communication to help musicians find musicians.
From: Essence Music
This is a follow-up post from our original Event Diary #1.
In 2015, one of our agents, Tailored Entertainment was added to our weekly Event Diary following on from them Bcc'ing all artists requesting them to update them on their summer availability. 2 years later, the exact same agent requested to be removed from our weekly Event Diary. Furthermore they didn't acknowledge that they'd been added as a consequentiality of their request, or address any of the reasons why when asked.
We are left guessing as to why this is the case. It may be that the agent is too "busy" to manage their workload, and is struggling to keep on top of emails. Alternatively, it may be that the agent is trying to be polite by not acknowledging or addressing these points, and, somewhere in the hazy background, may be offended by the content of our informative communications. However, in not communicating why, we are again left to speculate. What's the alternative?
Read below for the full story.
Read further to understand why "Thought for the week" is now a regular fixture as part of our Event Diary.
Quoting Provisional Availability
View our online Diary
What happened to Diaspora Collective?
From: Salsa Direct
Stop the talking!
People ask questions, and when answered, do not respond. People are asked questions and an answer is not received. Subsequently, a phone call or a face-to-face meeting happens. Something is expressed in an abstract, time-bound utterance. An offer/decision is backhandedly dealt and almost instantly withdrawn (possibly). A conversation/discussion takes place, and simply vanishes into thin air without a trace, without being committed to written record and/or followed through. Almost as if the conversation/discussion didn't take place at all! Thus, one begins to doubt oneself, question one's own sense of reality. Yet when topics are picked up on in writing, people fail to respond. The blank email inbox and innocently empty mailbox conceal a hidden agenda of swords and daggers. They indicate an absence of communication and a lack of accountability. It's this that we challenge at its route source.
Whilst talk is a reasonable form of communication in articulating a "shared vision", this is only a temporary illusion. It's emotionally and spiritually effective, whilst physically and psychologically ineffective. It's an obstacle to accountability in its very nature of being fluid and intangible. In business contexts, talk should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. We're human too. We like to talk and share a good feeling. It's lovely and nice (depending on the context). We like to give ourselves and one another a break once in a while, and there is a time and place for that. However, whilst easier in the short term, talk creates confusion in the long term because it's not committed. Why have a two part thing of talk then having to commit it into writing afterwards when you can simply skip step one and formulate everything straight into writing? Just keep it in the back of your mind that talk, to the same degree as developing relationships, ideas and thought processes, raises the threshold of disappointment. Things can be said and not substantiated. Moments are lost and forgotten. Communications aren't picked up on. People are too "busy"* to follow things through effectively and translate talk into action.
*busy = inability to manage one's own time.
Let's simplify communications. Let's reduce communications to their basic, elementary form and strip out all of the emotional confusion that is the enemy of solid, concrete accountability. Let's communicate information neutrally and transparently. Yes, I repeat: talk is a reasonable form of communication, but in its fluid, transitive, time-bound transmission, lacks accountability and is an inferior, deficient form of communication. Simply because it's impossible to verify/falsify what was discussed/agreed (unless it is committed to a sound recording, which throws up a minefield of technological complexities). On the other hand written communication puts action into account.
Phone lines down
Just a reminder to all certified musicians of productions: Please keep me updated on availability at all times, ahead of any enquiries/quotations.
There's been too many incidents where I quoted provisional availability for the client's date, only to be told later that the musicians are not available, and these absences or replacements have been negatively noticed by clients. It benefits us all to avoid these 'unhappy client' situations.
Once a production is live, all certified musicians need to keep me updated on your availability continuously. You can do this on a weekly or monthly basis, however you prefer, or link me up to your online calendar so I can check when quoting availability to clients.
Note: I only send offers out to you if the client responds favourably to a quotation; many inconclusive enquiries you won’t hear anything about. Please do let me know if you want to sign up to advance notifications (an email notifying you that an enquiry has been received and quoted for). This will result in you receiving more emails, but it will provide you with more notice and may help you remember non-availability dates that you need to update me on. (You can turn these on or off at any point.)
Individualism vs. Collectivism
There is no such thing as a true "community". Mutual collaboration in equal parts does not exist and cannot be substantiated via concrete proof - despite how much musicians claim that they're "invested in it for the good of the band". This is an utterance that is only relevant to the contextual time and place, and expressed when it is most convenient to them. Of course, you inevitably become the "bad cop" when the musician ends up being the one to contravene their own standards of accountability, when you're landed with the responsibility of picking them up on it.
The reality is: people are individuals, a liability unto themselves. People are never "invested in it for the good of the band". People are only invested in it for themselves. People might propagate a fabrication that they are "invested in it for the good of the band" in order to facilitate circumstances conspiring in their favour. But they immediately drop these convictions as and when it matters to them.
We’ve dealt with Giovanni before (see communications below); he seems non-committal and wouldn’t accept our booking before on the grounds that they would not cancel or not show up — even when we offered a “loaded” fee! Maybe there isn’t a way and we’ve just got to accept their terms… We subsequently made a booking which was then cancelled.
Omitting vital information for the sake of simplicity.
This is another way in which our 2 primary values of communication and accountability link to one another.
It's a tricky balance.
Read, compare and contrast the following extracts.
Read also: Why are our quotes so complicated?
We understand the agent sometimes has difficulty addressing all details on the show advance. I can ensure the sending of an email to prompt the client directly to check these through. However, I am sure you understand that to ensure all arrangements run smoothly on the day of the event, the finer details must be outlined in writing so that everything is clear and known to all parties.
As you are the agent in charge of bookings, we can ensure that you are cc'ed into all communications. We are more than happy for you to explain these details to the client as part of your agency duties.
This prevents any unwanted surprises on the day. Due to the complications of hiring venues etc., we appreciate that not all details are possible to check off in advance, but we do try to check through as many as we can before the day to iron out any remaining issues so that the event can run as smoothly as possible.
Read this article and this article to understand why we devised a show advance in the first place (2014/2015), and this article to illustrate what can happen as a result of a contract not already being in place.
Further relevant reading regarding Show Advancing:
This example demonstrates a wedding running behind, and the client criticising the artist for not staying behind to play the wedding first dance. The crucial point to note here is that the artist was never asked to stay longer and it cannot be assumed that the artist will stay longer if the timings run outside the parameters of the contract.
What's on your mind?
Facebook asks me “What’s on your mind?” I’m not usually one to answer this question in public for fear of persecution but it all comes down to this widespread notion of “universal truth”, which can manifest itself as a form of assumption, miscommunication and laziness = mother of all disasters. Many individuals have their own moral compass, their own ideas of right and wrong. Accepting it is one thing. Embracing it is another. I can’t justify or assume a "one size fits all" approach without objectifying/qualifying it. How can one “just know” without learning it first? Osmosis? We’re all born different. We’re all conditioned differently. We all think differently. The issue is a lack of understanding and collaboration.
I've been told that the amount of emails was cause for confusion. In addition, people are using a wide variety of methods of contact (including social media platforms) which is inefficient and can lead to confusions over agreements. Emails are the preferred method of communication with Red & Black Music for ease of traceability, archiving and auditing.
So, to make it easier for everyone, in addition to doing our best to restrict the amount of informative-only emails; we're setting up an additional failsafe: any email requiring a response/action on your part, will be accompanied by an automated text message highlighting that an action is required and the deadline for this. You may opt out of this service, however please note that you will be automatically re-subscribed if you fail to reply to an e-mail query within deadline.
Please ensure you have given the correct email to us and that you have added email@example.com to your contact list. If you have any doubts, please drop me an email and I'll check and update contact details as necessary.
Please email: do not text back to the notification text, as this message is sent out using an automatic system.
Please update me by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org if you prefer to opt out of text notifications or if you need to update your contact details.
Please help us keep conversations/agreements on e-mail so that they are easily traceable, archivable, and allow for fewer misunderstandings.
Have you ever let yourself get talked into something? Have you ever let yourself be led astray by false prophets? Have you ever found yourself drawn into a situation, only to realise that the person didn't actually mean what they meant, and that you took things too literally? Did you misinterpret something that they mentioned? Did you misread vital signals in their facial expressions, articulation, tone of voice and/or body language? Don't worry and take heed: you are not the only one!
This post highlights a straightforward communication issue on the part of the client. This client could have simply indicated from the outset (11/10/2013) that they were not willing to offer any feedback, which wouldn't have been an issue.
However, their inability to communicate has rebounded on them leading to frustration. Ultimately, it amounts to a pending/unresolved database query - which was eventually resolved and ticked off.
This is a general message aimed at all musicians.
Lateness is an issue that needs to be addressed. A number of instances have been brought to my attention where musicians have arrived at an event late either unintentionally or due to other commitments.
If you are travelling to an event, please can you always allow extra time as standard (i.e., half an hour for every hour of travelling), to allow for things such as traffic and weather in case they delay your journey.
If you have other commitments such as teaching during the day or lessons to prepare for the following week, which are likely to affect your arrival time, please arrange this with me at the point of enquiry, not subsequent to the point of contract. I fully understand musicians have other commitments, and this is fine, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you arrange these around your contractual agreements well in advance so that you are not compromising other people on the day of an event.
The arrival time is stated in your contract agreement and therefore needs to be respected.
Event Diary 26/10/2015
From: "Essence Music Agency"
Please note, due to the time pressure we are under, I will need to take recommendations in the order that they are received. Just to clarify, the contract is between you and me (not between you and the other artist), and the artist must be in direct contact with me in order to be booked.
What is the meaning of the term "busy"?
Busy = disorganised, and/or lacking the availability/time/capacity/cost to perform at the required standard. For this reason, we avoid using the word at all costs and/or being drawn into situations where the word might be used. The industry is saturated by disorganised people who use the word 'busy' as a polite way of withdrawing interest, such that the word has become a meaningless excuse for inefficiency. If we are not interested, we will say so, and provide reasons if necessary.
This is a follow-up article to the one from last July, and explores unresolved queries after the booking has happened.
View Part 1: Unresolved Queries #1: Enquiries
Read & Blog
Red & Black Music was set up in 2012 to stop musicians cancelling.
A category naming and shaming unreliable musicians to watch out for.
A category reporting unscrupulous venues and traders.
A category exploring the issues faced working via agents and promoters.
Productions vs. Bands
Unresolved Queries 1
Unresolved Queries 2