Question for SOOZIEVT & other MUSIC folks ?

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Discus: Parents Forum: 2004 Archive - Part 2: Question for SOOZIEVT & other MUSIC folks ?
By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Sunday, September 19, 2004 - 10:31 pm: Edit

You all have me thinking hard. I have spend the last few days doing internet searches, on how to help my daughter break into the music biz beyond our local area (and I think she is mature enough now). Came up with the name and number of a music attorney/producer if I cold-called on behalf of my daughter should I wait till she has a CD demo? or make the call and offer to come visit?

Should one appeal directly to record labels or does one need an agent?
If an agent do I find an agent for her. There seems to be a lack of info in our community and the internet just had info to "sell" that seemed iffy at best. How do we find an agent or talent scout to look at and evaluate her? Am willing to travel to do this.
I could not even find a book with this info and am unsure where to start.

Thanks folks!

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 02:03 am: Edit

Am I right in recalling that your D does not perform regularly in your local area? It would be unlikely for her to be ready for professional evaluation without some solid performance experience. No reason not to get a demo and some input on it though, as that will tell you what the next steps should be.

Note that there are very few high-school-age kids ready for prime time. The ones that are have put in considerable time with professional coaches, managers and (usually) at least one obsessive parent.

If you do get a demo together, then look for a reputable manager or lawyer, though a producer or recording engineer could be an intermediate step connected with the demo. You won't get anywhere at all trying to connect directly with most nationally distributed record labels, even with a demo.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:38 am: Edit

You are incorrect. She does perform regularly in different competitions, shows etc. What is available in our area in other words and has done so since a young age.
She has been training vocally since Kindergarten and folks have been telling me to get her an agent for along time.
I PERSONALLY am NOT an obsessive parent..but she is ready at this point. Its not like I look forward to banging on doors its not something I want to do..but for her she wants to and cant wait any longer.
SO all advise is appreciated.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 09:40 am: Edit

At a young age when people encouraged me to get her an agent I looked at the impact on her and our family and did not feel it was best..Now that my older D. is off to college and my youngest is mature enough with a good head on her shoulders I feel she is ready.
She has done a number of shows..but primarily a lot of vocal things which is her main interest.
But I dont know about how to get a demo record.

By Alwaysamom (Alwaysamom) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 10:47 am: Edit

Angstridden, I think the reason you're not getting a lot of advice here is that there really isn't a lot of advice to be given. Being successful in the music industry is probably one of the most difficult endeavors in the world. I don't mean to be discouraging but it's not simply a matter of getting an agent and a demo cd made and then approaching record companies. It is almost a 100% certainty that you will not be successful in this manner. The fact that your daughter is only 15 pretty much guarantees this. There just aren't a lot of 15 year old popstars around, and those who did start at that age, or shortly after, are certainly not ones that anyone would want their child to emulate. My opinion, of course.

You mentioned in another thread that you, and she, were thinking about MT or a vocal major in college. I really think that you both would be wise to investigate this option a little more. If she's already been involved in shows at school and in your community, she can continue to do that to gain experience and then if she's still so interested in singing when it's time to apply to college, then she'll be prepared.

My D who is at Tisch has several friends in the theatre community who are already performing professionally. Almost ALL of them are also working on their 'own' music. A few have cds out but it's been a long struggle. Most have had to pay to have them produced and very few have any kind of record deal with a major studio. Even big Broadway stars like Heather Headley (who has one of the most heavenly voices I've ever heard) and Idina Menzel have difficulty getting their solo cds made. My D has one friend who has been in the Broadway hit RENT for 5 1/2 years. He has paid for studio time to record his own music and have the cds made. He sells them at a little table at the stage door after the shows! Not only this but he writes all his own songs. Does your daughter do this? If not, then this makes it even more difficult.

All these people who have been advising you to get your daughter an agent probably think that that is an easy process. It is not. My reply to them would have to be, ok, who do you recommend? People, in general, are just not aware of how very difficult it is to be successful in any area of the arts. I would really recommend that you encourage her to continue what she's doing, get a good education, go on to a good vocal program at the college level, and take it from there.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Monday, September 20, 2004 - 11:27 pm: Edit

Angst - I'm not accusing you of being an obsessive parent, just observing that there is usually one involved (for better or for worse) in situations like this.

Alwaysamom has some excellent advice and information for you, particularly if your daughter has what used to be referred to as a "legit Broadway" voice. Even if your daughter is a budding Britney Spears (machine-made teen pop) or Michelle Branch (adolescent singer/songwriter), some college and vocal training is not going to hurt.

If you lived in my area I, or several people I know could certainly evaluate your daughter's talent. There are definitely people in your area that can do that, too, unless you are miles from a major city. Your best bet might be a local recording engineer or producer that has worked with local artists who have been successful in or out of your market. Someone that casts professional music theatre near you would also be a good choice. Some advice from a professional might result in your daughter becoming a bit more patient.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 06:28 am: Edit

Where abouts are you Reidmc?

I guess I feel that it wont hurt to give it a shot and send out some material and try to make some contacts. Its not something I really want to do but she has been wanting to do it for years and I feel she deserves the opportunity to try and see what happens. Nothing ventured nothing gained right?
We have had our share of ups and downs at competitions that she will take what does or does not happen in stride.

Years ago I did some radio commercials and the man I did them for has a studio in his home. It occurred to me last night to give him a call and he said he could record a demo tape with her.
We will use a karoke tape for background and try to find 2 good songs.
We are also going to get some photos taken. For a little CD case.

I dont feel I can really contact people without something in hand.


By Veteranmom (Veteranmom) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 01:33 pm: Edit

Just catching up to this thread. I have a niece in a similar situation, now a senior in high school but has been performing publicly & studying voice for many years. This past summer she attended the five-week summer program at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and absolutely loved it. She got to do a lot of singing with different styles of ensembles, took group guitar lessons (she's a singer-songwriter), did a lot of performing. This is a very big program with about 700 high school age kids in it, and gives them an excellent advance look at what studying pop singing/songwriting feels like at the college level. You daughter might want to check this program out for next summer.

I also have three daughters now in their early to mid-20s who were excellent singers in high school and performed in many musical theater productions. The oldest started at Berklee as a voice major but transferred to a liberal arts college halfway through when she decided the constant rejection/competitiveness of the performing life was not for her. The next one decided she loved playing the cello more than being in shows, so is pursuing that at the conservatory level. At 15 the youngest one was SURE she wanted to go to a conservatory and pursue a career in musical theater, and begged to be taken to NYC for head shots and to find an agent (we said no). Now she's 20 and a very happy junior history major at a liberal arts college with ZERO interest in doing musical shows. Just goes to show that kids can change a lot during the late teenage years.

By Jjsmom (Jjsmom) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 04:01 pm: Edit

Fwiw, the past three years, my youngest son (now 15) has attended a well-regarded summer music conservatory in the NYC area for which one must audition each year to attend. The end-of-program show is attended by agents, and he was asked by one to audition for her. He did and she asked to represent him.

For the past few years, he has auditioned for the best movies, commercials, TV shows and Broadway shows.

Let me tell you, this is not a panacea. It means dropping everything at the last moment and running into NYC with sides and music that were faxed to me 3 hours before the audition. It is full of stress and rejection. It may sound romantic, but the reality is, it sucks.

But being the devoted mother I am, I let my son ride this wave.

Out of all this, he got one minor Off-Broadway show and one major Joseph Papp Off-Broadway show which closed the moment we were about to sign on the dotted line.

He is talented. Yes he is. But he has had enough. This year he called it quits. Inside I said "yay" and jumped for joy, but outwardly I suggested he think about his decision for a week or so, which he did. Ultimately, he decided he had had enough of the "glamorous-triple-threat-child-professional" and he has never looked back. He is more relaxed, happier with himself, and is doing better in school.

I guess what I'm saying is even if you do get an agent, it's not smooth sailing. In fact, it is 99% of the time a rocky road. And many of my son's friends -- veterans of Broadway, commercials and TV -- have quit too. IMHO, unless you are a masochist, it's just not a healthy lifestyle as a kid or teen.

By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 05:24 pm: Edit

Angst -

I'm in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area. My background as a performer is pop/rock, and I have production, presenting and administrative experience with pop, classical music and jazz.

The Berklee summer course looks ideal for a pop/rocker or budding Mariah Carey. If your D is more of a musical theatre or traditional-ballad-type singer, one of those camps discussed on the Music Theatre, part 368 thread would probably be a better bet. Either would enable your D to measure and develop her skills.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:24 pm: Edit

Jjsmom.. I know, my D. has wanted to get an agent and go beyond our local area for many years. I talked to a parent who had a child with an agent about it and she said EXACTLY what you dropping everything at a moments notice this that and the other thing. I decided at that time NO WAY ..mainly cus I hate I felt it would be disruptive. We are actually not planning to try out for shows etc..though I feel she would do very well. BUT instead we wanted to try to see what we could do with regard to starting a recording career.
Did your agent do things for vocalists?

Veteranmom what a GREAT idea! Wow! I will contact the school about the program.
I know what you are saying about changing your mind. I was discussing this with her and she told me it was her destiny to be a singer...and she has and always will feel this way. Its true she has felt like this since she was a tot. Recall she started voice when other people nagged me to put her in, in kindgergarten. I was reluctant to get into the whole lesson thingy.
I truly in my heart feel that this is what she will always want to do.

Hmmm Reidmc..would you be willing to evaluate her demo? YES Berklee summer program sounds perfect as that is the type of singing she wants.
Her voice teachers have told me she is capable of classical or pop but she made the choice that its pop she wants though she does all types of singing.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:27 pm: Edit

BTW Reidmc..where is the best place to begin looking for the manger lawyer..I did find one number but plan to wait till we have something in hand to physcially send which will be a little bit.
We are picking the songs now. But I think she will do well to include some photos so we need to get those.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 09:33 pm: Edit

Jjsmom..which program in NYC did he it a live in program?

By Songman (Songman) on Tuesday, September 21, 2004 - 10:48 pm: Edit

Go to this website:
plenty of books on how to succeed in the music biz


Online service (courses) offered by Berklee


Berklee's main website.....

By Jjsmom (Jjsmom) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 01:23 am: Edit

Hiya Angst, no, the program was not a live in program, and for anonymity I'd rather not say, but it is a very competitive one, one that has bred many TV, movie and Broadway teen professionals.

Our agent, as far as I know, only took on "triple threats" and had 1st rate connections with casting agents in movies, TV, commercials and stage, the latter being my son's #1 interest. She represents a lot of big names, but none are simply vocalists.

If your daughter takes vocal lessons, couldn't the teacher recommend a voice teacher in a large city near you to (1) evaluate your daughter's potential and (2) act not only as a singing teacher but a voice coach? My son's voice teacher helped pick out songs that best suited his voice and were appropriate for particular auditions and casting calls (when we had advance notice what the gig was about!)

I wouldn't be thinking agent/lawyer/manager/demo until you get a professional's opinion. Not to burst your bubble, but all parents think their kids are phenomenal, don't they?

If you are really going to go down this trail, please PLEASE beware of "sharks," people who profess to be able to represent you but just preying on wannabee showbiz families. They are EVERYWHERE and it's not easy to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Ask for references, and double-check to make sure they are for real.

And as you head out, do yourself and your daughter a big favor: Be realistic. Your daughter is a singer, and that's it, right? The agents I know are looking for polished, experienced triple threats before they invest time and energy into you. You think getting into Harvard, Yale or Princeton was a crapshoot? Try show biz, where talent often doesn't matter, but a "certain look" might. It is next to impossible to make a living, let alone be a "Britney Spears" phenomenon, as a vocalist.

Sorry to be gloom and doom but this was our take on what has happened to not only my son but his equally talented friends. Only one has been working steadily -- he now has a recurring role on TV. He has been working professionally since he was 5, and his parents are grateful for the extra money but even they are saying this is just "for now." Show biz is just too precarious.

I do wish you good luck but more than that I wish for you to go into this with your eyes wide open and to prepare your daughter for probable heartbreak and disappointment.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:20 am: Edit

Hi Jjsmom.
Would you consider sharing the name of the program? Just so we can look into it. We would not know who your son is from that.

My D. actually has a lot of skills, including acting and is back into dancing again. She has been in musical shows that included all of the above. Uusally the lead.

I am pretty savy when it comes to rip off artists trying to sell opportunities to get into the biz. I have no illusions about what paying someone is going to do . And I am not going to go that route.

I think she is talented..but so do others. I am constantly told this.

I understand what you are saying about Britney..we had a chat about this. The odds of that type of a career are like winning the lottery. Again no illusions here.

BUT its my feeling that she should have a chance at it. She is going to wind up in the performing profession in one capacity or another. So why not go for it and take what comes as it does.

A reason I have made her wait till this age is because I wanted her to learn to handle the ups and downs..I wanter her to have a normal child hood not running from one audition to another etc.
I am not a show biz parent. I personally would rather she not have been born a singer in some ways! But she is ..and I cant deny her the opportunity to try and see where it takes her.

Perhaps if she gets even deeper in the trenches like your son, she may get where she feels like he does.
But she wants to give it her shot and there is no reason she shouldnt.
She would feel more heartbreak and disappointment if she didnt try.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:28 am: Edit

I have been putting her off for years. Last year I told her when her sister goes off for college we would focus on it.
She has had her share of ups and downs during her "career".
Why not go for it. So she gets disappointed..well thats better than not going for it. She knows well what its like to have a nonworking mike in a competition or be 10 and fine out you are competing with 20 year olds from Juliard (and have your music borrowed for someone else and time changed at the last minute by the judges and she still did well!)
Shes had some ups and she has more..thats the way it will go. Whats not have them cus you didnt try?

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:29 am: Edit

BTW that Berklee program sounds GRAND! But $5,000 for 5 weeks is alot.

By Jjsmom (Jjsmom) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 11:22 am: Edit

Of course she should try. We don't regret my son's short-lived career. He had more than 15 minutes of "fame" especially during his Off-Broadway runs. That part was a lot of fun.

I'm not saying you shouldn't give it a shot. Just be prepared for major disappointment if/when dreams of fame and fortune are shattered.

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Wednesday, September 22, 2004 - 09:36 pm: Edit

>>But $5,000 for 5 weeks is alot.>>

Actually, that is a pretty typical price for a precollege summer music program. DS went to Tanglewood. Cost was about the same per week.

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:35 am: Edit

Angstridden...I feel remiss in not responding to your post. I was out of town for three days, during which time this thread got pretty long. I think you have received excellent advice, responses, and shared experiences and don't really need me. But you put my name in the subject heading so I do not wish to ignore your query. I do think I have already shared with you on other threads you have posted on this topic and am not sure much else that I can help you with. I am not anyone who has had a child explore a pop music career, even though my child is a performer. Her forte remains musical theater, as is her career and college interest. And thus, the paths to each of these careers differs somewhat as I have mentioned previously.

To reiterate either what others have shared or what I have mentioned to you in other posts....there are different routes to what your daughter wants to do but she is still very young to really get that far yet with this. She could go to college and I (and others since) have recommended Berklee College of Music to you as one of the best in this particular field. Not only would she get excellent training but she would make contacts and be trained in how to get started in the business (not unlike a musical theater student would do in a BFA program). In fact, I think other peoples' suggestions that you look into a summer program at Berklee while in high school is a great way to start. I don't think you can just shoot for a record deal FIRST as you seem to maybe be going for, particularly at her age. It does not mean she does not have talent. I am sure she does. But it is just very unlikely that you will get far going in that direction first. And surely I give you kudos for trying to support your daughter's dreams. But take one realistic step at a time. I don't think this message board is your ideal source. Talking to those in the business would be. Your voice teacher alone should have some suggestions. Talking to recording studios in your neck of the woods about recording a demo might be a project to start with. I really do NOT think you will get far using a karoke background for the demo CD, sorry but it is way too unprofessional, even for a kid. She needs to record with musicians. This could be expensive. Or you may know musicians who would be willing to help. As I said, while my D is not going for what yours is doing, she happened to record a demo CD last year as a project in school as they have a recording studio right at school. She played piano on several of her songs, had her piano teacher accompany on two others, and Daddy accompany on guitar on another. She is not using this like your D is trying to but I gave this as an example of a decent demo recording. She did all the technological "mixing" herself as part of a Music Tech class project. But I also told you of a local graduate who has recorded two CDs being sold locally, and her parents footed the bill to have it made w/ musicians. However, UNLIKE your D, she has written a lot of her own material (and is older) and has gotten many gigs in our region and has been asked to tour in some other locations such as Ireland. Often one situation leads to other opportunities. It is not like she has a record contract but she does have a record and in fact, it is on the top ten at a record store near here. She plays many gigs. Your daughter also could look into getting into a pop group or band. For instance, while not pop, right here in my community, there are four or five very very talented teenage male jazz musicians who started a jazz combo in middle school and in fact, are now hired to do private and public functions. Some of these boys have won state awards for jazz. That is something your daughter could start with but do pop. They do some original material. Again, that would be an asset for your daughter too. If she meets with local folks who do recordings, often one contact leads to another.

I think if your D did that summer program, she would also make contacts. I realize it ain't cheap but none of these programs for talented kids who are looking to get into professional performing arts is cheap. My D's summer theatrical program costs somewhere around $3700 for three weeks or $6300 for six weeks, not cheap. However, the past seven summers (and counting) have had a HUGE impact on her as a person and as a performing artist. In fact, she wanted an agent in NYC after her first year there because she was exposed to kids who had one and were working professionally out of NYC. Agents and managers recruited her there and called us. I never ever thought to pursue this avenue and in fact, live in rural VT! Upon talking to the owners/directors of the program, they suggested my daughter to a top NYC agent (again, that agent knows this director and would trust who he picked to send to her). So, my daughter met with the ones who recruited her as well as the ones who she was recommended to and got offers from them all and took one. I do not think these agents deal that much in what you are looking for, however. They are doing more theatrical type stuff. Once my daughter was sent to an audition appointment for a pop group but that was very unusual. Otherwise, it was more Broadway type stuff. Given where we live, I have mixed feelings about it because it is hard to stop everything, run 12 hours roundtrip to NYC for an audition appointment and then what IF she got cast in a show or a national tour (came close a few times), I am not about to move or break up our family or leave my other kid at home without a mom (was not yet in college), so we thought she'd have to have a chaperone. These are all difficult considerations. Over the years, we have laid pretty low with the NY auditions because my daughter has a life here and I was not about to have her not go out for shows and other worthwhile performing arts experiences locally and do nothing hoping for some big break in NYC. So, what usually happens is that she is always in a show and I do not wish to even call her agent in NYC because if she had to go to NYC or got a job there, she has committments here with casts that it is not cool to break. So, we don't do it much at all in NYC and less as a teen than when younger (teens far less in demand, by the way, than kids). The audition experiences in NYC have been invaluable in themselves. Her first agent submitted audition did result in being cast in a show, actually an opera type show, with just her and a soprano, that was like the perfect professional job for her given where we live and that she did not have to give up anything in her life here. She did that job for three years through age 13 1/2, and she performed with symphonies in several cities across the country, the most exciting being with the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center. And actually, I loved reading Jjmom's post earlier on this thread about her son being cast in a big show and the show closing before he ever got to perform and actually my daughter's NYC debut was to have been at Lincoln Center, where she had her name in the NY Times, the whole bit and then close to the concert date, the orchestra went on strike and the whole performance series was cancelled! There went her NYC debut because the show did not perform until a year later at which time she had outgrown the role (the composer gave her the Lincoln Center show when she was 13 1/2 even though by then she had already outgrown the role but had done it for three years and this was a big deal and he was letting her have it but then, of course, when the show series was cancelled due to the strike, she certainly was way too old the next year when they did perform it. And so it goes.

As well, if your daughter were to pursue submissions with recording producers or even with agents, she would need professional headshots, not just photos for her CD case. Those ain't cheap either. I just was in NYC two weeks ago for new ones as my D needs these for college auditions and we are talking over 500 dollars. I am sharing this to let you know what you are getting into. The cost of putting out her demo CD, the headshots, the programs, all are parts of this. I am happy that my D had some of these professional experiences and also NYC audition experience but that we never did disrupt our lives and pursue it full throttle in NYC given the distance, unlike families from the metropolitan area might be able to do. But even for them, as Jjmom relates, it still can be disruptive to other youth activities.

Your daughter needs experience, networking, summer programs, a college program down the line, gigs in your area, possible demo CD, and I suppose you could contact agents in NYC but I am not sure what they would do with you applying for representation blindly (very hard route, and not one we did or Jjmom did either....these kids were actively recruited and/or recommended), nor do I know if kid agents in NYC have much work for pop teen divas, and deal more on the theatrical end of things.

Again, few of us on here are really in THAT business. I urge you to contact anyone locally in your neck of the woods who IS in that business. They would give you some tips of next steps. I still think your daughter is young to get too far yet on the pop stuff. I agree with others on the slim chances here but also do understand your full support of your daughter's dreams. Afterall, I have a daughter pursuing a difficult field to make it in (Broadway) but she is not trying to get there NOW (not that she'd mind of course, lol) but knows that a top college MT BFA program is one route to training and eventual contacts and representation. Agents in NYC are invited to Senior Showcases by the better musical theater BFA programs who take their seniors to NYC to perform for the agents. My D's agent, in fact, has commented on which programs she sees the most talent coming from (again, only talking theater). This is the route to success. Mailing your materials in blindly to this or that agent or producer is not impossible but even way more unlikely road to success.

Good luck with it all. Your daughter could enter Star Search...ya never know. I still don't think you need to have a goal of making it in NYC or LA just yet. Get the best training in the next few years and she should also gain way more experience. She is going to be up against many many many talented teens, who have all done many shows, gigs, awards, private training, summer programs, and so forth. Unfortunately, a lot of this preparation does cost money. I think one cheap thing your daughter could do is to start a pop group in your area and get some gigs and see where that goes. One thing often leads to another.


By Reidmc (Reidmc) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 12:36 am: Edit

It does sound like your daughter should give this a try at some point. Maybe now, if she has a reasonable chance of success and failure won't put her in a position she has trouble recovering from.

I will admit, as tough as it is, it can be a lot of fun to fail in the entertainment business, and I know some people who blew off college and managed just fine after eventually giving up on the entertainment world - a couple of doctors, two business owners, a hospital executive, public school teachers, a university administrator etc. I also know some folks who are happy with jobs in non-performing arts and entertainment positions they have as a result of their performing experience.

However, these folks did have a tougher time succeeding than peers who went a more traditional route. And I know
a few people who picked up some awfully bad habits in the entertainment world and were not able to execute an effective Plan B after they realized stardom or a living wage was not in the cards for them.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 06:14 am: Edit

Thank you all for the great ideas. Am curious do you feel for her interests the Berklee School would offer the best summer program? What schools in New York offer something similar?

I have always felt she would be great pursuing musical theater. In additon to almost always landing the leads in the musicals she has done..she has a photographic memory and that strong voice you need..but she has made it clear that is secondary to a pop career.

As far as colleges does anyone have input on wheter Belmont or Berklee would be better for her interests?

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 08:30 am: Edit

Soozievt..with demo CD's to most make a cover of some sort or how is it labeled?

By Soozievt (Soozievt) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 09:07 am: Edit

Angst, I really do not know the answer to that question. My D made a demo CD as a project but has not used it to "further her career" and it has no cover. Nobody has it but us. If the demo was one you were to sell, then you'd need a packaged type cover I would think. The person locally that I know who put out a CD, without a "record label", still has a packaged CD that is sold in stores locally and at her gigs. If you are just using the CD to send to agents, perhaps it does not need slick packaging and you could just create a "label" on your computer like you would do to submit a sample video clip to an agent. It is then kinda just a "sample", not a full fledged CD.

If you are going into a recording studio to make this, you should really ask those who deal with this all the time. Didn't you say you were going to have her record in a studio? I still would be against the use of Karoke like you were considering. A friend of my D's, a 17 year old boy who is highly talented in musical theater, just did a pop recording of an original song. I am not sure what he plans to pursue with it (and he is applying to top musical theater college programs at present) but I heard the clip online and it is very professionally recorded in a recording studio. Again, we are talking original music. That is another thing that I think your D does not have. His was nothing like karoke either. It sounded like it could have been the latest hit. Very professional.

Is this demo just to send a "sample" to agents? For that, the packaging need not be slick. It might be akin to a video clip sample. For anything more than that....the CD needs packaging.

Sorry to not help you more but again, I am not up on the music and record industry and how to break into it. I highly suggest conferring with those in that industry as to the best avenues to pursue. It will be very difficult to succeed and even more so without knowing the ropes of that field. I am more up on the theater field. I have this feeling your D would need an agent or someone like that to push her with record companies, as opposed to trying to get her anything on your own. The agent would then package her to some degree.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 01:53 pm: Edit

Yes just a sample to send.

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 06:55 pm: Edit

OK...I'll venture an opinion here.I honestly believe that talent is only one part of the equation. You also have to have experience and connections. Let's face it, some of the "teen artists" out there aren't the most talented singers on the planet, but they DO have excellent marketing. DS is pursuing a classical performance career. He happens to be going to college majoring in music performance. BUT even with that, he is still playing in many different ensembles both in and out of school. He is meeting many different folks in the orchestral community...connections will not get him the job, but they might get him the auditions! He recorded a demo CD of solo music, primarily for orchestral work, church jobs and just for exposure. He worked as a front guy for a brass quintet and saw first hand how difficult getting jobs was. He also played with them on occasion for fun. He is playing in three school ensembles, plus outside of school ensembles...for both the experience and the contacts...and to build his repertoire and resume. How does this relate to your daughter? Personally I think she needs to DO what she says she wants to do...sing pop music. She needs experience in a band of some sort on an ongoing basis. She needs exposure to the industry. She needs to have gigs. She needs to meet other folks. We've all heard of pop musicians who were the "opening act" for a big name group and made a name for themselves with that momentum. Being in school, community, and professional productions is not the same as singing in a band, or even singing pop solo. If that is what she wants to do, she needs experience. By the way, this should not come in the form of competitions (which she has done), but in the form of real performance in some way. Also, she needs to take some initiative herself to make this happen. In the arts industry, you cannot be successful without a LOT of drive and self created opportunities. Even with the best manager/marketer, you daughter needs to be the "front person". She needs to write her own music, create her own band, find gig ops, etc. Just going to a music mecca (like NYC)without experience will not make her successful. This is a VERY competitive industry with a LOT of wannabees out there. Also, beware that there are also opportunists who will willingly take your money with promises of success. Others here have pointed out that their youngsters found agents through reputable programs in which they participated. This is one very good way. These agents do not choose to represent you unless they feel you are promising. Berklee, for example, has tons of audition ops for its students. Many bands, and performance groups audition right there. Their best performers, quite honestly, do not finish their degrees (at least not in four years) because the win a great job performing. But it's their connection to Berklee that gives them the audition op. This is not an easy field...I have said that several times. Good luck to your daughter.

By Angstridden (Angstridden) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 08:15 pm: Edit

Thank you all for your EXCELLENT advise! We are going to go ahead and pull a demo together, get some head shots..send them out..see what happens. Nothing ventured...etc.
If nothing at all then at least she has a clearer pic. of what she is up against.

THUMPER..can you name any performers that went to Berklee that are successful? Do you think there are truly alot of audition ops for those that can make things happen in the industry there?

We are thinking of her going there for a summer program. Great idea!

Boy connections really do help. I mean look at Hulk Hogans D. flying in a private jet to try out for stuff and hasnt even cut a record.
Oh well.

Good advise Thumper on the band.We were discussing that the other day.

By Thumper1 (Thumper1) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 08:25 pm: Edit

>>can you name any performers that went to Berklee that are successful? Do you think there are truly alot of audition ops for those that can make things happen in the industry there? >>

I think you are confusing "successful" with "famous". I personally know a number of very successful musicians who have jobs with fabulous bands. They have very steady and well paying jobs, with very well known groups. They are not, however, famous. You wouldn't know them at all.

Re: audition opportunities...I only know about instrumentalists, particularly jazz ones. There are many jazz bands that regularly audition at Berklee. I can't really comment about their auditions for pop singers.

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