Photo: Rafael Neff
Of course I would encourage anyone who received an offer from a high profile agency to obviously accept their representation! However, I am here to tell you that you can be successful without an agent. In fact, when you consider that the representation you give yourself is probably more genuine and sincere than that from a person who has seven other singers with the same voice type as you in their agency. How can you ever really know that they really and truly have your interests at heart? They may be consciously or unconsciously favouring another singer on their books over you.
It’s important to believe 100% in your abilities to represent yourself. Do what it takes to learn how to network socially in person and on social media. Do the necessary research, letter writing and telephoning. Be courageous and take the driver’s seat with regards to your performing destiny.
If you still believe it’s important to you to have an agent then absolutely pursue that path. But make sure you know as much about them as possible. What is their background? Are they well connected? Do they only work with particular opera houses or orchestra’s? Who else do they represent? Can you make contact with the people they present and inquire about their satisfaction? Be prepared to do the research before you ask to audition for them. Or better still, if they have approached you - do your detective work before agreeing to meet or sign any agreements or contracts.
If you do have an agent, always be vigilant and make sure they are working for you. Keep in regular contact with them and be prepared to make them accountable for what they say they are going to do on your behalf or promises they have made.
Most importantly remember that the relationship is a mutual one. You would never be wise to sit back and think that your agent is going to do all the work anyway. Drive your career in collaboration with your agent. Make the contacts, networking and self promotion and trust the agent to do the negotiation of fees and details of your contracts.
I have never had full representation from anyone. I have had agents very interested in me and they have sent me to an opera house to audition and when it wasn’t immediately successful they lost interest very quickly. I learnt very early on that in this career, unless you’re in the top 1% earning big engagement fees similar to the likes of Netrebko, Vargas, Kaufmann or Fleming, you need to be the one driving your success. Do not leave it up to someone else. Know what you want, where you want to be and take action!
If you want coaching and mentoring on the best way for YOU to take the next steps on your path to a successful and fulfilling career then please contact me for a chat.