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ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT and ALWAYS CHECK REFERENCES!

May 26, 2012

I was out to dinner last night with one of my director friends.

He told me an interesting story that I wanted to share with you.

Over the years, he’s had many interns and assistants. Most have been fine. However, one intern/assistant was particularly bad.

As we were talking, he said, “But the sad thing is, once someone works for you or interns for your company, usually that’s enough for them to get their foot in the door to the next gig. And in entertainment, it’s INCREDIBLY difficult to break in. But once you break in you’re ‘in.'”

So, someone could do a TERRIBLE job somewhere, but because they worked at that company, others will just ASSUME they did a good job.

So, it surprised my friend when he recently got a call from a production company to check references on someone that had worked for him years ago.

What’s even more surprising is the lengths the production company went to find my director friend: his information isn’t published, so they had to call his film school and his film school called him with the production company’s number and asked my director friend to call them back.

You follow?

Anyhow, the production company was about to hire this person but they said, “Something in our gut tells us something is ‘off’ with her. And ALL her references just GLOWED about her. What’s the scoop?”

Sure enough, my friend said this was the worst person they had hired and mentioned all the mistakes they had made on set.

Needless to say, I doubt this person got the job.

Wow, that production company was SMART.

Why?

Because:

1) They were smart enough to check references in the first place. Believe it or not, people do lie on their resume and about their achievements.

2) Even when every reference she gave was GLOWING, the production company STILL sensed something was “off” with her and decided to dig deeper.

Imagine if they’d hired this person?

She could have caused major damage on the shoot.

***

Anyhow, how does this relate to you?

Well, when you hire a manager or publicist or someone to do promotion for you….or ANY company or ANYONE in life, ESPECIALLY ANYONE IN THE MUSIC OR ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS, do you:

1) Check their references?

2) Even if they have great references (or oddly, a few bad ones) do you still decide with your GUT…and KEEP investigating if things don’t match up?

After all, a lot of reputable companies have bad reviews online and bad word of mouth. Record companies always get SLAMMED…yet I’m willing to bet that if a label came to you with an offer, even if it was for just a little bit of money, you’d sign, right? Why? Because there are a lot of bitter artists and bitter people out there who like to drag people’s names through the mud the more successful they get. Labels are usually at the top of this list but so are others. I know I’ve been the victim of a lot of trash talking lately, and ironically, mainly by people who’ve never even hired me or paid me a penny to do any work for them!

My point is…

You should ALWAYS check references…and be wary….someone smart could “plant” good references by using their friends or business associates to say good things about them.

No matter what, go with your gut.

Do you like this person?

Do you trust this person? Deep down?

I always use this analogy – if you had $10,000 in CASH and had to give it to this person for safe-keeping with NO contract or anything to prove you gave them that money, would you feel safe and comfortable leaving all that cash with someone?

Would you get it back a day, week or month or year later?

There are a lot of amazing people in this business (and in life).

And there are a lot of scammers who will lie through their teeth, with a smile on their face, and seem like the most sincere person you ever met.

A lot of people in this business have impressive sounding resumes and superstar acts listed as clients…but they got gig after gig after gig because they sweet talked someone but yet delivered under par – I’ve heard this of managers, radio promotions people, publicists, film/tv promotion people, what have you.

Be careful and DO YOUR RESEARCH.

You’ll be glad you did!

(Please feel free to forward this email and this email alone to members of your band or other artists you know. But please do not post it on a web site or blog without asking permission from the author. Thanks!)

Copyright @2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without author’s prior consent.

Jennifer Yeko
True Talent Management ~ True Talent PR

9663 Santa Monica Blvd. # 320

Beverly Hills, CA 90210
http://www.truetalentmgmt.com

http://www.truetalentmgmt.wordpress.com – Read my music blog for advice on making it in the music business

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4 comments

  1. I always go with my gut and check out peoples track record, every time I haven’t I have paid for it. Thanks Jennifer!!


  2. Good blog/story Jen. There’s a little voice that lives in my solar plexus that talks to me, every time I meet someone or hear a pitch, whatever. Within 30 seconds, I hear a little voice speak to me. I try to listen to it every time, because that little voice KNOWS how I should react or respond to the person I just met. Only a couple times did I let my head make a decision (despite what that tiny voice said) and it was a hard lesson learned. Sure, everyone should check references, background, etc. But there are also “haters” out there that will post or write something online that is outrageous and defamatory (that’s only happened once for me, but once on internet, it’s there forever) Even negative discoveries should be scrutinized. Bottom line, people need to do homework, then meet the person…IN person, and make their choices.


  3. Re: ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT and ALWAYS CHECK REFERENCES! Great insight and lesson to be practiced! Thank you Jennifer.

    Neil Argo


  4. I really, really, really love this article. I have learned the hard way to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS go with my gut. Thank you!!

    Van Preston



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