From the time I first worked on Essential Self Defense with Adam, I've been looking forward to it's premiere, which will happen in March. As the piece has developed, I have enjoyed my responsibilities for the world of the music of the play, which I ultimately share with Lucas, Adam, and the cast. Last week, my sense of responsibility in this realm prompted me to mention to the theater manager that it would be important to go over music credits so everything was correct and represented everyone appropriately.
Around the same time of the week the manager for Days of The New e-mails me the "spring tour dates", half of which are during the run of Essential Self Defense. I take a deep breath: the e-mail arrives THREE WEEKS after a conversation where I had reminded the manager that I had given him my available Spring dates back in December and I would not be free until the play ended. I send an e-mail reply expressing my disappointment. Later that day he leaves me a message telling me that he personally pushed the dates back until after the play's run. (Travis told me later that he made the manager do it). But before the manager finishes his message about the trouble he'd gone through to change the dates he adds," Just showing you how committed we are to you Ray." Sure thing, pal. So committed you neglected to pass my dark dates onto the booking agent. I called back and left him a message telling him I'm ready to talk commitment whenever he is. He hasn't called back yet.
Yesterday, I get an e-mail from the theater manager telling me that "this is how the credits have landed for Essential Self Defense". The word "landed" denotes a back-and-forth negotiation that transpired sometime last week between the agents of my collaborators. Now, I mentioned my responsibility in matters. Just to fill out the meaning of the term a little better, I've overseen the collaborative musical process and, barring any ditties that may materialize in rehearsals, I've composed the bulk of the material for the piece. You would think I'd at least have been invited to the table. The only indication I'd had that there was a dialogue going on about music matters was a single call from an agent last week that left no message as to what it was regarding (I got it on Friday and called on Monday). As for the information contained in the credits: significantly incorrect.
Now, I see little to gain in bitching or complaining at length about the plasma sucking moments of the world I have chosen to work in. The bottom lines are as follows: I love my collaborators very much and hold in high regard the work we do together. It's usually worth the headache. Near as I can tell, my friends have matched their immeasurable talent with a strong agent or manager who will do everything that is in their client's best interest, regardless of how accurately the results reflect the work that got them and their client to the point of needing to negotiate in the first place. Only under the very best of circumstances will the efforts of these business professionals nurture the creative environments that their clients work in, and the people they work with. And the very bottom line: I fucking want one. Manager, agent, whatever. A good one preferrably, but at this point, anyone willing to exercise some forethought upon my affairs - or offer protection - will do.
So, yesterday was one more deep breath, another call, and two e-mails. After one agent (a rather stand up fellow, actually) sends me to his client to resolve the matter (a 60 second conversation between friends) the incorrect credit information is rectified. Only today, as I replay the whole thing, I realize I was knocked so off-balance by the matter, I missed the fact that a second credit matter may have been overlooked as well. The urge to let it go seemed like the best and worst thing to do, so, free agent that I am, I write another e-mail to Adam and the director to get this one more issue resolved (it has been taken care of).
Anything worth doing, anything worth having - well, I tell you nothing you don't know: the shit don't come easy. To all my friends who worked their ass off to reach a point where someone else wanted to make a career out of representing you, I salute you tonight with warm nips off the Old Fo. I envy you as much as I wish you luck.