Category :

Future of the Industry

Gatekeepers Begone

Gatekeepers Begone 
A Guest Post by J Michael Dolan

Back in the day my publishing company was just down the hall from HTA, one of the top commercial talent agencies in Hollywood. I became lifelong friends with Herb Tannen, the CEO of the company. I used to walk down the hall to his office and hang out with him as he sorted through 20-50 headshots of actors that he'd ultimately choose to go on interviews. He'd say to me, "How about that one, or that one, or that one?" Within 10-15 minutes he'd choose 2-3 of the lucky actors to be sent on the audition. He had a trained eye and knew what he was looking for. He was a gatekeeper.

Spent lunchtimes with many A&R execs, including Ron Oberman, who was the top head honcho of A&R at CBS records. He would fast-forward through a selection of demo tapes so quickly, he would barely get to the bridge before going on to the next song. He had a trained ear. He knew what he was looking for. He was a gatekeeper.

Heck for nearly three decades I was a gatekeeper. Back in the day when everyone wanted to be on the cover of Music Connection or Songwriter magazine, my editors and I held a firm grip on the keys to that gate. 

Thank God the old greedy, antique methods and protocols of showbiz are waning and the locks on the gates of entry have begun to rust. YOU have now been given the job as gatekeeper of your own network, your own promotion company, your own publishing firm, your own record company, your own empire, and your own independent career. What the new revolution provides are the tech-tools to build your unique brand, the networking opportunities to promote it, and revolutionaries to help you get there; experts, coaches, consultants, savvy managers, etc.. All you need are sensational ideas, jaw-dropping art, innovative and worthwhile products & services, and the courage to step out of the past and into the present. Don’t flinch! You’re a crazy genius artist, a risk-taking “trep,” you can do this!

Truth is, you’re either part of the current “connection revolution," or you’re standing on the sidelines scratching your head, waiting and hoping it will end soon.

Best selling (amazon) author J. Michael Dolan continues to augment a successful entertainment industry career, which has spanned over 40 years—covering all aspects of the business, including writing, publishing, coaching, consulting, teaching, producing, photography, graphic arts, digital media and performing. In the late 60’s and early 70’s Michael worked at literally every major motion picture studio and every major television network in Hollywood, gaining valuable knowledge and experience along the way.

In 1977, Michael founded Music Connection magazine, a music business trade publication distributed in bookstores and newsstands from coast to coast. The publication quickly became a “must read” for industry executives, and a trusted advocate for musicians and songwriters, who promptly dubbed it “the musician’s bible.” Shortly thereafter, Michael created Songwriter Connection magazine, which became part of the MC family of invaluable products and services. That publication was later sold to a privately held company.

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