Your bodyguard in the studio
It’s 90 minutes into the session but you are getting frustrated and despondent. You are "doubling" your voice over a part you sang earlier. It has to be perfect match. But the engineer keeps forgetting to mix your voice correctly and you can’t really hear properly over the previous takes and all the instruments. You start to feel angry at yourself and a bit of a failure. You can see some client faces outside your booth. They look bored and annoyed. Is it because of you?
You wish you could take five. Suddenly you sense movement and you hear a familiar voice come through your headphones. "Let's take a break." You smile in relief. Your manager has come to the rescue.
"Managers are like bodyguards almost, and although it sounds kind of dramatic, you're putting your wellbeing in their hands: If the room is too cold or if people are smoking, or if anything is preventing the artist from giving their best performance, it's up to them to notice those things. But for the most part, I've worked with good agents, who not only cater to the clients wishes but who care for the artists. It's an art and a thankless job often. Artist managers get flack from the singers, the producers and the clients."
A good artist manager is like a guardian angel- there in the background as a silent, calming, positive witness but ready to swoop in at the slightest hint that the singer or voice actor is feeling discouraged, tired or a failure.
If you are working with a good producer who is always giving positive feedback whilst getting the singer to take breaks and creating a warm and happy atmosphere, then the manager won’t have to do much…or so it seems.
But the singer knows their manager is hovering and attentive and will notice that you have seated yourself in a place where you can communicate with them just by a look. Their silent presence tells you that they too are working; to protect and encourage their artist, who is locked away in a sound proof booth and being asked to vocalise deep human longings and pain again and again and again.
Unless it's a nursery rhyme gig!