A few years ago, I had the opportunity to work in a talent management company, where my work mainly revolved around the management of performing artists. It turned out to be a highly satisfying and rewarding job. Granted, the talent management gig didn’t pay much, but it was rewarding in other ways.
As soon as I started working in the talent management agency, I realized — to my great and pleasant surprise — that the artists I was working with were genuinely kind people. This went against everything I previously believed – as I had been conditioned to imagine that artists are selfish people who only think about themselves and are totally insensitive to others’ feelings. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The artists I encountered were always courteous to me, and they expressed real gratitude for the help I gave them (notwithstanding the fact that it was my job, and they knew that I had been paid to provide the help).
As I continued working in the talent management agency, I came to learn that the artists were folks who were truly self-driven, and full of ambition. My brief at the agency was to help the artists to earn real money from their works. And thanks to their ambitious and self-driven nature, I found that I had to do very little in terms of guiding the artists – as they already had very high levels of self-drive.
My work in the talent management agency also gave me the opportunity to learn that (on the downside) artists are generally folks who are very self-conscious, and very sensitive. I soon came to learn that the artistic folks have this tendency to take things very personally. Sometimes, the tendency would go to comical levels. Like, for instance, I remember one artist who had problems with his credit card. It wasn’t really a particularly big problem. He was just having the normal challenges logging into his credit card account online. So he called the credit card issuer’s customer care department, and happened to find a customer care lady who was in a foul mood. I was surprised when the artist started taking the whole thing personally, even as we tried to persuade him that the lady on the other end of the line was probably just having a bad day… It just goes to show the extent to which artists tend to be over-sensitive.