What one piece of advice do you repeatedly give to your clients?
Atlanta, GA entertainment law attorney Gilles Walters gives advice he usually tells all of his clients.
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One maybe is like call me, and that’s just because, you know, I guess a lot of times when you’re an artist you don’t understand the significance of certain documents or certain – or like everything that you’re presented with, I mean to the extent that it may have some sort of legal ramification, you know, call me. Like, it doesn’t take much to do that. So, like, for instance, if – now, this is not something that any of our current clients have been faced with but this was something that I have said before and I say it because of this. You know, if you’re at a show, if you’re a celebrity, if you’re an artist, a performer at a show and then somebody serves you with some papers, and then I don’t know about that until three weeks later or something like that, like that could be problematic because who knows what that is. You don’t know what that is. At least let me know. It may be nothing but at least let me know so that I can say, okay, well, no, actually you’re being sued. So maybe we need to work on figuring out what’s this all about, or it could be something else, you know. But just like the idea of knowing that – getting them in the habit of properly identifying things that they need to bring to someone else’s attention. Not even – calling me is fine but, you know, at least let your manager know, ’cause then your manager can call me. Just that – that’s a significant thing.
Also, I guess the artists who are starting in their career, I often tell them, like, hey, this is the beginning. A lot of times people work to get to that “record deal.” Not so much – I mean the industry is definitely shifting now and more people are willing to be independent, but still, like, you know, that first advance – that lump sum advance that you get, so a lot of people will kinda work for that and they say, okay, I did it, I’m signed with such and such, you know, whoever. This is my affiliation. But that’s really where the work begins ’cause people aren’t giving you money to not make it back.
So, just the idea that you worked this hard to get here but actually now you have to work more. The return should be greater because you have reached a level where you reach more people, but now you have to work harder to get that money back and then some, and then get to the next level, the next step in your career.