Managers are one of the hardest working, frequently misunderstood factions in the entertainment industry. This behind-the-scenes group of people is responsible for helping propel the careers of your favorite artists forward year after year. They are strategists, negotiators and, sometimes, babysitters, but one thing is for sure, the music industry wouldn’t be the same without them.

Here we introduce you to some of the top managers in Christian music and give you a look at how they operate.

First off, define for our readers what a manager actually does?

Chaz Corzine: [Partner in Blanton, Harrell, Cooke & Corzine, who manage Amy Grant, Michael W. Smith, Point of Grace, Bebo Norman, Aaron Shust and author Frank Peretti] I always describe the manager’s role as kind of like being a conductor. In an orchestra, there are different sections, and they have to operate perfectly synched. The manager is kind of the conductor in an artist’s life. Any artist is going to have a booking agent, publicist, record company and any different number of entities. The manager has got to keep them all going in synch and flowing together and have a master plan as to how this is all going to work. And, like a conductor — you know if you ever go to the symphony — the orchestra is in the pit, and you can just barely see the conductor’s head. He’s pretty much out of sight, and, to me, that’s what a really good manager does — kind of stays out of sight and controls all the chaos in an artist’s life.

Teresa Davis: [Founder of Paradigm Management, which manages Hawk Nelson, Falling Up, KJ-52, Fighting Instinct and 4th Avenue Jones] We guide and, hopefully, develop the careers of artists we feel passionately about. It’s really a partnership relationship. What they do is unique to them, and what we do is obviously facilitate their giftings and their talents as much as we possibly can. We try to get their lives healthy both on the personal side and on the entertainment side of what they do with their music. So it’s kind of a balancing act between the two. It’s a lot of just scheduling and being really good at booking on Southwest Airlines. We try to make what they do as easy as possible but as successful as it can be.

Shelley Giglio: [Founder of sixsteps records and the Passion conferences with husband Louie Giglio, she manages Chris Tomlin, David Crowder Band, Charlie Hall and Matt Redman] I didn’t know anything about management when I started doing this five years ago. I mean, basically, we started a record company, sixsteps records…and we were trying to keep our family of artist-worshippers together. We wanted to just maintain a family… My experience, for the most part with them, is to act sort of as a liaison for them, and it’s a little bit of a protection role. I think when there’s exposure, there are all kinds of opportunities, and so it’s good to have somebody in their lives who kind of has their best interests in mind at all times — just taking whatever opportunities exist and making the most of them.

Copyright © 2006 CCM Magazine, Used by Permission

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