Lynn Resnick is the dynamo behind Expanding Brooklyn, an up-and-coming management firm located in Seattle. Through EB, Lynn has helped guide the careers of country and bluegrass songwriter Korby Lenker and experimental electronic outfit Mercir.
I asked Lynn to participate in our 5 Questions series and talk about her approach and philosophy.
As an artist manager, what’s your mission as you see it?
My mission as an artist manager is to partner with an artist to help them realize their career.
You’re probably always swamped with submissions from baby bands. What catches your attention?
I’m always struck by a person’s/artist’s genuineness. Sounds crazy, but when someone’s authentic, that grabs me. When someone’s open, yet sure of themselves — still with a healthy dose of humility — that gets me. Something can be original, but good songs, great musicianship — well, I’m a sucker.
It seems some artists find management early in their careers, while others may go years without representation. What do you feel are the prime indicators that a band is ready to find management?
It’s hard to say. There’s a certain something. If a band knows they’re not good at certain areas of the business, and clearly recognizes that shortcoming, I think that’s good timing. Management, in some respects, is about all the things not musically oriented. I don’t craft the songs. I find the people to bring the music to. The other side of that coin for a band being ready is their knowing it’s a long, long haul. Manna doesn’t fall from the skies. And if a band knows that, yahoo! And if they’re willing to give up everything (within reason), have the drive and passion, those are good indicators, too.
What do you think is the #1 mistake artists make when dealing with a potential manager?
Most potential artists don’t understand the rules of the biz. And by rules I mean who does what. Moreover, I think a lot of times artists have expectations that a manager’s touch is going to be golden. Truth is a manager helps organize and fill out the vision. If the “product” isn’t there, or the “germ” of the idea, there’s not much a manager can do. I can’t make a diamond out of thin air. The right elements have to be there.
What’s the one myth about your profession you’d like to bust?
Myth: It’s all glory. You make a lot of money. You never deal with personal issues.
It’s one of the few professions — and I define that loosely — where one constantly deals with the personal and the intangible nuances of business. If you don’t know people, and don’t know people’s habits — I say that in the broadest sense — you’re gonna have a hard time. There’s no real rule book, or plan of attack.
The greatest joy is hearing your artist’s song on the radio, seeing them perform to a sold out crowd. Those moments are golden. They’re hard fought, and extremely precious.
Optional bonus question: what’s the story behind the name “Expanding Brooklyn?”
Go watch Annie Hall. 😉0