We need to talk about artist manager burnout during COVID-19 [OP-ED]
Working on LA time, in Sydney, during a global pandemic = how to burn yourself out 101 ha!
I flew home from LA on the 15th of March 2020 to renew my Visa, and whilst I was in the air the Australian government enforced self-isolation for any arriving internationals, which led me to miss my Visa appointment. Then holds got placed on all Visas, then COVID hit Australia at its peak, and the rest is history really… now it’s October.
At first it wasn’t so challenging for me because when I left LA, America was truly (and still is) in a horrible situation compared to Australia when it comes to COVID-19. In a sense I was happy to be home and have a break from what I just lived in America.
In my last two weeks there, sh*t got real to say the least. I witnessed major global agencies go into lock down, huge staff layoffs from leading talent firms, all our touring for artists went out the window, and not to mention our entire company got sent home indefinitely. It was seriously a crazy scene to witness and felt very surreal; it still does really considering I packed for two weeks.
Back in Australia, the work flowed as per usual once we all processed what was happening and that the global pandemic was effecting everyone in the world. Me and my team had to get pro-active and start moving with the times once the burn of Coachella and Tomorrowland and Miami music week to name a few, got cancelled for us.
We dived in guns blazing; creating content, putting out unplanned releases, figuring out a way to maximise live streams and get paid for them, and most of all just remain positive, healthy and stay afloat.
Because I was dealing with 99% Americans, I was up at 3am AEST every day to be able to have calls and emails with my artists, creative directors, accountants, agents, business managers, social media reps etc. and after about six months of that, I burnt myself out quite aggressively and it was really isolating.
However being in Australia during such a critical time, has really allowed me to bring my expertise to Australia, and my insight for missing blanks in the Australian market from an international stand point, and really has allowed me to re-evaluate and get creative during this time.
I made the decision to resign from Red Light Management on July 31st to take my first holiday in eight years with no phone, no clients AND NO EMAILS (I still checked them everyday though didn’t I…) and now I’m super excited to see what’s ahead.
We’re working on some amazing things at Coote Experts to give back to the Australian music industry and offer my international experience on an Australian stage to emerging artists, managers, and everyone in between.
I really do have COVID-19 to thank for all the opportunities we get to announce in the coming weeks and months, because if I wasn’t in Australia these amazing things wouldn’t be happening.
This article originally appeared on The Industry Observer, which is now part of The Music Network.