Releasing two episodes per month – Ep.16 now available!

THE MIDDLE WOMAN - a roadmap to managing the performing arts

The Middle Woman – a roadmap to managing the performing arts, is a podcast created by Elsie Management as a medium to share Laura Colby’s knowledge of 30+ years in the performing arts management field. From her personal experience and point of view, to real examples of the negotiation process and what artist representation is, this podcast is full of information, tips and tricks and the ins and outs of how to work and stay current in this field. Guests bring their own expertise to each topic while enriching the conversation.

 

Laura Colby Bio

Recipient of the 2016 Liz Silverstein NAPAMA Award for Agent-Manager of the Year, Laura Colby formed Elsie Management in 1995. Representing a global roster of dance, theater, special projects, and outdoor spectacle, Elsie Management specializes in singular voices for the global stage. Colby most recently served on the APAP board for three terms, in the position of Vice President in her final term. She founded Dance/USA’s Agents and Artist Manager Producer Council, serving as the Council’s Founding Chair for three years and on the board of Dance/USA for four years. Colby has been an invited speaker for The Joyce Theater Foundation, Western Arts Alliance, Australian Performing Arts Market, CAPACOA (Canadian Association for the Performing Arts), Fordham University, University of Kansas, and NICA (National Institute of Circus Arts, AUS), among others. Colby co-manages the Dance Managers Collective’s annual APAP showcasing efforts with Jennifer Morris (Siegel Artist Management) and served on NAPAMA’s board (2007 & 2008 as President). During the pandemic, she was active with industry efforts for more equitable contracting, contributing to the Creating New Futures Phase 1 writing group: https://creatingnewfutures.tumblr.com. She received her BFA in dance from The Juilliard School. www.elsieman.org

CURRENT EPISODE: Ep. 16: Expectations

Episode 16 of The Middle Woman is all about Expectations! Join Laura Colby as she shares her experience with the importance of being honest with yourself and everyone you work with about what you expect from them and what you can deliver

STAY TUNED FOR NEXT EPISODE

Ep. 1: Laura's story - Intro

Why a podcast on managing the performing arts? In this episode, Laura Colby shares her journey of becoming a performing arts manager, creating Elsie Management, and the evolution of her roster. Self-taught, her skill-set evolved as her role in the field developed. Colby reveals her learning process and the choice to put her skills at the service of artists with the higher purpose of bringing lesser-known and under-represented performance work to stages and audiences around the globe.

Ep. 2: Who's who? (with Anna Amadei)

Who is who in the field? What does a manager, an agent, a presenter, and a producer do? Where do they all meet and how do they get to know each other? Laura Colby is joined in this episode by guest Anna Amadei, Elsie Management’s Vice President, and her right hand for over 15 years. They will chat about the roles of this industry and what makes them interdependent and essential to the ultimate goal of presenting artists.

Ep. 3: Skills

What are the skills needed to be a performing arts manager? In this episode, using technology, communication, and kindness to her advantage, Colby gives insight into how these skills combine to shape a productive and professional manager of the performing arts.

Ep. 4: Career Stories (with Michelle Grove Herzog)

Looking for a career in this industry? Join Laura Colby and special guest Michelle Grove Herzog as they talk about the many levels of Herzog’s career and how she got to where she is today.

Ep. 5: How to pick an agent, How an agent picks you (with Sandy Garcia)

How do agents work and how do you get one? In this episode, Laura Colby is joined by special guest Sandy Garcia, Director of Booking at Pentacle, to talk about the process of getting an agent and what artists should expect when they find one.

Ep. 6: Conferences Part 1 & 2

Part 1

How do you prepare for a conference? In the first part of the conference episode, Laura Colby talks about all the material and email preparation that is needed for conference day.

Part 2

What do you do at a conference? In part two of the conference episode, Laura Colby walks through how you should present yourself at conferences and the ins and outs of talking to people and promoting your work.

Ep. 7: Connections

How do you make connections? In this episode, Laura Colby talks about how connections are formed, when not to use (not abuse) them, and how to maintain them throughout your career.

Ep. 8: The Strength of Your Relationships (with Chad Herzog)

In this episode, Laura Colby is joined by Chad Herzog, Associate Vice President of the Arts for the University of Arizona. They talk about the importance of the relationships you forge in each step of your journey in the performing arts field, and how their relationship, specifically as programmer and artist manager, has been shaped and strengthened through the years.

Ep. 9: Egos

Hierarchy, gatekeepers, and power are all part of the performing arts industry. In this episode, Colby talks about her experiences with egos, the positive and negative impacts on arts workers, and what to do when it interferes with your work.

Ep. 10: Money (with Anna Amadei)

Laura Colby is joined by Anna Amadei, Elsie Management’s Vice President, to discuss the financial framework of running a business in the arts, being an artist or working in the field on behalf of other people, and managing a budget. They discuss how talking about money can depend on our cultural upbringing and backgrounds, and highlight how important is for all arts workers, no matter which niche they are part of, to learn how to talk about money.

Ep. 11: Talk About It (with Allen Moon)

In this episode, Laura Colby invites Allen Moon, Director of Touring and Artist Management of David Lieberman Artists Representatives, to talk about their sales work, specifically how they talk about the performance works, artists, and touring shows they promote via representation. They share their experience selling contemporary performing arts touring shows that are not necessarily considered popular or obvious in terms of what their genres are or what the experience is going to be like for the audience.

Ep. 12: Elevator Pitch

In this episode, Laura Colby talks about the importance of having a ready-to-go Elevator Pitch. She covers how to create one of your own and how to present your work. No matter how complicated your work is, you need to be able to describe it succinctly to whomever you are speaking to, be that your grandparent, your UPS person, or that presenter you really want to have program you.

Ep. 13: Contracts

In this episode, Laura Colby shares her experience in contracting for Elsie Management represented artists. Colby talks about the steps to a contract, important clauses, negotiating specific terms, and more!

Ep. 14: Live & Learn

In this episode of The Middle Woman, Laura Colby shares the things she’d wishes she’d known when she first started in this field. She shares her experience of 30+ years, in the hopes you don’t get tripped up as you move forward in the field.

Ep. 15: Best Practices

In this episode, Laura Colby talks about practices to consistently have in your work. Learn about working from a place of “no surprises” – meaning you do everything in your capacity to have clarity of terms & expectations from the beginning of the booking process

Ep. 16: Expectations

Episode 16 of The Middle Woman is all about Expectations! Join Laura Colby as she shares her experience with the importance of being honest with yourself and everyone you work with about what you expect from them and what you can deliver

Ep. 1: Laura’s story – Intro

Ep. 2: Who’s who? (with Anna Amadei)

Ep. 3: Skills

Ep. 4: Career Stories (with Michelle Grove Herzog)

Ep. 5: How to pick an agent, How an agent picks you (with Sandy Garcia)

Ep. 6: Conferences Part 1 & 2

Ep. 7: Connections

Ep. 8: The Strength of Your Relationships (with Chad Herzog)

Ep. 9: Egos

Ep. 10: Money (with Anna Amadei)

Ep. 11: Talk About It (with Allen Moon)

Ep. 12: Elevator Pitch

Ep. 13: Contacts

Ep. 14: Live & Learn

Ep. 15: Best Practices

Ep. 16: Expectations

Episode 2 – Anna Amadei

Episode 4 – Michelle Grove Herzog

Episode 5 – Sandy Garcia

Episode 8 – Chad Herzog

Episode 10 – Anna Amadei

Episode 11 – Allen Moon