Contract Horror Story #2
FAIR MANAGER: (Standing at IAFE booth in December) “Send me a contract for that act.”
AGENT: “You want me to send you a contract? It’s a done deal for ten days?”
FAIR MANAGER: “Yes. Send me a contract.”
AGENT: (Assuming the contract is a done deal, he mails a contract for artist’s services for a 10-day fair in December).
AGENT: (in February) Calls Fair to ask for contract back. Leaves message and gets no reply.
AGENT: (calls back again in March. Doesn't want to be rude, so awaits to hear reply; leaves another message): “Hi. Awaiting the return of that contract for ARTIST. Please let me know when I can receive it.”
AGENT: (leaves another message two weeks later) “Still have not heard from you. I have left two messages. Please let me know when I will get the contract back and if everything is okay.”
AGENT: (It is now late April, going into May. He begins leaving messages every day since he has not heard back from Fair Manager): “I need to know if everything is okay. I have reserved this ARTIST's time and I feel responsible for him getting the work. Please, call me back.”
FAIR MANAGER: (Finally calls back in the middle of May) “Sorry, can't use the act.”
Result: The artist lost the contract, the agent didn’t get paid for all his work, and it was much to late in the game to fill the dates. In this case, the Fair Manager was at fault, not having communicated clearly at all. The end result is very bitter feelings, a lost contract, and the artist is financially strapped.
Lesson: COMMUNICATE CLEARLY.
No matter what you THINK the other party is doing, NEVER ASSUME ANYTHING.
In this case, the agent believed that if the Fair Manager asked for a contract, the event was happening (“a done deal”). Respect Agents and Artists. If a fair asks for a contract, both the AGENT and ARTIST assume the event is happening. Please do not let this happen.