Primary Blog/Gigging Musician Podcast/Episode 128 - Emotion Manipulation In The Music Industry

Episode 128 - Emotion Manipulation In The Music Industry

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

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Episode Recap

In this episode, Jared discusses the prevalent issue of emotional manipulation in the music industry. From people trying to take advantage of musicians by playing to their emotions to bandmates expecting extra work for free, Jared provides tips on how to combat emotional manipulation. He emphasizes the importance of knowing your worth, setting boundaries, and maintaining them. Jared also discusses the negative impact that emotional manipulation can have on mental health and the music industry as a whole. Tune in to gain valuable insights and learn how to recognize and deal with emotional manipulation in the music industry.

Best Quote

"Emotional manipulation is a tool that is used to sabotage your efforts and makes you feel less than worthy. And comes from a place where the person doing it, you know, they want to take advantage of you in some way, shape, or form. But by the way, this is not just by the people who are hiring you. This also could be people that you play with, people that you perform with, are they manipulating you, as the bandleader to do all of the extra work of booking the band without offering anything in return?"


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What's up gigging pros, it's Jared Judge. Welcome to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast.

Today we're going to talk about something a little more uncomfortable, that might be hidden in plain sight that every musician deals with at some point in their lives. And in fact, this, this is a disease that is prevalent throughout society.

And unfortunately, people use it to take advantage of others. And that is emotional manipulation. I wrote about this on my email newsletter, a week or so ago. So if you're not subscribed, go to and subscribe.

But basically, emotional manipulation is when somebody uses emotions and emotional arguments, to take advantage of somebody else to take advantage of the situation. So think about it.

Have you recently been subjected to emotional manipulation by somebody who hired you, as a musician? This happens all the time. People are always trying to take advantage of musicians and play to their emotions that Oh, don't you just love playing? I can't you give me a good deal? Can you do this for free?

Like that's an example of emotional manipulation. But it goes a little bit beyond that. Because in the events industry, like I have the privilege of being on the board of directors for and networking organization in the events industry.

And even within that organization, there are examples of emotional manipulation that occurs fairly often. It's tough, you know, emotional arguments are not inherently bad, even when there are valid reasons for using emotional arguments to get people to act.

For example, music in itself, is by nature, and emotional arguments. It literally manipulates emotions to make you feel something when you're playing it or when you're hearing it.

Like I would say, music is the ultimate emotional manipulation tool, which is by you know, propaganda videos have used emotions is why movies use soundtracks, because it makes the audience feel something and thus makes it a stronger movie.

However, when you're dealing with business, like it's just business, music is a business music business is business, when you're trying to book gigs make a living doing what you love, and argue that there is almost no room for emotional manipulation.

And I'm gonna have sorry, I can't talk this morning. emotional manipulation, is a tool that is used to sabotage your efforts and makes you feel less than worthy. And comes from a place where the person doing it, you know, they want to take advantage of you in some some way, shape or form.

But by the way, this is not just by the people who are hiring you. This also could be people that you play with people that you perform with, are they manipulating you, as the bandleader to do all of the extra work of booking the band without offering anything in return?

Which is why a couple episodes ago, I did one about the hidden work of band leadership, and why it deserves to be compensated.

But basically, you know, it's so easy for people to use the argument that like, music is fine, you love doing this, that you should just do all of this extra work for free. And our bandmates might be doing that too.

Which is just something to be aware of. And the way to combat that. In both occasions, you know, when somebody hiring you is emotionally manipulating you, or when a bandmate is, is to truly take a step back and know your worth, like know that what you're doing is valuable.

And you should be able to know exactly how valuable it is with the bandmates know, like would they have a gig? If you had not been doing that work? Would the person hiring you have this elevated experience at their events? Had they not hired you?

And if so that's worth the money that you say it is. So first step is knowing your worth. And then the second step is the harder one. Like people struggle with this people go to therapy for this, which is setting boundaries.

So boundary setting is when you know what you're willing to do, and refusing to do anything that is beyond what you're willing to do. Like if somebody asks you to give them $100 discount because of xy and z.

Then you have to say no, this is our rate. And you have to stick to it. You have to hold your ground And, and not cave to their emotional manipulation. So that is setting the boundary.

And then the last step is hard as wealth, it is maintaining that boundary, people are always going to test your boundaries, they're going to hear even if you've already set that boundary and said, No, I won't do this for anything less than blank, people will still try again.

And again, they'll try to wear you down with more emotional manipulation. And these images with emotional arguments are easier to wear you down because they're mentally exhausting.

Whereas I'd much prefer logical arguments like to give me a logical argument is why I should do something for you know, less than my normal rate.

Like, for example, if you showcase how sponsoring this one event, instead of asking for money, has a lot of different event industry connections, I might be more open to but you have to back that up with numbers and facts and statistics.

Rather than just do it for me it feels good or whatever. So you got to set that boundary, and then you got to maintain it. So don't let people test those boundaries. Be consistent with your answer, don't change your answer, don't change the boundary.

Because once you do that, it's like if you give a mouse a cookie, they will know that you're the kind of person who they can get what they want from. And so through the health, they'll go a step further to the last from work. And that's just not good for, for you not good for your mental health.

And it's not good for the music industry. It's not good for your ability to make a living as a musician. So, yeah, hope this was helpful, emotionally, in saying it's so hard to say that this morning. emotional manipulation is rampant in both the events industry and in the music industry.

I think it's important to take a step back and look at it and notice when it's happening, and notice, are the people that are doing this really worth hanging out with in the long run? If so, evaluate that.

Are these relationships worth continuing? Or do you need to set a hard boundary with that relationship? And don't forget to maintain those boundaries once you set it?

So I hope this was helpful. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of The Gigging Musician Podcast. Remember, "You are just one gig away!".

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Episode 229 - The Power of Networking and Recommendations in the Music Industry

Episode 228 - Navigating the Gig Economy: Venue Tours, Expos, and the Power of Numbers

Episode 227 - Strategic Moves: Venue Tours, Expos, and Unexpected Gigs

Episode 226 - Maximizing Gigs: New Tools for Tracking Success and Boosting Bookings

Episode 225 - Unlocking Gigs: Venue Tours and Strategic Partnerships

Episode 224 - A Day in the Life: Venue Tours, Unexpected Gigs, and Networking Wins

Episode 223 - Landing Gigs Post-Wedding Expo: A Musician's Success Story

Episode 222 - Navigating the Wedding Expo Scene: A Musician's Journey to Success

Episode 221 - Maximizing Success at Wedding Expos: A Musician's Guide

Episode 220 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: Venue Tours and Virtual Assistant Strategies

Episode 219 - Maximizing Your Music Career: The Power of a Personal Assistant

Episode 218 - Unlocking High-End Gigs: A Musician's Guide to Preferred Vendor Success

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