The music industry is currently rife with ageism. Here is advice on how to DEAL with the 3 biggest stereotypes surrounding getting older in the music industry. Unlike the film industry where men at least, can have long careers playing powerful silver sharks without too many stigmas (while most women have to retire into HBO) or the fashion industry where models of both ages can thrive well into their sophisticated 60s, provided they were blessed with youthful good looks and photogenic genes.
- Stereotype #1. The Rule of 30.
Science and stats do reveal that most musicians get discovered BY 30 years of age. So what does this mean? It just means that you can be part of a really cool statistic of people who got discovered despite the norm! Women do not stop having kids at 46 with or without a man even around, so why should musicians quit music at 31? Realize that you will age anyways and that quitting is just guaranteeing that you will NOT get discovered. Also, realize that age is mostly a number and that your true biological age has more to do with your genetics and lifestyle than your medicare card. Put your energy into producing lots of great work and let fate figure out where you will fall in the statistics.
- Stereotype #2 “They only want you when you’re 17..”
“When you’re 21 -you’re no fun!” The famous Ladytron lyrics. This is true because of the fact that the younger and more inexperienced an artist is, the easier it is for a record label to control that artist’s brand and finances. Bieber has literally launched a gigantic tsunami of young artists being signed into the major labels. Anyone born after 1985 has a significantly higher chance of being signed by a major according to their own statistics on the subject. There is another more sinister reason… these artists still “Belieb” that they need record labels. While you might not be young enough to appeal to lecherous money-hungry pop pimps, you are wise enough to know that you do not need a record label. You need a manager, a good marketing machine and distribution. Most of those Disney kids end up in rehab or the dark dungeons of D-list celebrities.
- Stereotype #3 You’re hardcore touring days are numbered…
By Far the most ridiculous stereotype is that only a young energetic band will have the physical resources required to do many Live Nation sized tours over and over again. Good news here all around. There are sooo many variables that affect your energy levels and physical endurance for performing on stage and staying up late. While the press is going Tumblr wild over Madonna’s tumble because she is OMG 56, the reality is that most people half her age are NOT fit enough to have continued performing during a minor concussion and whiplash. Her age, had nothing to do with the fall either, it was a classic wardrobe malfunction. Her heavy bedazzled custom coutured cape would have strangled her by being pulled on by dancers had she not chosen to Tumble. Cigarettes, drugs and alcohol. I know kind of a bummer! While I love Black Sabbath, Partying will speed up your energy clock faster than Ozzy can stutter.