These are the 2 questions that I get over and over again from readers…
- How do you apply or get opportunities to perform in Sabhas (esp Chennai). What is the procedure?
- How to invite the press/reviewers to your performance?
I discussed these questions with Mr. K.T.. Jagannathan, an art- loving journalist who along with his wife Mrs. Sudha Jagannathan founded Carnatic Darbar, a website devoted to Indian classical Arts. He came up with the following views/suggestions…
“on your first question
I am a very conventional man. How does it(performance) happen? Traditionally, it had been through the gurus. Even now, it could be through the guru route. Of course, the teachers should be well known, competent and have right connectivity. In the modern day, it also boils down to convincing or working your way to teachers. Often times, we come across parents making a beeline for popular artistes, so that their children could be entrusted with `right artistes’ who could ensure their upward march. also, in many cases, you get cosy with the sabha people so that you get your `due’. Incidentally, we also come across situations where people with talent are approached. I do agree that you need that initial push (in economics you do come across a theory called big push theory). Once you get that much-needed big push, you could move up if you have the proper talent. It also boils down to efficient marketing. Even in journalism, we need to market our story to our bosses so that it is used in the first instance and gets the right position. The name of the game is `marketing acumen’. you need that art (how so ever talented you may be as an artiste) to move up, be visible and achieve success.
On your question II
`Lobbying’ is not a dirty word. it has now become an accepted practice in all spheres. This is well known in the western world. you need a good PR to do that. You have a number of PR agencies that have come up in the last ten years in India, especially since the post-liberalisation era. Their job is to get articles published and sometimes even fixed in newspapers. You can commission them for a fee. They would do all that . today, this intermediary (PR outfits) has virtually taken over the field of journalism. Your job lies in identifiy the right PR who has right network and ability to get things done. So, getting it over into the media is not that difficult these days. And, as you know, many artistes are efficiently doing it. In seveal cases, I have seen artistes themselves turning into good marketing guys .