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Talent Consultants vs. Booking Direct in SW, FL.

Talent Consultants vs. Booking Direct in SW, FL.

Talent Consultants vs. Booking Direct in SW, FL.

Talent Consultants vs. Booking Direct in SW, FL. As a professional piano player in Naples, FL for almost 20 years, I am often asked whether I prefer being booked direct or working through talent agencies or consultants. My answer is emphatically…… it depends on the situation. I know, not the answer you were expecting. Although on the surface it may seem simple but as you deep dive into this space, it is not so easy to answer the question.  Let me try and explain.

This article is the first of many designed to offer some basic assistance to anyone interested in hiring a professional pianist or other entertainer. Navigating any local pool of talent without a baseline of knowledge is a gamble. If you decide to proceed down this path, this article / blog is for you and will assist you in stacking the odds in your favor or the favor of any purchaser with the goal of hiring the right entertainer for the right event to insure the right outcome. My name is Josh Isenberg and I have been playing professional piano for almost 20 years in Naples, Florida and the greater SW Florida area as well as a successful businessman and consultant. This article is for the purpose of sharing my thoughts on how best to navigate the agency network space and the risks of booking direct. This article is just a start and will only scratch the surface on this topic. But a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, right?

I am often asked often what is the best way to hire a professional entertainer for a special event? If you are looking to hire a professional pianist in the Naples area, for example, there are several to choose from: All of them more than qualified but all bring a different musical experience to an occasion. Like fine restaurants in Naples…many are top drawer but all create a different albeit exquisite experience. It depends on the mood you are in or the mood you are planning or trying to create. However each restaurant would swear they are the best choice for your evening. The same can be said for a pianist or any entertainer you may hire to enhance your event experience. So how does someone adequately vet out those within the local talent pool in order to choose the best and most qualified entertainer for your special event?

My opinion is, you shouldn’t! I am a huge advocate of the agency network here in SW Florida. As a seasoned veteran of the talent and entertainment business here in SW Florida, I often work direct to client, however I am of the opinion that in most cases, it is best to let the variety of honest, high quality and knowledgeable talent consultants do their job so the artist can focus 100% on doing his or her job. The local consultants are very good at what they do and in my experience, do a stellar job at serving their clients. They are business people handling the relationship from a business perspective. The talent / performers handle the performace details and bring life to the event you are planning. And as I mentioned earlier in this article, each artist or pianist in my case, brings a variety of subtle nuances to their art and thus to your event. This should be my / our primary focus in my opinion and not the business details. Talent consultants make it their business to know the local artists and the nuances so they can match the best artist with their clients. There is nothing worse than pairing the wrong artist with your event. Talent consultants work very hard at their craft with the exclusive goal of matching the best talent with your event and protecting all parties involved.

In addition, when you deal directly with an artist, there are so many details and variables. The reality is, it is easy for something to slip through the cracks especially when working with an artist who is popular and very busy. The agency network is there to protect you and is there to help assure the success of your event and most agencies have multiple employees who manage the various aspects and details of the planning process.

The Elephant In The Room: FEES! Agency Fees: Ok, there, I said it! If you have taken the time to read my blog this far, I commend you! I also have a gift for you just for your sticktoitiveness: What follows is the best advice I have ever heard that is guaranteed to serve you well in any endeavor but especially when hiring talent for an event. Do not trip over dollars to save pennies. Do not risk your event by cutting out the agency network. While cutting out the middleman in some instances makes sense, it does not in 99% of cases. If you try to be penny wise, you are sure to end up being pound foolish. Absolutely trust your gut… your instincts. Ask questions. Do the right thing for you. But please, please also consider what I have shared with you in this blog. Should you choose to cut out the agency network, you take a big risk. Should things go horribly wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself. It’s not worth it. Especially since most artists and talent consultants who are worth their salt will work with anyone who truly has a budgetary concern or constraint. No one has ever turned down business over  a few dollars one way or the other. Everyone involved truly wants to serve their clients and do an outstanding job at making each event memorable and special.

Whether you do business with me, pianist Josh Isenberg of Pure-Piano here in Naples, (SW Florida), or not, this article is designed to help folks new to hiring talent for their events. This is just my opinion and does not represent any other opinions other than those endorsed by Josh Isenberg and Pure-Piano.com.

About the Author

Josh Isenberg is a well respected professional pianist / entertainer in Naples, FL. (SW FL.) with a solid reputation for fair dealings. Isenberg is the progenitor, owner, principal pianist, and creative director for Pure-Piano and has always had an abundance of passion for playing the piano and creating music. (www.pure-piano.com) Pure-Piano has its main office on the Gulf of Mexico in the charming and exotic event destination, Naples, Florida. Josh, born and raised in Upstate NY, has lived in Naples for 25 years; playing piano almost his entire life and playing professionally for close to 20 years. As a special events and special occasion destination, Isenberg often consults and works closely with clients, talent agents, wedding planners, caterers, and special events coordinators for the benefit of his and their clients who wish to experience a 5 star event experience. Thank you to all of the visitors to my website and for all your questions, thoughts and input. I am grateful for all your support!

“There is a time for everything…” by Pure-Piano

“There is a time for everything…” by Pure-Piano

“Hi Josh, My Mom passed away on Saturday, just 9 days after you had played for her as she looked out at the view of the bay she had grown to know and love the best. Your music for her was one of the very last enjoyable times she had, and I just wanted you to know that. Thanks for making that time for her, despite the fact that you were scheduled elsewhere that evening and for sharing your wonderful gift of music. We are all forever grateful to you for making Mom’s performance so memorable and joyful!” 

Back story: About a month ago, I received a call from a wonderful lady all the way from MA. She asked me if I would play for her 88 year old Mom behind her condo overlooking the bay on Park Shore Blvd as a Mother’s Day surprise. Although I already had an evening engagement, I was more than delighted to make this happen. And I am so glad I did. You see, Mom had COPD and dementia onset and unless I could arrive to play where she lived, she would never be able to leave her home to come and hear me or any entertainer for that matter due to her failing health.  I will never forget this beautiful woman sitting and smiling and tapping her hands and feet to some of her favourite tunes from years past. Her heart was singing and the gleam in her eyes told the whole story. For that short 2 hours, she forgot about her troubles and soared on top of my musical landscape filled with some of her favourite songs and sounds. It was not long after that memorable musical gift that I received the email that started this post.

Josh Isenberg
Pure-Piano

Pianist For Difficult Occasions: Naples Pianist, Josh Isenberg

Pianist For Difficult Occasions: Naples Pianist, Josh Isenberg

Pure-Piano's Josh Isenberg "Sounds of Healing" for end of life cycle events of all kinds.
Pure-Piano’s Josh Isenberg “Sounds of Healing” for end of life cycle events of all occasions.

Looking to hire a professional pianist for all occasions including difficult ones? Look no further. Those already  familiar with Josh Isenberg’s Pure-Piano already know that live piano adds a touch of class to any occasion. This past season saw a huge increase in the requests to have Pure-Piano present to create the perfect atmosphere during difficult and delicate end of life cycle matters. Josh was called upon on several occasions to create an atmosphere of relief during a difficult time: Funeral, Viewing, Memorial Service, Celebration of Life! He has often been asked to engineer the perfect musical environment to reflect the wishes of the family and to help ease difficult emotions that accompany end-of-life events. Although Josh can adapt his playing genre to any requested setting or create any desired ambiance, Josh uses his unique blend called, “Sounds of Healing” which he has developed over almost 20 years of playing professionally to ease the sense of grief and to uplift distraught and troubled souls during the difficult time as the loss of a loved one.

“… often been asked to engineer the perfect musical environment to reflect the wishes of the family”

Josh has played in Churches of all denominations, Synagogues, and has done secular services. In addition, he has also played in funeral homes, social halls, public and private venues for open or closed viewings, outdoor settings as well as graveside setting the right environment wherever he is asked to play:
* Graveside
* Public and Private Memorial Services
* Religious and Secular Services
* Social Settings
* Beach Services
* Yacht and Cruise Ship Services
* Anywhere that is meaningful for those suffering the loss.

“It is an honor for me and Pure-Piano to be asked and to have the opportunity to bring comfort through the music of Pure-Piano to families and friends as they gather to honor their beloved. I am devoted to creating the perfect musical landscape that reflects and honors the wishes of the family and their dearly departed.”
For more information and for a free, no obligation consultation, contact Josh Isenberg or Paige Waverly of Pure-Piano here in SW Florida at 239-450-5734 or email us at info@Pure-Piano.com.

Naples Pianist Isenberg is, “Wonderful… Stellar… Memorable!”

As seen on Gigsalad.com: Gigsalad Testimonial

“I cannot stress how wonderful it was to hire Josh Isenberg for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. As a surprise we had Josh come into our home and perform while we had a casual home cooked dinner.

Naples Pianist Isenberg is, “Wonderful… Stellar… Memorable!”

Wonderful... Stellar...  Memorable...
Wonderful… Stellar…
Memorable…

With my parents living in a gated community I was concerned about not ruining the surprise and timing had to be perfect. Josh was beyond flexible and helped me plan the perfect anniversary surprise for a month in advance. Not only did he learn all of the special songs that we requested but his performance was on a grand scale that literally brought tears to the room. With myself being a musician, I was prepared to tolerate a hired gun to “phone it in”, but Josh did an
immaculate job with my personal highlight being his rendition of “Take Five”…Not an easy piece and definitely not dial toned. In addition to his fantastic playing, his easy going persona melded right with my family and their friends, making him seem like “one of us”. Josh’s prompt arrival, pleasant manner and stellar performance will go down in mine and my parents lives as one of the most memorable nights ever.”

Reviewer:Brian K.
Event Date: January 17th, 2015
Event Type: Suprise 50th. Anniversary Party
Event City: Naples, FL

Expertise: 5 Stars
Communication: 5 Stars
Professionalism: 5 Stars
Value: 5 Stars

Isenberg’s Pure-Piano Provides Perfect Anniversary Surprise

Isenberg’s Pure-Piano Provides Perfect Anniversary Surprise

Pure-Piano Pianist Josh Isenberg Provides Perfect Anniversary Surprise!
Pure-Piano Pianist Josh Isenberg Provides Perfect Anniversary Surprise!

Backstory:  “Brian was searching for a pianist in Naples, FL and immediately called me from his home in NY, NY. He shared a logistically challenging albeit touching plan to surprise his mom and dad for the occasion of their 50th anniversary in their condo here in Naples. While he and his wife prepare the meal for Mom and Dad,  at some predetermined time, I would ring the doorbell and in I come to set up my piano and all accoutrements in the living room for an intimate celebration with Pure-Piano providing 2 to 3 hours of live piano entertainment for the evening just 10 feet from the dinner table.  Having done many of these through the years, I jumped at the chance to be involved in this memorable event. What follows is the “thank you” I received from Brian and his family.”

Surprise 50th Anniversary Dinner
January 17th 2015

As seen on Gigsalad.com: Gigsalad.com

“Josh’s prompt arrival, pleasant manner and stellar performance will go down in mine and my parents lives as one of the most memorable nights ever.”

“I cannot stress how wonderful it was to hire Josh Isenberg for my parents 50th wedding anniversary. As a surprise we had Josh come into our home and perform while we had a casual home cooked dinner.
With my parents living in a gated community I was concerned about not ruining the surprise and timing had to be perfect. Josh was beyond flexible and helped me plan the perfect anniversary surprise for a month in advance. Not only did he learn all of the special songs that we requested but his performance was on a grand scale that literally brought tears to the room.  With myself being a musician, I was prepared to tolerate a hired gun to “phone it in”, but Josh did an immaculate job with my personal highlight being his rendition of “Take Five”…Not an easy piece and definitely not dial toned.

In addition to his fantastic playing, Josh’s easygoing persona melded right with my family and their friends, making him seem like “one of us”. Josh’s prompt arrival, pleasant manner and stellar performance will go down in mine and my parents lives as one of the most memorable nights ever.”

Sincerely,
Brian K.

Reviewer:Brian K.
Event Date: January 17th, 2015
Event Type: Suprise 50th. Anniversary Party
Event City: Naples, FL

Expertise: 5 Stars
Communication: 5 Stars
Professionalism: 5 Stars
Value: 5 Stars

Pure-Piano: Unintended Consequences

“Pure-Piano: Unintended Consequences”

Pure-Piano's Josh Isenberg on unintended consequence of being a professional musician.
Pure-Piano’s Josh Isenberg on unintended consequence of being a professional musician.

Pure-Piano allows me to walk into a room for 3 hours and listen and learn some of the most intimate details of a person or a couple’s life together. This past month, I played a 50th anniversary celebration. During dessert and coffee, the friends and family who attended this intimate event each stood and shared a few words, including the honorees celebrating 50 years of marriage. It is an amazing experience to hear 50 years encapsulated in 40 minutes of speeches from lives impacted by the honored couple. And then to hear from the two who have lived together, side by side for all those years. You learn a lot about people, life, and it truly gives you a glimpse into what this journey is all about and what is important and helps people stand the test of time like this beautiful couple celebrating their 50 years of marriage. It is extraordinary and humbling.

Josh Isenberg
Pianist
Pure-Piano

Naples Pure-Piano Pianist To Benefit American Cancer Society

Naples Pure-Piano Pianist To Benefit
American Cancer Society

At the end of this month, Naples pure-piano pianist, Josh Isenberg, will again show his longtime support for local non profit organizations located in SW Florida endeavoring to raise awareness for worthy causes. Josh will be supporting and providing musical ambience with his version of sounds of healing, a combination of Pure-Piano of SW Florida originals and covers, for an event to benefit Relay For Life and the American Cancer Society right here in Naples, FL. We all know someone who has been touched by this horrible disease. Give a generous donation or whatever you can. Every penny counts.  Just showing up sends a powerful message of support. So if you can, please come out and show your support for this worthy cause.

Every Penny Counts!

Click Flyer To Enlarge

There is no cost to attend. The location is one of my favorite places in Naples to kick back, Dagny’s Spirits, located at Pebblebrooke Center. All the information is on the flyer left of this paragraph and the Pure-Piano of SW Florida facebook pagePlease “like” the Pure-Piano page or share it with others who prefer to be current with all upcoming limited public appearances by Naples’ pianist, Josh Isenberg.

See you there!

Josh

 

GCHS “Viva Shark Vegas” Pure-Piano, Pure Pleasure!

“Josh was absolutely phenomenal when he played for our “Viva Shark Vegas” Fundraiser Gala for the GCHS Band at the Naples Hilton. Every aspect of his performance was spot on! From pacing to volume to tempo to line up, Josh kept the great piano classics coming. He was furthermore incredibly professional and had a great friendly attitude and was just an overall joy to have at our event. Kudos to you, my good man. Thanks again so much for playing and we will see you at our next Gala for sure!!”

“Josh kept the great piano classics coming”

Reviewer: A. Gomez
Organization: GCHS
Event: “Viva Shark Vegas” Naples Hilton February 2015
Hired As: Pianist / Entertainer 

Hi Mr. Gomez,

Thank you very much for your kind and generous comments and for including me in your “Viva Shark Vegas” fundraiser for the Gulf Coast Sharks at the Naples Hilton. What a huge success! The event was spectacular, the energy in the room amazing, and I had a delightful evening! Thank you for including me and Pure-Piano in the fundraising component of the silent auction. I am looking forward to performing my soiree for the winner. I would be honored to serve you again in 2016! I tip my hat to you and your entire team for ALL you do. Our kids are the true and very fortunate beneficiaries!  

Musical regards,
Josh Isenberg
Pure-Piano

Trivial Pursuit “What is your Pure-Piano IQ”

Trivial Pursuit “What is your Pure-Piano IQ?”

Josh Sweater(King of the Jungle) Everyone knows the lion is the “King of the Jungle”. Why? Because lions dominate the jungle and keep order amongst the animals in the food chain. But did you know that the piano is considered the “King of all the instruments?” Its all about the wide tonal range, unique to the grand piano. The grand piano can reach the lowest note of the Contrabassoon and the highest note of the piccolo.

Questions? Entries?  Info@Pure-Piano.Com

***** Those of you who are enjoying this “trivial pursuit” of musical posers, continue reading: Submit your own Pure-Piano Trivial Questions and if chosen for this series, win the gold: Receive a $25 Visa Gift Card. The only restriction is the piano must be the central theme of the question.

Questions? Entries?  Info@Pure-Piano.Com

And as always…thanks for playing!