I love Google Alerts! I can find out who has been singing my songs online or what websites have published press releases. (I really need a “best friend” at one of them because then I might better press coverage, but that’s a blog for another time…) Anyhooters…
I recently received an alert that someone had put up a video of “Move On,” a personal favorite of mine. It is a vocally challenging song that requires a strong actor. So, I clicked on the link to see and hear… a “new” version of my song, complete with new lyrics, new acting “choices,” and even a new melody at times. Hmm…interesting. After watching with eyes and mouth wide open, I ate a cookie or four and sent the link to my agents. They skipped the cookie therapy and called me right away.
Agent: Um…what the…?
Me: I know, right?! Why would someone do that?
Agent: They can’t change your work, it’s illegal.
Me: I know…what do we do?
Agent: How do you want to handle this?
Me: I don’t know…As politely as possible…
Agent: Ok…You’re no fun.
We sent an email to the youtube channel of the singer, thanking her for singing my song. We then explained that she can’t use my song without my lyrics and we’d like her to at least remove my name from any “tags” and to remove “lyrics by HER NAME” in the title and description. Kind, right?
Response: “Fine. I’ll take it down, then!”
Umm…Okay. Cool…that works for me…which brings me to…
Make sure that when you put a video up on the ol’ youtube, that it is a superb performance. We use youtube to look up actors who get recommended to us for shows, projects, gigs, demos, etc… Casting directors use it. So, really show yourself off in the best light possible. You don’t need 20 mediocre videos; you need 2 great ones that sound good and in which we can see your face clearly. My agents have actually had me remove several songs from concerts because they didn’t sound good enough or the actor sang wrong lyrics or missed notes, or the pianist (sometimes me) played wrong notes, etc… Put your best foot forward. Always. In every way possible.
Thanks for reading! Now go make some theatre magic (but without changing lyrics)!