HAPPY NEW YEAR! If you've been reading this, or if you know me, than you will know that I start my new year right around March or when we set the clocks forward and well....Here we go. I'm freaking out. I'm in a routine of Winter. I've actually really loved it. I teach in the afternoons and stay up all night writing, rewriting and rewriting. Jesse has been working 11PM-7AM So, I have been getting a lot done.
Then I run errands in the early day and with no guilt for the first time in my life, I've hibernated most of what's left of the day. It was so dark and gloomy and cold. But now what? It's going to be sunny and bright and warm....I can't sleep in the day when it's like that which means I have to make a new plan for Spring.
Maybe I should live in Alaska for half a year? Maybe that's a bit much? But, I re did the monologue book and it's been selling. These monologues are completely different because almost all of them...Are unisex. They can be read by a teen girl or boy. (or preteen in most cases) I haven't found any other books like this. I'm really excited.
I will be doing a BIG CMA FESTIVAL SHOW again this year in Nashville at Wild Wing Café. Everyone keeps calling my seminars contests because there is a contest aspect to them, so this year, It is a contest. I have to tie up some loose ends with the Recording company but it's one of the bigger ones.... First prize will be a full demo in a major studio and a chance to pitch that demo to major labels, lots of radio time, and lots of other publicity.
The entry fee is 39.00 and everyone will get a prize worth more than 39.00.
So, ya see, I haven't really just been sitting around. Summer is getting busy and I will be doing a few weeks over at AMP (Academy of music performance) in Salisbury which has great kids involved as well as great adults. (What more could ya want?) Seriously, if you want to sign your child up for a band camp kind of experience, I know there are hundreds to choose from. This place is different, The owners are motivated by their love of passing on their years of knowledge to the next generation of "rockers" It is absolutely the best place of it's kind to send your kid to a great camp for a week. He/she will learn a ton and have a lifelong memory. And no, they didn't ask me to say any of this.
But now, I have to start going to bed early and getting up early. I have to get to the YMCA and start swimming or at least walking....No more it's too cold to leave the apt. I'll just do my physical therapy (arm/neck/back) to Taylor Swift's "Shake it off" 4x in a row. (If anyone could see me.... OMG) So, I'll let you know how spring, springs it's way into my life!...If you want more info on the CMA's a flier is coming out this Monday but you can also contact me here And Don't forget to change those clocks!
Okay, now that we are just about finished with the first month of 2015, what do you guys think? Did anybody make any resolutions? Have you kept them? About 2 years ago, I decided that my new year would personally start the first day of spring or March 1,. I wasn't real exact. I just knew that starting it right smack down in the middle of such bleak, dark days was not good for me. Since then, I've really grown to love this time of year. It has taken a ton of stress of me to see this time as preparation for the year ahead without self judgement or guilt even if that means staying in with my laptop writing out press releases or coming up with ideas for summer programs.
That self judgement can be relentless. And it's amazing how adjusting your thinking in such a small way can make it just up and leave. It reminds me how hard we are on ourselves. Most of us have an inner dialogue or monologue running 24 hours that is more cruel than the way we would ever talk to another human being. Some of us aren't even aware of it because we have been doing it for so long. We expect things from ourselves that we wouldn't ever expect from another person. It takes a lot of the fun out of being self employed because that horribly cruel, unrealistic person is my boss.
I came to Maryland with so many goals and I am angry that they aren't being reached fast enough. "My inner boss" keeps reminding me of that and pointing out that they might not even be all that great when they are done anyway. So, maybe I should just can all of these plans, ideas etc.
But this time, I am trying to find the "me" inside that can't watch the commercials about animal abuse without crying. Or the me who loves to make kids laugh and I can put it all into perspective a little bit. I am a life coach after all I should be able to do this like flipping on and off a switch (Such a ridiculous statement it's not even worthy of a laugh). But changing the way one thinks, or reacts to everything that goes on around us is probably one of the hardest things to do and I don't think it's a one size fits all kind of fix. I am celebrating the new year in spring. That has made a world of difference to my winter. It may not work for anyone else.
A good friend was telling me the other day that he had to make lists for everything. He couldn't take a day off and just do nothing without feeling guilty. However, if he put it on the list."TUESDAY- Be a bum, Do nothing." He could stay in bed and enjoy it.I think we all want to enjoy our journey. Some of just need some out-of-the box-coping skills to make that happen.
Well, for those of you who are acknowledging the new year, I hope it is off to a great start!
The first two are of downtown Easton and the 3rd is from my balcony. If you click on them, they get bigger. My friend Jesse took all 3. Thanks Jesse!
I didn't really write anything for Thanksgiving....I usually do some kind of list of things that I'm thankful for. It isn't that I wasn't thankful for so many things this year but everything was so scattered. My feelings were all over the place. I mean.... what a year?!?
Last November I remember being grateful that Scott hadn't lost his hand in the accident that took part of his finger while working up in PA. Now, a year later, Scott and I are no longer together. Our sweet sweet Callie is gone and I'm living in Maryland. For me....Lotta change!
But Scott is healthy and living the life he wants and for that I am grateful. And Callie....What can I say? We were told that adopting her at such an old age we'd be lucky to have her for a year and a half. We had 8. I am so grateful that the sweetest little soul I've ever known was left in my care for those 8 years. What a surprise she was.
Maryland is a huge surprise and Jesse is a huge surprise and his wonderful family (Human and furry). But, it wasn't until today. I swear today. Exactly 3 months and 1 week since I left Tennessee that I was able to secure some kind of steady work doing what I love. And with really nice people right outside of Annapolis.
I am so relieved and beyond grateful.... And terrified that it will go away before it starts... (my own insecurity I suppose)
I leave 2014 completely humbled with a pinched nerve in my neck that I've had since the second week I moved here. I'm not in any pain but I still can't feel my right thumb...It's amazing. I can still play the piano even though I don't feel it there. My brain knows exactly what it's supposed to do. I finally got my Maryland healthcare so I should be able to get the shot that alleviates this.
I plan on enjoying every second of this holiday season and my first Christmas, birthday and New Year in this new place. I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, Happy Chanukah, Happy Birthday (for all those other holiday babies like me that may get forgotten) and a very safe happy healthy 2015.
This is "Clay Bakers" you can make anything here ....as long as it's made out of clay! Notice the woman inside cleaning.
Anyone who has ever had a showbiz dream has probably heard at least one big scam. Or heard about them. You know these big companies which claim to be schools, claim to be able to get you in the industry for a mere price of ???? some ridiculous amount of money. Then, when you cringe and say "HOW MUCH?" they look at you as if to say, "Oh I guess you weren't really serious at all If you aren't prepared to put that much money into your career or your child's, you obviously aren't who we thought you were"
Then you are left to feel all icky. Geez, right after you had felt so good from all their praise. You want so much to win them over again. To be the supportive mom. The rare talent they had found. And then you may actually fork over the money. Maybe you don't. But for months after you wonder if you let a good opportunity fly by.
Well, let me tell you that YOU DIDN'T. Which you knew deep down in your gut in the first place. You aren't stupid. You know that no successful person gets to be where they are from one of these places or people.
So, why do we keep falling for it. Or, almost falling for it? Or even listening to anything these scam artists have to say? Well, I guess we all want it to be true. We love hearing it. As a life coach I can tell you that even the most confident among us is still lacking in self esteem. We, as a society, have a serious self esteem deficit. I'm not saying everyone but I am saying a large number of people.
These people know this and play to it. They know how much you want a break for your child or yourself. They know how long it may have been since someone really took notice of your talents. It's a real rush. Almost worth the money they are asking for. ALMOST? No...I take it back. Because it's a lie. You are special and maybe your child is talented and deserves a chance to shine but they aren't concerned about that. They need to get you to sign up for classes that cost thousands of dollars and photos that cost thousands more and maybe a special trip to Florida to meet with some big shots... And before you know it you are 20?50? grand plus in the hole and nothing to show for it.
I saw so much of this when I was a teenager in NY. But, I really thought it was regional. I had no idea that the same scam gets used everywhere. And most of us have been told what to look out for and to run far and fast from these "offers." Yet, people still run to them. Smart, educated people who know better. So here I am going to tell you in common sense terms one of the areas where I have seen people get taken advantage of over and over... AGENTS!
What does an agent do?
An agent works for a percentage of what you make from industry jobs that he/she recommended you for (or sent you to the audition/go see etc.
The fee/percentage is usually 10%. It can be 15. But it is an agreed upon amount. No tricks or surprises.
An agent can have 1 client or 1000's. Most aspiring actors don't make more than a couple hundred dollars a day at the most.
So lets say an agent has 50 people working within a week at a job where they all get $100.00 .....(And I should say that is very very unusual to pull that off)
How much does that agent make for the week- $500.00 Okay not a terrible week but not fantastic and it could've taken weeks to get all of that set up. But this is what keeps agents on their toes. Focused and hungry. They bust their ass off for their clients because they need that 10 percent over and over again from as many people as possible. Because if you don't work,they don't eat.
Good agents do NOT take just anyone who shows up at their door. They take people who they think they can get a lot of work for and hopefully well paying jobs because when you do the math (Math, HA they said we'd use it someday) 10 percent isn't that much until you or talking about a decent amount of money made by a decent amount of people. Getting a good agent can be as hard as getting a great part. Really. But, it's a different blog.
But what if an this agent is getting a big cut of photo shoots costing 3 thousand dollars?
4000.00 on classes ?
5000.00 on a nice trip but not one that is needed. Yes they will have to spend some of that money but times that by everyone that they are "representing" and you have a very rich agent. Do you still think they are going to work that hard to find you work? Why would they for a measly 10 percent of a measly starter pay. There is no incentive. There is no reason to stay focused and hungry.
Sure every now and then they book someone a commercial or something and that keeps them looking legit but is this what you want?
I am not saying you don't need to be educated. YOU DO!
I am not saying you don't need photos. YOU DO! PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS, not something your friend took with their phone!
I am not saying you won't need mentoring or trips to trade shows because all of this is important but when it comes to an agent there job is very simple. Not easy but simple. They don't make a dime unless they get you work. Then they are paid the agreed upon percentage of what you make.
Some of you may be thinking ...."What does she know....She's a life coach, she's an acting/vocal instructor she does child enrichment...She does workshops" I know I have thrown on a lot of hats. I am a self-confessed show biz junkie. I've worked in casting and ...wow so many other aspects. But, I haven't ever taken a dime for referring a student or friend for a job. I can't. I am NOT an agent and in every state that I have lived....(I am up to 4) you need a license to do that.
Also, being an agent, a real agent is much much too hard for me. You really have to know how to kick some butt on the phone. I'm way to sensitive for any of that. And I give a great deal of credit for those who are doing the job legitimately because they make the whole industry go around.
So, if you are trying to break in "The Biz" or if you have a child that would like to- GREAT! Talk to people who have done it successfully. Read. Educate yourself and ask questions. AND as in most cases...If it sounds too good to be true...sadly, it probably is.
Yep, 3 days shy of 2 months here in the great state of MD. Wait, I should at least give it a full- Maryland! There! Better! I can't even begin to talk or explain everything I feel every minute. Now, I realize I am certainly not the only one who said "I want to do something completely different that I had planned, even just for awhile... and then did it. I mean I moved to another state not another galaxy. But if you knew me...If you know me. You'd know this is HUGE!
I had a tiny bit of savings and I knew by the time I got myself established in such a small area of this place..(The Eastern Shore) It would, for the most part, be gone. I told a lot of people..."It's okay, I have friends out there." That was a big-fat LIE! I had a friend here and some flimsy work offers. (None of which worked out) I have battle this bad nerve in my neck/back/arm....(OMG) almost since I have been here. But I battle homesickness much much more.
I miss Nashville. I miss my friends. I miss Scott. I still love Scott. We didn't go our separate ways because we hated each other. He wants to go one way and I wanted to go another. We might've ended up hating each other if we'd stayed together.
Then there's the big BUT- (Trust me there's always a big but? Butt? hmmm???)
I am living in such a cool place. The people are so helpful and friendly and fun. Nobody is a stranger. My best friend of all besides Toni Nettles back in Nashville is Jesse and he and his family have made me feel as if I lived here all my life. Like an Island somewhere....OOPS...I did grow up on an Island somewhere...Long Island and it reminds me a lot or the Eastern Shore of MD. But 35 years ago. Really, I say that all the time...I've probably said it here. I don't even want to check.
I've been to so many places and I'm actually looking forward to the Winter...The snow, cold, wind....yeah...I'm into it.
So feelings are mixed. But I am sure lucky and grateful to be a part of this adventure.
And then the bad part of meeting new people is you start to give a hoot about them. One of the gigs that did NOT fall through when I came here was coaching (vocal/performance etc) an all girl teen band and they are sisters. THEY ARE GREAT and I love working on this project. Their dad is the real energy behind them... and he found out that he was sick about a week or so ago... It's scary for these girls, this family, this man, who is the last person that deserves anything bad (like who does?) The whole thing is so upsetting and if I didn't come here...I be oblivious to it all.
But, now more than ever we want to get these girls out there. I use this as an example of the mix of wonderful experiences and the kicks in the gut. I know these things happen anywhere to anyone. And in the long run, I much prefer taking the chance of getting that kick then hiding away.
This is one of my favorite of favorite songs... It's sung by Gary Allan. Music hasn't ever let me down. This is how I feel about the whole journey and every journey. It's simple and it's perfect and not new but worth a new listen.
Enjoy the ride!!
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So you've been studying voice.(or another instrument, or dance etc. Singer/songwriter is just an example) You've been working your butt off. Maybe you have one of the best vocal coaches on the planet. You can sing anything. You especially sound amazing when you sing the songs that you've written. You work with experienced co-writers and spend time and money going to workshops to make sure your song is just right! You go to other interactive workshops given by some of the best on-stage coaches in the biz. They work with you on how to create a magical show, with your beautiful songs and your kick ass voice. You're ready to go! But wait....
You still haven't addressed the fact that inside you are filled with doubt. Perhaps, you are terrified of failure? Or maybe the idea of success really freaks you out. Logically, you tell yourself that you are just creating problems. But, that only makes you feel worse. So, you walk around with a knot in your stomach. It could be that anytime there is more than 30 people in the crowd you freeze, or feel as though you are going to pass out while you are up there. Or it might not be 'stage fright' at all. It could be that you just feel silly and awkward up there on stage and don't know how to tell anyone.
You desperately want to make that connection with your audience. This is all you've dreamed about and trained for but you can't even make eye contact. You may remember hearing, when you were young, that being a performer isn't a "real career" and if you aren't making big $$$ it doesn't count. Maybe you aren't getting along with one of the band members and it's really throwing off your concentration and confidence.
So now what? This is where I come in...(Thank goodness right? Just in the nick of time)I'm a trained coach, certified and everything who specializes in working with performers. I help artists like you cut through all that BS (for lack of better initials)and own the life that you've worked and dreamed about. I can help you get rid of any doubt or fear that may be standing in the way of you achieving those dreams, destroy any negative thinking and continue to grow artistically. Mostly, I can help you experience more joy throughout the entire process. When all is said and done, what else could matter more?
It isn't therapy. I'm not going to take you on a long drawn out trip to your past to find out why you are who you are and then try to fix it. You aren't broken...you don't need to be put back together. Of course your past is part of who you are. But, I'm interested in helping you create the best "today" you can possibly have...and every tomorrow after. I truly want you to have this in your performing and every aspect of your life.
For a long time the only way to make a good life in the music business was to get good enough to get signed by a major label. That is how it was as far back as I go. (Or can remember.)
Even original Punk Rock. Not the “Let’s be retro and call ourselves a Punk band” Punk Rock. Or the music that came out in the mid 80’s which was amazing but not Punk…I mean The Ramones, The New York Dolls, 1975 at CBGB’s in the Bowery when it wasn’t a tourist trap. (I was way to young to be there in 1975 but I wish I had been there)
While the rest of the world was listening to disco or 70's rock. These bands were making history and setting the stage for the next generation. Of course they didn’t know it. But as far out of the lines as they were, as alternative as they sounded, THEY GOT SIGNED TO REAL LABELS. The Ramones were signed by Sire records. They made a movie which is now a cult/college classic.
They didn’t ever make the top 40 but they had a home. A company. A label.
Now, there aren’t that many major record labels. And the few that are left are afraid to put all the money behind something that isn’t a sure-fire hit. I mean when you look at it from there point of view, they aren’t in business to lose money?! And everyone is scared of losing their jobs too. (Just saying they aren't all horrible flesh-eating sharks)
So now, We have an endless supply of supremely talented bands, songwriters, and solo artists that desperately want their chance to make history and set the stage for the next generation but they can’t get signed. What do they do? They go the indie route. This is where you have to pay for all your recording time, your P.R., your music videos, your photography, your merchandise, and so so much more. Each one of these things cost so much money. To lay it all out yourself is overwhelming.
But, if this is the only thing that you can see making you happy in life, why not go for it? Even if you don’t become rich or famous but, you make enough money to survive with dignity and have fans that absolutely adore your music? Isn’t that just as good or way better than making the same amount of money doing something you like far less and feeling as though you settled? And who says you have to raise all that capital in one day.?
I’m just asking. I’m not telling anyone to throw away their college fund or not have a backup plan…I’m just asking. I’m also noticing that so many of you are starting to get involved in this at a much younger age and with much more support from your families. This gives you a much better chance of success in everything. The more people you have on your team, the better. In this case, I don't mean your fans. I mean the people that see you as nothing less than amazing no matter what. To go after a life in an industry where there are no guarantees is probably a tad crazy. So, you really want people around you that love you crazy and all.
Anyway, I have been talking about this on this blog for well over a year now. But I have to admit that I had no idea the power and indie band or an indie label could have until the other night. I was having another night of insomnia mixed with you tube. Not such a good combination. So, I know the band Fun because, well, I don’t live under a rock. I saw them on the Grammy awards and I’ve taught the acoustic version of ‘Some Nights’ to many students on the piano.
But last night, I started watching their videos and looking at the number of hits…25 million, 75 million, 102 million…and those are just from one post of each video… I was like wow these guys really are huge. I googled them and found out that they are an indie band. They are not signed by any major label. They started it alone. Now they have a label. It’s called “Fueled By Ramen”. The kid (and I can call him a kid because he started the company when he was still in high school) felt he and his co-workers would eat ramon noodles and put any money they made back into the company. Doesn’t sound like much huh? Well, they weren’t but then they took chances on bands like Franklin, Tennessee’s very own Paramore and others and …well…Fun and now they are a subsidiary of Warner Music and distributed by Atlantic Records. Okay, I can’t get into all of this and I’m still learning but subsidiary??? Distribution ??? This is way better than being signed by Warner or Atlantic… (Basically the same) This band and this label are in the best possible position anyone in the industry could possibly want to be in.
So, for those of you who haven't heard or seen...I posted 'Carry On' on facebook...because it's like an Anthem. But here I'll put "Some Nights" It's a great video.
So, I do stick by what I’ve been saying all along…Don’t worry about money and fame just do what you love and hope you can make a living. But if you have a huge message and you want to get it out to 102 million people…Go for it. I can’t imagine it being easy. But, the ones that want something that much, are the ones that don’t ever seem to mind how long it takes, how hard it is or how many people slam the door on their foot just as they’re about to get it in the door.
But what about the indie artists that don't win 2 Grammy awards? That might not be everyday household names?
Well this is Vance Brescia, a singer/songwriter from my hometown in Long Island. He was talking about his old band The Mosquitoes from back in the early 80’s in this quote...
"We were very close to a record deal several times with my material and the one criticism back then was that it was too many different styles. I even said to the powers that be, why don’t you pick one style off the reel that you like (back then it was a reel) and I’ll write ten songs of that if that’s what you think it takes.
It was a very telling thing, considering back in 1966 that you could have three or four different styles on one record, and now they wanted just one.
It seemed very strange and when I saw that I realized that I probably was no longer relevant in the traditional record deal sense of the word - and then I just said it’s just time to move on, which is why I made my money as a live entertainer.”
So even 30 years ago, the writing on the wall was coming into focus. Sometimes if you want it done..... you have to do it yourself.
And he did. Vance was very successful. In 1985 “The Monkees” made a reunion album (Who remembers them?) called “That was then, this is now” Vance wrote the title track. It was a hit!!! He also had several songs in movies, TV and is still going strong…(His bio is actually quite impressive)
But let’s take a quick trip back 30 years. 1983. New York City. When The Mosquitos made a video with a small company “Park Avenue Video” trying to break into the new, exciting world of music videos…If you were around in that time it will bring back memories. If not, you will think we were all crazy.
That was then This is now
Now, I need a clever wrap up???… I know I don’t mean this ‘Do it your own way message’ just for people in the music industry. I think it goes for anyone…In sports, in business in any possible position or field or situation in life. Okay, I got it. This is much better than anything I'll ever come up with. I’ll use the words of someone else. Because SOMETIMES when you want to say something perfectly...you DON'T do it yourself..
"Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes.
The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them.
About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They invent. They imagine. They heal. They explore. They create. They inspire. They push the human race forward.
Maybe they have to be crazy.
While some see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do."
-- Steve Jobs
I found this great article and I put it on the other site. It's a dedication to the starving artist or the struggling musician and it's beautifully written. But after I had it there for a day or so. I wanted to take it down. Well here it is...
This was written by Dave Ackert at the LA Times.
"Singers and Musicians are some of the most driven, courageous people on the face of the earth. They deal with more day-to-day rejection in one year than most people do in a lifetime.
Every day, they face the financial challenge of living a freelance lifestyle, the disrespect of people who think they should get real jobs, and their own fear that they'll never work again.
Every day, they have to ignore the possibility that the vision they have dedicated their lives to is a pipe dream.
With every note, they stretch themselves, emotionally and physically, risking criticism and judgment.
With every passing year, many of them watch as the other people their age achieve the predictable milestones of normal life - the car, the family, the house, the nest egg. Why?
Because musicians and singers are willing to give their entire lives to a moment - to that melody, that lyric, that chord, or that interpretation that will stir the audience's soul.
Singers and Musicians are beings who have tasted life's nectar in that crystal moment when they poured out their creative spirit and touched another's heart.
In that instant, they were as close to magic, God, and perfection as anyone could ever be. And in their own hearts, they know that to dedicate oneself to that moment is worth a thousand lifetimes.”
- David Ackert, LA Times
Amazing right? And I love how he understands the passion that a musician possesses. But, I'm so tired of the starving artist thing being the statuesque. Yes, being an artist does mean a different kind of lifestyle.
But being a musician doesn't mean you can't be a good planner, business person, or even and early riser.(Sometimes) If you are truly called to music and you walk away...It's as if it hunts you down and finds you. It's who you are, what you are. It should be embraced. I so want to do away with that whole "starving artist" stereotype as a necessity to create good art. There are successes and opportunities and plenty of money to go around for everyone and at whatever limit you set for yourself. IF YOU WANT!
Why do musicians get to sleep till 2PM even if they didn't have a gig the night before or drink every night of the week?. *** I know not all musicians do this (I don't and didn't when I was a pro. musician but it's part of the stereotype ). This whole picture we have of the struggling artist living gig to gig in smoke-filled bars could be wiped out and just be a 'retro kind of thing' so easily. It starts with treating your art as if it were a business. "Regular people" (who are they?) don't come home from work totally "----faced" you shouldn't get that way at your gigs...I'm not saying go out and buy a suit and tie (unless that's your shtick) I'm just saying, if you really want it to work, treat it like something that is worthy of working.
That's the key. You have to want to be a 'successful, developing, work-in progress artist'. Some don't want that. Many have always found that to be a form of selling out. And if that is how they feel than that is fine. I'm talking to those who would like to make a living playing music.I was ALWAYS told, do the artsy thing and have no stability or get a "REAL" job. What an awful choice. So, to be who we are we have to give up all sense of stability? Not fair and not true. Except that people have been buying into that for so many generations it became real. It shouldn't be that way and it certainly doesn't have to be that way. When I say this to people they say that I am proposing a more disciplined way of thinking and it sounds like a lot of work...WELL HECK YEAH IT'S WORK IT"S YOUR LIFE, YOUR CAREER, YOUR PASSION......Then I realize that my voice has gotten too loud and I calm back down.
It should be asked...Why do I want to write songs and perform them in front of people? If the answer is something like..."There is so much inside me that I need to be heard and I can only do it in a song" There's a good chance that this more disciplined way of thinking would work for you. If your answer is. "Because the sound system in the clubs is so much louder than anything I can keep in my parents garage. Plus girls love rock stars" Maybe not so much. But, we have other choices all along the way.
I think this generation, thanks to the internet and so many other things, will learn that they have the opportunity to treat the career of "being an artist" as a business. Just like any other. And with the bravery and dedication that Mr. Ackert spoke of, everyone better look out!
See ya here or at mystagecoach.net
I have no idea if these are just myths or if this really happened as it was a bit before my time. However, I do know that in 2013 it takes a little more than that to land yourself a career in the industry. Reality shows have proven a way for people to get not only their foot in the door but their entire body.
In this case, I'm not talking about shows like The Voice or American Idol I'm talking about shows where people are famous just because they are seen. I'm not crazy about these shows as I've told many of you. I feel they exploit people.Or at least some of them do. However, when I got a call from producer Rebecca Resnick, producer from the 'Discovery Channel' at the end of last month, saying she was interested in coming to Nashville in hopes of filming a show about children and their families who are trying to break into the music industry, I didn't hang up the phone. ( I don't hang up on anybody...lol) I was interested.I actually like the shows The Discovery Channel puts on. My husband and I both are addicted to the gold mining show. Well, within 3 weeks we had a ton of well-deserving, highly talented and just good families that were waiting for their chance to be interviewed and auditioned
I was in San Antonio when the auditions/interviews started but was here for the Saturday ones. I know that there are still people waiting for their skype interviews. So, this is what I know....
Two of our people have been called back that I recommended and I know some are getting some first time skype interviews and a few people that Mike Jennings recommended were called back as well. That isn't bad. Everyone thinks that casting for this kind of reality show is just like casting for a play or being chosen to go to the next round of American Idol. It is completely different.
Every single character (person) and their family and everyone in their life, has to compliment (and that can mean actually compliment or bring tension to) the other people in the cast. It isn't about how much talent they have. I mean, of course that is a given. But just by being invited to the audition meant that YOU had enough talent to be on the show. Now they had to see what kind of chemistry you could bring.
People with more of a dramatic life probably have a better chance of getting to be on the show. IF...they know how to present it. If it doesn't hinder everybody else. This isn't something that anyone should be insulted about if it turns out they don't get chosen. Maybe they have the same beautiful hair as someone else they previously cast?....I don't know if that's the case but who's to say it isn't. THIS ONE WASN'T A TALENT COMPETITION. Really, Mike Jennings and I were trusted that everyone invited to audition had enough talent to do this.
More information is going to be coming out in the next few weeks so ...sit tight (yeah I know impossible when you are waiting) But, this really is such a great experience. A totally different kind of audition and interview. As far as my dealings with Ms. Resnick., I have no complaints. She was fun and professional. She seemed to genuinely love Nashville and the families we introduced her to. I do believe that this show, if it happens...(Which there is still no guarantee of) it will be entertaining and still tasteful. But, all of us being in on the ground floor, lets see what happens!
You guys...if you can, please like my page...facebook keeps taking them away...I'm trying to stay on top of it...
www.facebook.com/stagecoachsg Thanks so much!
By the end of January, it already had all fallen apart as did I. So fast. So badly. What a loser! I can't say I was depressed. Because for me depression sort of pops up when things are going well and I don't know why I'm feeling it. This was just unbelievable sadness. I was mourning this thing that I had put so much work, time, money and my heart into. So, I took some time to feel sorry for myself..and it was great weather to do just that. Gloomy, dark, cold, rainy ....PERFECT. I was working with a few clients which was perfect because I didn't even have to get out of bed to work with them. I only "HAD" to get up and be presentable one day a week. It was for this one day a week job. Even at the time, I have to admit that this job really took me out of myself. Driving into Nashville, working with the kids, teaching them about musical theater and beating the traffic on the way home. Even noticing each week that it was getting a little lighter for a little longer was great therapy for me.
Then sometime between the beginning and mid February Scott, that dude I'm married to, was listening to me tell a story of one of the kids in the class that I was teaching and said. " Do you know you are kinda spoiled?....You have these children who think you had "something to do " with hanging the moon.AND...you are paid well for it. How can you feel bad?" I realized right there and then that he was right and I do hate when he is completely right. But.... he was. The next day I had an idea of how to salvage everything that I thought was gone...Or how to regain some of it and keep going from there, without investing another dime...Just a lot of hours Days. Weeks. And that is what I have been doing since.
I have a small theater company for kids. This is the 5th year that I've had it actually. I don't talk about it much because I don't use the internet to market it. It's a whole different thing. But anyway, I got busy. And, I'm booked for most of the summer. It took a month and change of phone calls and meetings but it's done and into next semester too.So, long story ummm even longer. This is helping me springboard the other thing which seems less and less important to me everyday.
So, I'm off to San Antonio next week (My second favorite city...Montreal is first but they have that snow thing) for fun and to see this little outdoor theater they have ON THE RIVER!!! So, here's to any of you who's New Year wasn't all you thought it would or should be. Or maybe started out great and fizzled. Just call a "do over" Personally, I really think Spring is a much better time for "New Years" because everything in nature is beginning again.
I'd love to hear comments from you guys although failing and feeling like a loser is hard to write about...But either way...HAPPY HAPPY SPRING!!!
I've been sitting here watching the rain outside my window for a few hours thinking of 2 current stories of fame that couldn't be more different. And I'm wondering if fame really changes people the way we are told it does. Or, if it simply magnifies who they've been all along?
I didn't know Mindy MCcready but it is sad how her life ended so tragically. So many people are saying that the music business destroyed her life. But the people who knew her seem to agree that she wasn't happy even before she found fame. And what may have been her biggest disappointment was that fame and fortune wasn't all it promised to be.
Then I thought of another celebrity that I met a few weeks ago. She found stardom through 8 minutes of television time on 'The X Factor" Her name is Panda Ross and she is an awesome singer with a personality that can't be beat. She really wasn't looking for fame. But, she wanted to meet Simon. Her audition is world- famous (see below) America fell in love with Panda.
Due to health issues she didn't get to actually compete with all the others as you can see on the video. But, when America decides they love you...It doesn't matter if you remain on TV or not.. She has over 6 million hits on that video. She has been able to get surgery that has let her lose more than 100 lbs.When she makes money she gives everything she possibly can to her church. She also travels the country talking to people who are having a hard time in life. Her life, at one point, was as hard as hard can get but she got through it. That is all part of her story. (second video)
The point is, with the exception of her health issues which I really don't know the details of...(how she raised money for her surgery etc.) Fame has not changed Panda one bit. It has only enhanced who she already was. And I think the same goes for any success. If you can't stand the person looking back in the mirror, then no amount of money or success is going to change that. It may distract you for awhile. But, if you love yourself, others and in Panda's case, love God, then fame, fortune and any form of success is only going to enhance all of that.
Big picture... While chasing our dreams, we shouldn't ever forget about the most important things Without the basic foundation of who we are, what we are worth win or lose, who and what we love and stand for, success of any kind will just feel hollow and meaningless.
But you know that I love hearing your opinions so leave a comment here or on facebook....
And now, a self indulgent plug... We, (my new little company The Stage Coach( www.mystagecoach.net ) will be doing a really fun, informative workshop in Houston at the end of April. Panda will be our featured guest. Check back on the site (either of them) for details!!!
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Susan Gabrielle's Empowerment Coaching for performing artists