I used to hear the stories of old-time Hollywood. Where some beautiful woman with aspirations of being a "movie star" would sit at the counter of the local drug store, where they sold ??? milk shakes and other fattening goodies. She'd wait in hopes of being discovered for the big screen.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 on
ly 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 ther
e 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!
I could hardly wait for 2013 to start. I had BIG plans. This was going to be 'my year'. The only thing I wasn't crazy about is that unlike Taylor Swift, I do NOT like the number 13. I'm not superstitious. But, I am a little bit stitious (hahah does anyone or did anyone watch "The Office"? It's a classic Michael Scott quote and I love using it.-)Anyway, I had a plan that seemed even in the worst case scenario would still be a big success. I was going to get to travel more, have a lot more money and basically have the kind of life that I see myself really enjoying. Not just because of the traveling and the money but because of everything it entailed.
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!!!
So being a life coach who works with aspiring performers, I meet plenty of people who dream of fame and fortune. Not all of the people I work with want these things. Some are happy making a good living doing what they love most. But let's face it, as a society we are obsessed with fame. When a famous person says something it seems to have more of an impact than if a non famous person says the very same thing. Some celebrities become wonderful role models and others have lives filled with addiction, unhappiness and, well, we've all heard the stories.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 anoth
er 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!!!
"Tell everyone or anyone that has ever doubted, thought they didn't measure up, or wanted to quit. Look up. Get up. And don't ever give up."
That was said by football player, Michael Irvin. It's in this video. I'm not really into sports. But I admire athletes to no end. What they put themselves through mentally and physically for what? For what matters to them. The entire video blows me away. I believe every word of it. And now, when I feel as though the things I am working for are not happening fast enough, I watch it. Or, I think of that quote.
So, if you are working towards something and getting knocked down more times than you like...If you wish you could walk away but you can't...Watch this for a quick shot of motivation...or a kick in the butt. Whatever you need. Enjoy!
Okay, maybe not "totally" rocked. But, by my own standards that I set for myself 1 year ago to the day. I really did. Becoming a life coach was exciting and fun. I can't believe how much I have learned in a year about people and about myself. I've made a couple hundred thousand mistakes and I may make a couple hundred thousand more. But, that's life school. It makes me grateful that my passion is to work with performers and not to perform brain surgery where the leeway for mistakes would probably be much less.
Finally, after several months and a lot more studying than I expected, I'm a certified instructor with Tom Jackson's On Stage Success Program. And that rocks. I have a real camera back in my hands most of the time which makes me feel like I'm home.
Still, it wasn't an easy year. I lost my mom. I always want to say "I had her in my life since the day I was born..." Then I stop myself with an "oh yeah". But, that's how it is. It can't be explained. It's the strangest form of loss that I've ever experienced. My sister feels it too. Mommy and daddy are gone. Wait, how can they leave us down here to fend for ourselves? Don't we need adult supervision? How can they be gone? Then, there is the sadness. Which is more for the way her last days and years were than the actual loss.
The thing is. I was the youngest. Not just the younger (2 kids) but, the youngest of the whole generation. My sister is more than 7 years older than I am. That's nothing now but when I was 5 and she was 12 and change, it was HUGE! After that I have a bunch of wonderful cousins who are older than her. I was always the baby. At least until the cousins started having babies. I was really emotionally dependent on my mom being here. Because, she "got me". I used to freak out imagining how the world would be so different and strange without her in it. And it was. It is. But, it's still okay. I'm lucky to have had a mother who had me so late in her life and then lived to be 90. I'm really lucky to have a sister who remembers all the silly quirky things that our parents would do. This is really why I rocked 2012. I had no choice but to deal with the fact that she was gone. That they both were gone. And...10 months later, I'm still here. I'm still sad but I'm also relieved and I feel them around me all the time. It's spooky. I'll feel my dad's presence around me while I'm driving.I'll turn on the radio and the most obscure song that only he loved will be playing. I LOVE THAT STUFF!!!
So, I guess I was stronger than I knew. Luckier too.
My BIGGEST accomplishment by far this year? Okay, I've mentioned a few (hundred) times that I am not a natural "blogger" I am happiest just posting silly status messages on facebook and not being real personal. And, when I do, it's hard for me to do it consistently. So, I made a promise to myself when I put this site together last January that I would have at least one "real" post each month. Well, look at the side...It has every month of the year. Now, don'tcha kinda agree that I at least sort of rocked this year????
I accomplished so many things in 2012. Ironically, the one thing that I had the most control over. The one resolution that did not get kept.....That dang 30 lbs. I said I'd lose. What is the deal with that. ???
Well, so long 2012. Rest in peace Mom & Dad You are not forgotten. But, I think you know that.
I kind of feel like a kid. I really can't wait for 2013.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! Have fun and be safe.
and in honor of my parents, this pic. They liked the whole gang! I like snoopy so it's all good!
We all know how important it is to be the kind of person who practices what they preach. So to speak. Not that I like to think of myself as preachy. But, you know what I mean. One of the biggest things I deal with when working with clients and just talking to other members of the human race is rejection and failure. I guess being members of the human race, it's one of the things we all deal with.
I completely believe that when you go for something and put your heart into it and get rejected, be it a job, a relationship, a loan you were counting on. It is all preparation for something that is so much better for us down the road. Certain sports coaches make their clients practice using failure as "fuel" for the next time out. It totally works. If you take a minute and think of the big rejections in your lifetime, I'll bet that within a year or so you found something that was even better for you. AND, the better thing couldn't have ever found you had the first thing worked out. (Does that make sense...I may have to re-word)
So, I was real comfortable with this information until...It happened to me!
I was bored one night and I was surfing craigslist. I found myself in the part time job section when I saw a post for a part time job that was so ME, that I briefly wondered if a friend had written it knowing I would find it. (Just a passing crazy thought but that's how ME it really was.)
I hadn't even been looking for work but this ??? Let's just say it paid so incredibly well for a very few amount of hours each week doing work which I love (yes music stuff). I managed to get an interview as did many others and long story short. I worked my way down to me and 2 other applicants. Then, I BLEW IT! I went for a piano audition and I was like a deer in the headlights. I am a good piano player. The best? No. But, I can hold my own for sure. It was one of those quirky things
Needless to say, I didn't get the job and it hurt so bad. It still does. (kind of) I knew right away after that awful audition that I didn't get the job. So, immediately I started with..."This will lead to something much better" "This is part of your journey" "You need this to appreciate the other things that will come your way" in my mind. Then, the other part of my mind just kept saying...."Shut the f*** up." I just wanted to crawl up and feel sorry for myself. No, not forever. But, for awhile. I felt like the biggest loser. I should've aced that audition.
It was days before I started remembering that I didn't know how I was going to have this "perfect job" which would take up my entire weekend almost every weekend. Or how, even though not many hours a week, it was very structured in the hours and they really overlapped with the time that I need to be able to get away to do my "other stuff". I kept thinking..."Well, let me get the job and then I'll deal with that. And, I can always quit". Well, how crappy would that be.? After all that work on my and their part to just up and quit.? I wasn't playing "sour grapes" but I was wondering if maybe it wasn't as perfect as I had made it out to be.
It's been about 2 months and already I am seeing opportunities popping up for the New Year that I wouldn't be able to take had I gotten that job. Even a different job, a musical theater job that pays well, and is only one WEEKDAY a week.
But, I want it to be known that for 2 months or so, I felt awful. I doubted myself as a potential employee, a piano player, a person who gives good interviews...and tons of other stuff that had nothing to do with what had happened. It IS much easier to talk the talk than walk the walk. Rejection and failure sting and burn. AND, the more the "thing" means to you the more it burns. I guess I have to add this to my preaching. (I really hope I'm not preachy)
We should give ourselves time to grieve the thing that we wanted and aren't going to have. Maybe we have to do this before we can even begin to see the gifts that will indeed come from the rejection. And, it isn't that I haven't been rejected before. Please, I could fill a book. But, time does have a way of minimizing some of those disappointments. I think? Which is a good thing. But, should be taken into consideration.
So, this is my big discovery for December, 2012. It won't win me any awards and I'm certainly not the first to make this realization. But still, for me, its a chance to start being a bit more authentic and walking my own walk. Even if I do it in baby steps.
Baby shoes for baby steps
What are you thankful for?
I truly believe we all should give thanks throughout the entire year. However, we (me included) get so caught up in the day to day struggles. It is easy to forget to count our blessings. Thanksgiving is a great time to take stock of all the gifts that we have in our lives. Once, I heard someone say that by expressing thanks for what you already have, you are making room for more things for which to be grateful. (?) Sounds good to me. So, it is in that spirit that I would like to thank everyone who happens to find their way over here and is reading this. I hope it sparks an interest to express and release some of the things that you are grateful for as well.Normally, I am not a list chick but, I remember Oprah saying a long time ago to "Just start a gratitude list and you will find it hard to stop." So, let's see Oprah. Why not? This is in no particular order...
Music- It's my work. It's my memory, It helps me dream and when I pray I usually find the answers in a songMy home- and all the homes I've had.My family Callie- The sweetest soul I have ever known.
My work- which I think is a real blessing as it so much FUN!!!My friends- The people that "get me" which is not an easy task!
Bestest hubby! AND...because you are the bestest hubby, I hope the Steelers go all the way this year.NashvilleNew YorkHuntington, Long Island-
- Mexico without the need for a passport & you can drink the water. If you haven't been...GO! The Riverwalk is something else.My parents- who's words of wisdom I still hear when I need them (and sometimes when I don't) Sally Hope
- a very gutsy life coach who helped me get started when I wanted to become one. She's also my cousin check her out.... sallyhope.com MUSIC MUSIC MUSIC -Mike Jennings- and all the help he has given me.Swimming all year roundToni and Kayla and little K. who are friends that "get me" and family but get their own lineMike Hammond-My biz partner at "Top-Notch Talent" and for being so generous Facebook
- I would not have believed I'd know people throughout the world. But, I do. And friends like Paul from such far away places as Canada. (HA)Every single person that has taken part in one of our contests, or events...Thank you soooo muchMy students and my clients -Thank you beyond wordsSkype students and clients too!!! MY sister and her little family...
furry and non furry members.Meredith Skehan- My favorite human being.MUSIC MUSIC MUSICBeing able to take decent photos again...and LOTS of them.Who would've thought? No need for film? Thank you digital age.
Thank you Nikon
Wow, Oprah was right. You start one of these and you just can't stop. I haven't even gotten to hair gel and comfy couches yet. Or smart phones. Smart people. Google! Being in a country where I can chase every single one of my dreams. Cat litter that clumps. Nice neighbors...Did I mention Music?
Oh my gosh...I do have as much to be grateful for as Oprah...Everyone should do this. It doesn't even have to be big stuff. Look... warm socks on cold mornings, buy 1 get 1 half off specials....SEE?
So, now my original question...What are you Thankful for??
In a few days it will be Thanksgiving. I already have a blog that I'm working on because, Thanksgiving is such a special day. But, on my way to the holiday taping of Nashville Spotlight today, I heard this song. I was radio station surfing. It must have been on a 'Contempary Christian Station'? I like some of the music on those stations but I don't listen religiously...*ha ha no pun intended. Really. My general belief is one that I steal from my friend Tish, "All music is soul music" "It all glorifies God." (The 2nd quote was said by my mother to me when I was 15 She was, in her day, a big believer in faith.)
But, I'm getting way way way off the point. Which is so unlike me. This song was about faith. Which absolutely can be faith in God. But, what I loved is that they left that up to you. The faith you have can be in your ideas or your beliefs. Maybe ones that keep getting knocked down. Maybe, you need to have more faith in yourself. Or your children... The message to me... (which is really weird because in my next blog which I already wrote. I say that whenever I pray the answer is usually found in a song.) was the intensity of faith and how important it is to have it. Keep believing in your dreams, in a better tomorrow in whatever it is that you are using "faith" for. Don't ever let it go. In and of itself it is powerful. Or, simply put: DON'T GIVE UP!
I was just going to post the video on facebook but then, it keeps getting lower and lower. So, ta-dah, a blog post. If you haven't seen this... watch. I promise it will not offend anyone's personal beliefs. And maybe leave a comment here or on facebook as to what this song's message is to you.
So, here I am. Halloween night. If I don't come up with something good to write about in the next 90 minutes I will have no blog post for the month of October and I have one for every month. I don't want a break in the list. But, here I am having what would be called "writers block" if I were a writer.
It isn't that I don't have anything to talk about. I have tons. So much has been happening here in music city. (If you've been looking at my pics on facebook) I took pics at the semi finals of "American Country Star" at the beginning of the month and then just a few nights ago when they went all the way down to 13. Then to 5. Then to 1 Ta- Dah. I also got to take some behind the scenes photos at a music video taping that Mike Jennings was producing. My partner from KSBT radio came up to spend some "real time" in Nashville and let me co-host a show. AND....Top - Notch Talent
is on it's way to filling up it's holiday contest event. (Just look under 'events'.)
My clients list is growing and they, as well as my students really are 'Top-notch' So, with all this going on why the so called "block" or "hum drum" feeling about MY blog (???) I guess because this blog is supposed to be special. Not just a "What's happening" kind of thing or a calender. That is what I use the "events' page for. As a life coach (or career coach) I feel that I should have something wise to say. BUT...NADA..
Then, just a few minutes ago, I started asking myself why nada?...ANSWER- Well, things have been going so well lately. Then, I ask...Can't you write about that? ANSWER- NO? How boring to write about feeling at peace. WAIT....Did I just say I, ME, SUSAN that I feel at peace? About anything? I think I did. How can that be not worthy of writing about. Especially since it involves so many of YOU! And there you have it.
I started this blog back in January right after I became a certified coach. I was so impatient to get clients and to get involved in all these new projects. I knew that I could relate to everyone aspiring to make it in anything and feeling that they were spinning their wheels in the dirt. Because, I was feeling that way too. I had known for a few years that I wanted to do more but I didn't know what. After I got back from Texas, it was easy to write about these things. The climb, the struggle, the uncertainty.
The past few months. I have seen my hard work pay off. Not nearly where I want or need it to be. But, I have seen real changes financially and artistically and in the way I want to impact others. For me that is huge. I guess by not writing I was giving myself a minute to take a breath. And as I write this, I'm realizing that this is not the time to feel there is no wisdom. This is it. This is the proof. When you think of your goal all the time and work at it as much as you can. You will move forward.
Even if your goal is something really obscure like being an "entertainment life coach, who loves to take pics and would really love to be taken seriously for it and has a small company where she and another person produce contests and a bunch of other things that she can't even fit into a decent sentence."
I mean REALLY???? But, I swear to you I am so passionate about every one of those crazy things. And the past few months I have moved forward. If I can ...ANYONE can. Simply becasue, I bet you could fit your goal into a twitter post without going over the 160 allotment. I'm sure God, the universe and other people find it much easier to help you in your quest when it is laid out in an understanding way. So keep dreaming big are my words of wisdom. Certainly not original words. But, good, wise words.
Next month is Thanksgiving and I might be all fired up because I may feel as though the wind is being knocked out of my sails again. That is the way this life seems to run. I mean after a certain amount of decades hanging around here, we start picking up patterns. So, I guess we have to enjoy things when they are going well and remind ourselves of them so much when they aren't.
On another note, my sister and her family has been without electricity for 2 days. (Thanks Sandy) My cousins in Brooklyn I am told are okay. The New York City area looks like a war zone. To say that I am grateful that my family is together and safe is such an understatement. It really puts everything in perspective.
We expect this each year.
Not in our wildest dreams.
So, where do I even start. I haven't been a very good blogger. That is for sure. I haven't written anything in well over a month. That isn't because I haven't had anything to say. (That rarely happens) But, because I've sort of been all over the place. I really wanted to finish the instructor training for Tom Jackson's course and let me tell you it was not easy. The course was great and I think I understood every bit of it. But, every time I'd get on a role, my computer would jam up or there would be a glitch in one of the videos. Or...I had to make a video of my own. OMG I so hated making those videos. So, these are the things that made it difficult. Not the material itself. I don't think any course has ever changed me as much as this one has. I don't think I will ever look at a live performance (Or a taped one on tv) the same way again. Now, all I think of is angles and are they using them the right way. How are they relating to each other. How are they using the space... What about the people in the way back? Are they feeling left out? So so so many things. Too many to name. I had thought it was about learning how to get on stage and act stupid until you could make it look cool...NOT EVEN CLOSE...I mean yeah it's that as in riding a bike means it requires a seat, handle bars and wheels...It doesn't really convey what real bike riding like..Lance Armstrong bike riding is all about. The real passion that goes into it. The fears and doubts or winning is like. How much do these people even want this. Are they going to fall apart when one person decides to quit? There is so much to it. Then there is the soloist side of things which I was much more in tune with (ha...another cute pun) The good news is...For me, the life coaching that I want to do with performers has everything to do with this.The bad news is...I'm still not exactly sure what that is or where it all is going to lead me and it is frustrating!!!The hot news on the street is...I am going to Tom Jackson's boot camp at 'The Foundry' downtown all day Friday and Saturday. There will be a lot of guests including Brett Manning who is (in my opinion) the best vocal coach in the word. So, I am totally there. If anyone else wants to go....I think there are still tickets available you can get all the details if you click on my "events" page. And thanks to those of you who did sign up, not making me eat lunch alone...So there ya have it...one of the reason for my bad blogging habits as of late. I have been working on publicity with this great artist, Tish Lynd
You can go check her out but, I think her site and sound is going to be even better withing a few weeks-months??? SOON!!!! Oh and Kayla Nettles did one cool shoot in a graveyard with some of the people from 'The Vampire Diaries' Check it out...