Monday, February 7, 2011

Let's Chat

This is a repost of a Note I posted on my FaceBook Fan Page on January 13, 2011. 

A brand new blog post is in progress, so keep your eyes open!

Let's Chat

This note has been a long time coming and after recent events, I finally decided, just this morning, to sit down and write it.

I am approached with great regularity by those who have been burned in this music industry and/or are looking to get into the music industry.  I guess, for whatever reason, people trust my experience (as meager as it may be), they believe that I care, and – more importantly, I am trusted.  I have essentially become “sanctuary” for those who need moral support through their battles with the “Big Bad Music Industry”.

Let me first say, the Music Industry itself is not “Big and Bad.”  The Industry itself is saturated with those who would sooner rape you for your talent and leave you laying in a gutter, stripped of all faith, hope, and self respect.  Extreme?  Yup.  But, true nevertheless.  These people come in all types.  They come in the guise of fellow artists, musicians, publishers, producers, record labels (real and fake), and – believe it or not – friends and fans.  For every decent person in the industry, there’s at least 10 more out there looking to ride your coat tails and latch onto whatever prize might be in your future.  They will tell you a million things – “you’re the best they’ve ever heard”, “you’re going to be a star”, “you’re welcome to talk to a lawyer, but you’d better hurry before we change our mind”, “we have ‘people’”, “Oh yeah, no problem, we have writers, you don’t have to know how to play an instrument”.

Look people, the day of the no-talent artist is gone (if there ever was that day).  All these people out there that you have seen or heard that you think have no talent… well, listen again.  These people are blessed with talent that so many of us (including me) could only begin to dream of.  Lady Gaga?  A no talent hack?  TRY AGAIN!  That woman is incredible!  Go do some internet searches for Stephanie Germanotta….  Look familiar?  Taylor Swift?  Ok, girl hit a few bad notes, but the fact of the matter is that girl has more talent in her pinky finger as a songwriter than I could ever dream of.  Nothing in the Industry is what it appears.  Overnight stars rarely happen.  And, by rarely, I mean one in a BILLION!  These stars that seem to appear overnight have been practicing their craft for years and years and years – likely in small churches, dives, amusement parks, parties, and whatnot – where you would never think to look.

Now, with the onslaught of YouTube, USTREAM, Facebook and every other social network under the sun, these talented people are oozing forth from every nook and cranny.  The competition is fierce.  Have you actually stopped for a moment at a record store (guess what, they still exist), and taken a look at the racks and racks and racks of CD’s?!  Seriously…  it’s INSANE!  You wouldn’t know they names of over half of them. Yet, each and every one of them have their very own devout fan base.

On that note, let me say to each and every one of my fans, friends, and family...  I am so grateful for each and every one of you.  I am so grateful for your love, for your support, for your trust.  I hope never to let you down.  I'm not perfect and, as I hopefully continue to climb this beautiful ladder of my life, I am sure that I will let you down in one way or another along the way, because I am only human.  But, stick with me...  I'm a work in progress and - one day - I hope to be someone you can look up to and say, "Look at her, she actually made it."

Look – for all those who are reading this, you’re reading it for one of two reasons.  Either #1 – you’re just nosey and are trying to find out what happened with my former record label (please note paragraph 3), or, #2 – you actually give a shit about your career or the career of someone you love.

So here’s my take on it all.  Do not expect to have your music career handed to you on a silver platter.  Unless you have more money than Bill Gates, the likelihood of that happening is slim to none.  It’s hard work.  It’s something you have to be dedicated to and love with all your heart.  Every day I sit here and work and work and work.  I spend my hours singing, writing, learning, talking, and marketing.  With all the work I put in, I have something to show for it, thankfully.  But, I could have more if I put even more work into it.  I just do the best I can with what I have.  You reap what you sow people and Karma's a bitch.

No one makes it in this industry without paying their dues.  You have to hit rock bottom and be ready to quit before you every successfully climb that ladder…  but, you never really give up because the music is part of your soul and even when you decide to throw in the towel, you hold on to just a thread of hope because you know that you couldn’t live without the music.   You will have to make sacrifices in your life.  Just make sure that you’re making the RIGHT sacrifices.  Remember that phrase, “it’s lonely at the top”?  Well, it’s true…  it’s very lonely.  When you have sacrificed every important relationship in your life to make it, you will find yourself there with no one to pat you on the back except all the sharks I referred to in Paragraph 3.  And remember what your parents told you, “You are the company you keep” and, “Guilt by association.”

Don’t sacrifice who you are to be who you want to be.  Be you.  Be honest.  Be decent.  Be SMART.  Check backgrounds.  Ask questions of others.  Get references.  DO YOUR HOMEWORK before dealing with anyone in the industry.  If they are real, genuine, and valid – they will still be there after you do your due diligence.  If they aren’t, then you’re better off without them.

Now, if after reading this, you decide you want to go sign up with some fly by night organization just because they tell you “shoot for the moon and you’ll land amongst the stars”, “you got it babe”, “here, sign this short form copyright assignment right here and we’ll take care of the rest”, “you’re going up, up, up”, or "you're gonna be BIG!"  Well – go for it…  but don’t come crying to me about it when you’re done.  And, while you’re at it, I have some oceanfront property in Arizona that I can give you a really sweet deal on.   

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