Permission is a funny word. Like I’m some little kid asking permission to go to the bathroom, or to have a cookie, or to stay up late. But we are often stopped in our own cycles of self-defeat and self-doubt, usually because we haven’t granted ourselves permission to actually break the cycle, moving out of our comfort zones.
It sounds almost obvious, like the advice you got years ago that you shrugged off until it came back to bite you in the ass and really sunk in. This happened to me last week and it’s why I’m writing now. Because Permission (with a capital P) can come from an unexpected source, so maybe, just maybe, I can be that for you. Continue reading
About once a year I get into a deep funk. God knows why, but it’s there. And luckily, three years ago, I rediscovered my love for musical theater and allowed it to cure said funk. And it works. Every. Single. Time.
In general, I am a ham. Additionally, I was the co-president of my drama club in high school. I had forgotten all about that until I got married and moved from Manhattan to an outdoorsy town north of the city. One day, looking out my studio window to see if my neighbor was getting her mail [so I could time the retrieval of my own mail to overlap with hers and thus have human contact], my husband said “in the city, that may be people-watching, but here, it’s just creepy. You should go make friends”. By doing what? Going to a yoga class? Hang out at a coffee shop and approach strangers and ask them to be my friend?
And then I saw them… Continue reading
I’m on the Grammy’s ballot…
And now for the first time in my life, I’m reaching out and pitching my new record… not to my fans, not to music supervisors and film producers, but to my colleagues requesting they consider my music for a Grammy. Other Recording Academy members. Music producers, songwriters, labels.
I always wanted a Grammy. Up until I was 30, that was THE dream, and the only dream. And I knew it was a one-in-a-million kind of dream. All of my passwords were along the lines of “grammyorbust”. When I turned 30, lots of stuff shifted and I realized this industry and this career is a process and if I don’t enjoy it soon, it’s gonna kill me. So I let go of the Grammy dream and started being a real working musician, and loving it Continue reading
A little update on this blog, the word “gig” and what it is for me, and what I hope for it can be for you (plus an exploration into allowing curiosity to lead you back to your passion).
Living on Gigging
I started this blog, Living On Gigging, over 8 years ago while I was touring the United States and Europe, promoting my records, singing my songs, and trying with all my might to gain the love of strangers. It was a half-decade of trying to put myself on the map of humanity in the only way I thought I knew how.
I lived gig-to-gig.
Dating was dismissed as a distraction.
I spent much time saying “yes” to whatever gig I could get, playing to a lot of empty rooms, traveling in lonely car rides, and operating with eye-on-the-prize focus (which came with a complete set of big ole blinders).
One could say I was flailing. There was a lot of trial and error. Continue reading
Is it possible to get a “yes” every time you make a request? Maybe. Is it possible to get a response every time? Absolutely.
It used to be a major struggle to get a reply back after sending an email to a company, venue, a potential collaborator or producer, or literally anyone. I found myself wishing for them to just say “no” rather than nothing at all.
I also struggled with how to be personal but also save time. Writing to 30 music venues a day asking for a date was getting tedious but I knew copy-and-paste would start to feel spammy. Also, I noticed that even when making tentative plans with friends or family, I never got solid yes’s or no’s. So I did some research on why this was and found a few things I was missing.
Due to my list-making nature, I put this 8-step process together. It’s called The Perfect Pitch. And I tested it. And fine tuned it.
And good news- it works! I’ve shared it with other people and THEY said it works.
I’ve used it for getting gigs, placing music in TV shows, raising $30k through fan-funding, and getting paid a higher fee for a scoring project. The number of responses I receive has dramatically increased, as has the number of yes’s! Continue reading
I’m starting to understand how the ever-elusive energy plays a bigger role in my life than I thought. In a recent post, I shared about my recent experience of moving houses. I was desperately trying to set up my next (and hopefully “forever”) workspace with positive energy, differently than I had in the past. Weeks after my husband had unpacked and organized his mountain guiding business’ space, I was still stuck in creating my ideal writing, recording, and working space. While I never considered myself a hoarder or a messy person, I thought maybe it was time to clear the clutter. Continue reading
It’s Monday at 6:37 am and I woke up to an email, like I so often do, with a link to a new blog post by one of the writers I read. Derek Sivers had just posted part one of his “Do This: Directives“. I didn’t click on any links, I just read the article, taking it for face value. While reading, I had moments where I thought it must be April Fools Day or an Onion piece. Other times I was nodding my head. In other words, I was a bit confused and taken aback. My initial reaction was that this was a bold piece of writing, which I applaud. It was also mildly dangerous, egomaniacal and for being such a broad list, I thought it was missing some key “directives”.
But then I clicked on the link that set the whole thing up. It’s the only link Derek asks you to click on (all the other links passively direct you to past articles). And he sets it up as such: he’s read so many books to help move forward and has essentially taken the key take-away points and put them into directions. Not necessarily real actions to take, but do’s and don’ts of advice boiled down from others’ opinions, research, findings, stories, and ideas. Continue reading
It’s been a little bit since my last post and that’s due to the two facts that SXSW consumed my life for two weeks, and that my husband and I were selling our house and purchasing a new one. My mind has been on how to make better design decisions that will cater to my work-from-home lifestyle as a full-time musician.
(Written for and originally published on Sharp Heels)
One of my first jobs out of college was as a tech at a recording studio. All the engineers were male, all the producers were male. No biggie. Years later, I become a commercial freelance composer. Again, ad agencies, music houses and other composers: mostly male. Still, no biggie.
Then, I visit Paris. Oh la la. I meet with boutique ad agencies and production companies who claim they are “full service agencies,” yet do not provide music for their branding clients. I speak with their CEOs about offering this service. And they are 75% female.
In Paris, everything is luxury. Luxury branding, luxury markets. I thought, oh, advertising in Paris is more female-dominated. No biggie. Also, not true. Continue reading
It’s 1:13 am Thursday January 15th, just a few hours after performing with a band for my record release. All I want to do is go to sleep. Well, watch one episode of The Office, then go to sleep. But tomorrow I won’t be basking in whatever glow (or cloud) that is the experience of having just played for a live audience. If I reflect back on tonight’s live show tomorrow, then it will be more like a schedule of how the day went down, the circumstances, what happened and with whom. The rawness will be missing. Right now it is raw. And to do this essay series ANY justice, I must write now. Continue reading