Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Artist Summit Continued: Breaking the Sound Barrier

Last we spoke I left off telling my account and experience of the Artist Summit in PTown back in the beginning of October. I specifically stressed the details of what I took away from my friend Charlie Wan's topic "Finding Your Everest".

I'd like to take a moment to delve deeper into the account of my "experience"... And how it applies to many of us in what we are currently experiencing: a seemingly full earthquake within the foundation of what we know and what we can count on when it comes to our careers.

As I had mentioned last time, Charlie's talk took us through several iterations of his career.

Charlie 1.0 was an Art Director of Digital Moving Imagery, Charlie 2.0 had a career in Fashion Photography, and Charlie 3.0 came about after a spiritual part of his journey brought him to his true calling, music. Unfortunately, as his presentation was limited to only 90 minutes, he did not get as in depth as he would have liked. However, for a few of us, we would not only get to hear the full story...we got to experience it.

On Thursday morning I sprung up from my bed with no alarm at exactly 6:30am. This was insanely miraculous being that I went to bed at 2am. Totally in a "happy place" from crooning for hours at Purgatory Karaoke with the gang, there was definitely a divine influence in my energy and purpose. My mind immediately remembered there was going to be a sunrise meditation on the breakwater rocks with Charlie. Luckily that was practically right outside the back door of my room. So I scrambled from bed, threw on whatever was lying on the floor including warm hoodie scarf and hat and ran outside. I tiptoed out to where the group was, about a dozen people including Stephanie Flor, Joe Dellude, Mahasin Phillips, Marlu Soria, Aga , Ahbi Nishman and a few others from the summit. I took a spot right next to Charlie and sat in silence as this beautiful euphoric music filled the air from his tiny bluetooth speaker. As I got present to my view, the sun was still hidden behind the horizon but the sky was already lit up with this open dreamy light that went from a cool violet to saturated pinks and corals. The highlight of fiery neon orange yellow began to rim the edge of of the clouds right above the sea.  What amazed me was the music was in perfect sync as though a soundtrack had been perfectly composed to evoke the feelings of the changing light. As the colors transformed, so did the music. The music seeped into my body, having my energy match that of the rising sun. As the sun finally broke and kissed our faces the music intuitively climaxed a resounding echo of strength and vulnerability.  I couldn't believe how well matched it was with what my eyes saw...but more importantly grounded and fused me with the message of a new day, new possibility through my heart and soul...such a deep vibration tears welled up in my eyes.

It was shortly after this moment Charlie began to tell us about the real call to his 3.0, his purpose, and how the Hilary Step of his journey was a pinnacle point where it almost didn't happen.  

He had been composing for a while, and knew there was a draw to creating music but wasn't connected to why, or what purpose it served other than he liked doing it and he could make music that sounded "cool".  After a while he began to feel disappointment in what he was created.  He didn't think it was "special" or "that good", and maybe this was not what he was supposed to be doing, and he should perhaps just go back to what he was good at and find fulfillment in that. So he made a decision to quit.  But he decided he would compose one more piece. This he would do on a Sunday, and after that, he would put it away forever. But this last time he decide to compose from a different place. Not from a place of what he thought sounded cool, but a deeper place. He decided to compose from his heart, and let the music tell the story of his feelings and emotions in this process.

It only took him 4 hours to finish the piece. The process had taken so much out of him, he decided to put it on an MP3, email it to his lyricist/vocalist Danielle for her feedback, and went straight to bed.  He arose the next morning at around 6 and opened his email. Danielle had wrote him back and attached another MP3. She was so taken and inspired by this music she stayed up to write and sing lyrics to the piece, recorded it and immediately sent it back to him.  When he opened the file and listened to it, his heart filled up with overwhelming emotion. It pulled on his heart in a way that he began to cry.

As he told us this part he began to get emotional and choked up. He said that he had almost given up on his calling and his "passion", but if he hadn't pushed himself through this Hilary Step, to battle the conversation in his head, he would have not created that piece and discovered his calling to create music from the heart. 

At this point I began to cry. Not just because I felt compassion and empathy for his experience, but because he was telling my story. To think that the music I just "experienced" might have never existed had Charlie given in to the conversation in his mind, and ignored the conversation of his heart. The fact that almost happened made me begin to recognize all the challenges and obstacles I have encountered in the last year, all the times I questioned myself and my ability of how big I could grow, how many people I could touch with my art, my mentor ship and my vision. How every time I took committed action on growing bigger some crazy thing would happen that would shake my foundation and set me back to the previous "base camp" on my Mt. Everest. And I'm not talking about little things... I'm talking about HUGE things (My family going through the hardest times we've ever encountered, a 10 year legal battle that keeps resurfacing that continually have to spend my savings on, turning a two man company into a global entity). I remember there was a moment last year in December I sat in the middle of the streets of Chicago right after I had done a training, crying my eyes out to my mentor/friend/coach on the phone that maybe I shouldn't have a Leadership Program, because it was just too damn hard, and too much is going on in my life to handle it. He assured me that things will undoubtedly fall apart a few times while you are creating something big...and if its not, then your are doing something wrong, or not working hard enough

But this my friends has been my Hilary Step. To keep my eye on what I love, and stay OBSESSED with it. If I give up when it gets hard, who knows what would never be. I need to remember hard times are a sign to work harder, look at discovering ways not only to move past obstacles, but adapt to changes, and find ways to excel.  You just need to change your mind about it,  educate yourself, find support, and listen to your heart with a dash of sensibilities from your head.

So those of you who are feeling the real impact of a changing the "makeup App takeover"...the Glamsquads, the GlamApps, BeGlammed (seriously, can't they come up with more original fucking names? LOL)... you need to take a deep breath and know that the first plane that broke the sound barrier shook VIOLENTLY and seemingly almost fell apart before it popped through to smooth sailing breaking every record of speed known to man. There were many tries before, that freaked out the pilot so much he landed the plane out of fear for the turbulence and losing control.  But the one flight that made it, the pilot held his seat, tried something different, and pushed through, not giving up.  (true story check it out:

So hold your seat friends, these times are a changing, and we need to become more educated in business and create intimate relationships with our clientele through excellent customer care, followups, gift, blogs (um HELLO), newsletters, smart social media with solid marketing and branding presence, and continuing to stay on point and on game with tools, techniques, trends and what problems a client needs you to solve as an artist. Such that someone will rather pay more to have you, then do a quick fix on an app.

Breathe deep my friends, the Hilary step is real, and happening to all of us now. The question is are you committed to reaching the top no matter what or how long it takes? Will you be looking for other ways to circumvent the obstacles, or will you take the long trek backwards because it gets too hard? And if you do that's ok. Just know the journey to your heart and fulfillment is a vulnerable journey, but we are all on it trust the process.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful. Just what I needed to read this morning. Xoxo
    Brooke Lee Smith