Friday, September 9, 2011
If you're career isn't where you want it to be, you aren't working hard enough!
Artists don't like to hear it but if your career is NOT where you want it to be, likely YOU are actually the problem. Of course the "problem" will most seem like it's the industry out there that isn't paying attention. Either you don't know anyone who is truly "connected" or industry folks aren't getting back to you. (File under it's "their" fault).
Sometimes it's the band or the club owners or agents that are too difficult to deal with, or it's a producer isn't delivering the sound you had hoped and paid for.
The fact is we artist are crazily driven and ambitious creatures who think the world revolves around our desires and without a very good sense of "reality". Egomaniacs with low-self esteem that need approval from an audience and industry to feel validated. We almost always take things personally, as if the entire music industry is designed to keep us back and miss the simple fact that the onus is ALWAYS on the artist to create enough "buzz" to warrant the industries attention.
How do we create that BUZZ you ask? By being incredibly good. By being OUTSTANDING! (Nothing less is actually going to win any attention in the long run)
Usually it is our own "product" that is missing an important element that makes us a complete package. Sometimes it's our songs which may express our experience well but simply aren't packing enough punch to have impact in a crowded marketplace. Sometimes our voice isn't up to scratch and we're getting by on shoddy technique or not getting the most our of our natural gifts. Could be our live show isn't a stand out experience for the audience, or that our recordings aren't serving our core "identity" as an artist.
If even ONE of these elements are weak then folks int he industry will hang back until we have solved the issue. Challenging? You bet! But the industry, which used to do "artist development" deals, is not financially in a position to take on an artist any more. Its up to us to figure our weaker links and get help in solving the issues.
We need input to truly understand what our strengths and weaknesses but most of us are too afraid to ask the question "What am I missing", or "What would I have to do in order for you to work with me"?
We are scared to hear the answer, we're scared to have to do the work.
Why? Everyone is scared they're not good enough. But artists are extra insecure and we expect the world to fill us with praise, making it hard to ask even the most basic questions that would potentially move us ahead.
The most successful people in every walk of life are dedicated to "getting it right" and work tirelessly to achieve their goals. Sure they get scared, sure they have self doubt but they raise above their fears with courage. Thats what we must develop if we want to be high functioning in this world. What is it about artists that makes us believe we should simply be "discovered" in our naturally brilliant state? Thats a myth that simply isn't true.(more on artist development in future posts)
An industry built on stars being perceived as "unique" and "special" has handicapped the up and coming artist looking to achieve their goal, it's lead us to believe that singing on a TV show is all we need to be "discovered" and become a star.
There is no one at the top of this business in front of the audience or behind the scenes who doesn't work really really really hard to deliver the strongest possible product. Simple Fact. Check the story of any of your favorites stars careers and how much they did before we ever heard of them!