Well – ok – so I didn’t really take a vacation for a whole year, but it did feel like it sometimes… 😉
I cut my teaching schedule so that I could have more creative time and finally get out and perform all the songs I’d been writing. I stumbled on some really cool places to play and met some great supportive people. My students even came out with me! I found a home-away-from-home at Harmony Ridge, a local venue with fabulous musicians and a great stage and sound system, that is hugely supportive of original artists of all ages. I played at the Zanafest weekend-long music festival that they hosted, what a blast that was! Three days of great music & fun! To top it off, I got to cheer my students on as they performed in the festival’s Youth Talent Competition.
I traveled to Nashville three times with the different organizations I’m working with now. If you don’t know already, you will know soon – I’m a huge fan of Live Music Producer Tom Jackson and his whole team at www.onstagesuccess.com. The first time I saw Tom speak, I thought “This guy has the cure for cancer for musicians!” – if the “cancer” in this case is not being able to sustain a long-lasting, lucrative career as a performer. (You don’t have to take my word for it. Check out his page. Some real heavy hitters in the music industry agree with me.) The changes he makes with artists onstage are just magical – they transform an average performance into something amazing right before your eyes.
I wanted to learn for myself – and because I’m naturally an excitable, sharing kind of person – I wanted to shout from the rooftops and get this great stuff out to everyone I could. So 2 Bootcamps, 2 Intensive Workshops and a private rehearsal later, I’m now licensed to teach the “All Roads Lead to the Stage” live music method curriculum. I’m also really thrilled with the direction my solo material is taking and can’t wait to get it out there even more.
At the same time, I hooked up with a great organization called Indie Connect (www.indieconnect.com) and became the Pittsburgh/Western PA Chapter President. Their mission (are you seeing a common theme here?) is to help independent musicians build solid, sustainable careers. It fits in very well with my goal of providing good strong skills, career and business guidance for musicians. I’d been a member for over a year, so I knew they had really top-notch training resources and instruction.
But the most powerful thing about Indie Connect is the networking. It’s organized and structured in a way so that whatever help you need with your career for whatever level you’re at – everyone in the room takes time to help you, make suggestions, and make contacts. It’s a far cry from the hit-or-miss networking that musicians often do in noisy bars, where you may or may not meet the right person at the right time. Indie Connect’s been growing by leaps and bounds all over the country and producing great successes for their members, I’m really proud to be part of such a dynamic group!
2010 was a busy, busy year for me but some very amazing and cool things came out of it. I think I annoyed people sometimes shouting about it all…. matter of fact, I’m sure I did. But I can’t worry about that, I’m too excited. 😉
Thanks to everyone who has been so supportive of me and my new directions this past year – are you ready to rock-n-roll with me???
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