It's an interesting thing- getting married. When you tell people you are getting married, everyone expects that you are going to do something else with your life. They all say, "So after you get married, what's next?" I never knew that once you got married you had to do something else--but what's even weirder is that I am about to do something else! I don't think marriage had anything to do with it though. I think it was more my restless leg syndrome that doesn't allow me sit still for too long.
Since Taylor Swift and Pharell are the only people making money in the music business, I have been working full time at Starstruck Entertainment during the day (while also teaching voice lessons, writing songs, and performing on nights and weekends). Starstruck is owned by Reba McEntire and is a recording studio and management company. The artists we manage are Blake Shelton, Reba, and Kelly Clarkson. I do administrative boring things, but the thought of being surrounded by such Country royalty was really exciting in the beginning! It has been a great learning experience to see how the music business works and how decisions are made. But, my restless legs can only sit there for so long, and my passion lies with performing and songwriting, so I knew I needed to transition to a job that would:
1. Allow me to be flexible to work on my music,
2. Still maintain my creative energy, and
3. Serve others.
The answer became perfectly clear: TEACH!
I am so thrilled to be launching the expansion of my voice and acting studio: Crescendo Studios. Crescendo Studios will be located in the Crieve Hall neighborhood of Nashville and will be open to any and all who wish to improve their singing and acting skills. I've been spending many a day decorating the new space and think I have achieved its ultimate "vibeness." I chose the name Crescendo because it is a musical term that refers to music gradually increasing in loudness and intensity. I love the thought of paralleling that with my voice and acting students. Reaching your full potential doesn't happen overnight. It happens with a gradual increase, as a result of dedication and sound training. And it gives me the greatest delight as a teacher to watch my students have breakthroughs and crescendo into their full potential.
This expansion will also allow me to be musical full time and I think this change will enhance my own songwriting and performing. I can't wait to get married- but I also can't wait to get back and jump into this new chapter in my life!
If you are in the Nashville area and know someone who might be interested in lessons, here is the new website, twitter, and Facebook page!
Lately, I've been pondering being great. As some of you may know, I've been doing music and theatre for a long time. I started auditioning when I was 8 years old. Since then, I've been surrounded by a "being great" mentality. You had to be the best to get the part. If you didn't get the part, someone else did and you lost. Don't even get me started about all the being great girls I had to be around while my mom put me in pageants. If you want to learn about being great, just try and keep up with those girls! Then, I moved to NYC where being great is your last name. I've never lived in a more "me" city, where everyone was out for number one. Nashville is basically the same way, just the being great is sugar coated with smiles and convenient friendships.
But something about being great has never quite sat right with me. I always felt that it was right to work hard at whatever you are doing, but striving to be the best and get ahead was never satisfying to me. In fact, it left me even more empty that just being content with where I was.
I often think about the greats: Elvis, Marilyn Monroe, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland.... how is it that all these greats died from drug overdosing? Was it because being great doesn't satisfy? Maybe being great is an addiction in itself. And I, for one, do not want to share in their fate.
Even the disciples in the Bible were confused about greatness. You would think after following the Son of God around for a while that they would be more understanding. But instead, they started bickering amongst themselves about who was going to be the greatest in heaven. Another time in the Bible, the mother of 2 disciples (I refer to her as "the first documented stage-mom") asked Jesus to sit her sons at his right hand and at his left hand in his new kingdom. Jesus responded to this, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”
Our human nature can turn even the most innocent things into something bad. Being great at something isn't inherently bad, but if our attitude becomes self-centered, then it'll warp us until we don't recognize ourselves. Jesus' own brother said in his book of the Bible, "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." In this day and age, it's so easy to spiral into the endless pit of ourselves by trying to become great. But, I think we can overcome this mentality by daily looking to the greatest great of all: The King of Glory who left his throne to serve us and gave "His life a ransom for many." So this week, I declare that the new standard of being great is serving others! Who's with me??
Sometimes I think I'm crazy. But sometimes, I think I know exactly what I'm doing.