Tuesday, October 04, 2005

An Exercise in Self-Motivation

I mentioned that when something really exciting happens, or might-potentially-if-I-work-really-hard happen, I panic. I suppose that everyone has a fear of the unknown, a yearning for the familiar. Mine is not an unusual reaction, nor is it particularly severe. I usually have a bit of a panic internally, then pull myself together, give myself a bit of a shake and get on with it. Never have I panicked and given up, if I am sure that whatever it is is worth persevering with. In fact 'tenacious' was listed as one of my 'qualities' at 'school'. Oh, I mean, school. Getting carried away with the 'inverted commas'.

I feel a bit overwhelmed at the moment, though. A bit, you know, in over my head. There is this gig in November that will be an amazing opportunity for me. Big. A half hour slot in a huge venue on a night to showcase nearly signed and just signed talent in London. There will be all sorts of industry people there, as well as some people who have professed specific interest in me. Me. Fuck.
I have the gig, no problem, I have been assured. Only thing is, I don't want to do the things I've been doing for the last year. I want to to branch out from Trad. Jazz and do more funky-jazz. Which means finding the people to make up my band. Which, ok, I've found some, in a kind of tenuous way. But, I have to chase them, work out the set, work out the tech spec, work out rehearsals, work out every-fucking-thing, and I'm not sure I can organise this all on my own. I have no fucking clue what I'm doing. None. I am winging it. Talk about the unknown.
So, simply put, I have this amazing opportunity, that I fought for in the first place. It is now just a case of making the most of it. Of getting the right people, playing the right music, being rehearsed enough and doing a really impressive job.

Shit. Shittity McShit.

I have NO IDEA how I'm supposed to do that and it is scaring me shitless.

I wrote the title for this post thinking that I would write in a flurry of words, and that, as usual articulating my fears on 'paper' would act as a kind of catharsis. That I would emerge refreshed, confident, and self-assured. It hasn't worked yet, so I guess I'll just keep writing until it does.

I think I need to acknowledge that I actually need help with this one. I need to ask people in the know how to go about doing it. I have done that, but I think I asked the wrong person and it just made me more confused.

Maybe I take a day off this week, meet up with someone (I do have someone in mind for this, I just have to ask him nicely) and work out all the questions I need answering, in order to find a way of answering them. Then after I have it all clear in my head I can start acting on it all. I think I just feel like I should be acting NOW, which is stupid, because I need to know what I'm doing before I start doing anything. So if I write a list of what I need to know, then it will be more clear what I need to actually start DOING. Right?

This, as the title suggests, is more one of those 'for my benefit' posts than anything else. I would appreciate any advice anyone has. Not necessarily specific to the problem in hand, but more in terms of how to think my way around something that seems totally overwhelming.

I'll just be sitting here, reading my book, waiting for suggestions.


Blogger C said...

I know how stressful that can be. Me and two mates took ages getting together and arranging time to make at least one track. We've now made a few good sounds buts it’s still a work in progress. It's difficult as two of us have full time jobs and the other is doing a 7 year degree. We all have our specialties, one is good with beats, I’m more melodic on the piano and the third is a Mac logic wizard as all of us have now become. Another friend of mine has been signed to a record label as an mc which could be a connection.

I don't think any of this is helping you, I just thought that I could relate to the post.

It’s not the same thing, you're more live and we produce on logic only with a few real instruments plugged in. It’s difficult trying to arrange meetings and rehearsals, its takes time and can take up your life if you put everything into it.

I could quit my job and put all my effort into music but it’s too scary to think about. Maybe I’ll quit my job and become your manager?

25% of everything? You know it makes sense!

1:37 pm

Anonymous Paul said...

You know all too well that I have no knowledge with which to support you on this. But in practical terms, I'll support you however I can. If you need someone to phone people and pester them, or post stuff, or anything like that, I'll help. Sorry I can't offer more. Just remember how stupidly talented you are, and that you deserve this.

1:53 pm

Anonymous Destructor said...

So, you have a band, and you have a gig.....you're already well past where most people are.

First things: Get yourself a rehearsal space. This is essential. You need to practice, and a lot. There are dozens of empty wharehouses in London that are cheap to rent if you don't already have a space.

Get your band there at least twice a week. Bare minimum. Practice! Practice practice practice.

And....that's it. Not a great deal to do, it just requires a lot of energy and commitment to do it. Good luck!

2:23 pm

Anonymous impish little sister said...

Lists are really good- i write them lots- including everything on them, even words that you want to feel like or anything, then make a new one with solutions to the words on the other lists- sometimes if on one list it says phone james ask for hat- then you can phone james before ask for the hat and then on the second you write- phoned james asked for hat but he suggested scarf might be better- i asked for both.

Erm yeh, so basically, i have 0 advice accept what you're doing- facing up to this and not keeping it in your head alone- i'm so proud and love you millions- i listened to the jam we did in paris (i have it on CD now) and cried when i heard you singing funny valentine.

Have you thought of gypsy kings songs? They can be really fun..

love you my big sister xxxxxxx

2:24 pm

Blogger Léonie said...

Thank you!
And Sophie (Impish variety) two things:
1. Could I have a copy of the Paris jam!?!?! Please!?
2. Less of the 'big', please. The term is 'older-and-so-bigger-but-actually-not-big-in-a-fat-way'. Thank you.
Oh, hang on there's three...
3. I love you xxx

2:57 pm

Blogger shemakeswar said...

I think the number one priority is accepting that you do have an unshakeable belief buried inside you that you will succeed. It's natural that you should get nervous and overwhelmed and all of those things but the point is that you've already decided that singing is what you're going to do so (I think) you have to hold it in your mind that whatever problems come your way you will overcome. Because if you want to badly enough you will!

Aside from that it sounds like you've got the practical side of things underway. Talk to your person in the know and get their opinions (do remember they're just their opinions though, and trust yourself more) and timetable everything in so that you have a plan of action which culminates in the gig.

I hope I don't sound too bossy, I just understand what you're going through because I went solo this year and it made me realise that I am actually strong enough to cope - you are too! Best of luck with it all.

3:22 pm

Blogger Dancinfairy said...

I have three pieces of advice:


2) Break it down into small chunks. It won't seem like such a big thing then. Make them really small. Helps with point 1.

3) Make a list of your little chunks. When you have seven things on your list, start a new list. I read somwhere that if there is more than seven things on a list then you will think there is too much to do and do none of it. Also helps with point 1.

4) Have paper and a pen handy at all times. Writing things down gets them out of your head, amazingly this helps with point 1.

5) Make sure you write lots of lists - like this one - I love lists!!

Oh and GOOD LUCK!!!!!

3:46 pm

Blogger Dawnie said...

I can't offer any specific advice, but definitely sit down and work it all out on paper before your meeting. Write down exactly what you need to do to make this work, then make a second list of those things that you don't know how to do.

Then, at your meeting? Write everything down in step-by-step form, just so you don't say, "Duh, of course!" then and then get home and realize you still have no idea of what you have to do.

Good luck!

4:24 pm


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