A Brief Report on 15 years of Rock and Roll Findings:
You can really do whatever you want. Like, whatever you want.
You can wear whatever you want: party decorations, garbage bags, tutus, old socks, second hand ice skating costumes, kids pajamas and pimp coats, as long as you believe that's the way it should be.
People will delight in telling you that your plan/life/art/dream is bullshit. People can't resist relishing in the failures of others --it's like ambrosia to them. It makes them feel secure and validated about wimping out, giving up and settling for less.
Strangely enough, these bearers of Bad News aren't usually garden variety Village Idiots.
Most of the time they are well meaning friends or family.
You can say Fuck 'em and still love them...in a "well meaning" way of course.
You're going to end up in some Weird places. You'll learn to document these terrains so you have proof it wasn't a hallucination.
There is a good chance...like a 100% chance...you'll be covered in someone's shit. #glamorpuss
People are going to tell you that you're brave and you will forever feel silly and uncomfortable about it because YOU know you're holding back.
It is absolutely possible to be an "introvert" and practice an extroverted art.
You will discover you have multiple personalities.
There are a lot of screwed up people out there--but sprinkled amongst the angry fruit loops who try to rub their body parts on you, coax you into their car or put cigarettes out on you, there are
Grade school teachers who want to tell you about their students,
Moms who want their kids to grow up to be strong and happy,
Folks who have been doing what you do since the dawn of time and want to share with you,
and young people who want to show you what they learned at ballet class,
and versions of yourself that exist in parallel dimensions,
and now you're friends on instagram.
Suddenly, the overbearing drunk-o with barf on his jacket is an egg you're willing to crack.
All that "energy" stuff becomes very real to you. You won't know where it comes from, or how it works, but you'll be glad it does.
Each experience is it's own distinct star-like creature that explodes and dies. You can never recreate it. Just get in the saddle and hold on.
You are never EVER for a SINGULAR millisecond, "too cool" for ANYONE. Especially people who shared energy with you through their money, time, attention, appreciation and presence.
You'll also learn a lot about boundaries...
Contrary to what art school will impress upon you, Sometimes (most of the time) your first idea is the best idea. NOT because it is the most complicated or elegant solution, but it has the most Energy.
You're going to make ugly sounds and gross faces. You're going to chip teeth and bust knees.
People are going to write shitty things about your body and make up elaborate stories about your sex life.
It's okay if people are afraid of you. It's okay if people wouldn't want to date you.
Some people are going to hate you for no logical reason.
People will make assumptions about the kind of soul you have based on the art you create.
That's their problem, not yours.
Courtesy is the biggest gun you can carry.
Courtesy also works splendidly as a key.
You don't need to be rude--but you certainly don't need to be friends with everyone.
There will be people who believe that because they bought a ticket to the show that they've also bought a ticket to You. It's your job to enlighten the severely confused masses.
If someone makes you feel slimy, don't work with them. Integrity is the Second Gun. Your sense of Self Respect will always steer you in the right direction.
People can (and will) have no idea what the hell you're talking about and still enjoy themselves. Most of the time people don't really care what you're saying. They care about how you make them feel and where you take them.
All that stuff about 'taking care of yourself' is the best advice you won't take for a long time. You know, indulging in time wasting activities like eating regularly, drinking water and sleeping...
You'll also quickly discover that abusing yourself with chemicals and deprivation doesn't make you an artist.
Doing what you love isn't always going to be fun. It's work. Real soul work. That's when we draw on power of Passion to kick us in the ass.
Folks will snidely ask you if you're making any money.
You have the ability to pour over the Library of Bizarre Experiences and pull out gems like:
Wandering around Dinosaur parks off the sweltering highway in the middle of God Knows Where
Exploring haunted swimming pools and lurking backstage with beautiful souls you met across the country on a different adventure
Discussing your favorite places to score leotards with hulked-out spandex decked wrestlers in a drippy basement before the match
Screaming about pizza toppings and snoopy dancing with 65 grade school girls who are secretly super heroes. In a world class venue to boot...
Wearing false lashes and sipping coffee at 5:00 am in a dark bar with chihuahuas, a strong man and a guy who swallows swords.
Having one of your heroes shave your head on stage while your friends gather around the mic to pour out a chorus.
Playing historic stages you only Imagined you could and realizing you're not playing air guitar in your bedroom... but are in fact in front of hundreds of screaming weirdos.
Crying as you see your band mates faces looking back at you from the cover of your favorite magazine...
The truly surreal and gut wrenching conversations held beside dumpsters and in humid alleys that no one would believe if you told them...
Hearing that idea you scribbled on the back of a receipt in the break room at the liquor store coming out of the radio during rush hour...
Watching yourself and your friends on the big screen at a premiere in a cinema and snapping a rubber band on your wrist again and again to be sure it's actually happening...
And to satisfy and spare these rude people you will smile and say,
"No, I'm not."
Because if they really knew it would explode their brain.
And that's murder.
There is deep generosity, plentiful abundance and true connection in this world that has nothing to do with money. And sometimes it is about money.
On that note...
People assume that creatives can't possibly be business minded.
People will assume that because you're having fun you don't need to get paid.
This is also dumb.
You would never call a plumber and tell him to "just have fun" while grappling with the gelatinous hair goblin in your toilet. After he completes the task, remind him that it's about exposure and you might compensate him next time.
Plumbers don't plumb for the love of plumbing. They plumb because they have a passion, a committment to perfecting a set of skills and providing a valuable service that you pay for.
You get what I'm saying...
Surprisingly and back-asswardly, you will also meet other ARTISTS who don't believe that you should be compensated for your work and will do their best to make you feel scummy and impure for taking filthy money for providing services.
It is in this scenario, you will learn that martyrs really love being martyrs and it has nothing to do with money and everything to do with their self worth.
You will also learn that pizza is not actually money.
Sometimes it smells like money, but don't be fooled.
You can be so nervous that you throw up and black out and your Body will STILL know what to do. Your body is not your enemy, it's not trapping you. It wants to help you. Make friends with it. Trust it.
Speaking of vomit, you are likely to barf in public, suffer wardrobe malfunctions, repeatedly trip over your own feet, drop expensive things, fall off the stage, all the stuff of nightmares and despite your intense desire to die--
People who judge you by the type of music you consume aren't really people you want to be friends with anyway.
You can dedicate yourself to an intense daily practice discipline and you will STILL mess up.
You will inevitably work with people you don't agree with or presume are nothing like you...and the end results will be better for it.
There will be leeches and clingers who try to suck you dry, take credit for your work and ride your coattails like a bronco--but it's okay. The world sees them for what they are and you don't need to spend another minute worrying about it.
You're going to make a lot of crap. Mountains of crap. No one will die. You'll make better crap soon.
It's okay to fight. Perfect relationships are a myth. The Real Deal is so much better.
There will be times that you need to relinquish control and Trust other people. It will kill you to do it, but it will work out for the best.
You can Out Crazy anyone if you need to.
Call on your demons. They're in there.
Hitchhiker's Guide wasn't kidding: Bring a towel everywhere you go. Seriously. There is a strange abundance of stagnant standing water in the basements of the underworld.
You're going to feel lonely. Your friends will stop calling you. You won't be invited to parties. You'll start to think you regret the path you chose. Then you'll remember that you don't do what you do to gain love from others. You do what you do to be able to love and live with yourself.
Rock and Roll Jedi shit.
You'll discover that it's all been alchemical all along and that you can indeed make something that scares the shit out of you, something bigger, wilder and weirder than you originally thought possible.
If you are feeling stretched, or pushed and resisting--
Odds are good you're on the precipice of something really fucking interesting.
You don't have to do what everyone else is doing.
Success is subjective.
It's not about perfection.
It's about Victory.
Rock and Roll, Moon Babies.
All my Love. XO