Monday, September 13, 2010

Objective #3, Leave Your Comfort Zone

If there's one thing I've learned interning at the Advance is sometimes you got to get uncomfortable. You can't be afraid to get your hands dirty. You have to claw and dig, and then claw and dig some more to draw the answers out. If you don't like making phone calls, too bad. If you are bad at interviews or a little scared, too bad. You have to learn to suck it up, or find a new profession. These are a few things that I still have a hard time with. It's like I'm petrofied of picking up the phone and calling someone. Usually once I get started it becomes easy. I relate this experience to the severe stage fright I used to have.

I used to be the kid who stood in the back of the choir during plays. I never had any speaking parts. When I became a musician I was a drummer, and was fine hanging out in the back. Then I got thrust to the front of the stage as a front man. This is a big difference. I was expected to sing or to rap, and most importantly convey a sense of confidence with my delivery. I can't go up there and look scared. I remember the first time up there I figured I had two choices: 1. Say nothing and look like a fool or 2. Get up there and say something. When the pressure was on, I'm glad I made the right choice.

Now what does this have to do with anything? What does this have to do with my previous posts? Well here it is- if you are trying to build a network or a brand, it's going to take some risk. Like I said the Cup closed (apparently it's re-opening which kills one of my ideas), my best shows were in that building. Why? It's because I had a familiar crowd, and familiar stage. The Cup was like home court for a sports team. Everybody plays better for their fans. What I wish is I can bring that same energy to an unknown place in front of people I have never seen before. It's a work in progress, but I believe with practice and a little courage, I can get there some day.

From a music journalist stand point, you can't be afraid to approach a band or artist. I'll email every band on this Island if I have to. You have to keep your options open, and you have to aggressively go after the info you want. If you are in a band and you are playing unfamiliar territory, make sure you go out after the show and shake a few hands. Introduce yourself, make a good impression. Make at least one person remember you for more than just your performance. Like I said last post, you keep bothering people until you bother the right one.

Someone asked me, "How do you get to interview so many bands?" My answer is simple, I ask. I send them an email or a message. Why wouldn't they want the free press? The only thing I ask in return is to help spread the word about the blog. Some cool bands or artists I've written about are: Stereofix, Elevaters, Analog Dive, Furthermore, and Carnival of Souls. Some of these have played in front of 10,000 people plus. Stereofix and Elevaters have been on HBO and MTV. Furthermore was on Tooth & Nail. And why did they get where they are, because they weren't afraid to step out their comfort zone.

This is part 3 out of 5 for my journalism project. Keep reading for part 4 tomorrow.

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