There was a point in time where I thought I wanted to be a full time right-brained artist and I was not working in a corporate environment at all for a few years. But the right brains drove me so crazy that I actually found it soothing to go back to work where everything starts on time and there's organization and a schedule. A lot less chaos. Previously in corporate America I felt like I was a fish out of water because I was neglecting my artistic side. But when I went the whole opposite direction, I was almost ready to lose my mind dealing with the chaotic mind of the right brains.
I have met and worked with so many talented artists but at the same time, their highest aspiration seems to be to work in a show for someone else 5 days a week for peanuts, or playing little nickel and dime gigs or god forbid playing for a dance class. Even the idea of going on tour doesn't excite me. I mean maybe something really short but shit I live in Las Vegas why would I aspire to succumb to the hellish schedule of a tour when everyone comes here from all over the world? Well hey if Beyonce needed me to tour with her, I'd probably say yes so don't hold me to that shit ummmkay?
Anyway....so many people get hyped about playing for a dance class I'm like really dude? I mean seriously waaaaaaaaaaay back when I first started playing, my highest aspiration at the time was just to be asked to play for class, but now? Um....Nooooooo. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy playing for dance classes but it's definitely not what I can see myself doing as a truly enjoyable line of work.
Well and maybe it's because I also love to dance. I'm a heterosexual woman so watching the women dance doesn't excite me in any way except just making me want to dance myself. My mind starts wondering trying to learn the choreography and I lose my concentration. I can see that maybe for a guy it makes him feel like some sort of god or something playing for the women. For me though? Oh hell no. I'm strictly dickly and my mind starts quickly wandering all over the place when I play for dance class. I mean 1-2 hours of the same repetitive thing is rough for me sometimes.
But, I digress. The point is that I just can't see how or why people think so small in what they aspire to do and be in their career. I mean really, why don't people come up with bigger and better ideas that produce multiple streams of income, create intellectual property and passive revenue streams? I mean look what that Tae bo guy did. Now you start thinking at that level THEN I'll be impressed.
SO WHY IN THE FUCK WOULD YOU STAND UP IN FRONT OF EVERYBODY AND SAY YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT MONEY THEN?
I'm so R&D, I don't manufacture widgets. I create and then I love to move on. I'm not built to keep doing the same shit all the time.
Furthermore, having done so much and dealing with people on such a high level in the corporate world, I just can't understand or resonate with some of these people who have so much talent but have not gone the distance. OR they achieved a lot and then fell off the map.
And I see why.
I mean can we start with a simple thing like clear communication and returning phone calls, texts and emails? I'm used to being in a world where it was mandatory you respond back to every phone call and email within 24 hours. Yeah even I have slipped from time to time but still. I can't believe how many people will just leave you hanging. Totally irresponsible. These people don't show up to anything on time, show up to rehearsals and there's no organization, no plan. people don't take notes or write anything down, their communication is straight jibberish, their phones get cut off cuz they're broke, they don't have email or don't know how to use it, they have no clue how to use technology, they don't read any books to learn about business, and of course language barriers and lack of formal education...it all drives me INSANE.
They think that because they are super talented and everyone wants them for some small level
class/festival/conference/workshop that they are somebody. And yeah, I'm not knocking their talent or what they chose to do. All I'm saying is that Beyonce was signed to the company I worked for. Yes, everything she wrote outside of songs for Destiny's Child was under her contract with Hitco our joint venture between LA Reid and Windswept. So just because you have talent, doesn't mean much if you can't or haven't done anything to capitalize off of it. I am not impressed with tiddlywink shit. Yeah I'll play for a dance class and enjoy myself but if you think that's my highest aspiration, think again. I just don't see myself that way at all.
The thing is that I spent time working on the business side of entertainment. In film, music and television. I prepared and/or audited the financial statements, I reviewed contracts, I did due diligence. I signed people's checks. I signed wire transfers sending out millions of dollars. I mean we are talking that 1% level of people. You know the ones you were all Occupying Wall Street about. I see how much money is flowing through corporations, meanwhile I'm running into people fighting over $50 or aspiring for a position in rootiepootland.
We have real potential to make REAL money. We have an opportunity to change lives all over this planet if we got our business shit together. Our people are suffering all over the world and you think you're a baller making what amounts to mice nuts at the end of the day. So yes, I am very impressed with talent but I'm even more impressed with a person who uses their talent to be massively financially successful and give back to their community.
If that's not how you get down, then we probably won't be hanging together very long because all you're going to do is hold me back and weigh me down.
[Man I keep changing my "voice" and p.o.v. in this writing but that's how I get down sometimes. I'm not here to write a damn school paper or business proposal. I'm just speaking my mind and this is how it comes out.]
Again, I digress.
Back to the subject at hand...to make matters worse...I'm not saying people in corporate America don't party because you better believe they do, but the amount of people I run into whose whole life is consumed with drinking, smoking, gambling and partying annoys the shit out of me. Don't do shit all day then drink or get high all night. Get up the next day and do the same shit again and again. That shit gets real old real fast. Yes, I partied A LOT way back in high school but you know we're talking about people with children to raise. How in the hell are you going to finance generational wealth with your mind fucked up all the time? You can't take care of yourself, your children or your family being inebriated all the time.
It really upsets me because I see the potential of how much money we as artists can be making if we value and respect ourselves and simply stop bullshitting and waiting for perfection. I learned the hard way in corporate America that it's not always the hardest working people nor the smartest or most talented that rise to the top. Oftentimes, it's simply the most confident person who believes that they can get the job done and then they DO IT. Success has way more to do with your mind than your actual talent, blood, sweat and tears.
So many artists want to just focus on their art but then they don't have any kind of sense about handling their business, promoting themselves, and using all the tools available to make themselves successful artistic entrepreneurs. There are so many people I have met or dealt with where I've eventually said, "Oh I see why you're not successful" and it has NOTHING to do with their talent and everything to do with their choices and their mindset.
It's crazy because I just started hand drumming a few years ago and have already done way more that some people I know who have been playing for 20 years. Yes talent is important but it's only one part of what you need to be successful.
I have encountered people who have said it's about the art and not about the money but then they are also always complaining about being broke and how rich people are evil. To them I say "you're stupid".
I mean there's no other profession I can think of at the moment where someone goes to school for years, studies and practices for hours and hours a day, works many years building up their c.v. and yet doesn't expect to get paid for it. I don't know anyone who goes to a job interview and says yes sir, I'm going to put in 8 hours a day in your organization and you don't have to pay me. I do it because I love it. WTF is that?
I almost blew a gasket because I worked with this super amazing drummer, I mean definitely ONE of the best I've ever worked with. And he stood up in front of everybody and said that he doesn't care about money when everyone else in the room wanted to make sure that compensation was on the table.
In every last personal conversation I've ever had with this guy, all he ever talked about is how he's should be getting paid and that he's a professional and he should be making xyz or he's not getting up to go and play. I mean if I heard it once I heard it a million times "I'm a professional" "this is what I do for a living" "these people have to pay me".
And, unfortunately when you are an artist, sometimes deep down inside you are super sensitive so it's not always easy to ask for what you want and for what you deserve but still nikka don't be fuckin' up the game for everybody else because you're a chicken shit too scared to ask for what you deserve. yOUon't care about money MY ASS!
YOU WANT TO BE AN IDIOT AND NOT CARE ABOUT MONEY, THEN YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT YOURSELF OR BEING ABLE TO TAKE CARE OF YOUR CHILDREN AND YOUR LOVED ONES. BLACK PEOPLE ARE NEVER GOING TO BUILD ANY GENERATIONAL WEALTH THINKING THIS WAY.
IF YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT MONEY THEN MONEY WON'T CARE ABOUT YOU.
Just because we're having fun, it doesn't mean that it does not have value to other people. I mean people pay psychiatrists hundreds of dollars an hour just to get out of depression. I can entertain you for about 10 minutes and you'll most likely feel way better than any pill a psych can prescribe. I make you feel good by entertaining you with my talents, gifts and skills and you should express your appreciation for it by paying me for the value I add to your life. Okay I just went off into a thought bubble moment there but you see what I mean.
If you ever have read Culture Bandits and look around at the socioeconomic conditions of black people, in general, it is clear that we are supremely rich in culture but not rich FROM our culture. It makes no logical sense to not care about money and have our people be starving all over the world. I believe that things happen for a reason and that my involvement in corporate America has not been in vain. I believe money and business is important and I'm am so grateful that I have learned all that I did which makes it ten times easier for me to ensure my artistic success.
I have had to walk away from so many people and situations because it is imperative that I surround myself with the right people on the same/similar path with the same mindset. I love artists for who they are and all of their gifts and talents but if you are not about your business and capitalizing on your talent then I have to keep on pushin'.
Being broke ain't no joke and having money is way more fun. I can't help anybody in this world, if I can't first take care of myself. In 2015, if you aren't about winning and getting that paper, I doubt you'll see me around. I got shit ta do.