I have always loved the performing arts. Always. But in addition to my family absolutely pushing me towards getting my education and "finding a job", I never truly saw a career as an artist as something I could do, make the kind of money I wanted to make and have the stability that I longed for. We drew these as little kids, and clearly I am demonstrating here what my dreams were at the time and my priorities.
As a child, I definitely suffered from extreme shyness (or so I thought), performance anxiety and a myriad of other "not-good-enough" issues that would have made being a successful artist impossible for me. You know when people say "they need to come out of their shell" it was like my shell was a cave all the way over in BFE somewhere and I had a loooooooooooong way to go.
Often times the only time I would come out of my shell even a tiny bit is when I was drunk or high OR with my closest friends. In fact, I don't really know if people from my younger days know or knew I was shy because I spent a lot of time inebriated. On top of that, I was actually pretty smart and talented in a variety of areas so it never seemed like I had trouble making friends because of our involvement in so many activities. Not to mention, my cousin was extremely outgoing so she had no problem meeting new people and then I made a lot of friends/acquaintances through that route as well. Once people got to know me or rather I got to know them, I would definitely let loose more.
I look through my high school yearbook and quite a few people said "Nicole you're so crazy" so I'm pretty sure that I didn't appear to be in this "shell" but I was. [Sidebar: This was definitely much more readily apparent AFTER I had to stop drinking and partying at the young ripe age of 19. Yes, that's right. I've never ever had an "adult beverage" as an adult and the deeper into my shell I went after I stopped.]
Anyway, I went the college/corporate America route. I got a business degree, I had several offers from the largest accounting firms in the world and I chose Price Waterhouse because, at the time, it was supposedly one of the hardest firms to get into and had a high level of prestige attached to the name. Most importantly, they had a TON of entertainment clients such as Disney, Universal, Sony, etc and were most well known for being the firm that counts the ballots for the Oscars.
I thought that working on the finance side of entertainment would satisfy all of my needs, hopes and dreams. In fact, I was also accepted into UCLA and I told my mom I wanted to go there but she said "if you go to UCLA, you have to pay for it". I did not understand, at the time, how I could ever possibly do that, so I chose to go to Cal instead. Ultimately, I DID finally have the courage to "leave home" and I transferred to Price Waterhouse's Century City office about 4 years into my career.
Being in Hollywood, driving onto studio lots, going to the Oscars, movie premieres, seeing celebrities, having entertainment clients. It was a dream come true, at first. At that time, while my colleagues and even fellow students in the business school were reading the Wall Street Journal, I was always reading magazines like Entertainment Weekly. Actually being in Hollywood, it was like everything in my mind that I had read about and fantasized about came into existence, but bigger and better than I'd ever imagined. It really was exciting. AND THEN on top of that, I end up getting recruited by Universal Pictures and then only 9 months after that I get a call asking me to be CFO of a music publishing company. Seriously, you have no idea how much I KNOW about dreams coming true and I am a FIRM believer in law of attraction concepts because I've seen them work even when I had no clue that this is what I was doing.
Actually, one of the things that disenchanted me about being on the finance side of entertainment, especially music, was you just learn too much about the soul-less business world. And my job was extremely stressful with all these demands and responsibilities and meanwhile all the "creative" people would be partying seemingly 7 nights a week. I was thinking man this is some bullshit, I have chosen the wrong profession! Why did I chose the BUZZKILL side of Entertainment? Every time I had to ask for a budget or needed information for our parent company or our auditors, someone was probably screaming "PARTY FOUL" in their mind.
I'm not saying that's true of everyone but it's like peeling back the curtain and going wow. this isn't right for me, and it is not working for me. There's a lot of very shrewd business people out there and the rest are partying, wasting exorbitant amounts of money on bullshit (in my opinion). At the time, I thought...I'm OUT I don't want any part of this "corporate crap" any more. I'm going to be an artist!
What I mean is that having already climbed that mountain I climbed in Corporate America and seen the kind of money people make, I know what's possible. So while the joe blow next to me is thinking how great it would be to get a gig for $x a week touring on the clown circuit, in my mind I'm thinking, there's no way in HELL I'm doing that long term. Short term? Yes. But long term? I just can't see myself doing that. The only reason why I might do something like that is for experience and for learning and as an interim stepping stone.
In late 2014 and early 2015, I finally started seeing more clearly the advantages I have of all my corporate experience, skills I've gained and how I can use all of these internal resources to help myself with my OWN career. Actually I tried to help a few other people and realized that not only did they not appreciate it, they didn't value it and well, those people are simply stupid. I can't help that they don't know what they don't know.
This REALLY hit home for me in a profound way when this girl leading this group I was in said "who wants to go to Hollywood and meet major celebrities" and she was hyping this shit up big time. What the gig ended up being was at an Ethiopian restaurant on Fairfax and 4 people to a room at the LAX Sheraton. Thank god I quit that group before the so-called "major" Hollywood gig because I would have been so pissed at myself for falling for this level of slumming. I knew something was off base already but when she started asking everyone their dietary requirements I was thinking what happened to a mutha fuckin PER DIEM and my own room at the Four Seasons on Doheny (or at least something equivalent)?
Oh hell naw this is not going to work well for Nikki.
This horoscope says it all:
Taurus and Money
The Taurus woman is generally good at finance. She knows how to work the system and get the best out of it. She is not a wasteful spender, but she does like luxurious living. However, she will not risk her security to fund it. She would much rather do without than put at risk the security of her lifestyle she values so much.
She's not greedy, but can be materialistic and strives for a financially secure lifestyle. Being practical, this woman will look for good value on purchases, but won't sacrifice quality to save a few pennies. Go cheap on the lady and you might find your gift in the garbage and replaced with one she bought herself.
Like really, I do not care about spending a ridiculous amount of money on name brands that are going to make other people rich. I like beautiful things of nice quality not brands for the sake of impressing someone else. This guy who is a laborer making $39/hour building trade show sets apparently came to work one day with all his tools in a Louis Vuitton suitcase and his bag got stolen.
See I understand that some of us like name brands but I just thought this was one of the dumbest things on earth. I mean really. Nigga told me he has 4 kids by 4 different baby mamas and yet he spends his money on that kind of crap. Unfortunately people who spend money like that just to impress other people don't impress me and I don't need name brands to impress other people. I'm already really impressed with myself. Every time someone says "oh that's such a cute purse" or you have such cute jewelry or I love that flower in your hair or I love your sunglasses...I'm like "thanks I got it at the swap meet." I have taste and I love beautiful things but I also like having money too.
I love men who do things like this: Man Pawns 283 Pairs of Jordans To Buy His Soon To Be Wife a House. I mean really, unless you are a multi-millionaire or billionaire, why in the hell would you have so many fuckin' shoes in the first place? NO. I do not like men who spend money like that stupidly. I hate that. No house, no car but have a wardrobe better than mine? That man is TOO FEMININE for me. I'm the one who is supposed too look beautiful not the man. A man who is out hard at work making money and taking care of me....now THAT is sexy. There's no room for that queer eye for the straight guy type dude here in Nikkiland unless you've already busted your ass, can take good care of me resting on our millions. A LABORER with 4 kids by 4 different women rolling his Louis Vuitton suitcase around with tools in it for work IS NOT HOT. If he OWNED his own company and the $$$$ was a drop in the bucket that would be different. But I do not respect men who waste money frivolously on bullshit and don't provide for their wife/family/children.
BUT when it comes to comfortable and beautiful surroundings, there's no such thing as frivolity in Nikki's world. If you can't afford me, then don't approach me because when it comes to Nikki's comforts such as food, sleep, comfortable surroundings, beauty you can NEVER be cheap with me on that. When it comes to certain things, I like the best. I like to surround myself with the best, I like to be in the best most luxuriously comfortable situations, I just don't like to roll with rootie poot shit. I just can't.
I met this one guy who kept talking about how he likes to save his money while on tour staying in cheap motels and all I could think is NEXT. Look, I'll do a Residence Inn or some shit like that but really, if you want to impress me, you gotta have an eye for some of Nikki's favorite things.
I don't have a "thing" for shoes or purses. If I happen to have an expensive purse or shoes it's only because I thought is was BEAUTIFUL or because it was a practical decision (i.e., well made and worth the cost). Otherwise, I don't dress to impress other women. I don't care about other women. I have a "thing" for the sensual pleasures....food, spas, massages, luxurious surroundings, beauty, nature (with no bugs, rodents or snakes), BEAUTY. LOVE. LUXURIOUSLY SENSUOUS SURROUNDINGS. That's me. When it comes to travelling and my surroundings and a man providing that for me/to me. Ooooh Nikki is VERY HIGH MAINTENANCE when it comes to that. If you cannot qualify, don't even waste your time
People keep telling me that I should go with them on a trip to Guinea to drum and I'm like hmmm so you think I will survive with no hot running water and a nice hot shower every day? Don't you know Nikki is only interested in going GLAMPING not camping. You want me to go somewhere to a drum camp and there's no hot water? Um no. I cannot see this for myself. No way. When the camp looks like this...call me.
Not only that, I will want to help and take care of EVERYBODY and I can't do that if me and my team aren't rollin' at a certain level so we can make some REAL shit happen. I think I've said it before...some of my people want to play at school programs...I want to BUILD schools (among many other things). If Bill and Melinda Gates can use their money to help Africans then I want to use my money to help people of African descent EVERYWHERE. (Plus I'm very skeptical of those damn vaccines anyway).
But I digress...I went into a serious tangent but it really is all relevant to the topic at hand. There are levels to this shit. And people just don't "get" my level because they haven't seen what I've seen.
Ok. So...Moving on with my "AHA" moments:
I also kept meeting people at all these corporate events, conventions and trade shows that I work here in Vegas and in fact what really stuck a nerve for me big time are 2 incidents.
One where this producer from Tencue that I got to know over the course of a week asked me "so what do you do because obviously you're too smart to be doing just this." I told her I'm an up and coming drummer/musician/entertainer and she said "well we're always looking for talent." And I was like OH SNAP. But at that time, I didn't have anything to show for myself. No demo, no bio, no resume, no videos, no pictures, no package, no headshots, NO NOTHING. Why NOT Nikki? Why Nikki are you wasting time waiting for people to get it together when clearly you are the one who doesn't have their shit together? BLOOP (to myself!!).
Then this other guy (who is press and I feel like I see him at every show) asked me if i was a singer because I have a voice like Ella Fitzgerald. I told him that right now my main focus is on percussion and I play in a lot of African drum and dance situations. This guy went on and on about how great that is and how Zappos' Tony Hseih is really working on bringing culture to the downtown area and "what you do would be perfect for that"...on and on he went. Then he tells me that he was hanging out with some of the Life Is Beautiful festival cats the night prior (or some shit like that)...I mean he was going to town and all I kept thinking is "I have nothing to show this guy." I have nothing to show anyone. I was even thinking please don't ask me anything else because I don't have anything to show. Even if this guy said, "come on let's go have a coffee or dinner after the show and I'll introduce you to some people" it became so OBVIOUS that I didn't have my own shit together.
Everything started to crystallize in my mind and I realized that I was sitting around waiting for all "these people" to do what I needed to be doing for myself. Nobody has the experience I have. No one has seen what I have seen. No one has the been in all the board rooms I've been in. People (talent) get nervous when the money people walk in the door and I just feel like hey what's up. I am not intimidated by white people, white executives in suits and money people who try to baffle you with a bunch of corporate hullaballoo (core values and all that kind of corporate double speak)....I've already been in the corporate world and proven to myself that I'm just as smart as "them." None of that shit bamboozles or wows me cuz it's the world I lived in for a long ass time. I'm not intimidated by suits. I mean let's face it, I see all these types all day every day at trade shows and they are just people.
Nobody I know on the "creative side" of my life sits at home watching old reruns of "Shark Tank" and "The Big Idea with Donny Deutsche" on youtube. I'm sure if I started talking about Love and Hip Hop or Empire, I could talk to someone for hours but who in the hell can I talk to about this great episode I saw on Shark Tank? NOBODY I KNOW. In fact, most of the talent and artists I've met can barely use a computer, some can barely even read or write, some can't even answer a text message, upload a picture to Facebook. I mean they can't do shit. SOME...not ALL.
This guy used to make fun of me because my response time was always so quick. And it's like YES, THAT'S HOW THEY TRAIN US IN BUSINESS. I'm not saying that I'm perfect and I've definitely gotten more lax but when I set my mind to do something IT'S DONE.
In a matter of hours, I sat down to put a website together (something I've never really done before) and it was DONE. Yes a few years ago I took a short continuing ed class on Dreamweaver but I never followed through on pursuing web design. Have I ever done a website? No. Do I have one now that I'm proud of? YES. Was it hard? NO. Did I have fun doing it? YES!!!
I just realized that so many people have to PAY someone else to do the things I can do for myself. I may not be perfect at it and of course the higher I go the larger my budget will be and I can afford to hire the real pros but STILL. For now, WTF am I waiting for. Let's get it cracking Nikki! I'm the one I've been waiting for. I may call other people stupid but clearly I'm the one that WAS being stupid! DUH! I may have gotten mad about people taking me for granted and not appreciating me but clearly I was the dumb one doing it to my own damn self. It was my fault.
I needed to invest in myself. Taking myself more seriously, making myself a priority and giving to myself what I would naturally give to someone else. I realized by working and helping such ridiculously ungrateful people, I learned that they weren't as successful as they could be because they have all the talent but THAT"S IT. They are sorely lacking in all the other skills needed to bring their talent to the forefront. They NEED a manager, accountant, lawyer, promoter, agent, and someone to help them keep track of their lives. Some of them can't even get out of bed without having someone else wake them up. I mean seriously I SAW THE LIGHT!!!!!!!!!! BIG TIME.
Someone once said "man you don't waste any time posting to facebook" and I'm like YES BECAUSE FOR ME IT'S HELLA EASY. This kind of stuff is easy and in some crazy kind of way I enjoy it. I enjoy sitting down and writing a funny blog post. This shit might be kind of nerdy but it's fun to me.
If someone wants to hire me to work on their website or do an excel project for them or make a flyer or promote their shit on social media, that shit is almost just as fun to me as going out to play and perform. The reality is that i just simply LOVE to use my brain and CREATE stuff. But just because I love it and have fun doing it, doesn't mean I didn't spend a lot of LONG hours and hard work leading up to this shit being easy and natural. Like now if someone told me to "paddle and roll" tap dancing, the shit is easy because I've done it, practiced it, perfected it over the years. That's how this business stuff is to me. A lot of it is simple because of YEARS of experience.
And because I do stuff for fun, I didn't really get that I was in many respects WASTING some of my talent and taking my own self for granted. I didn't realize how I have all these valuable assets at my fingertips that I can be using to help my own god damn self. I started saying why in the hell should I invest all my time, skills and talents in other people instead of investing them in ME? It really helped me changed my perspective about how valuable I am and how I need to appreciate myself and all the things I am and can do much more!
It made me appreciate me way more!
Once people started seeing what I was doing for myself, all of a sudden it seems like the world is opening up and people want me to do for them what I'm doing for myself. OOOOOHHHHH, before I was just a nobody to you, you didn't see me as anything important to you or special, now you're blowing up my phone saying you need me.
So last week this guy asked me to do him a favor and send something to one of his agents. Now I don't know this guy personally, only in passing from a group I was in. He's working with another person I know who made a more formal introduction via phone and asked me to do them this favor. This guy got on the phone talking a mile a minute about how we can make all this money together blah blah blah and I'm like yeah okay whatever, just tell me what you want right now. I'm working all week long hours and don't have time for a bunch of shit. So, I take time out of my busy schedule to do this favor for them. I sent exactly what we agreed upon (on the telephone). But when his agent apparently was interested in something else she saw he accused me and this other guy of trying to go behind his back steal his deal.
But by this time I'm so pissed my head is about to explode. Like really, does this nigga really think I give a fuck about his ronald-mcdonald-clown-ass theme-park bullshit? Does he think I would go out of my way to lift one finger to steal something from HIM? WOW. Come the frickity frack fuck ON.
Look. You people need to get a fucking clue.
It's time you people understood some things about me:
#1 - I'M NOT GHETTO/RATCHET AND I DIDN'T GROW UP THAT WAY:
I love money and having money. My dad especially loved having money, he loved making it and spending it on me. The number one way my Dad spoiled me was by giving me money and material things and secondarily by spending time with me. I was a truly spoiled daddy's girl. When I was in elementary school my dad was giving me hundreds of dollars to keep in my pocket. That sounds ridiculous but it's true. I used to walk around with a ton of cash for no reason because whenever I was with my dad he STILL paid for everything.
Even if I didn't grow up rich, I FELT rich at the time because my Dad did A LOT for me and did his best to provide me with the finest things in life even though HE grew up poor. I got a brand new car on my 16th birthday. I went to private school that probably cost more than my college education. I didn't grow up poor or feeling poor. Not to mention, my mom and dad were ALWAYS giving to other people. They both taught me how good it feels inside to GIVE and even when I got my car at 16 years old, I spent probably most afternoons sidin' up and down Foothill and MacArthur Blvd giving all my friends rides home. My friends from high school are always telling me "I remember when" stories about how I would give them rides or how my Dad would give them money and I didn't even know it.
I may have been spoiled by my parents but they also loved to give to people. So do I. In fact, I have learned that me being too giving is actually a weakness when not coupled with discernment and a sense of self care. It was pounded in my head so much that giving was a virtue that I have screwed myself over too many times and have had to learn how to be a much better receiver and even a taker. But this does not come naturally to me and I have had to make adjustments. Taking from someone else or screwing someone over to get ahead, is not even something I think about or natural to me because when you grow up "HAVING" then you are not looking at everyone else like a predator in terms of things you can take. It just doesn't work that way. At least not for me.
I've already been in a career where I made a lot of money and all I can say is that being rich and having money ALONE when all of your friends and family around you are not, is not fun for me. It's not fun for me and it's not fun to me. I already did that and it sucks actually. I already lived the experience of having a big salary, contract, car allowance, expense account, all that shit in Hollywood. Beverly Hills. Eating at all the fine restaurants, being around the corner from Rodeo drive, been there done that. I LIVED IT already.
I'm not saying I was as rich as a sheikh but I definitely was very financially comfortable. And STILL, I walked away from all that money to make a life change. If I was all about money and simply money hungry, I would have never left all that behind and be sitting around your ratchet ghetto ass trying to assess who is best for me to align myself with as I grow myself in my life as an entertainer.
My goal is to be around and build a TEAM. A WINNING team where we ALL are rich and successful. Not just me. It is no fun being rich when all the people around you that you love are poor. So unlike some other people who just don't give a fuck about other people, that ain't me. As a friend once said, "we all get the ring". So if you're on my team and you're shining and winning, I'm winning. Yes. I am out for myself but I ride just as hard for my whole TEAM. I eat, we ALL eat.
Let's face it. I am pretty/beautiful (as I'm continuously being told all day every day). I work around a bunch of rich millionaire and billionaire business men, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, etc. MOSTLY MEN. If I was really just about money, it would be so EASY for me to become a gold-digger. I get propositioned by men all the time and if I was willing to do simple shit for simple reasons like just getting money, the easiest way for me to do it is to just accept an offer.
Understand that I'm trying to build something for myself that includes both money, love and my passion. If I was thirsty for money like that, I could so easily go get it. I don't need to steal from you.
So let's say the aforementioned was not true and that I'm a complete liar. Let's say I was a complete opportunist and would do anything to anyone at any time just to make money. Let's just pretend for a moment that all I cared about was money.
All things being equal, you are dumb as hell if you think that I need you for anything. You act like you're putting me on the map when in fact nicca if I wanted to steal something from somebody, I would drive right past your fuckin' neighborhood cuz you ain't got shit I want. In fact, I may not even make it to your city. You ain't on the level I'm trying to get to.
Your ass is working in a fuckin circus and doing theme park bullshit. I WORKED FOR THE PEOPLE WHO OWN THE FUCKIN' THEME PARKS IDIOT. DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE I COULD CALL IF THAT'S WHAT I WAS TRYING TO DO? I LITERALLY USED TO WORK AT CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS JACKASS.
Let the record reflect the fact that I do not give not one fuckin' piece of a rat's ass about being in no fuckin' circus or being some act playing in a hot humid ass theme park.
You jackasses need to get a fuckin' clue and realize who I am. The problem is that you are too stupid to know you are stupid which is why you're dumb enough to think that I would need you for anything or that I would be extending any effort to steal some bullshit.
NOBODY IN MY WORLD NEEDS YOUR FUCKIN' CHEESEBALL FINDING NEMO CRACKERJACK BOX TOURIST TRAP BULLSHIT DUDE. FUCK YOU!
When it comes to my dreams and the kinds of things I'm working towards achieving, none of it includes the bullshit you're doing. I dream big shit and I do big shit. I don't play small. I'm a snob. I'm not saying that I won't do things as stepping stones, but you need to get a grip on reality and read my fuckin' resume.
I went to one of the best schools in the damn world. I would say you are insulting my fucking intelligence except that you are too stupid to insult me.
Earth to IDIOT...This kind of shit is not my highest aspiration for myself as an artist.
In fact I was dancing so much that I could barely play and they didn't care, they just liked my energy. Then when we finally got to tech rehearsal, they kept saying "the cameras love you", "these guys are cameramen for shows like the Academy Awards and they can't take their cameras off you, you have them all back in the booth dancing"......and I was like oh thank you (batting eyelashes :D).
I remember when I was a kid, I had taken some swimming lessons. But nothing made me learn to swim faster than my Uncle picking me up, throwing me in his pool and forcing me to start swimming. Yes it was scary and at first I hated it, but I definitely LEARNED hella fast!
This amazing guy I'm playing with right now is always pushing me telling me "just try it" and so I do. It may be hard for me at first but his encouragement really helps propel me forward. He reminds me of my Dad always telling me not to be afraid and just go for it. That is why I love playing with him because he's so great he doesn't have to waste his time playing with a relative novice like me but he does. He allows me to play with him, he encourages me, and he pushes me and challenges me while still being sensitive to my feelings and not being too hard on me. I LOVE playing with people like that. People who give me more and more and give me opportunities to play and perform pushing me to grow while giving me a lot of encouragement. I LOVE people who don't put me in a box and let me get out there and give my best. I LOVE that and I'm lucky that I have had that from a lot of my teachers.
I learned from being in Corporate America that ,many people get ahead not because of their talent but because of their delusional belief in themselves, positioning themselves with the right players, networking, etc. Not always because they are smart. In fact, the "smartest" people and the most hard-working people are not always the top dogs. Many people in high-powered positions ain't really all that great (to me). Yes there are some great ones but many are actually pretty stupid. But they had enough of a delusional belief in themselves to go for it and then learn as they go.
Perfect example even for me....I passed all the parts of the CPA exam and got all the requisite experience but never went to the state board and got my license. I never needed it. People kept offering me jobs and hiring me so I never felt the need to have it. Even the exam itself, I didn't spend months on end studying for the test like my friends. I started studying a few weeks before the exam. That's just how I get down. This guy at work once told me, "I don't know how you do it Nicole but you always somehow manage to pull it off."
Call it the secret sauce baby...the juju. I got the power.
Same thing with this music thing.You don't have to spend years and years and years perfecting anything to get paid. Yeah you may have to if you want to be respected by your peers but 9 times out of 10 your peers are BROKE trying to perfect their own craft and therefore they can't afford to pay your bills. So fuck them. I'm not here to be broke. I'm here to HAVE FUN and get paid the big bucks for it. You may not respect my musicianship but you will definitely respect my money. So put that in your horn and blow it bitches.
This Teamsters gig I did with Kirshner had to be one of the most fun things I have done SO FAR. Seriously the collaboration with the guys from Stomp, the different kinds of drummers with different levels of expertise, working with the producers and the rehearsals...the whole thing was such a BLAST. I said to myself now THIS is the kind of stuff I want to do (at least for now).
Watching how it all came together in a matter of a few days and then getting to the ballroom and seeing how they put it all together with the video montage, the staging, I mean this shit was SUPER DUPER FUN. And they were all so nice and respectful of us and our talent. Appreciative. I'm like man, a few years ago I never even heard of a djembe and now I'm here on stage with all these professional drummers and the Super Bowl Half Time Show producers and they are all talking to me and treating me like I'm a star. I can definitely get used to this!
What I also SUPER loved about it is that I knew that I wouldn't have to spend the rest of my life repeating it. I'm the type of person who doesn't like doing the same thing over and over again day in and day out so this was so perfect for me.
Anyway, all of the above is why a lot of times I just call myself a performer or an entertainer who plays percussion so I don't have to deal with broke music snobs who expect you to be broke like them "paying dues." Um no, that's not how the real world where people are making a lot of money actually works.
You wanna be a lead drummer for an African dance class and play and teach at African drum camps and conferences, more power to you, but that's not what I aspire to do. Playing for dance class does not do it for me. Maybe it's because I'm a woman and maybe because I don't see any lucrative opportunities for me in that realm, but the "traditional" things people are doing in the African drum and dance world does not excite me. The market is way too crowded/saturated (for me).
Plus, playing for women dancing apparently I miss whatever is going on between the masculine and feminine because I feel next to NOTHING (when I'm dancing it's different). Yeah it can be fun watching the girls go but it's not something I sit at home going "wow I can't wait to do that tomorrow". When I'm playing for guys at least that gives me some eye candy to look at but it doesn't inspire me like apparently it does the men. Point is I don't really give a rat's nut about going the traditional routes. I'm not trying to go and compete with the African Dance Class kings. Don't care about that.
When I'm drumming, what I "get off" on is the rhythm and the music itself. The syncopation is like wow...that shit is orgasmic. If I'm playing accompaniment and the lead drummer is going to town "speaking" on his drum and it sounds amazing, THAT'S when life is heavenly. THAT's what gets me excited. That's what makes me say WOW I WANT TO LEARN TO DO THAT ONE DAY.
And most of all, I aspire to entertain, make people happy and get PAID big time for it.
I don't think our ancestors intended for us to be broke trying to hang on to tradition and all compete and fight over which version of Kuku is accurate. FUCK THAT. That's LAME. I have no time for that.
Everyone is different have different goals and missions in life. I'm different. I'm special, I like to grow and have fun and I like to get paid for it. Someone else's job can be about preserving, documenting and passing along traditions. I'm ok with being different and having different goals.
I am not like most people. I don't have to use smoke and mirrors and baffle people with lies and bullshit. I have PROOF that I'm not bullshitting about my level and what I have accomplished. I am not like this sleazy guy I know who claimed he played for the Dalai Lama but had no proof of ever doing so. Everything I say can be backed up by evidence and therefore when I say you are nothing to me, I mean that you can't do shit for me that I can't do for myself. You don't have anything that I want or need to steal. If I was that kind of person, you are one of the LAST people I would ever even think of needing to call.
This letter is a copy of a response I received from Frederick Huntsberry when I left Universal. His direct report was Dan Martinez and I worked very closely with these guys in my job at Universal. I was in this position within 6 years of graduating college and the only reason why I left that position is because I got a better job offer. Do you know where these guys are now? Frederick is CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER at Paramount Pictures in Hollywood and Dan is (or was) Executive VP of Finance at Paramount. My direct boss, Alan Youngstein has been in VP positions at Sirius, The Weinstein Co, Martha Stewart Living, etc.
Now what is so cool and funny is Lisa said "I hope you don't mind, I shared your website with Mary and Andy. They said to tell you hi." (paraphrase)
To drive the point of this blog home then, let me share with you the following:
Lisa Pierozzi worked for Price Waterhouse and was the partner in charge of the balloting for the Oscars. Among all the amazing things she has done in her career, she was also Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice-President of Finance and Administration at the Motion Picture Association of America, Inc and Senior Vice President, Business Planning and Development, for the Parks and Resorts Group of Universal Studios.
The "Andy" she is referring to is Andy Horn who is now the CFO of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Yes, the people who do the OSCARS / Academy Awards
The "Mary" she is referring to is Mary Shelton Rose who is a partner in the Entertainment and Media practice at PwC seen here with the Vice Chair of Ogilvy and Mather and the Executive Editor of the Hollywood Reporter. [Sidebar...this panel discussion EPITOMIZES how BORING the business world of entertainment was for me and how much these people are SERIOUS about MONETIZATION of entertainment/art and making PROFITS. Just listening to it for five minutes reminds me of how fucking boring that world is and how much I hated it. I didn't super hate it but the shit is so fucking BORING...MEMORIES. Yet in still it goes to show LEVELS and how serious these people are about BIG money. Proud of Mary, she's come a long way in reaching her dreams but I don't miss meetings like this AT ALL. Clearly I'm having way more fun now.....sorry Mary, I know you cried when I left PwC but it was definitely the right decision for me. Clearly you are also "crying" all the way to the bank...LOL LOL LOL. Good work.]
Anyway I could go on and on and on with a LIST of people I worked with who are in high powered positions all over the damn place. If I was an opportunist out for money and would do ANYthing to succeed, I would be on the phone and emailing and harrassing all these people constantly trying to get them to help me with my career and connect me to the right players in Hollywood OR I would simply go back to what I know and go back to making money doing what I did so well for so many years.
I really just want to DRIVE this point home for you idiots who only see me one kind of way and don't really know me, don't know my background and don't know the level I'm on. I have thus far tried to hold back and refrain from putting you people in your place but you have flipped my bitch switch and I'm not holding back on you ghetto hoodrats any longer.
Robert Gittings now Vice Chairman of PwC was my counselor at PW in San Francisco
Bill Coburn is someone I shared an office with at a client for MONTHS on end and is now a Vice Chairman and former US Leader of the Entertainment Media & Communications Sector at PwC
When you go to the home page of PwC's website and click on leadership team these 2 are on the FRONT fuckin page. I know something like this is really hard to fathom for all of your little small minds and pea brains. I know this is at a level that many of you will not understand but PwC is a network of firms in 157 countries with more than 195,400 people. It had total revenues of $34.0 billion in FY 2014, of which $15.1 billion was generated by its Assurance practice, $8.8 billion by its Tax practice and $10.0 billion by its Advisory practice. BILLION WITH A B people.
Seriously. Stealing your kung-fu panda-kiddie-ride-level theme park deal. GTFOH. You've got to be fuckin kidding me.
IF I WAS ONLY OUT FOR MONEY, YOU WOULDN'T EVEN KNOW ME, MY NAME, MY NUMBER NOTHING NIGGA CUZ WE AIN'T EVEN IN THE SAME GALAXY.
In life there are LEVELS and you ain't on mine.
Shakir Stewart (R.I.P.) used to be in my office almost every time he was in LA cuz I used to be up his ass constantly about his spending at Hitco and his expense report.
In fact he used to schmoooze me to death for hours as we traded stories about Oakland. He never believed the nerdy CFO me use to be a side-show staple.
Not only did Shakir sign Beyonce to Hitco, our joint venture publishing company with LA Reid, but he went on to succeed Jay-Z as Executive VP at Def Jam.
Levels man. Levels. You ain't on my level.
I mean you have literally had to have fallen on your god damned head too many times doing flips thinking I need to take something from you. You're sitting there texting me saying "since you want to work with me take time to meet with me"...and I'm like NIGGA YOU ARE TEXTING ME. CLEARLY YOU ARE THE ONE WHO WANTS TO WORK WITH ME...not the other way around. What are you smokin homie?
Hico Koike: Executive Director, Business Development and Enterprises Dept., Fuji Television Network, Inc and President of Fuji Entertainment America
Junji Okunogi Senior Executive Director of Treasury & Finance, Fuji Media Holdings/Fuji Television Network)
Fuji Entertainment America, Inc., a California company (President: Hidehiko Koike; “FEA”), a 100% subsidiary of Fuji Media Holdings, Inc. (President & COO: Hideaki Ota ; “FMH”), and Fujipacific Music (West), Inc., a California company (President: Ichiro Asatsuma; “FPMW”), a 100% subsidiary of Fujipacific Music, Inc., have merged as of January 1, 2015 to further enhance the worldwide music publishing business. The surviving company is FEA. The company has been renamed Fuji Music Group, Inc. (“FMG”) per this merger. The capital of FMG (Chairman: Ichiro Asatsuma, President: Hidehiko Koike) is $89,075,000. Shareholders are FMH (75.64%) and Fujipacific Music (24.36%).
Fuji Media Holdings had 30+ billion yen in operating income for fiscal year ended March 31, 2014. While you're in Japan, I'll let you figure out how much that is and since you're going to be there, why don't you stop by Fuji headquarters and tell the gang I said Hi.
LEVELS guys. I mean seriously WTF. I don't need any of you. If anything, all of you are going to NEED ME one day when all is said and done. I don't know how much more I can educate you dummies because you are simply not on my level.
I've been humble, I've been respectful, I KNOW my place as an up an coming artist/musician/entertainer, I'm learning, I'm growing, I'm trying to figure out how all my past business experience will merge with my new life, I'm figuring out this transition and I have been willing to start over at the bottom again and be humble about it so I CAN learn. I usually don't say anything to people about my past unless they ask. I don't even keep in contact with all the people I knew in my old life because I wanted a fresh start a new beginning and to completely overhaul and reinvent myself. I am definitely ambitious but I am not desperate nor so money hungry that I would do anything just to get a deal.
I know I'm being a super duper bitch right now and mean and insulting as hell but you really crossed the line when you accused me of trying to steal a deal from you. THAT'S SOME SHIT AND SOME SHENANIGANS YOU WOULD DO TO GULLIBLE ARTISTS NIGGA...NOT ME CUZ I DON'T NEED TO. I KNOW how to win without lying to people and cheating them. It's totally unnecessary. You are trippin and you are not on my level. It's just that simple.
You don't have anything I want. It is not a dream come true for me to play drums for a limbo king in a cheesy tourist trap. My vision for my life is WAY bigger than what you are doing.
YOU DON'T KNOW ME
I DON'T NEED YOU
AND I DON'T NEED TO "STEAL"
YOUR STUPID ASS DEALS
The point is that you are not on my level, you are nowhere close to my level and it has nothing to do with your talent, it has to do with your thinking and the small box you left your brain in.
I hate to go there but you stupid idiots made me go there and feel like I need to let you know that I am TOTALLY STOOPING right now because I'm just getting started. I respect your talents tremendously, but at the same time the world is full of talented people. You guys don't know how to capitalize on your talent and move past the chitlin circuit. I mean really, you guys call yourselves professionals and I continue to hear all the time "I have a reputation I have to be careful of ____" and yet in still you're not embarrassed to be seen on stage with this CRAP and waste months and months of your time in rehearsals and this is the end result. You are showing me how you think and you ain't headed where I'm trying to go.
What I'm saying is that it's partially my fault for people coming at me with their bullshit because I don't walk around bragging about or telling people about what I've done and my accomplishments unless they ask me. Plus even when I DO tell them, it's so far beyond the scope of their little pea brained worlds that they don't get it anyway.
Plus, since I'm there to be a musician/performer/entertainer, and I'm a relative "newbie" compared to all those who have been doing it professionally their whole lives, I am at least truly humble enough to know that I have plenty to learn from these guys. The problem comes when they try to treat me like I'm stupid. In fact, this same guy was joking around and actually said "you stupid girl." Which of course I thought was the most ridiculous thing I'd ever heard and I almost completely blocked it out because it's so far from the truth that I took it with a grain of salt.
Of course he quickly learned how "stupid" I am...and how "crazy" too. Negroes you need to learn and listen real good now:
You have nothing for me to steal.
You are not on my level cuz you don't know how to think and cuz you drink your brain cells away, fry your testosterone and drinking all that alcohol turns you into limp-dicked bitch with low levels of ambition, no drive and an inability to see past your cheese-ball circus clown existence. NIGGA YOU ARE WHACK. You are like a grown ass man riding on kiddie rides. Your concept of success is like kindergarten or pre-school to me and all that big TALK doesn't impress me.
PUT THE BOTTLE DOWN IDIOT AND START DREAMING BIGGER DREAMS or you'll be on this kiddie cheesy bullshit circuit the rest of your life. You want to impress me, instead of working for a damn circus, be like Guy Laliberte and turn your circus bullshit into your OWN multi-billion dollar empire.
You didn't make the cut acting stupid cuz you drink too much. Nigga YOU ARE OUT.