The first person I recorded here in town was Danny Sierra Leone. I met Danny out at a new faces night at The Basement (probably still my favorite club to go see music), and after chatting with him for about ten minutes, I gave him my card and we parted ways. Fast forward a bit and we have one EP done, and an LP in the works. There are many bands and artists that I have met in similar circumstances, and have had the privilege to get to produce, record or play with. Each time it has come about by me just showing up and putting myself out there.
I will say that sometimes it is difficult to know how and when to show up. Each conversation we have or circumstance that we find ourselves in, can require a different reaction from us. Case in point, the buddy I was speaking about earlier, is an incredibly talented bass player... like really, really good. He asked me what he should say when he meets another potential employer/artist... "hey I'm a really good bass player, and you should hire me?". Of course he was being a little facetious, and that strategy would be more funny that anything else, but his question of how to present himself was a real one, and a challenge for many of us. I don't pretend to know the best answer for other people, I only know what has worked for me. It is definitely uncomfortable to put yourself out there sometimes, and that nervous feeling is usually my barramoter for taking action and going for it. Once I do, I trust in my ability to be myself, be genuine, be curious, be respectful, be professional, be nice, and from there, I give up wanting control. I can't control whether or not the band will come and record with me, or whether or not I'll get hired as a guitar player for the persons project. My buddy can't control whether or not the person hires him to play bass. The only thing we have control over is whether or not we put ourselves out there. There is no magic bullet answer for my bass playing friend, there is no definitive strategy that once implemented, it will guarantee him the outcome he deserves and wants. Yes, we could probably get into a conversation on how to have a conversation, how to read people, and how to manipulate circumstances, but then you're just kind of looking at it from a cold perspective... or being a tool, not a person. We want connection, not manipulation. So, the best advice that I can think of for myself and anyone else is to just show up and trust your gut. Be genuine, and be present.
I like to think my ability to be present, and genuine... to show up is part of the reason that people like Danny Sierra Leone choose to work with me. I love putting myself out there, despite how scary it can be, because it has given me friends, work, and a creative energy that is life giving.
So, it's time to show up!
What can you do this week to show up? Share with us a story of you putting yourself out there.