December 23, 2010

So You Want to Be A Successful Artist?

 It has been the dream of so many throughout the decades. There was even a play about it- Mama I Want To Sing, but what does it truly take to be a successful artist? As a publicist I often get approached by people who, usually since early childhood, have been bitten by the celebrity bug. We've all fantasized about it. Whether it was while watching American Bandstand, Soul Train, Star Search, Video Soul, Yo MTV Raps, or 106th and Park, we've all day dreamed at some point about what it would be like to stand on stage, microphone in hand and have thousands of people yelling our name as we give them what they came to hear- a performance to remember. 

Yes, we can dream but this is not the path meant for every one of us. If it is a part of your path though, what can you do to help push your success along so that you can become one of the most successful names in the world? 

1. Have a vision:  What do you want to be? Yes you want to be a performer but what kind of a performer? How do you want people to react towards you? How do you want to dress? Where do you want to perform? Who would you like to work with? Who would you consider your biggest competition? It is one thing to know that you want to be a household name but it is another thing to know everything that you want to come along with that. Don't just use that pen and paper to write a song- write your own story. You have the power to create anything you want. There is no such thing as too much or too extravagant if it is what rings true within your spirit. All great work starts with a vision and being a celebrity is no different. It's all about branding.

2. Create your road map: Now that you know what you want your career to look like and all that you want to be, it is time to create a road map to get you from point A to point Z. Input this information in your GPS. (*Don't forget to set your GPS for the reverse directions as well.) Please be prepared to make many pit stops along the way. You don't mind do you? Patience is everything but drive will get you there before you know it.

3. Get on the Road: You know where you are going and you've mapped out how to get there so it is time to put your pedal to the metal (or your feet to the concrete) and get moving. There's no time to sit and wait for things to fall in your lap. How will success find you if you are no where to be found? Get out there and build your network. Showcase your talent. Get some press. Don't complain about the speed bumps, they're just there to help you stay focused. Drive, drive, and drive some more. You'll be at your destination soon.

4. Be Thankful for Along The Way: Once you're within the vicinity of your destination, start being thankful. Not everyone even makes it THIS far. Never forget about the people who are back where you came from. Those are the same people who will be there to let you vent, laugh with you, cry with you, and even send you a sandwich if need be. The journey you've chosen is not an easy one so be prepared to do go through all of the aforementioned. If this is the life you truly want then you'll get through it. It will all be worth it.

5. Acknowledge Everyone: I do mean everyone. You're almost at the top of the mountain. Wave and say hello to everyone that you meet along the way. Kindness will get your further than shade. You never know who may be doing your first major album review or buying your album.

6. Don't Lose Sight Of Your Vision: You have arrived at your destination. It is wonderful to celebrate and to enjoy the perks that come along with it but DO NOT lose sight of why you are here. Your vision is what got you here in the first place and if you lose it, your success is as good as lost too.

7. Get Your Masters: Now that people know your name, it is time to master the art of speaking, eating, and dressing. Yes you can still be Boobie from 125th and St. Nick but Boobie chose to be in the spotlight and the press will have a field day if he's at a Black Tie Fundraiser wearing sagging jeans and slurping his soup from the bowl. You don't have to change everything but you should be willing to change anything that can shed bad light on you because once you get in the public eye it isn't about CAN it shed bad light on you, it's a question of WHEN will it.  After all, you're looking for longevity, not to be a one hit wonder.

8. Stay Grounded: Some people are thankful on their way to "Destination Success" but find it very hard to stay in that place of gratitude once they've been there for a while. Continue to count your blessings and keep a prayer on your lips no matter who you pray to, for it is a higher power that blessed you with the talent that has gotten you this far and that in itself it a gift.

9. Enjoy it all: All work and no play makes for a dull, dull, life. Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Don't allow all of the work to change you or rob you of your joy. Surround yourself with those people in the industry whose careers pattern the one that you have always envisioned yourself having. Energy breeds energy and like attracts like just remember to stay positive because though press is press, bad press can prove to be a huge blow to your career.

10. *Set Your GPS To Return Trip: Yes you have arrived, but you always want to go back to where you came from. You have been blessed and sharing a blessing with the community who supported you the most when you had nothing not only shows your appreciation but opens doors for you to receive even more abundance.

If you need assistance in any of the above areas, please feel free to contact me for a PR consultation. In the meantime in between time...

Peace, Love, Soul.... PR.

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