It was a dreaded essay in school. But now that I don’t have a teacher giving me the assignment, I find it therapeutic to write about what I have (or haven’t?) accomplished over summer vacation.
I think I’ll start with the most recent trip I made. (Since I’m not getting graded, I can start wherever I want!)
Last week I joined Bill Werde (editor of Billboard Magazine), Little Steven (you may know him as Silvio on The Sopranos or as longtime guitarist from Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band), and record producer Just Blaze (Roc-A-Fella Records, Jay-Z, Beanie Sigel, Cam’ron, Memphis Bleek, Freeway), at the New Music Seminar in New York City.
Our topic: “The Creative Conundrum – Increasing Your Odds With Radical Differentiation,” a look at how artists can break their careers wide open.
I had a great time at the event, meeting and mentoring artists that were looking for a way to be more than just “good!”
The two weeks before New Music Seminar, I spent some time at a couple of camps: the OrangeHaus Music Business Camp in Indiana, and Camp Electric in Nashville. I’ve been doing both of these events for several years because the people that organize them are great friends, and because the artists that attend are always lots of fun.
In June, I had spent some time in one of my favorite places, Canada – I always brag about the artists up there, but they really do have some great talent! I was in Vancouver, BC teaching for Music BC and their Peak Performance Project.
The last of my summer events will be this week at Gospel Music Association’s Immerse in Nashville, and a day of teaching in Ottawa, Ontario at the Live 88.5 Big Money Shot weekend training seminar in August.
In between all these events I’ve worked one-on-one with singers and bands from LA to Canada to New York. Each one of them is unique and looking to share that individuality with their audience. I was glad I could help them find ways to communicate that uniqueness from onstage.
Of course, I had a wonderful family vacation this summer, too. Sitting on the beach, enjoying the sun, spending time with my wife and kids – nothing better than that!
So how about you? What does your “summer vacation” essay look like so far?