American Dreamin': Daring Greatly (Part 2)

Published on February 18th, 2013 By Sherin

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I bet Boss Lady is in the midst of sending me another menacing email for having been late with my post this week (I use the word menacing lightly as us Middle Eastern women are very comfortable raising our voices with one another; often people think we’re fighting when we’re simply having a normal conversation about the weather. Still luv ya sis!).

The honest truth is I’ve been going through the very drama both Simone and I have been outlining in our weekly posts (yes, they will be weekly from now on). I’ve hardly had time to scratch my ass, as we say in Australia.

In the last week, I moved cross country (again) from Los Angeles to New York and started a full-time job working 10-hour days. That’s right, when I wrote last week’s post I was sitting in sunny California and this week I’m weathering a freakin’ blizzard in New York (not to mention my mind).  That’s how quick things change over here. “In a New York minute,” as they say.

Let me explain.

Going back to where I left off on my previous post, if you remember, my life was a whirlwind ride of worldwide tours, etc. Wynter Gordon and I (as her day to day manager) spent a good year staying in the finest hotel rooms, performing at exquisite venues and mingling with some of the world’s most famous stars. I was even lucky enough to spend New Year’s Eve performing at in my hometown’s iconic Luna Park, overlooking Sydney Harbour.

As a manager, there’s no being “awestruck” by celebrity. This is your daily life. But I do have to say I was at The Grove in Los Angeles once and I won’t lie, I did hang up an international phone call with my brother to chase after Sophia Grace and Rosie from The Ellen Show for a photo. Shame. (That’s me on the right.)

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It wasn’t all glitz and glamour though. As I was to discover, extreme highs are almost always coupled with extreme lows. It’s the light and dark nature of life and it’s just the way it goes.

I was working so hard that I would rarely have a day off and when I did, I would break out in a cold sweat and call my best friend Corinne so we could get out of the city and escape to the suburbs. The anxiety was coming back, slowly but surely and quickly led to another mild panic attack in the middle of the night.

Something was not right.

The financial difficulties of a developing artist along with a bad egg on the team led me to step away from the day to day management of Wynter and stick around only as good friend and occasional road manager.

Now that I was certain artist management was my career path of choice, it was time to hit up all the big companies and get my foot in the door.  To stay in the loop, I took on a part time position at Rebel One Management under Marc Jordan. Marc’s best known for having developed and broken the Rihanna. Heard of her? Not to mention his current artists: LP, Becky G, Jazmine Sullivan, Alex Da Kid and for my fellow Aussies, he also played a role in Delta Goodrem’s most recent endeavors.

But yet again, financial reasons did not allow me a full-time role at the company and I was forced to continue my search. A chance email conversation with Katy Perry’s management (not to mention Adam Lambert, K.D. Lang and Gin Wigmore) led me to California, first in September 2012 and again in January 2013 where I decided to stay for a while (shout out to Lani Richmond for giving me her couch for almost six weeks!).

The job-hunting process, I have to say, is one of the most tedious, spirit-devouring tasks one has to go through. I loathe it. Email upon email, resumé upon resumé, interview upon interview, company after company. And I’m talking the likes of Spotify, Universal—big companies—kept bringing me back to the same story. I quote:

“We certainly do not have any criticism to share. You are very qualified, charming, intelligent and personable and, we think, will be a great asset for the right situation.  We really do believe that. We have great concern about the US work visa issue, which is not as solid as we would want for a full-time and, hopefully, long-time employee.”

A f#&king piece of paper!!!

A f#&king piece of paper kept holding me back.

Not the fact that I don’t have the experience or skill, but a f#&king piece of paper!

Excuse my French, but think about it. Not only as an Australian do we have to demonstrate to prospective employers we have the skill and experience to do the job, we also have to convince them to totally fall in love with us in order to sponsor us. It’s true that people are afraid of things they don’t understand and the immigration process scares the shit out of most employers.

Which brings me back to the night of my panic attack in LA. After hearing the news I wasn’t given the position I had spent the last six months chasing with every energy I could evoke (with Katy Perry), those fears came crawling back into my mind: Will I make it happen here? Will I get that dream job? Worse, will I fail and have to go home?

Home was the birthplace of my anxiety attacks. To me, home signifies mediocrity, that normalcy Simone referred to in her previous post. It scares the shit out of people like us. So what do we do? We pack up our lives into a suitcase and travel solo across the world to follow our dreams.

It may not be the easiest life riddled with smoke and mirrors but every now and then you come across a person who inspires you, or a moment that motivates you to keep going. Something inside of you, along with the family of friends you’ve built along the way, reminds you that your dreams are attainable if you just remain positive, stay focused and work your bloody ass off.

And that’s what we’re doing folks, along with every other person here in New York City.

Rock with us.

Twitter: @sherinnyc
Facebook: facebook.com/sherinmoustafa
Instagram: @sherinnyc

Comments

  1. Julie Kapsalides says:

    Nice blog Sherin- stay strong. You and Simone will get 'there' soon enough!

    1. Thanks Julie! Appreciate your support! xxx

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