“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better..
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again..
Because there is no effort without error or shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause..
Who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” – Theodore Roosevelt
Daring greatly (shout out to Brené Brown)—that’s what I thought I was doing until the other night. I woke up at 3am in my friend’s Los Angeles apartment, panic-stricken, with some of my deepest, darkest thoughts surfaced at the forefront of my mind. Will I make it happen here? Will I get that dream job? Worse, will I fail and have to go HOME? My restless mind and heavy heart were getting the better of me and it seemed these attacks of anxiety had began to form a pattern.
Let me explain.
My first “attack” happened two years ago back in my hometown of Sydney, Australia. Though work in the music industry was abundant, everyday life had become a monotonous succession of dinner dates with the girls and movie nights with the couch. After having spent 2007 and 2008 living in Spain and Mexico, I craved MORE.
“MORE” turned out to be a J1 Visa and a one-way ticket to Los Angeles, California where I spent three days before making my way to the center of the universe (and I say that in all seriousness)—New York City.
Within three weeks, I’d landed on my feet. I had secured a Manhattan apartment in the vibrant, up and coming Lower East Side and a full time gig as the Assistant Manager to some of New York cities finest tribute bands. It all felt too easy; I had a brand new city to explore and new friends to make. The challenge was on!
A work gig found me forging a strong friendship with none other than Vinnie Brown, one third of hip-hop’s finest, Naughty By Nature. Little did I know, Vinnie was to play an instrumental role in my future by introducing me to my “big sis”, Simone “Boss Lady” Amelia (check out her equally inspiring journey here), who in turn, introduced me to Wynter Gordon, who was quick to scoop me up as her Day-to-Day Manager. (My subtitles also included: Best Mate, Personal Shopper, Psychologist, Travel Agent and Weave Taker-Outer-Er).
And that’s how it goes in the music industry. A chance meeting sent me on a whirlwind ride of worldwide tours, roller skating with Alicia Keys to celebrate Swizz Beatz‘ 32nd birthday in New York, side swiped by Lady GaGa‘s outrageous MTV European Music Award show costume in Belfast, mentor moments with Scooter Braun, hanging at Mansion in Miami with LMFAO, recording sessions with J. Cole in LA, blood, sweat and whole lot of bloody tears.
I was thrown in the deep end on this one. Artist management 101. A baptism of fire. Perhaps I am a glutton for punishment, but it’s these challenging times, living and working abroad, that I truly feel like I am “living”.
This is part one of my journey and the best is still to come.