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"The Voice Of Experience"

A lot of articles dish out advice to "wannabees". 
Don't take offense at the term because it's the first requirement for stardom. 
Most of the writings contain some good stuff. 
Others have ulterior motives, like money, for offering the advice. 
This isn't always bad, but here's an ultra-simple example of how it could be bad: 

Say a writer wants to market a course on How To Get A Job. 
He knows about ten helpful hints, but he needs more to fill out a whole course, 
so as a pro writer he bulks it out with whatever will fill the space, 
and gives you too much to worry about. 

My advice is this: 
Listen to advice, but analyze it before you act on it. 
I have a few other things to offer, no charge: 

1. Bands that laugh and talk to each other onstage, off mike, 
are leaving the audience out. 
This is annoying to all except the band. 
They think they are showing personality. 
It's one of the most common offenses. 
If you're going to talk and laugh, 
do it so the audience can hear every word. 
It doesn't have to be Class A material. 
The people like to be in on the process. 

2. Even if you have to play cover material to pay the rent, 
don't become a cover band. 
There's no future in it. 

3. If you're really good, but you can't compete with the local bands for gigs, 
maybe you're meant to compete on a higher level. 
I've found that acts that do well in the big scene, 
often can't make it in the neighborhood because they're too original.
The small time abhors an original. 

4. Learn the phrase "Escape Clause", and remember: 
A contract must benefit both parties. 

5. Think outside the box. 
If you cater to trends your material has a short shelf life. 

7. You haven't failed until you quit. 
I know that's a cliché, but a good one. 
I've outlived some of the competition and most of my enemies, 
and I'm just getting started. 
Some artists get better with a little age on 'em. 
It gathers character. 

8. If you're a writer, flow first with your right brain. 
When that's done, edit with the left side. 
Don't lose a song trying to hang on to a pet line. 
No line or title is sacred enough to keep a song from getting done. 

The secret is: Get a lot of ideas and throw most of them away. 
You only need one good one today. 

Copyright © February 2, 2001 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.


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