When I promised to premiere this new rap, “Black Beethoven”, it didn’t exist, yet. So what! EMERGE ALREADY! Friday Fix: Set Your Own Darn Bar!
On my SXSW application I did something daring, I promised to premiere a new piece that would have me playing piano, working live electronics and rapping…at the same time. The catch was at the time, the piece didn’t even remotely exist. I didn’t even know which electronics to buy, let alone own them! And most importantly, I hadn’t written a new rap. But I had a vision and even though I also had a new baby and an ever rambunctious 6 yr-old, as much as I love them, my vision is my baby, too. So starting about a month ahead of SXSW I set to work, using 10 minute practice sessions to create the beats and learn the hardware and using spurts of inspiration to jot a line or two down. Bit by bit, my vision came to life. But let’s back up a bit before that to when I revealed my vision. People (including my loving family) had serious doubts. Some thought my vision was “unrealistic”. I don’t blame them, surely it sounded crazy, but little did they know “unrealistic” is my trigger word. When someone slings it at me, that’s my cue to get to work.
I once had a manager who said the fact that I wanted to do so many things was problematic and “unrealistic”. Why couldn’t I just be happy with what I was already doing? I was already performing more than others “at my level”. I was once told going after a performance career in this day and age was “unrealistic”, why bother? Because it would bother me not to go after my vision, not to stick to my own standards, no matter how seemingly unrealistic. You’ve got to set your bar. Don’t let anybody fat-shame you and don’t let anyone fit-shame you! Don’t let anyone shame you about your blind ambition, in fact you’re not blind at all, the only thing you’re blind to is status quo, you’re seeing things very clearly. Often, when someone says to you that something is “unrealistic”, they’re usually thinking about their own chutzpah level. What they’re really saying is, “Hmm, I can’t imagine ever being able to do that, the obstacles are going to take way too much work to overcome, it would be easier to just stay where I’m at.” (I know that preposition is dangling btw). Anyway, no shame in settling if that’s your thing, it’s just not how WE do things, right?
So take a peek, you’ll see my vision. I even knew exactly what I’d be wearing from the striped leggings to the red hair and the killer heels. My vision was complete in my head first before I could make it a reality. Now go, close your eyes, see the vision and get after it…bit by bit.