Working with people can be awesome and we all know this saying :
“by working by yourself you can go fast but working with people, you will go far”.
But who said it was easy? Especially in the artistic field where everything is subjective and egos and moods trample on your work. How do we deal with that? Now I wonder how the heck did I get musicians to participate – or I better say work, on my own projects?
Let’s talk about the “HOW”.
My father raised me with pop and R’n’B music and I was introduced to rock once I started singing in bands, which is something he didn’t like, but stayed silent about it until :
‘which led me to joined few bands, and love rock music and mostly its sub-genres until today.
Being with bands made me progress a lot in terms of playing with other people than myself but it made me always on the edge in terms of stress : I was always scared that someone would quit last minute. It was like being in an unstable relationship with not one, not two but at least 3 partners. The worse can happen but I keep hoping that only the best will.
There are a lot of reasons for a band not to get to something. Love dramas coming across the way, attendance, faith in the project or heart at it but mostly and above ego trips.
*nts\ ANYTHING EGO TOUCHES, IT DESTROYS.
Ego trips are the most assassin. I was around 16 years-old when a band of blockes asked me to be in their singer. It was a terrible experience as they would talk and laugh behind my back, except one them who I grew up with. They did not respect me but my voice only. And above all, the drummer had a problem with me being in front of the stage during the concert. To reformulate he wasn’t ok for me to be in front of the stage while I was singing. I mean. I didn’t and still do not really care about being seen but what would you expect me to do while I do my thing. Whatever, the tension kept on going, ##* until the day I decided to tell them I wanted to leave the band ##.
The first reaction was, from the drummer “I told you guys” as if I wasn’t part of the conversation confirming the league behind my back. I then decided to text my other friend and the pianist to tell them how sorry I was but it wasn’t about them two, it’s just the other guys and the ambiance in the band that wasn’t fit for me. And funny enough, the pianist replied “Don’t come back to us when we’re famous”. Those two reactions made me realize how I shouldn’t have felt bad the entire time thinking about leaving them.
Since that day, I started to trust my guts better.
*nts\TRUST YOUR GUTS.
Your guts, your instinct are the only thing able to protect you, your heart from being harmed.
But instinct and ego are two very different things.
The ego makes you think twice, three, four, seven times before acting because it just wants to hurt people. Everywhere it goes, it destroys something, or at least tries to hurt someone. But your instinct is something that knows when something is good or bad for you at the very first impression. It doesn’t try to hurt anyone but makes you stay away from any threat.
So what my guts said was “you cannot waste your time on people who can’t deal with their issues. You have so many ideas in your head, they cannot be delayed because of some quarels. Take the road alone from now on, and whoever wants to join, will. “
Which I did. I totally did. But what my guts didn’t tell me is the hardness of the lonely journey facing yourself. It is hard, so hard to rely on yourself and only, to make decisions and undertake any responsability of failure which also makes you forget to tell you when you do good.
*nts\IF YOU CAN AKNOWLEDGE YOUR FAILURES, YOU CAN ALSO CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS.
Beating myself up for failing or not getting the thing exactly right, or making it too much of or not enough of, has been the burden of my life and I know I am not the only one.
But again, I have come to realize how delivering is important. Because nit delivering doesn’t allow evolution. Instead it builds a realm of frustration in your head. Start, finish, start, finish and if it is shit, you can at least laugh and learn from it. And most of the time, pearls can be found in that pile of… you know.
At the end of the day, you end up with quite a lot those “pearls” (ok, I’m cheesy here), and your skills has become sharper and sharper.
nts\IN ART, QUANTITY BRINGS YOU TO QUALITY.
That’s probably why, when painters want their work to be exhibited, they are asked to submit around 20 paintings for the collectors to understand their universes or prints. And an audience, has more chances to understand and get immersed by an artist’s world when surrounded by multiple piece of work compared to being shown to only one.
When I realised all of this, I started to work at it and things, through time, started to be confirmed and make sense.
By doing what you love, you will meet the right people, or at least one, which I did.
When I went to London to study at Abbey Road Institute, I met good and passionate people like me, espacially one who I deeply appreciate. We are very different but yet have great respect for each other. Through this person I met other people, who heard my work and wanted to help achieve my projects. This is a really condensed sum up of how it worked, but this is literally it. Just be yourself, but please do not go to people expecting something from them. It is very lame and anyway, it will be seen in your eyes and you might actually attract people as malicious if not worse.
So I got to work with people I can now call “friends”. They are as excited as I am about the project and they know me a bit and know how thankful I am for them to help me doing this.
THANKING PEOPLE AND TREATING THEM WITH RESPECT
and comprehension is the least you can do.
I have always been embarassed to tell people what to do because I have always been listening to the voice saying “Who do you think you is, little girl!?”. Well, when I realized what I wanted to do and nothing else, and realized how much stuff I missed doing, it just became obvious, natural. But the respect installed between the people I work with also makes it easier. They know the orders they are taking are coming from the project process, not me.
THEY DO NOT SERVE ME, THEY SEVRE THE PROJECT
Which I think is a huge highlight to make. Although I direct, their suggestions are never ignored or postponed. They are always considered, tried then kept or thrown away. They put their hearts into it, the same way I put mine.
And if, like the drummer from the band, your partner(s) can’t stand anything you say then their egos is triggered. So you can either decide to talk about it or, you know just leave if you consider it a waste of time. But don’t stay there waiting for it to go away, because it is just going to be an unbearable time for you and probably the rest of the people.
To recap :
TRUST YOUR GUTS (not your ego)
If your badass guts tell you something is good or wrong, follow the orders.
EVERYTHING EGO TOUCHES IS DESTROYED
Ego is not your friend, and will ruin any possibility to achieve great work.
IF YOU CAN ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR FAILURES, YOU CAN CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS.
It is so easy to beat yourself up for making mistakes, but you would be unfair to yourself not to acknowledge when and what you did and do good.
IN ART, QUANTITY BRINGS YOU TO QUALITY.
Ignore the fact that this and that sound bad for now, just do it.
You will always get evolve and get better to judge your progress by doing it!
Being yourself will link you to the right people and will prevent you from any personality disorder hum-hum.
THANKING PEOPLE AND TREATING THEM WITH RESPECT.
Think about the time and faith people are putting in your hands and treat them the same way you would like to be treated. They are humans and by definition “not perfect” and sometimes they are even better than you.
THEY DO NOT SERVE ME, THEY SERVE THE PROJECT.
Your art talks to you, but doesn’t belong to you.
Even though you are directing, you are in this together.
*## : emotional pause.
*nts : note to self.