7 Magic Steps To Becoming A Total Rock God
Seamus Anthony's blog is about how the Musician (aka Mewzo) must first win "the battle" in the mind. Old Zen geezers call the problematic aspects of the mind "The Monkey". If you can tame the Monkey by getting your thinking right then happiness and success as a musician, on your own terms, are within your grasp. It's Mewzo Vs Monkey - let the battle begin!
Isn’t that what you want? To become a legend of the stage and screen? How about that – so do I! Here’s how I reckon you and me can make that happen, packaged neatly in 7 convenient, easy steps.
Ah, if only it were that simple … alas … but nevertheless, being the die-hard musician and self-help junkie that I am, and having seen my share of lows and highs, I reckon there are some fundamental behaviours that certainly won’t hurt you to explore if you do have some ambition, however extravagant or modest that may be.
1. Get Jiggy With the Magic-Factor
In the tarot there is a card called the Magician. It depicts a masculine archetype but regardless, this card is a perfect representation of a human of either gender trying to take an idea and make it happen for real in the physical world. This dashing, robed character stands with one arm raised to the heavens, channeling the power of the Universe down through his magic wand and into the raw stuff of life represented by symbols on the table in front of him and around him, animating these elements to do his bidding, to make the imagined real.
Sounds pretty fantastical and kind of remote from the average experience of being a musician on the mean streets of Melbourne right? Well, OK, we don’t have magic wands but we do have at our disposal the same raw elements that the Magician in the card has to work with.
We have a box of tools, in the form of ideas, strategies and attitudes that (if we are prepared to put in the effort) we can manipulate to our advantage to make the whole experience of being a musician as enjoyable, rewarding and worthwhile as we dare to allow it to be. That’s where the magic lies in this life – taking an idea and making it real.
2. Be The Vision
Before you can make anything real you need the idea – a vision. For example, mine is to use music and writing to make people feel better about Life and to inspire them to get the most out of it. One part of this is all about playing gigs in front of masses of salivating fans who are cool enough to purchase every sneeze I upload and deep enough to not care that I am getting a bald spot and have a small (yet demanding) beer belly.
Another part of my vision is inspiring musicians to kick butt by writing stuff like this.
The other part of my dream is to make people smile. I am not a comedian (way too hard) but still, I like to make people feel all warm and fuzzy – occasionally with buckets of hot chocolate and some feathers.
What’s your vision?
3. Grow Your Talent
Of course you need talent. Can you improve your talent? I think we all can. After all, you couldn’t play an instrument when you were born but you learned.
We can develop our skills and improve them by working hard, and if our real talent doesn’t lie where we first thought it ought to, by working hard we usually end up discovering what we are actually good at.
4. Get Real
… with ourselves, with the world, with other people.
You need the ability to actually hear what other people mean when they speak. Example: have you ever watched someone say “OK, thank you very much” when in fact they actually mean “God I hate you”?
Can you tell when someone does that to you? Are you aware of it when you are serving that up to someone else?
How well can you read people? Do you know what they really think of you? Do you know if you’re any good at what you do? What do you base these beliefs on?
5. Get Unreal
Another almost opposite skill you are going to need in your quest to become the next GaGa is ignoring the naysayers.
When I was 18 most people tut-tutted when I said I was going to be a successful musician. Four years later when I was enjoying some success, those same people had completely changed their tune. Now, they tut-tut again.
What should I do? I know the odds, and that I’m a nut, but I know I am good at what I do and I enjoy doing it. So I deflect any tut-attacks and carry on.
There’s a difference between constructive criticism and people projecting their own limited beliefs on you. If you listen to the latter you will fail. When told “Get real”, reply, “Screw you, I’m getting unreal”.
6. The Skills to Pay the Bills
Do you have strategic skills? Networking skills? Financial skills? Planning skills? Business skills?
Some of the above skills might not be your thing. Some certainly aren’t mine – but they are all important and it’s vital to develop them. Of course, it’s fine to pay other people to do the stuff you’re crap at, as long as it all gets done.
7. Tenacious Little Shits Win
Tenacity is key. To me, Tenacity is a master word for the following: Obsession, Desire, Belief, Focus, Self-discipline, Effort and Persistence. If you don’t make these words your mantra then you’re screwed.
You must have a vision of something and you must really, really want that vision to become reality. You must be obsessive. I cannot go ten minutes without thinking about my mission in life and sometimes it kind of makes my head hurt, but nevertheless I am seeing it pay dividends.
A few years back I was working dead end jobs and drinking my blues away in the evenings, but since I picked up my socks and started pursuing my vision with tenacity I have developed a sweet “lifestyle” career (writing and marketing) that pays OK and allows me enough time to make music. And I have started slowly but surely to get some traction around my tunes again. I’m having fun, working hard, and there’s no stopping me. I am Tenacious Shit – hear me roar.
Welcome to My World.
That’s it for my first month here at Melting Pot. Over time, I’ll explore the above ideas in greater detail in the hope it will help you as you chase your buzz, which, unless I’m writing for the wrong website, is making music. Me too, so, umm, let’s rock that shit.
Seamus Anthony makes music in the “Bar Romantic” genre – think Leonard Cohen, Nick Cave, Johnny Cash, Tom Waits. He also writes stuff.
Get yourself some at www.SeamusAnthony.com
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsSeamus Anthony
Seamus Anthony makes music in the Bar Romantic genre. His sound is similar to Tom Waits, Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Cash – but more Australian. Enjoy with a twist of black funny.