Oh, To Enjoy My Songs!

This week has been pretty remarkable, because for the first time in recent memory I have been playing my songs. And enjoying myself. And I’m not just talking about playing the song I happen to be working on. I’ve written about fourteen songs in the past year (eleven of them for a musical I collaborated on earlier this year). I certainly spent a lot of time with these songs. No, I’m talking about playing (and in many cases listening to records I’ve made of) songs I wrote as far back…

The Importance of Being Ready

Most of my life I put incredible pressure on myself. I forced myself to step into challenging situations and grow and strive. And I learned a lot from it all, yet ultimately, after all of the striving and struggling and stressing and hoping and shouldering the burden of a thousand expectations, I learned that concentrating on what I am actually ready for is a far more effective approach. I grew up admiring (and envying) artists, musicians, and writers who got well-known/famous/rich early in their careers. That was the picture of…

A Fresh Start

In the past few years I have been doing everything I can to get a fresh perspective, to do things that are fun, that are different from the old routines of work and stress, that get me out of the old ruts, the old mental thoughts, the old habits. This blog was a great way for me to go in a completely different direction. Instead of stressing about work or business, I simply had the job of writing each day. And because the topic usually had nothing to do with…

The Closet Renaissance Man Calls Out that Old Nasty

Earlier this month I mentioned the Benjamin Franklin biography I read a few years ago. Since reading this book, Franklin has seemed to me the perfect example of someone who permitted himself to follow any and every interest without self-censoring, over-thinking, or stopping himself. He pursued every passion with complete commitment and abandon befitting the ultimate Renaissance man. No wonder he is still remembered and celebrated. I have deeply admired that, and I aspire to that freedom. Yet I admit I have often been too judgmental, to contained, to circumspect,…

My Music Career Takes the Non-Attachment Test

I repeatedly hear about the futility of being attached to outcomes in life. In fact, attachment seems the surest way to suck all the fun out of something. I have learned this hard way again and again, especially in my music career. In fact, one of the primary benefits of this blog has been that I get to be creative in a way that is fun for me… ie, free of attachment! Fortunately, when it comes to music, there are quite a few areas where I have excelled; that is,…

My “No More Suckiness” Philosophy

One thing that excites me is the idea of how much growth and expansion awaits me. I’m not talking about “shoulding” on myself, comparing myself to others, or thinking that someone else knows what is best for me. I’m not talking about forcing myself to learn something “because it’s good for me.” I’m talking about having a general optimism about how much I can learn and expand in ways that I want to learn and expand. Now, there are many things I like about myself already. For instance, I love…

Your Creative Path of Least Resistance

Recently I asked myself, “What am I getting out of writing this blog?” Here are my thoughts: This blog has been a great way for me to express myself. In some ways, it has been just about the most successful creative project I’ve done. I spent too long being perfectionistic and worried about “how” to do the things I wanted to do. As a songwriter/music artist/rapper, I had big creative dreams. But I put up a lot of mental resistance. I stressed out and spent a lot of time unhappy…

A Heartfelt Connection with My Audience

This afternoon I performed a solo piano show for an enthusiastic audience which I would nearly describe as raving fans. I have performed at this venue numerous times before, and there are always really cool aspects to it, such as: audience members who always get up and dance people who address me by name and clearly look forward to having me back people who sing along with the songs I play people who line up to come and thank me afterword good food always provided 🙂 people who come to…

The 2010s: (My) Decade in Review

Well, here we are, a few days away from the end of the 2010s! Soon, it will be but a memory, like all decades before it. This decade was quite significant for me personally, as I went from an unmarried guy playing retirement home piano shows in the Bay Area and dreaming lofty dreams of being a rapper to being the illustrious Me who types now on this blog. Since I’m so into self-analysis and especially lists, I would like to create a list of some of main breakthroughs I…

I’m Actually Enjoying This Holiday Season

So I went back on TV yesterday 🙂 I played piano on set “Good Day Sacramento”‘s Christmas Holiday Special, to be aired Christmas morning. I wrote about my last experience going on “Good Day” a year ago. If you read that post, you may notice that I was… way… stressed out… back then. This time was much easier. I had fun, and most important of all, I was light on myself! And I came out of it satisfied, instead of confused and slightly messed up in my head. As I…