What Have I Learned in a Year…?

So I have made it one year in Vegas on my ‘own’ and just signed for a second year.  I promised to keep sharing my thoughts.  So here we go!

First there are a lot more people who will pull for you then against you.  Listen to those who want to see you succeed.  Sometimes those people come from unlikely areas.  Embrace them, be gracious and learn anything they are willing to teach or to help you with.  As far as the people who pull against you, ignore them.  All worrying about them will do is take away from the time you could be doing something positive.

When I look at all the people who have pitched in, stepped up, and been a part of my growth I am overwhelmed and cannot thank you all enough.  The ones who haven’t supported me haven’t come out or kept their promises; well, I’m still here so maybe the support of negative people isn’t needed.  Focus on those that love and want you to grow, leave the rest where they are.

Second, doing a show daily will make a good performer better and a bad performer worse.  Watch your show and your audience regularly.  Don’t get stale.  There is only one person you ever need to compete against and that is yourself.  Make sure you are trying to improve day by day.  Try to do a better show tomorrow then you did yesterday.  Don’t stop growing, and don’t listen to your own hype.  Grow each day or you will shrink.

Doing a daily show also means that everything that can go wrong WILL!  If something is guaranteed to work 99.5% of the time then in the course of 300+ shows it will go wrong about twice.  Be prepared for that.  Anything can go wrong on you once.  When it happens twice then you are the one unprepared and there is no reason for that.

Have more in your life then just your show.  If your art form is ALL that you can talk about that leads to a very shallow life.  Find other interests and hobbies to explore.  Everyone’s time in the spotlight ends.  If you don’t want to end up bitter and jaded, be prepared for your life after the stage.

I hear so many people from the past complaining about the way things are now and how everything was better in their day.  The generation before them did the same thing.  Stop the pattern now.  Love and appreciate what you are doing.  Cherish it and do it to the best of your ability.  When your time is done find ways to help generation grow.  Don’t complain and yell because your day is over.  The spotlight may be off of you but there is still a lot you can do in the field that gave to you to make it grow.

Surround yourself with people who are better then you.  I am so thankful for everyone I work alongside.  Everyone has their own individual strengths.  Learn them and learn from them. I am the LEAST important person in my show.  Above me is the cleaning staff.  Without a clean theater I couldn’t do the show.  Above them is everyone in my box office who is the first to greet my audience and give them tickets.  Above them are the marketers and ticket brokers who get people interested in buying the tickets in the first place.  If there is no audience there isn’t any show.  Above them are my stage crews who put it together and make it flow.  Without them I couldn’t do my show.  There are at least 15 people involved before the audience even sees me.  Without all of them I couldn’t do my job.  Never take anyone of them for granted.

I am living the dream I have always wanted.  There are ups and there are downs.  Doing the show every night takes a toll and I have learned that rest may actually be important.  The downs are there, but too small to focus on.  Any negative is an experience to learn from and make a positive out of.  In just one year I have a show I would have never thought possible, awards I never thought I would win and the support of friends and mentors that I am thankful for daily.

That is the thing I have learned the most.  Treasure those people who help you get there.  No one succeeds on their own.  I’m the one you see on stage, you don’t see the 100’s who have elevated to this place.  Work for your dream.  The harder you work the more support you will get.  The hardest thing to learn is to listen to those with the experience.  When you are starting you want to be right, you may be or you may not be.  Learn from those who have walked the road before you did.  Never copy them, but learn whatever they are kind enough to teach you.

Thank God, Michael Johns, all my family and friends and YOU.  Yes, YOU!  If you are reading this you have been there for me and I couldn’t have done without you!