The topic that a solid number of people ask me about are TV shows like "The Voice" that are a one-stop shop for catapulting an artist to the top. So many people ask me questions about shows like these and yet I still haven't come up with a short answer as to why they do not interest me in the slightest. For those of you who are truly curious about the answer- here we go.
The first point I should make here is that I DID in fact try out for The Voice *gasp*. I know, I know, I like so many others fell into the trap of believing in these shows to show the true potential of an artist who has been overlooked until that point. This was back around the time I graduated high school & my parents drove me to Chicago, paid an insane amount of money for parking, and waiting a super long time just for me to not even get a call back.
Just the experience of trying out for a show like that is enough to make you lose your mind as an artist. To be put in a sea of other people like you who have the same exact dream is a mind game. You're pit against other artist for a slot to be your "type" and you know full well that only a handful of each "type" of person will go on to even the first round. I remember two people from my small group who went into a room to audition for one of their talent scouts. The first was a woman who sang a Whitney Houston song better that was right up there with Whitney (I won't say better than... my mama would disown me) + the other was a young man who to be quite frank- was weird as hell and couldn't sing worth a shit.
I had a solid audition and believed I'd be a shoe-in for at least a call back. I would have even been happy to relinquish my chance just so that the olympic vocalist style of the Whitney Houston chick could have gone on... but, the only one of the group who made it was the one who truly didn't even have "a voice" in any sense of the word.
It was that day & many others since that have solidified my belief that if you are an artist than you need to stick with your art. Not put it in jeopardy to be handed over & owned by someone else. Not to put yourself out there & ask someone else what mold they think you should be put into... but to just be a fucking artist. To create something that is so real to you that it can only be embodied at its fullest with you there to tell the story. I feel deeply connected to my art & growing in my artistry without trying to fit in a box who's packaging is easily palatable + sold to the masses.
I'm sure the road that I am traveling will be much longer than the ten years I've already been walking the path to "overnight success", but once I get there I believe I'll feel fulfillment rather than fame + authenticity rather whiplash.
Shows like The Voice are great. They are funny + entertaining but please for a second don't let that replace your "live music" fix. Every night in your town there's an artist on a stage waiting for someone to see them & share an experience. You'll be supporting local businesses, feeling human connection, eating/drinking/trying new things, and above all seeing the dreamer for the vision that they are becoming one gig at a time.