Monday, September 9, 2013

Album Out Tomorrow! (Also, preview "Bedtime Song")

It's been a long time coming. Many hours in my studio. Countless minutes re-drafting, co-writing, and pouring over the keyboard.  Going so far as to move my family to Nashville, TN for the recording process.  This album is such a real part of me.  To give it to you is to give you a genuine piece of myself. I hope you love it.  For now, preview this lovely lullaby that will have you waltzing your way into bed tonight. This is "Bedtime Song."  Pre-order the album now on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pocketful-of-poetry/id688062384?ign-mpt=uo%3D2

 


Sunday, September 8, 2013

A Song a Day - I Take Flight

The song of the day is one that I wrote with a wonderful Nashville, based artist, Trent Dabbs.  For me, this song is about being able to love people, while at the same time finding your happiness totally independently of them.  But this song could be interpreted in so many different beautiful ways.  What does it mean for you?  Preview "I Take Flight" below. Available on iTunes this Tuesday!




Saturday, September 7, 2013

A Song a Day: Picture Show

I grew up right next to a drive-in movie theater. The tree house on our property was the perfect place for watching silent films and listening to teens and college students flirt and laugh from the beds of trucks and the backseats of station wagons. That old drive-in screen is the backdrop of my childhood where I watch the scenes of my life flicker in front of me. Today's song is "Picture Show." Releases on iTunes this Tuesday! (9/10) https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pocketful-of-poetry/id688062384?ign-mpt=uo%3D2

   
P.S.  If you're in Utah, I'll be co-headlining with Peter Breinholt at the Ed Kenley Amphitheater in Layton, UT tonight! Get tickets here: http://tickets.davisarts.org/

Friday, September 6, 2013

A Song a Day: Shadow Children

Today's song is all about the bittersweet of growing out of childhood. Someone recently posted that this song made them want to build forts with their children and to tell them to never grow up. That sums it up quite nicely. This is "Shadow Children." (Available on iTunes, this Tuesday!) https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pocketful-of-poetry/id688062384?ign-mpt=uo%3D2



Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Song a Day: Little Red Bike

My dad taught me how to ride a bike on a little red Schwinn.  How I loved that bike, circling the house with it for hours on end.  More than that, my dad taught me how to be a strong, independent and influential human being.  Today's song is "Little Red Bike."

When I was in Brooklyn for the mixing of this song, I stepped out for lunch with my producer and mixing engineer. I nearly ran right into a little red Schwinn just like my childhood bike on the way to the restaurant.  It was as if it showed up to say "thank you."

Available on iTunes, Sep. 10th! Pre-order it now here: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pocketful-of-poetry/id688062384?ign-mpt=uo%3D2




Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Song a Day: Oh No!

I'm posting a song a day until my album release on September 10th!  Today's song is a deliciously quirky love song called "Oh No!," written with my dear friend and guitarist, Joe Corcoran. Produced by Cason Cooley. Pre-order it HERE! Now, feast your ears and fall in love:





Tuesday, September 3, 2013

A Song a Day: "Honey"

My new album drops in one week. ONE WEEK! I am borderline spastic these days because I am so excited. Every day this week, I'm going to post a new song from the album for you to preview. Don't forget: You can pre-order the album on iTunes now (includes two electronic bonus tracks!).  If you like the physical copy, head on over to Amazon to preorder that too.  For now, I give you, "Honey:"





Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Pre-order My New Album on iTunes Now (and get a track!)


Get ready to do a little dance! You can pre-order my new album, "Pocketful of Poetry" on iTunes today! When you pre-order, you get my single, "Pocketful of Poetry" right away. When the album releases on September 10th, iTunes will automatically send the songs to your library. It's perfect.







Friday, August 9, 2013

New Free Download!



YOU GUYS!  Have you heard this hot new summer jam I co-wrote and recorded with Oceanear? This video is an awesome preview and sneak peek into our recording session.  For a limited time, you can download this track for FREE at www.oceanear.bandcamp.com.  RUN and get it now!!!

P.S. Oceanear's new album is due out in October!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Preview of "Pocketful of Poetry!"



Behold! Another NEW SONG for you to preview! This is the title track to my upcoming album and I adore how it turned out.  Download it on Sep. 13th!  But hear it live this Friday at the Rooftop Concert Series in Provo, UT. 7:30 pm. 100 W 100 N on the top of the parking structure. It's FREE!



Monday, July 29, 2013

Free Download!

I have a present for you.


For a limited time, I am offering a FREE download of one of my new songs.  It was really Anthropologie's idea.  You see, they are posting about my new album on their blog today and they said, "Hey.  Why not do a free download with our blog post?"  I thought that was a dandy idea.  In fact, I think every idea of Anthropologie's is divinely inspired.

Click the HERE to get your free download and get happy.

P.S. Speaking of Anthropologie, a darling fashion blog called Lunchpails and Lipstick is featuring my favorite picks from Anthro right this very minute.  Go check it out!






Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Album Artwork Preview!


It's coming! I've been in ultra hermit-mode while I've been working to create this new album.  I'm so proud of the artwork.  Just wait until you actually feel it with your own hands! The paper is a creamy linen texture.  The stitching on the title will be embossed.  The little pocket that is exposing my heart will be cut out and wait for it . . . a red thread will wind around the album case and fasten to a grommet and button.  Yes! I'm a packaging nerd!

Many thanks to Alma Loveland for her amazing design skills, Mike Loveland for his brilliant illustrations and Jefra Starr Linn for her photography from which the illustrations of me were derived.

The album is in production this very minute and will be officially released on iTunes on September 10th. Save the date!  





Thursday, June 13, 2013

PledgeMusic is 115% Funded! Also, New Video: Recording Vocals!




Hey everyone! Last week, with an army of family, friends and fans backing me, I surpassed my goal for my PledgeMusic campaign.  I just got chills as I typed that last sentence.  I am so moved and so deeply grateful to have a piece of all of you on this new album and to have also helped fund the Rooftop Concert Series this year.

I owe some very special thanks to these people for their help and support in the success of this campaign:

Courtney Kendrick and The Rooftop Concert Series
Sam Schultz of Sammy's Cafe
Stephanie Nielson
Ariel Hyatt
Wesley Johnson
Lyndsay Johnson
Jeff Yeats
Jared Platt
Jefra Starr Linn
Krista Maurer
Rachel Schutz (Darlybird)
Canela Limoine

And of course, the staff at PledgeMusic.

Many of you helped me Tweet, Facebook, Instagram and do giveaways to help spread the word.  I don't even think I could begin to fit all of the names into this post.  Please know how thankful I am to you.

So, what's next?  Today, I am shooting the photos for my album artwork.  In three days, I leave for New York to finish the mixing and mastering of the album.  Then the album will be manufactured in July and ready to hit stores by September 10th.  I'll continue to post videos of the album creation process.  Check out the new one above of recording vocals in the studio on a brand new song called, "Little Red Bike!" 


Friday, May 24, 2013

Why I Love Vintage!



Let's be honest: I don't keep up with the latest fashions.  But, I DO keep up with the fashions of yesteryear.  Why?  Because I'm drawn to them like a bear to a beehive.  The perks: Vintage clothing is usually very inexpensive, one-of-a-kind, non-skanky and chalk-full of unique patterns, textures, colors and personality!  

I made you (or rather, Jeff Yeats made you) a rad video about why I love vintage, filmed inside of a slick vintage clothing store in Nashville, TN called "The Hip Zipper." 

Also, I'm going to give you the  4-1-1 on where I've bought some of my favorite outfits and how much they cost.  I've used these beauties for photo shoots and music videos.  Check it out:

 Square Dance Shirt: $15 at "Decades," Salt Lake City, UT
Tutu: $30 at "Decades," Salt Lake City, UT
Picture Frame: $1.50 at Deseret Industries, Provo, UT


Prom Dress: $120 at "Swift Vintage," Burbank, CA

 
 Polyester Red Dress: $7 at "Nevin's Thrift Store," Mt. Pleasant, UT


Navy Velour & Lace Dress: $7 at "Nevin's Thrift Store," Mt. pleasant, UT


Retro Circus Dress: $35 at "Hubba Hubba," Burbank, CA

P.S. I am offering a private, all-day shopping excursion with me through my PledgeMusic Campaign.  I only have a few spots left.  Offer ends on June 4th, so hurry and sign up! I'd love to take you shopping! Sign up at www.pledgemusic.com/mindygledhill.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Strings!



I want to take you on a tour through the studio during what we call a "string session," (the part of the recording process where we record the strings!).  We used an amazing group of string players in Nashville, called "The Love Sponge."  These guys have played on recordings for many greats, including Ben Folds, The Fray, Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Mathis, Jason Mraz, and Ron Sexsmith, to name just a few.  Let's just say I had to pinch myself a few times.  Many thanks to my producer, Cason Cooley, string arranger, Ben Shive, The Lovesponge and Jeff Yeats for making this video.  Enjoy!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

New Video and Contest!




 

This is an exciting week! I have a goal to be 50% funded by the end of the week on my PledgeMusic Campaign.  I am currently at 36%.  Hooray!  We're getting close!  If you pledge to my new album online by Saturday, May 5th, you will receive a FREE PASS to a private concert with me, hosted by Sammy's Cafe. 

Also, A CONTEST!  If you re-post one of my Instagram buttons on IG (below) and use the hashtag, #pledgemindy, you will be entered to win  a lunch date with me, you,  and a friend at Sammy's Cafe in Provo or Salt Lake City, UT, plus $100 in credit at Sammy's cafe!  I can't think of anything better than scarfing an entire plate of sweet potato fries with you by my side.

Nope. That's not all! 30% of all pledges to my new album will go toward funding this year's Rooftop Concert SeriesThis is all one big love fest of giving through music and community.  Read about an exciting new announcement about the Rooftop Concert Series on CJane's blog today! Your clue word is "broadcast."
 
I'll sign off by offering you this beautifully filmed video to bring you up to speed on what's happening in the studio here in Nashville as I make my new album. Made by the talented, Jeff Yeats.
www.pledgemusic.com/mindygledhill
 


 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Converted Heart


When I was small enough to hide in cupboards and squirm through the nooks and crannies of the old blue house of my childhood, I would find refuge from my existence as one of nine children in a closet underneath the spiral staircase.  Climbing the rickety shelves of the closet in bare feet, I would always find a cassette tape recorder with a rectangular shaped lo-fi microphone attached to it.  There was a special cradle for the microphone on the recorder and I loved to repeatedly pull the microphone out and then click it back into it's proper place.  But even more than that, I relished flipping on the "power" switch and singing directly into it while pressing my mouth to the grill.  The buzz created by the distortion tickled my lips while an electrified sense of joy ran through my body from sun-kissed head to dingy little toes.

Fast forward twenty-some-odd-years and not much has changed.  When I step into the iso-booth in the studio, I feel the quietude and safety that is my childhood closet under the spiral staircase.  It is me and the microphone.  The vibration.  The electrified joy from head to toe.  My heart nearly leaps from my mouth in the form of sound waves. The waves cause the microphone's diaphragm to vibrate. The microphone captures and transmits my vibrations into an electrical signal. The signal travels a path through a cable to a computer sound card where it is converted from analog into digital code which is then sent to the computer's recording software.  The digital signal is decoded and then sent back to the device's sound card which converts it back to an analog signal, read by your speaker system and emitted as sound waves that are processed by your very own ears.  

Note that this electrical signal started it's journey in my heart.  It IS my heart, traveling through my mouth, changing from one form of energy into another until it reaches you.  Understood in code, then decoded, and recoded. It is my spirit speaking to your spirit. Mine is a converted heart.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Album Recording, Part 4!



I love recording music!  Enjoy a little summary of what I've recorded and meet my guitarist, Joe Corcoran! I'm embarking upon a two week break from the studio right now, but I'll be here in Nashville with my boys climbing trees, chasing fireflies, and eating fried okra.  You can follow the adventures here, on Facebook, Twitter, Vine and especially, Instagram! I love Instagram. (@mindygledhill). 

To pre-order the new album, visit www.pledgemusic.com/mindygledhill.

Thanks for following along!


Monday, April 8, 2013

What Is Crowdfunding?

Last Friday, I did the most vulnerable thing of my entire music career to date: I launched a PledgeMusic campaign.  What is that? you ask.  PledgeMusic is a platform for crowdfunding, much like Kickstarter, but specified for musicians. And what is crowdfunding? you ask. Crowdfunding is where you involve the people who support you in the creation of your product—in my case, my new album.  It's actually a brilliant way to pre-sell your music, but even more than that, offer your listeners some truly unique ways to be involved.  For example, in exchange for my fans' contributions, I will send them my album a week before it releases, I will call them and sing them to sleep, take them to lunch, teach them how to write songs via Skype or in person, take them shopping for a day, invite them to sing a duet with me on stage, and so much more. These are things that I normally wouldn't have available for purchase. It's also an incredible way to create momentum and awareness surrounding a new album release.  Additionally, I've made it so that 30% of my campaign will go toward funding the Rooftop Concert Series to support my local music scene. 

Any time you put yourself out there, there will be naysayers.  Trust me.  I live in a world of putting myself out there.  One person commented:

In my opinion if Mindy wanted to record another album she should have had the money upfront, not beg from her fans for it.

For those of you who may be confused about what this campaign is all about, allow me to spell it out a little more clearly and be vulnerable, yet one more time.  I have paid for the recording of my album, up front, with my own money that I have set aside for three years.  (Although, I do not see anything wrong with bands raising money to pay for an album up front if they don't have it). I am an independent artist. This means that I fund my entire career. I pay for the recording, I pay for CD duplication, album design, web design, my band members' pay checks, travel costs for touring, music videos, and the list goes on and on. The contributions of my fans will go towards all of the extra expenses beyond the album recording, that it takes to thrive as a musician.  In a beautifully symbiotic way, my fans will allow me to have a wider reach by making more videos, touring more and meeting them face to face through this very campaign.  Don't think for a minute that I'm not deeply grateful for this or that I'm not working my tail off to create new music to share with all of you.  I'm really proud of this music and I stand by it unapologetically.  I can't wait to see how it brings us together. Thank you so much for allowing me into your lives through music.

Pledge HERE.

Watch this amazing TED talk by independent artist, Amanda Palmer, who raised 1.2 million dollars for her music through crowdfunding:

Friday, April 5, 2013

Be a Part of My New Album!



I've never done anything like this before. And I must admit that it drums up that same feeling inside of me that one gets when they're about to plunge into the deep end from off of the high dive at the community swimming pool. Scary and exhilarating all at once.  But I don't want to live on the steps of the swimming pool for the rest of my life. 

I'd love for you to be a a part of my album as much as you want to be. In return, I want to do some things for you that I've never offered on such a personal level to my fan base before. (Confession: The term, "fan base, " makes me all kinds of uncomfortable. I think of my following as my friends. And many of you are just that).  Just think: We could find ourselves in the middle of a glowing room of candles in your home, among your family and friends, me  pouring out my soul to you in a private and intimate setting. We could spend the day together digging through treasure troves untold of the best vintage clothes money can buy.  I could even call you on the phone and sing you to sleep. These are just a few of the lovely things I'm offering as part of my Pledge Music campaign. Also, 30% of your contribution will go towards supporting my local music scene through helping to fund the Rooftop Concert Series. Hip-hip, HOORAY! To join in on the making of my new album, visit:
www.pledgemusic.com/mindygledhill.

Thank you for your support and encouragement!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

New Video! Album Recording, Part 2!



Writing and recording an album is HARD WORK! Hard, but in the most fulfilling and beautiful way possible. I hope you're enjoying all of these glimpses into the behind-the-scenes moments of the recording process. I so appreciate you sharing these videos with your followings. Sending you all my love from the studio here in Music City!

Previous Videos:

Introduction to the New Album!

Album Recording, Part 1!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Album Recording, Part One! And Happy Easter Weekend!




Hey, friends! Here's a little intro to the studio where I'm recording my album in Nashville. This is just to whet your palate. Much, much more to come!  Happy Easter, my loves!



Wednesday, March 27, 2013

New Album in Nashville!





Hey, guess what: I'M MAKING A NEW ALBUM!!! I just arrived in Nashville to start the recording process and I made a video downtown on Broadway to introduce you to the city and to show you what I'm up to. In fact, I'll be posting videos every week to show you the process of how an album is made and to keep you updated on the progress.

You know what else is cool? I'm doing a campaign with this album that will allow you to contribute to the making of it and be involved as much as you'd like to be. When you contribute, I'll offer some really cool experiences in return such as: a private concert in your home, a shopping trip with me to my favorite vintage clothing stores, songwriting lessons, a ticket to my songwriting workshop this summer, a signed copy of the new album and lots more. The campaign starts on Tuesday (April 2nd), so check back here for all of the details.

* A million thanks to Wesley Johnson for the making making of this video.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

This Thursday at Cherry Lane Boutique!

Lately we've been down at my in-laws' store (Cherry Lane Boutique) helping and messing around as they get ready for a big event this Thursday night! If you're local and you've never been to their store, you've got to visit. The building alone is a historic site worth seeing. It used to be the old college Women's Gym in days of yore.  Anyhoo, this Thursday night is the night you've been waiting for to have that girls' night out.  They're having a fashion show (with some darling vintage-inspired dresses!), an Easter basket raffle, discount coupons for every guest and . . . you guessed it, FREE FOOD! Also, free gift bags for the first twenty people in the door! See address and details below.  Hope to see you there!


Cherry Lane Boutique
515 N. University Ave.
Provo, UT 84604

Thursday, March 21st
6-8 p.m.




Tuesday, February 26, 2013

New Album Coming, Fall 2013!

Co-write with Cason Cooley.

Over the course of a year, I've been digging, questioning, pondering and singing out fragments of  my feelings over rudimentary recordings.  Jotting down pieces of my ramblings in random notebooks, on napkins, paper plates or blank walls that beg to be graffitied upon.  I'm ready to say what I want to say out loud. I'm ready to commit the voices in my head to song and send them out into the universe and ultimately into the arms of anyone with the need to hear them.  I write music to be an extension of love. I write music to feel love extending itself toward me. It's a sublime relationship of reciprocity. 

I've searched high and low for the right person to help these songs draw their first breath and I'm over the moon to announce that Cason Cooley will be producing this album. We'll begin the recording on March 26th at his studio in East Nashville.  Cason has worked with some truly talented artists and bands including Katie Herzig, Matthew Perryman Jones and Sixpence None the Richer, to name a few.  

You can follow the recording process of my upcoming album here on my blog as well as on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Vine.


Cason's studio. You want to step into this picture, am I right?


Monday, February 11, 2013

The Light That Shines





 The Light That Shines from hailey bartholomew on Vimeo.

Things like this reaffirm why I chose a life path in music. I am so blessed and honored to have two of my songs as background music in this life changing mini documentary on a brave young woman named Jill Brzezinski Conley, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a double mastectomy and finally going into remission, she was then diagnosed with incurable bone cancer. Her message to love your body just the way it comes is beautiful. Grab your box of Kleenex and prepare to be inspired.

P.S. This was filmed by the amazing, Sue Bryce.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Post-Alt Recovery

Last weekend, I went to an amazing conference for bloggers, designers and artsy folks in general.  Have you heard of Alt Summit? It was my first time attending.  Interestingly enough, after I bought my ticket and was preparing to go, I had several people warn me about how the conference was more of a display of pomp and peacock feathers than anything else.  But having been to a handful of conferences before, I took those comments with a grain of salt.  Often when people get together in large groups of like minds who are experts in their field it can feel intimidating.  But I didn't go to prove myself to the prestigious.  I went to learn from people who are successful and to experience the knowledge and light that they had to offer.  Everything is what you make of it, right?

I was so impressed with the attention to detail at Alt.  Nearly every printed item was done on the most beautiful paper in letter press.  The food was exquisite.  The themed d├ęcor was so clever.  The speakers and panelists were top notch.  Rave, rave, rave.  I went with the goal to meet new people and find something to love about every one of them.  I hardly hung out with anyone that I knew (sorry guys!) because it didn't make sense to network with people I see almost weekly.

I've also heard people complain about what it costs to attend Alt.  I paid over $500 for my three-day pass.  That may sound like a lot of money at first glance.  However, I honestly don't see how it could have cost any less than that for what you get.  In fact, for the networking opportunities, the many classes, the parties, gifts and the gourmet food, I seriously think it's a steal of a deal.  I'm already planning to go to the next one! Who's in?

(Mike and Alma Loveland and writer, Amy Hackworth ham it up with me in the smilebooth.)
   

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Music and Motherhood

Photo by Justin Hackworth.

I am a singer and songwriter by profession. I am also a mother (which should be a profession).  Someone on my Facebook page recently requested that I blog about how I balance these two roles.  And although I'd love to tell you all just how "balanced" I am, I'm not sure I've ever achieved that level of zen in real life.  But what I can do is tell you how I'm really just making it all up and writing my own story as I go along.

Stories are something I'm good at.  I've made up a lot in my lifetime about my limitations and weaknesses. There was a time when I thought that after I had kids, that would be the end of my ability to pursue a career or further my education.  Where did that story come from?  There was also the time when I bought into a story that being in the entertainment business would make me a bad mother.  Or how about the ones I've made up when I've been pregnant? No one will want to watch Jabba the Hutt sing songs about hearts with scars and little girls with great, big plans.  Thankfully, I've had some amazing mentors who have pointed out my story-making abilities and how they've proven to hold me hostage.  Why not make up stories where life is working for me, not against me?  I began to write a story where babies didn't mean that my own personal dreams were over.  But, a story that spelled out a plan where my children would be by my side as companions on my musical journey.  A story where I would wrap them up, and carry them to my college classes in a sling if I had to.  A story where they would toddle around during sound checks and eat the finger foods in the green room during concerts.  A story where people would find my big, round, pregnant belly endearing rather than offensive up on stage.  I have found that when I write stories that resonate with truth and lay them at God's feet that he always carves a path for me to accomplish them.  Does it all look perfect?  No.  Have I made mistakes?  Yes.  Have there been times when I've been self absorbed and lost my center?  Heavens, yes.  

So, if I had to sum up just exactly how I do both motherhood and music, I would tell you that I do a  reasonable amount of it with my kids in tow.  Yes, I write songs while I'm cleaning, driving or rocking a baby to sleep.  I do paperwork while my toddler dumps everything out of a drawer and onto the floor.  I let the camera crew hold my baby during shots and then I soothe him in between if he gets fussy.  At times it can be exhausting and as my career has grown, I've also recognized the need for help.  I have some amazing young ladies who come and help me with cleaning, answering emails, running errands and watching the kids when I need solitude.  My husband has also adapted in amazing ways to what our life looks like with me as a recording artist.  I'm not superhuman and I can't pretend like I do everything on my own.  I think the main thing to emphasize to you (and repeatedly to myself) is that your story doesn't have to look perfect.  In fact, it can't.  The beauty of it is, you get to write your own.
 
Photo shoot in L.A. for Zoe Magazine.


 Wrangling baby Griffin in between shots.


Backstage with my boys at the release concert for "Anchor." Photo by Justin Hackworth.

  
 Performing with the Teton Chamber Orchestra at six months along.  Photos by Krista Maurer.


 Filming the music video for "Eyes" at nine months along. 
Griffin was born exactly one week later.



Monday, January 7, 2013

Stepping Into the New Year and Out of Your Comfort Zone

Photos of my Christmas concert at Velour Live Music Gallery by Justin Hackworth, 11/28/12.

Do you ever lay awake at night and run scenarios in your mind in which you are doing extraordinary things that might normally scare you in real life? Perhaps it's speaking in public, maybe it's traveling to a foreign country, pursuing that love interest you've pined for from afar, quitting your job and starting your own business or maybe something as simple as striking up a conversation with someone at the bus stop.  

I've been performing on stage for more than ten years now and I still have times where I literally lay awake at night imagining how I can improve myself and what new things I can try on stage to take my live performance to the next level. Last month I literally lost sleep and awoke in cold sweats after I decided to learn five new songs on keyboard. In addition, I also wanted to start performing standing up at the keys, versus sitting down. Those may sound like simple things, but admittedly, I've long been intimidated of playing keyboard in my shows.  In the past, I played enough to write the basic outline of a song, but never felt quite confident in actually performing on keys. I've learned a song here and there and over time have built up my repertoire to be able to play at least supportive parts (so long as there's a guitar playing lead).  But last month was December, which meant Christmas songs, which meant learning new pieces! I also had a tour in Japan where my Christmas album was releasing for the first time and I really wanted to play my Christmas songs with total confidence at my shows.


So how did I get through that initial phase of fear when I decided to step outside of my comfort zone?  First of all, I made a clear commitment to myself that this was what I wanted to do.  No backing out.  Secondly, I made a plan of preparation.  I have always been taught that when one is prepared, one shall not fear (or at least, let fear control them).  I called up a piano/performance coach to not only help me learn my songs, but to also help me perform them comfortably in front of an audience.  I practiced those songs every single day until they became tattooed to muscle memory.  Muscle memory is VITAL to performing comfortably.  When your songs are engrained in your memory and fingers, it frees up your brain to be able to perform in an expressive way.  If you're worried about playing the right notes and singing the right words, you simply can't connect with your audience (which is the most important part!). In the end, I did learn to perform my new songs, standing up, no less.  Was everything perfect?  Of course not!  I made plenty of mistakes, but you have to allow those mistakes to happen when you're doing things outside of your comfort zone.  It's part of the process of become better at what you do.  If you show up with the intention to connect to your audience and serve them, they won't even care if you mess up.  In fact, it often endears you to them.  That's the beautiful thing.

So to recap, here are the steps I took to enable myself to step outside of my comfort zone and accomplish things I was previously only dreaming about at night:
  • Make a commitment to accomplish your goal.
  • Create a plan of preparation and carry it out.
  • Practice consistently.
  • Do it! Allow yourself to make mistakes in the process.
Forget yourself and show up with the intention to serve people. It gives more meaning to what you are doing and takes the pressure off of being perfect.

To end, I'll leave you with this little 5 minute TED Talk about the value of doing things that make you uncomfortable.  (I stumbled across this while reading a great post by Ariel Hyatt called, "Why Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone is the BEST Thing You Can Do For Yourself in 2013"). Best quote of the video: "If you want something you don’t already have, you have to do something you haven’t already done."