With tom Jackson Performer’s edge Your Matrix: Red Pill or Blue Pill? In Australia a few years ago, an artist walked offstage to 18,000 cheering fans. She came backstage and asked if I’d seen the show. I had. “What did you think?” she asked. Red pill, blue pill—which one do you want? In the Matrix, when Neo is about to take the reality-giving red pill, Morpheus warns him, “I’m offering the truth… nothing more.” I’m hoping (since you’re reading this) that YOU want the red pill, even though it might be a little painful sometimes. So I told this artist, “You know what I do—do you really want to know?” Pause….”Naah!” And she walked away. She was already good, but she could have gotten a lot better. She didn’t want the red pill. After her hit songs are gone, she’ll wonder what happened to her career. I’ve seen it happen often. In other cases, someone really wants to learn. I received some photos from a music school in Texas where the students were preparing for a live, televised, 30-minute concert for their final exams. And they were using the graph from my DVD, Turn It Up to 11 to build their set lists. I was thrilled! Not because they were using my graph, but because they really wanted to learn. I teach a lot all around the world. If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I’ve recently been in Canada, New York, Sacramento and Nashville. I’ve probably been in front of 10,000 artists in the last few months! In all those workshops I taught, I put an artist onstage and did a mini-makeover to show people what rehearsals should look like. Now, some of the artists in my classes are signed to labels. Some of them are contest winners. And some are straight up indie artists. One of these days I’m going to write a book about the questions I get asked the most when I walk off stage at these events. But by far the most commonly asked question starts like this: “I love what you did with that artist in the makeover. But I’m different.” (If I put a pop band onstage, inevitably I’m asked this question by a rock band, or a singer/songwriter, or a soloist, or a duo, or [insert type of artist here]…) “What should I do?” At times it’s frustrating, because I’ve just talked and demonstrated principles that apply to everybody! And I’ve told the audience numerous times throughout the session that what I’m teaching applies to everybody. I’m not sure what these artists want. My suspicion is they want: 1. a real quick fix, or… 2. me to come and watch them, or… 3. they don’t know what they’re asking! What do you think they’re asking? Or, if you’ve asked that question, what do you really want to know? Next month, I’ll address the question! CCM 53