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With tom Jackson
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…
I’m hoping (since you’re reading this) that YOU want
the red pill, even though it might be a little painful
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
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!