By Bronson Herrmuth - 03/04/2008 - 10:09 AM EST
©2008 By Bronson Herrmuth
R = Reality
E = Equality
S = Sincerity
P = Pride
E = Ego
C = Commitment
T = Trust
And there you have it. My interpretation of the meaning of the letters making up the word respect. Truly important in every aspect of our lives and a must for keeping your musical career on pace and your head on straight. I have to admit up front that this took me a long time to understand and several very important and close relationships were destroyed because of my actions or words that I deeply regret. Respect someone and odds are they will show you that same respect. Disrespect someone and you can count on mutual disrepect coming right back at you and any chance at a meaningful relationship on any grounds is out the window. The life of a working musician, songwriter, artist, performer, entertainer, etc., tends to be an extremely selfish one. It's all about you, what you think, what you want, what you need, and without even realizing or intending to, you can hurt anothers feelings or pride in a way that can never truly be undone no matter how hard you try.
Reality: Keep your feet on the ground and your eyes wide open. No matter what you have going on, no matter what anyone may tell you is going to happen in the future, stay realistic. Living in a dreamland full of fame, fortune, and fantasy can get you in big big trouble at any point of your career. It's very much akin to the age old country saying, "Don't count your chickens before they hatch", because this can lead to disaster. In another regard, don't set unrealistic goals for your career and don't expect another individual to change their ways or habits just because you would like them to. Be realistic when dealing with others in your band or organization or family and give them the benefit of the doubt before you write them off, negate, or disrespect them. Having dreams, setting goals, making plans are all essential to future success but you have to conciously stay grounded and live in your reality as you pursue them to be the most effective and to maintain peace and harmony with those around you.
Equality: No one person in a band is more important than the other. Never forget this. Each member is just as important as the other, especially to themselves. Whether you play 5 instruments or just one or you sing most of the lead vocals and harmonies, whatever, each member has to hold down their end of the stage under any conditions to put on a great show. Don't let yourself get caught thinking your band is all about you because the minute you do that could be exactly what you wind up with. You alone on the stage doing a solo while your band finds your replacement and keeps on rocking with out you. All for one and one for all is an essential attitude in keeping a band together for long periods of time. Equal members with an equal vote is not easy to do but it does work when you can manage to seek out and find others that feel the same way and think the same musically. Never forget, when someone is watching and listening to you perform they will be looking at all of you in your entirety and whatever it is they see will reflect on all of you equally. When someone in the music industry looks at you on stage, their eyes will be focused on your weakness's, not the strengths, so everyone must be able to maintain their space as an equal at all times.
Sincerity: Always speak from your heart and be sincere. If you can't say something good or productive it's usually best to bite your tounge and keep it to yourself. Make sure you mean what you say and that you are willing to back it up with your actions before you speak. People tend to have very long memories when it comes to someone saying one thing then actually doing another. Always hold up your end and be sincere when you communicate with others. Musically always pursue the music you truly love at every opportunity, the style of music that inspires you to be most creative. I believe the average person out listening to a band, enjoying a show, can sense when you are playing or singing to them from your heart and if you are just going through the motions and don't really care for the music or the venue you are performing. When you give the crowd everything you have everytime you take a stage, they know, respect and love you for it and very well might become a fan of yours for life.
Pride: There is a very fine line between being proud of yourself and being prideful. Insulting another's pride is a quick way to end a relationship whoever they may be. Everyone is different and it's so important that you understand this and go out of your way to make sure you don't hurt anothers pride. One of the best ways to avoid wounding someones pride is to always show them upmost respect as the starting point and go from there. If you find yourself in the awkward and uncomfortable scenario where you are having to tell someone something that they don't want to hear, it's usually much better to communicate one on one so the conversation is in private and confidential. Calling somebody out in front of others most times goes south quickly and tempers flare as feelings get hurt and then things get said in the heat of the moment that can never be taken back.
Ego: Everyone has one of course. It's how you control your ego that counts. No one likes a person who is egotistacal, so full of themselves that it can be very difficult for anyone to be around them that isn't their adoring fan. The music/entertainment industry has more than it's share of egotists as it comes with the territory in our world built on dreams of success and riches beyond belief. Confidence in your artistry is one thing, and out of control ego is quite another. Keep yours in check and I assure you it will be to your benefit throughout your career as you meet and relate with others.
Commitment: The life of an entertainer, performer, professional musician, singer, or artist, has very little of the security found in most other professions. It takes a considerable amount of courage and determination to make the commitment to pursue the arts as your livelihood in the first place and much more to stay with it as you proceed through the years. Giving up is easy, having the strength to not give up no matter the situation can be very difficult to muster up time and time again as needed. As time passes it doesn't neccesarily get any easier except for the chosen few so one is forced to recommit again and again to keep on their chosen path towards their ultimate success in the industry.
Trust: Over the course of your career the issue of trust will come up over and over. Whether be it with fellow band mates, your agent, your attorney, your label, etc., trust will be an issue you will have to deal with. I have witnessed a lot of careers crash and burn based on those individuals lack of willingness or inability to trust others, which negated anyone being able to assist them at very crucial times of their career. No doubt the entertainment industry attracts unethical individuals right alongside the honorable and your ability to know when not to trust someone is imperative. At the same time you have to be willing to trust the right people at the right times to be successfull. No one can do it all by themselves, it's just way too much to deal with for one person and do it effectively. You will have to make the decision to trust others along the way and be prepared for the consequences. Trusting no one is probably the quickest way to end a career before you ever get started. Trust your vibes, if it doesn't feel right don't do it and 9 times out of 10 you will have made the right decision.
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