The problem as I see it with not ‘selling out is selling at all’ . For example I was all set to perform at a festival, I invested around two thousand hard earned dollars to rehearse the band because I am too busy traveling the world healing heads to just ‘be a singer with a band that does bars and festivals’ … So I hire musicians when the opportunity to share my music and my stories about helping and loving the people in my world known as ‘autistics’ comes along. Its a shocking, moving, funny, hope filled show penned and performed for the worthy cause of autism awareness. I also have a wonderful CD that I sell in the hopes that this journey of possibilities can move beyond the moment by being carried from one to another in the stereos of my audience. None of this is income creating. In fact quite the opposite … I work Internationally healing people and then reinvest the money in order to tell people that healing is possible. I tell it in an entertaining blunt and honest manner that is not always appreciated by my peer professionals.
I don’t mind spending money to make a difference in this confusing world of mental health. But sometimes insisting on being different while I do it is frustrating.
Because everyone has their own agenda and mine isn’t any more important than theirs… to them …
So my band sets up and the woman in charge suggests I do only ‘quiet’ singing and not shake things up ‘this year’ so that ‘perhaps next year’ we can perform in the big tent and ‘really let loose’. I looked at this sweet lady who wanted me to quietly reflect her Christian values from the stage and thought, “Doesn’t my life do that? Didn’t I adopted a gaggle of disabled children and then turn my life inside out to help them? Didn’t most of them heal and leave me with the brand new cause of sharing how we did it so that others could to. Am I not embracing all denominations and faiths in order to improve the world we live in … isn’t that a reflection love which is a reflection of her Christian beliefs? And if so why would we want to be quiet about that? How do I journey my listeners through the pain and land them in the miracle if I water it down to a whisper? Who will hear?”
Truth is I am a grandmother with a lot to share and very little desire to be a rock star but rock music is gritty and dramatic and has the chance of reaching younger ears so I wrote my songs with some rockin styles and if I whisper all you’ll hear is the horn blowing which is the same as hearing nothing. And besides I’m old enough to retire soon so waiting in the wings in order to ‘blow them away with my music next year’ isn’t really what I was hoping for. I was hoping to spread awareness via an audience that might be surprised to learn a few things while tapping their toes and shedding a tear or two.
Unfortunately there is no real precedence for a rockin grandma who travels the world fixing brains and uses her down time to entertain audiences while introducing her autistic jumping out of his chair man child to the world. This especially true if she is screaming her stories of challenge and hope to a rock music beat. So the people who try to help me succeed want me to leave my son at home, be quieter, be typical of a mature woman. be just one thing like a healer or a performer not both, be commercial, be normal.
The problem is “I’m not!” So that would be a lie. And changing the truth about what worked into something more palatable would change my message into snake oil. Snake oil sells but it doesn’t heal.
I am different just like my children. And we are wonderful just like you. So lets shout together … to the beat of our drums 🙂