*This first part of the blog entry was written last Summer
I posted in the YEP Facebook group (Young Entertainment Professionals) about wanting someone to film/direct my very first music video. I was overwhelmed by responses and eventually picked someone by process of elimination. His name was Josh Lockhart and his work stood out to me. I was looking for videos that were interesting to watch and looked professional.
The thing about this was if I was going to make a music video, I didn't want to half-ass it. I wanted it to be comparable to what you see from bigger artists, at least as far as quality and direction. I've seen so many that look obviously amateur, and I didn't want to invest thousands of dollars into something to have it turn out that way.
The Rome video ended up being pretty simple. However, it did not start out that way.
I met Josh for coffee (I drank tea of course) and we discussed a lot of ideas. The Rome video we planned out was going to be a lot more complicated than what it turned out to be. It was going to have a whole storyline and actors involved, and I will elaborate on this in an exclusive post I am sending to my email subscribers. Let's just say though, at one point, we were seriously trying to coordinate a bus full of nuns. You read that correctly.
As time grew closer, however, it just wasn’t coming together. We were running out of time, I was running out of money, and we were both more eager to get ahead to the next video. (that's right, a next video is coming.)
So we simplified the concept and ended up just wanting to do a video-based around the photoshoot I previously did. This was a whimsical, fairy inspired representation of my move to Nashville, where I was alone and feeling lost in a new environment.
The night we went to film, in the most poetic way possible, our light broke and we had to reschedule the shoot. Do you think the music gods would have allowed the Rome video to be built in a day? Heck no!
So I came back a couple of days later, and we got it all shot. Since this was my first video ever, even with some acting experience and training, I felt incredibly awkward at times, like Ricky Bobby when he didn't know what to do with his hands. Thankfully, Josh was really good about having a vision and giving direction. It's why I believe his prior videos were so good and what I believe every artist who is serious about making a quality video should look for in their director/videographer.
One memorable experience I had was filming at night by the river. It was pitch black and there were giant spiders and bugs everywhere. If I look scared in that scene, it wasn’t because I’m an amazing actress (debatable) but I was actually pretty scared!
I’ve only seen a couple of scenes so far but I’m definitely excited and hopeful. It’s got the whimsy that I like in all of my visuals. I’m ultimately happy with the decision to simplify this video, although it’s very personal to me, I think what we ended up with was a sweet metaphorical interpretation of my journey, and I saved the money to make a really cool video for my next song.
*This next part I am writing as of 3/16/2020
In life, you can plan and prepare for a lot. I have been very particular about this release because it's a big deal for me. I arranged a show and put together a full band (my first time ever playing with one) for release day, and planned to debut my video at the venue after my performance. My family was going to fly in for it. I bought a new dress that matched my sequin boots and got my hair done. I made sure to get my video uploaded and coordinated with VEVO weeks in advance. I thought I had planned for everything.
What I did not think to plan for, was a global pandemic that would bring much of the travel, service and music industry to a standstill.
This coronavirus stuff is crazy. It's unprecedented. I write this with my show four days away not knowing if it will go on. Not knowing if I should want it to go on. Most of my family has (reasonably) bailed on the trip. Major events and places are being shut down, like March Madness, and Disney. Entire countries are on lockdown. It's like nothing I've ever seen before.
I've been in communication with my band members, and have expressed that I want them to take their health and safety first. As of now, all are ready and willing to play. I have also been in contact with the event planner and the venue. As of now, the show goes on, and if the show is on, I will not back out of it.
But even if it does, I don't expect a crowd, and I feel irresponsible and selfish even thinking about asking people to come. I keep up with the news, and if we continue on the same trajectory as Italy, it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better.
I passed out in a Starbucks the other day and needed to go to the ER. After a bunch of tests were run I was deemed okay, but it's clear that the stress has been getting to me. I hadn't slept a lot the week prior. I've been anxious. I was triggered by someone telling a medical story (which has made me lightheaded before) but I think these other factors may have pushed me over the edge.
My mom flew in for the weekend when she found out. She helped me stock up. My parents want me to come be with them in Illinois. Maybe they're right, I honestly wouldn't mind a snuggle with my dog. I don't feel right about leaving though. Not yet. I don't want to bail on my show. Besides, Nashville is home, and in a weird way, I feel like it needs me, especially after the tornado disaster we just had. I think a lot of us artists are feeling all of this in a completely different way than the average person. I feel like I belong with them and I don't want to leave unless it's absolutely necessary.
In my song, Rome I sing about being "scared and unprepared." I sing about picking myself up and making it through "one day more." Although it's not ideal for me, I hope the timing of this pandemic with the release of my video can at least give people some hope, whether they work for an industry that is being shut down and aren't sure how they're gonna pay their bills, or are worried about a loved one getting sick. For a moment, I hope my video can shed a light or give someone something to look forward to, even if it's just a brief distraction from all the stress and noise.
When I first moved to Nashville, I didn't feel like I was going to make it through two weeks. I couldn't see a light at the end of the tunnel, so I took it a day at a time. If I could make it to this moment, I think we can make it through this moment too.