Anxiety and the Arts: Post #1

I have dealt with anxiety consciously for about three years now, although it always had different names to me: nervousness, upset stomach, butterflies, fighting, sabotaging relationships, control issues, power issues, fear, etc. etc. etc.

Anxiety disorders are very real things, and they’re very scary things. And more people are affected by them then you would think. It saddens me that mental health has long been a taboo thing to talk about, although I think that stigma is finally dissipating and conversations are being had.

From all the books I’ve read about the subject, the definition of anxiety can be crudely boiled do to simply: the fear of the future and unknown.

I’ll be open with you to start this dialogue: I have anxiety, and mild depression. Rather, I have anxiety and I used to be mildly depressed. I went at those problems with focus and dedication and consider myself extremely lucky that I tackled one of them. Not everyone is so lucky. Although I continue to take an anxiety medication, the beast still rears its ugly head regularly. And in these moments, I struggle and fight through and afterwards look back and reflect how I can cut it off at the pass.

I’ve tried all sorts of approaches to bolster my wits. Some of them worked and continue to do so, some of them faded out of my journey…lol journey I hate using that word. It’s about the journey not the destination… *eye roll* YET I can assure you for people struggling with anxiety they’d MUCH rather prefer to be at the destination.

(side note I really do believe you should enjoy the ride and stop worrying about the future… ironically see above definition)

Crystals, diet, yoga, running, Kung Fu, Reading books and testimonies, Klonopin, Beta Blockers, Breathing, Mediation, Wellbutrin, therapy, SSRIs, alcohol, weird herbal teas, reiki, acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy… the list truly does go on, but you get the gist. One important one that I forgot to add is TALKING TO PEOPLE ABOUT IT. When you are given a voice to talk about the demons in your head then you gain power over them. My wish is that everyone finds this power to wield. Find the people in your life that will listen and open up to them.

The answer for me was a strong combination of several of those on the list. Finding the right person(s) to talk to, finding a pharmaceutical that would work for me, maintaining some semblance of exercise – even with a demanding constantly changing schedule – and a few other little things here and there – namely embracing my druidic past, and meditating with crystals. Find your power. Find your people.

Let’s get this dialogue started! I’d love to hear from other people about what works for them and what they’re working on! Consider this the first of many posts about this subject. I’ll go into more details about individual things I’ve tried, successful or not, in the coming weeks!

On Finding New Music…

So you’re unhappy with your book? You want a new pop rock song but don’t know where to start? You’re sick of singing the same old Golden Age tune. It happens. Here’s what you can do: put in the work.

Go online and spiral into a youtube.com rabbit hole and find the songs you’ve been searching for. Go on Spotify (you should have Spotify, it’s almost 2018).

Find songs that bring you joooooyyyyy. You should probably NOT audition with the song you stared out the window and cried to for hours, that seems like NOT setting yourself up for success.

Start with the artists you love, and artists that are similar. Listen to their music. Start small, set yourself a time frame, 30 mins a day searching for music. If that seems like a lot to you then think about it this way: you’re investing 30 minutes of time into the business of you, and into finding the perfect fitting new audition song for your career.

Don’t stress too hard about finding a rare hidden song that’s unknown, or worrying that the song you connect with MOST is overdone. As I’ve said before, most songs are overdone to a casting director, they’ve heard them all a million times. The person who’s going to book the job is the person who acts the song the best. Unless it’s a singing job… then obviously be the best singer.

I play enough classes where I hear: “I’m just like soooyyy bad at finding music… like … I don’t know how to do it… or like… what’s good.”

-_______-

You KNOW how to get online and listen to music,  don’t play…    You are just being lazy and not putting in the work.

What’s your favorite musical? Who wrote it? Go online and see what else they have done and the songs of theirs people are singing. Who’s your favorite pop rock artist? Spotify who is similar. Don’t listen to pop? Ask a friend, go to Billboard and see what’s big and what people are listening to. Sometimes it takes trial and error, trying things out and them not working. Ask a friend or a coach to go thru the song with you and see if it works, if it shows you off enough, if there’s a cut in the song for auditions, IF IT WORKS ON A PIANO, ya know, just a few things.

Put in the work. Don’t be lazy.