It has been over two years since my last post on the TLS website and there are many changes underway to reflect my shifting direction in my life, career, and passions. To paraphrase a quote I read recently:
“The best time to start a task is yesterday, the second-best time is RIGHT NOW.”
During a summer playdate with my best friend and our kids, he exposed me to Google Cardboard via a player received in the post from the New York Times VR (a recently launched content provider for Cardboard). After slipping on a pair of headphones and staring deeply into headpiece (which conspicuously resembles the old, static View Master), I was blown away by the seemingly effortless experience of swimming underwater with dolphins, climbing the spire of the new World Trade Center, and exploring the history of Cuban Dance.
Despite the fact that Cardboard is 360-degree video and isn’t true virtual realityit is an astounding, immersive experience for only $15 and the content being created for the player (many of them free) is equally impressive!
But, don’t take my word for it, explore it yourself:
A cultural institution and champion of independent music has closed. For 20 years, New York City’s Other Music has served as an invaluable resource for obscure, alternative, and forgotten music.
As a music collector, DJ, and former indie record store manager, I remember when every major city had an Other Music—small, indie stores that doubled as communal spaces serving poseurs, affectionados, students, and fanatics alike. Nowadays, places like Other Music are a rare exception—a reminder of an era long past and another lost opportunity for us as human beings to connect on an interpersonal level.
I still remember ordering by mail or friends making trips to New York to secure the latest electronic and club music imports from Other Music. These strange and obscure pieces opened our minds, formed the foundation of our DJ sets, and helped us spread the electronic gospel to the uninitiated and unconverted.
The New York Times’ Manjula Varghese’s touching video tribute to Other Music reminds us that places for self expression and artistic pursuit still matter.
<Writer’s Note: This is an amended post where I have added more information>
I am a Graphic and Web Designer by trade, but for many years I’ve earned money as a professional DJ (for events, companies, organizations—and on occasion—a wedding or party on referral) and there is nothing quite like the rush and excitement of performing music for a crowd. But, before you can move the crowd there is a lot of preparation involved:
Be Prompt—respond to any and all correspondence immediately, be it a contract, question, or request; the sooner you have all the info you need, the sooner you can start your preparation
Be Prepared—ask questions, research your client, request an itinerary, walk through your performance venue, create an equipment checklist, and practice, practice, practice your material; the unexpected will happen at your event so be prepared when it does
Be Professional—respond quickly (see tip 1: Be Prompt) by phone or email; dress appropriately; arrive and set up early on event day, be friendly, flexible, and smile often
Be Productive—before, during, and after the gig engage your guests, clients, and followers in person and online (have your business cards ready); be diligent in producing content and sharing your work (this will lead to new clients and opportunities)
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
—Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Like many Gen Xers and Millennials, I grew up with Dr. Seuss: the books, the animated specials, and the movies (in the third grade, my career choice was to be the Cat in the Hat).
I was too old to read his final book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go! when it was first published in 1990, but reading it now to my family I understand why it’s message resonates with adult readers.
It is a motivational self-help manual masquerading as a children’s book. Inspiring, practical, entertaining and insightful, it is worth the read and is far cheaper than attending a seminar or training!
“You’re off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So… get on your way!”
—Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!
Over the course of my career, I’ve read a lot of books on productivity and organization and Extreme Productivity by Robert Pozen is one of the best. I first read it several years ago, and return to it again and again.
Many of the theories, techniques, and tools employed by Mr. Pozen aren’t new, but they are organized and reasoned through a lifetime of experience and success.
We are all busy and there is no substitute for hard work, but we can all learn to work a little smarter and be more productive.
The term game changer tends to be overused, but De La Soul’s Kickstarter campaign may inspire more artists to work through unconventional channels to finance and distribute their work.
In less than a month, more than 9,000 backers have contributed over 500,000.00 USD—obliterating the band’s crowdfunding goal of $110,000.00 in ONE DAY!
This method of crowdsourcing and unconventional financing sends a powerful message to established and emerging artists as well as media companies and distributors that technology is a great tool for creatives to send their art directly to market.
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