Don’t Be-LIE-ve the Hype

Posted on October 15, 2010

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Just a thought to share with you from the underbelly of the entertainment industry. Don’t believe the hype.

It’s a known fact that since people have learned to speak, people have learned to lie. It’s not always intended as a full frontal attack of deception, but you see it every single day, and more so in the entertainment industry than anywhere else. Here’s one example:

It’s 1:30 AM at the local dive bar. Most of the players have moved on to other more secluded or “invite” based locations to keep it going until the sun comes up. There she is at the bar, staying to finish her drink even though her girlfriend caught a cab home 5 minutes ago and he saunters up beside her and continues the small talk that started 3 hours ago when he was striking out with her friend.

He looks deep into her one wooden eye, past the grey patch of hair over her right ear at the last call sign on the wall and he opens his mouth and says, “I have to admit, you are quite the attraction sitting here. I couldn’t help but invite myself over to ask if you’d like to join me for breakfast in bed.”

The fact is, the girl has one wooden eye and looks like she rolled off a cabbage truck, but he’s going to say what he has to in order to support his own perverted interests.

The entertainment industry is very much like this. By that I don’t mean that you have one wooden eye and someone is trying to poke it out with his erection; I mean that if people are in the circle and talking to you – most likely they are fishing for something that supports their own agenda. More Examples:

A –  “Dude, you are better than Yngwie.”

B – “Darling, if they’d have known you were here, Christina Aguilera wouldn’t have a career.”
C – “I don’t see why Journey hired that Filipino guy when they could have had you sing for the band.”

D – “These songs are exactly what FM radio is looking for.”

Over time, you pick up a deciphering tool that cuts though the bullshit and you hear what people are actually saying, as you may read below.

A – “Wow man, you are a really good guitarist and if you were in my band, my shortcomings would be overlooked because you would make my band sound waaaay better.”

B – “You have a great set of boobs and if I bullshit you quick enough, I think I can get in your pants before you realize I have absolutely NO pull to get you any further than you are in your career.”

C – “Your singing is really good and if I hang around you, there will surely be girls. Please be my friend.”

D – “These songs have some sales potential, I bet I can scoop them out from under this dude and make a buck off his hard work.”

That’s a little more like it. But the danger of hearing these things without the decoder is that you may have the potential to repeat it to someone down the road. Don’t believe the hype.

Have you ever met the guy who comes out and says, “When I play they tell me I’m better than Yngwie!”

If you were, you would be an internationally recognized guitarist who has albums for sale at Wal-Mart and your name would be in Guitar World magazine next to Slash.

Without going into detail about how people step on their own careers and make themselves look foolish, let me just say that when someone tells you that you are better than, ready for or bigger than – just nod and smile and walk away.

There is hope to the hype however. You don’t want to repeat these things when people spew out the “You Are God” quotes, but you do want to collect the moments when they say them to someone else. Those are the truths that show the world who you are and what your potential is.

What I mean by that is, you shouldn’t tell the world you are a great guitar player or songwriter – no one is going to believe the hype when it comes from your own mouth. Just play. The hype broadcast is believable when someone writes it in a column, or talks about it on the air. When a listener hears it from a source that isn’t directly connected to you, they are going to share it as truth and you had better hope that you could back it up.

You will always score more points with someone when you can say, “This music reviewer wrote in the Herald that I was the next best thing to sliced bread when I grab the microphone and sing.” Someone else said it, so it has to be true, right? Unless the guy is a maniac, yeah, it could be.

If you tell me you are the next best thing to sliced bread, I’ll immediately want proof, and so will anyone else you say it too. Don’t tell me I’m going to love the music, you’re going to get further if you can show me ten other people who have liked it, and when you can do that – you don’t need to be trying to get me to believe anything. I’ll most likely already have heard about it and you are already on your way.

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