Sunday, January 29, 2012

"Having a Plan B is highly overrated"

I'm not your typical artist manager. And this isn't to boast; in fact, by most measures it's kinda crazy what I've chosen to do.

For the last 5 years, I have exclusively managed Here II Here. Now, as Here II Here recently broke up, I'm exclusively managing Here II Here's main songwriter / vocalist, Ash Ruiz. What's more, I went on tour with the guys (more like I TOOK them on tour) for most of 2009/2010, and now I rent a 2-bedroom apartment in North Hollywood with Ash.

It seems I'm an "all-in" kind of manager.

From most perspectives, what I'm doing would be considered to be pretty UNwise. I'm not at all diversified. I've spent the last 5 years throwing in my lot with only one group of artists. Even though that group has essentially given up, I still haven't! I'm continuing on with the lead singer. Now it's just he and I carrying forward this torch that Here II Here carried for so many years.

I've had other artists ask me to manage them. There are so many artists out there in need of help. Somehow, though, it just doesn't feel right for me. I would say it's because I don't like to multi-task, but that would just be an outright lie. I'm a swiss-army knife of a manager, and you should see how many windows I routinely have open on my mac laptop (microsoft windows couldn't handle me). It's almost embarrassing.

But what can I say? No other artist has connected with me like this one. No other opportunity has so firmly gripped me by my entire being, so deeply inspired my imagination, so convincingly compelled me to employ all my resources in its service, as working in full support to help broadcast the music and clarity that come through this artist, Ash Ruiz.

The last 7 months, Ash and I have been in a cocoon of sorts, beginning in Miami, FL last summer, and continuing here in Los Angeles ... visioning, planning, writing, creating, stirring, dreaming, discussing, processing, gathering ... we've been plotting out the garden, planting the seeds, watering them, ensuring enough sunlight, feeding them nutrients.

We've been designing his website, assembling the various creation teams, finding the investors, recording the music album, networking within our brilliant community, finding the music video director (Mikki Willis of Elevate Films ... and so much more.

Now, here we are in late January, 5 months of seed hidden under soil, and life is beginning to germinate.

Ash's new website - one of the finest, most interesting I've ever been part of creating - launches this week.

This coming Saturday, Feb 4th, Ash performs at one of the most exciting events in our history together, the "Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment" (GATE - in Beverly Hills, with actor Jim Carrey, Eckhart Tolle, Marianne Williamson, Don Miguel Ruiz, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Jean Houston, comedian Louis Anderson, and so many more. It's an extraordinary event, and Ash even wrote the THEME song for it, with Gardner Cole, who wrote Madonna's mega-hit song "Open Your Heart"! Interestingly enough, the theme of the event, and the title of Ash's song, is "Only A New Seed" (can yield a new crop).

In February we're doing his debut music video with the best director I could imagine for his debut video, Mikki Willis of Elevate Films. We'll release it end of March / beginning February.

Finally, Ash's debut solo album will come out in April. We're already planning a great release party in LA with an incredible community.

After that??? It's time to put Ash on stage for the summer. The only question is where.

And I know there are no guarantees, even as this project evolves in a thrilling new direction.

Sure, I've thought about a Plan B. I've fantasized how a Plan B would bring me more security, more money, more certainty, more companionship (believe it or not, touring with a band, even constantly staying at fans' homes as we did, can be oddly ISOLATING), etc.

When Here II Here broke up, I wasn't quite sure what life would look like after that. It was all I had done for 4 years, and it ended rather suddenly through no choice of mine. That's the risk you take with all eggs in one basket.

And I didn't have a Plan B for that happening. When it did happen, I essentially allowed it to happen with minimal resistance. I went along with it. I did the things needed to do to close out the experience. I held the "You're Perfect" sign. I promoted the new album (now a FREE going-away gift for fans).

I took time, waiting for life to show the way.

And life always shows the way.

Now, all the guys are doing fine, pursuing their own paths. Everyone's eating, healthy, employed in one form or another, finding their way. Because I work with Ash, who essentially wrote 95% (maybe more) of the Here II Here music, I feel as though Here II Here never broke up. It's just shape shifting into another form.

I get to continue this most remarkable journey ... which I know, by most accounts, still seems quite crazy. I've spent most of my considerable savings walking this path. I'm incredibly talented (and clearly modest) and could make a lot of money working for someone else.

But I learned a long time ago you can't pay me enough to be miserable.

I would rather take on the challenge of learning how to create abundance doing what I absolutely love, than the challenge of learning how to love what I despise but that simply makes me money.

So I still don't have a Plan B. I'm all in. Plan B will show up if it ever needs to. The funny thing is, though, there is only always Plan A. When this current Plan A comes to its natural conclusion, a new Plan A will show up. It will almost certainly look completely different from anything I could even possibly imagine right now.

Five years ago, when I finally grew out of my previous career as a PR spokesperson for an international company, managing transformational music artists definitely wasn't in any of my Plan B-Z ideas.

That's because it was simply the next Plan A. I only needed to say yes!

(Artwork: "The Seed" by Paweljonca)

1 comment:

  1. Good to hear from you. If you consider that you could use capital and lower case letters and their combinations, there could be much more "plans". And there are languages like Polish, that have more letters with little accents and so happens that the artist for the Seed is Paweł Jońca (with two such funny letters). Best to you and all the firends I met through you, Mariusz (no funny letters just crazy spelling)