How to Start Doing Something You Really Want to Do | By Lauren Marcus
Okay. So I’m gonna assume if you’ve clicked on this link to read this Guest Blog Post, then we probably know each other in some way. Which means you probably have seen one of my one million posts about my EP, “Never Really Done With You”, that I’m releasing this Monday, July 11th, 2016.
Oh, you didn’t see any posts about “Never Really Done With You”? That’s so funny, because I posted a lot about #NeverReallyDoneWithYouEP and I’m releasing it next week and having a big old EP release show at Joe’s Pub (425 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003) at 9:30pm this coming Monday, July 11th, and it’s being presented by Musical Theatre Factory and did I mention I’m releasing an EP (smile, stare down, physical apology, I’m running away)?
ANYWAY. You may be wondering what the hell I shall be blogging about. I was wondering that myself right up until this evening, whilst playing a gig at Rockwood. I was onstage (accompanied by the brilliant Rob Rokicki and Joe Iconis), singing my little head off, and feeling super lucky. But most surprisingly, I was feeling super at ease and confident in this singer-songwriter world I’ve created for myself. And I realized I wanted to write about that—this leap into an additional career, an additional title, an additional craft. It was not an easy leap, it was not a quick leap, and I’m still far from feeling completely there. FAR, VERY FAR. But I feel like I at least finally have one foot in, you know? And I’d like to talk about some steps you, yourself, can take to get to whatever secondary thing you’re really, truly contemplating doing with your life. Because it is oh-so-weird-and-hard sometimes, but oh-so-worth-it.
STEP 1: DON’T IGNORE THAT LITTLE VOICE IN THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD THAT SAYS, “YOU KNOW WHAT? YOU KIND OF WHAT TO DO THIS.”
It’s there. You hear it. You know it’s there. But you’re so busy, you’re doing the main thing you’ve imposed on your life (for better or for worse) and you just don’t have time, and you’re in your mid-twenties or mid-thirties or 55 or eighty-fucking-two and how can you add in something new now? Well, you know what’s so cool? You just can. Honestly. As corny as it sounds, no one’s telling ya no except you, sister! And if the idea is circling around in your brain, face it—it’s there for a reason. I started writing songs at 13, but somehow during the very intense* rehearsal process of Once Upon a Mattress, I decided I was solely an actor because I was probably better at that, and that’s what I should go with, right? What I wish I’d told myself then: You’re 13. Calm down. But the idea of songwriting kept a-coming. I took another stab at songwriting in high school, showed maybe one song to one person, their reaction was lukewarm, and I thought, “Stick with acting, kid.” What I wish I’d told myself then: That person you showed your song to was very, very high and wore stupid pants. But the idea of songwriting kept a-coming. Cut to college, when I took a musical theatre writing class, and the teacher told me, “Wow, you have such a gift for scene work!” which I took to mean I sucked at writing songs. What I wish I’d told myself then: SHE LITERALLY DIDN’T SAY ANYTHING ABOUT YOUR SONGWRITING. YOU’RE FINE. Guess what happened a few years later? I was in grad school, feverishly writing songs at night while I was supposed to be memorizing Shakespeare. The heart wants what the heart wants, and it’s gonna track that thing down at one point or another…or be really, really sad that you never had the guts to go after that other thing in earnest, at least for a little bit...