Finding your voice is the key to your expression as an artist. No matter what the platform is, if the artist learns to create from their core, the message will be received. When you see this type of expression, it often makes you tear up and your heart does a flip. The hair on your arms stands up and you honor the person who delivered this message to you because it made you feel their story. It takes an incredible amount of courage from the artist to access their well and reach this type of emotional height. We all go through so many emotions over our lifetime, but a select few are really able to take these emotions and turn them into art.
How does the artist learn to hit these highs? How do they find their voice? Your voice comes from within. It comes from knowing who you are and how you feel. It comes from the ability to separate from your story, detach from your ego and connect with your spirit. It often involves freeing yourself from attachment to the outcome and just being in the moment of the pursuit. You need to dig deep and be willing to go there.
In your life, think of your highest highs and your lowest lows. In the moment of the experience, how did you feel? Reflecting upon it now, how does it make you feel? It is often in these moments that we begin to hunger for a place to express ourselves, somewhere to emote. For writers, it's the page. For dancers, it's the stage. For singers, it's the song. For artists, it's the canvas. We escape so we can pull it apart and make sense of it. We escape so we can process it and understand it. By having an outlet for your truth to emerge, you will find your voice.
Along this line, I've come across two pieces of art that deliver this type of promise. One is a book A Million Miles In A Thousand Years written by Donald Miller. Miller writes,
The real Voice is stiller and smaller and seems to know, without confusion, the difference between right and wrong and the subtle delineation between the beautiful and the profane. It's not an agitated Voice, but ever patient as though it approves of a million false starts. The Voice I am talking about is a deep water of calming wisdom that says, Hold your tongue; don't talk about that person that way; forgive the friend you haven't talked to; don't look at the woman as a possession; I want to show you the sunset; look and see how short life is and how your troubles are not worth worrying about; buy the bottle of wine and call your friend and see if he can get together, because, remember, he was supposed to have that conversation with his daughter and you should ask him about it.
I love this book because in it the writer becomes the protagonist on his journey to understand how to add fiction to his truth so that his story will transfer to the screen. It's one of the best books I've read on story.
The second is a song "Jar of Hearts" that created an overnight success for the artist, Christina Perri. Her song that she wrote, her performance and the dance that went along with it on So You Think You Can Dance definitely connected with the masses. One of her YouTube videos has over 967,000 views and it's one of the highest selling songs on iTunes. She was a waitress. She is now an artist. It took digging into her core and bringing it to her words that transformed her destiny. It tells the story of her heart being broken. Here is a sample of some of her words, "I learned to live half a life and now you want me one more time" and the chorus is "And who do you think you are? Runnin' around leaving scars. Collecting your jar of hearts, tearing love apart..." The part that really gets to the core of her story is when Christina writes, "It took so long just to feel alright. Remember how to put back the light in my eyes. I wish I had missed the first time that we kissed. Cuz you broke all your promises now you're back, you don't get to get me back." It is the soul in her words, the beauty in her voice and the rawness in her delivery that makes this song stand out in a major way. Her message is clear.
Finding your voice will separate you from the masses. I encourage you to be fearless in your exploration. You will see results.
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