And Sometimes, Kelly Clarkson Watches Your Music Video

erica bryan,, behind the micSome days you’re in the high, and some days you’re in the low…and some days you’re high and low in the same day.

A lot of my life has seemed like that lately. You can come off the stage thinking you just had the best show of your life or you can leave the stage wondering if anyone cared you were up there. You can be really encouraged by something someone says, or you can be discouraged when someone whips out the Billboard Country Top 100 and gently reminds you that there are only 3 females on it. But I guess it’s the balance of highs and lows that keep you level headed. The lows are there to put your pride in check, and the highs are there to remind you to keep going.

I thought that since we survived the craziness of our last Birmingham show (see previous post) that surely our next Birmingham show would be a breeze. However, it seems that something always keeps us on our toes. On this particular day, the guitar locks, that are supposed to be an extra precaution for keeping the strap on your Gibson electric guitar in place, decided not to work, and caused my guitarist to drop her guitar, inevitably breaking the headstock.

It was a tragic occurrence. We panicked and weren’t sure how some of the songs would go since we had planned our set around having an electric guitar. Luckily we were playing at a University and a student called their friend to borrow a telecaster, but the sound of the borrowed guitar would go in and out and it put a damper on the evening. However, we managed to get through despite it all!

PictureThe next day I was sitting at my day job (working at Reba’s company Starstruck Entertainment), probably looking like a zombie because we got back in town from Birmingham at 1:30am, and Kelly Clarkson’s assistant, Ashley, asked how I was doing. I was explaining my exhaustion and how touring and working 45 hours a week was a little taxing. She said she had no idea that I was a singer and that she would look me up. I didn’t think that would actually happen, but I was grateful that she seemed interested.Well, fast forward a few days, and I’m sitting at my desk when Kelly Clarkson and Ashley walk in and Kelly says, “I watched your music video! I had no idea you sang! The video was really good and you sounded great!” And Ashley said, “I totally looked you up after we talked!” There were a million things running through my mind. Wait a second- did Kelly Clarkson-my biggest musical influence- really just watch my music video in her spare time?!…and said I sounded great?! I got a little sappy and told her, “Well you’re my biggest influence!” and she said, “I had no idea of that either!” It was definitely a high I needed!As my real-life American Idol was walking away, I got a text saying one of my band members has tendinitis and that I’ll need to find some replacements for our shows.

So as you can see….highs and lows!

My viola player, Katherine (learn more about her here), was telling me that lately she’s been grateful for the highs and lows–grateful for the journey between learning and arriving at your destination.

She sent me this quote that really spoke to me, “O Lord, our God, so much of this life is lived in between; between the now and the not yet, between arriving and departing, between birth and death and rebirth, between growing up and growing old, between questions and answers. Help us not to live only for some distant day when the in between will be no more, but help us to step into the mystery of that sacred space here and now–knowing that it will be a place of genuine change and true transformation.” -Unknown

Sometimes you will break your proverbial prize guitar, and sometimes Kelly Clarkson will watch your music video. But in the end, both times will help you grow and transform you into the person you were meant to be.

About Erica Bryan

Erica’s passion for performing started when her mom brought her to her first theatre audition in Pennsylvania when she was eight years old. She didn’t make the cut. But the next year, she went back to the same audition and got the part. From an early age, Erica learned that with hard work and persistence, anything can happen. After her first show, there was no question that performing is what she would do for a living.
When she was twelve years old, her family moved to Roswell, GA, where she heard Country music for the first time. After listening to Reba and singing lots of Shania Twain karaoke, Erica decided she wanted to be a Country singer. Some years went by and, although Country music was always in the back of her mind, she started focusing more on her theatre opportunities, which led to her decision to study Musical Theatre in college.
While still in college, Erica performed professionally with Opera Birmingham, and spent her summers performing at theme parks and theatres. After graduation, she moved to New York City to continue her professional theatre career. While in New York, Erica got to train with Broadway’s finest actors and was cast in leading roles in Regional Theatres around the country. During one of her shows, Erica had the opportunity to perform with a Country band on the side. Call it coincidence or fate, but Erica was back singing Country music in the middle of a theatre contract, and she fell in love all over again.
After another year in theatre, it became clear to Erica that it was time to move to Nashville, TN and pursue her original childhood dream of being a Country artist. Shortly after arriving to Nashville, she landed a day job working for country hero, Reba McEntire, at Starstruck Entertainment. By night, she began crafting her own songs and writing skills. Within a couple months of songwriting, Erica’s songs started receiving the highest honors from the Nashville Songwriters Association. She recently released her debut single “This House Is Haunted,” and is receiving radio play in multiple countries. For the Country Record describes Erica as, “one of those rare multi-talented people who most only dream about becoming.” Erica is currently touring with her original music and plays keys, ukulele, and guitar to anyone who will listen.

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