My New Venture: Crescendo Studios

erica bryan, behind the mic, beaverdamusa.comIt’s an interestingthing- getting married. When you tell people you are getting married, everyone expects that you are going to do something else with your life.They all say, “So after you get married, what’s next?” I never knew that once you got married you had to do something else–but what’s even weirder is that I am about to do something else! I don’t think marriage had anything to do with it though. I think it was more my restless leg syndrome that doesn’t allow me sit still for too long.

Since Taylor Swift and Pharell are the only people making money in the music business, I have been working full time at Starstruck Entertainment during the day (while also teaching voice lessons, writing songs, and performing on nights and weekends).

Starstruck is owned by Reba McEntire and is a recording studio and management company. The artists we manage are Blake Shelton, Reba, and Kelly Clarkson. I do administrative boring things, but the thought of being surrounded by such Country royalty was really exciting in the beginning! It has been a great learning experience to see how the music business works and how decisions are made. But, my restless legs can only sit there for so long, and my passion lies with performing and songwriting, so I knew I needed to transition to a job that would:

1. Allow me to be flexible to work on my music,
2. Still maintain my creative energy, and
3. Serve others.

The answer became perfectly clear: TEACH!

I am so thrilled to be launching the expansion of my voice and acting studio: Crescendo Studios. Crescendo Studios will be located in the Crieve Hall neighborhood of Nashville and will be open to any and all who wish to improve their singing and acting skills. I’ve been spending many a day decorating the new space and think I have achieved its ultimate “vibeness.” I chose the name Crescendo because it is a musical term that refers to music gradually increasing in loudness and intensity. I love the thought of paralleling that with my voice and acting students. Reaching your full potential doesn’t happen overnight. It happens with a gradual increase, as a result of dedication and sound training. And it gives me the greatest delight as a teacher to watch my students have breakthroughs and crescendo into their full potential.

This expansion will also allow me to be musical full time and I think this change will enhance my own songwriting and performing. I can’t wait to get married- but I also can’t wait to get back and jump into this new chapter in my life!

If you are in the Nashville area and know someone who might be interested in lessons, here is the new website,twitter, and Facebook page!

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And Sometimes, Kelly Clarkson Watches Your Music Video

erica bryan, beaverdamusa.com, 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.

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