February 20, 2013

Climbing Kilimanjaro -Determination, Defeat, and Unexpected Victories

Filed under: Performances, Uncategorized — Amanda @ 6:06 pm

So many people have asked me what it was like to climb the largest free standing mountain in the world -Mt Kilimanjaro I thought I’d just write it out. I don’t know how I can do it justice, how do I tell something so profound. So many stories. So many layers of self realization -professional, personal, and spiritual. Well I’ll try, then you can ask me questions! ha. Hows that. The story goes a little something like this:

Preparation

It was a very last minute decision. Within 24 hours I had booked my ticket, 7 days later I would leave, with 2 days home to buy the equipment, pack, and go. Booking the trip last minute made it so I had no expectations. I had no idea about Tanzania, Africa, Kilimanjaro. I had never heard much of it before that moment. I came home to hear my mom tell me that 40 people die a year climbing it, 40% of people that set out to summit never make it. All very encouraging statistics. -Thanks mom. But the rest of the trip I had no choice but to live it in the moment. No expectations, no way to contact the outside world, iphone OFF (Gasps. I know). All I had was what was there in front of me.

The Hike

In all, our trek was 7 days long, 50 miles, 19,340 ft up. No cars, no electricity, no running water. Each day was about 3-7 hrs of walking “pole pole.” A catch phrase we used on the mountain meaning slowly slowly in Swahili. The day before we left we were given 7 strategies to keep going. If we were ever feeling tired/down or wanting to give up, we should -start repeating a mantra, change our physiology, change our focus, find something to be grateful for… These little tips made all the difference, when I didn’t feel like I could go on these turned me around.

Altitude sickness is something that can affect anyone. Doesn’t matter how physically fit you are. Actually smokers do the best with altitude because they’re used to less oxygen. Some symptoms of altitude sickness include headaches, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, hard time breathing or catching your breath. All of us at one point experienced this to some degree. Majority of the group took a drug called Diamox to help with the altitude. I didn’t. Looking back I think I probably should have, but if I did I wouldn’t have had the EPIC experience I did trying to summit.

The “Epic” Part

After five days of trekking we arrived at camp Horombo. We settled in, ate, got a three hour nap and started hiking at midnight on the 6th day. No light but our headlamps and the gleaming sky of stars above us. We were lead by a group of African guides. At one point up the mountain the head guide, Jonas, started to sing. Beautiful African call and response chants filled the night air, like a drum keeping our feet in time. We headed out to hopefully summit by sunrise.  In theory that would have meant we would get to the top by 6:30am.

By 6:30am I had fallen behind the pack. The sun was rising, you could see the horizon and the earth’s curve, we were above the clouds, the sky painted beautiful colors. -And I could care less-. Severe altitude sickness had my eyes rolling to the back of my head, I couldn’t hold up my own head, my whole body was falling over. I looked like I had drank a considerable amount of alcohol and needed to be held up by the people around me to walk. I had lost all control of my body. 3 men had to help me walk, one man ahead of me, one under my left arm so I wouldn’t fall down the mountain, and one behind me lifting me over the rocks. We’d move for 5 minutes then I would have to sit to catch my breath enough to get back up and keep going. This went on for 2 hours. The only thing keeping me going was my mantra, I had lost control of my body but my mind was ever persistent repeating “Every step I take I feel stronger and stronger.” I repeated this mantra like it was oxygen itself helping to keep me from passing out.

The loss of control over my body brought me back to the last 6 weeks of my father’s life. Watching him lose control over his own body as it shut down. Watching his eyes change to fear as he was bed ridden and couldn’t move from the hospital bed. His struggle with the nurses ran parallel in my head to the struggle with the men carrying me.

And yet, I repeated my mantra -every step I take I feel stronger and stronger.

At 7:30am we finally reached Gilman’s point. This is where the steep incline stops and the rest of the trek to the top is fairly flat. But I’ve been carried for two hours now, in all, 7 hrs of walking, I’ve been mentally beaten by visions of my father’s loss of mortality, at this point I’m so cold my hands feel like I have frost bite, my feet as well. I feel like vomiting but can’t. I look at the guide and ask him how much longer to summit, he says, “2 more hours.” I ask him whats the route to get back down, he says, “back the way we just came.”

And that’s when I gave up.

There was no energy left to hide the tears that burst from my eyes and streamed down my face. At that point I could care less about summitting, I was crying for the pain in my hands and feet, the pain in my stomach from all the nausea, the pain in my heart for my father’s death. The poor men were trying to calm me down, rubbing my hands, massaging them, trying to warm them up. Then my whole body started to shake in exhaustion and from the cold. The three of them circled in around me and tried to warm me up and stop me from crying.

Finally I was too exhausted to cry any longer so I eventually stopped that too. Once I gained some composure I told the head guide, Donut, that I BARELY had enough energy to get back down the way we just came. There’s NO WAY I could get allllll the way to the summit, and then manage to get all the way back down after that. Donut and I bickered about it for a little while. Then he asked, “Do you have enough energy JUST to get to the summit?” I said yes… He said, “alright lets go then”. And there we were, walking again. At that point I guess I was too tired to fight. haha. I relied on my poles to hold up my upper body, so I was bent over weaving around the path. Angry at Donut for making me go on, frustrated that my body had been so worthless.

That day, a man had died at the last peak before the summit. They weren’t allowed to move his body, so there it lay to the side of the path. But I didn’t see him. I was too sick to notice.

As we reached the next point, an hour left to summit, I started to think about my team and the looks on their faces when they saw that I had made it past my altitude sickness and still summitted. Then I started to feel better. Getting more used to the altitude I started to stand taller. Twenty minutes from the summit I finally see my team heading back my way. I was so excited to see them I ran up and hugged them. I cried! They cried! Later that night when we reflected on the day and said our top 3 highlights from climbing, a couple people listed seeing me summit was more exciting than them actually summiting! haha.

Finally, as if the pain never happened, the exhaustion went away, I climbed the last twenty minutes with a smile shinning alll over my face. I reached the top. I could see the curvature of the earth. I had WALKED above the clouds. The glaciers. The skyline. And as I do, I took a picture at the infamous sign in a handstand. haha. Of course.

I think seeing my team was the true summit for me. Walking to the ending point was just a formality. However, the glaciers were magnificent. I’ve never seen anything like them. And to think we were at the ceiling of AFRICA looking at glaciers just didn’t seem right. But it was. And it was good.

The Decline

It took me four hours to get down to base camp, just in time for lunch at 12:30. A full twelve hours of hiking, two of which I was carried. I got an hour lunch and then had to walk another 5 hours that day before night to reach our camp. It was brutal. It was difficult. But in all, so worth it.

I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for the men that carried me. Physically carried me. I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for Donut tricking me into walking more. I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for my group that I loved so dearly and the thought of their faces keeping me going. I wouldn’t have done it if it weren’t for that first day orientation of the 7 strategies to keep going. My mantra. My determination. But most of all, the help.

How the Mountain’s metaphor relates to my Life

Where I am in my life right now, all I want is to be able to do it on my own. I hate the feeling of being helpless, or needy. I strongly dislike feeling weak or a burden on anyone else. So I’ve had a lot of new challenges over the last 6 months with my father gone. Taking the responsibility of President and Chairman of his company, feeling the obligation to take care of my family. And when I could use help the most, I have had the tendency to try and preserve my pride and do as much as I can on my own. It’s all a figment of my ego’s imagination. Just like how I had believed crying was a sign of weakness, when really, I’ve learned that showing true tears is a sign of real strength.

Climbing the mountain forced me to take help. It was uncomfortable. I felt worthless. And yet this amazing family we had become showed me that it meant something to THEM to help ME. It meant something to them to help me. I never would have summitted if I hadn’t had help. It didn’t mean that I was any weaker. Weakness would have been denying help for fear of looking weak. In being honest with myself I found the truth, -even the strongest people need to be carried sometimes.

One step at a time I climbed that mountain. One step at a time I will move forward. What a great lesson in living in the moment. Accept the help you recieve, and take it one step at a time.

Praising the People that Helped Me

If you would like to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, my program has a 90% success rate of summitting. All 11 of us sumitted that day. The group is called SYATT -See You At The Top. Eric Edmeades does a superb job of helping everyone not only summit and conquer their demons, but he also helps you relate the metaphor back to your life so you can go home and apply what you’ve learned on the mountain to your every day. We used Team Kilimanjaro as our guides on the mountain and I must say they were absolute angels. The compassion they showed to us was above the line of duty. At one point my hands were too freezing to take them out of my gloves to eat a jelly energy shot, so Jonas stood there with the pack and hand fed it into my mouth like I was a child. Three men CARRIED ME up the mountain. Patient while I cried, patient while I caught my breath, patience stepping up onto every rock. Like I said, above and beyond the call of duty.

Last Thoughts

Some people tell me I live a crazy life. To think, this time last year I was studying alternative medicine with monks in Japan, and Guruji in her ashram in Singapore… I guess I live it a bit differently than most. But I hope I can influence other people to do things spontaneously, think outside their boxes. To know that they have the ability to do great things. I was blessed to have parents who always supported me in my wild adventures, and I can recognize that not all parents are that supportive. But I’m here to tell you that you can. And its easier than you think. Set your mind to something and anything can happen.

Go do it. Then come back and tell me about it alright?!!

The top of Kilimanjaro

The top of Kilimanjaro

Love and light,

Amanda


December 22, 2011

Christmas Song!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 11:03 am

Hello beautiful people

Sorry I’ve been mia. I’ve been on music hiatus full time taking care of my father. (Family first). This is the first thing I’ve done with music in a very long time and I’m happy to say, its FREE! For you! You can take it! And we won’t charge!!!

Click here: December 25

Stephan Wunderlich- writer/producer/musician of every instrument on the track/ asked me at a party if I would sing on this christmas song he had. He emailed me the song, I fell in love, not even 24 hours later I was in the studio with him recording. It was so much fuuuun! Stephan is riDONKulously talented, remember his name cause you’re about to see it in lights!

Through this time in my life I’m coming to understand that there’s a hell of a lot of problems that I can solve just by listening to myself, connecting, trusting, and breathing. Believe me, through the last couple months, this has been a saving grace. IT may not sound like much but in simplicity we find the answers to life. I challenge you to try it some time. Reconnect.


June 24, 2011

Father’s Day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 10:36 am

I wrote this song for my Dad. Its debate-ably the best song I’ve ever written. I gave it to my dad for Father’s day along with pictures from my childhood.

(To see the lyrics, read the description here)

After you watch mine and dry away your tears, watch my brother’s father’s day present to my dad. It’s much more uplifting.

If either of these touch you, please share them with your family, friends.

much love,

Amanda


May 9, 2011

An unexpected turn

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 8:38 pm

A month ago my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. Since that day, every following moment has been a battle for his survival. My father believes in alternative medicine and is therefore avoiding chemo as much as he can. He’s posted a journal entry pretty much every day since this all began, and thousands of people have gone and made comments on his guestbook and read his journals. You can read it HERE

I have put everything I am doing aside to be a caretaker for my father. So as of right now, I’m learning life lessons and redefining my pursuit of happiness. Thank you to everyone that has reached out and sent their love to my family and I. It would be a much colder road without you.
I still plan on posting music because, well, I can’t live without it and it seems to be something in my life that I can depend on for comfort right now. So here you go, a song I can’t stop playing. (Thank you Tess for introducing me to this gorgeous song). Sheryl Crow’s “I Shall Believe”


March 30, 2011

Tour #4- What I learned

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 3:54 pm

So I’ve been up and down the west coast a couple times now. Here’s some things I’ve learned this time around:

1. It’s not hard! Many artists think touring is difficult but it isn’t! All it takes is research, finding contacts, and contacting them repeatedly until they return your phone calls/emails. Also, don’t think you can plan a month in advance. Contact venues 2-4 months in advance. It usually takes them at least a month to get back to you. ha. Unless you’re Steve Key in San Luis Obispo, and got your sh*t together.

2. This was the first time I toured ALONE. I’d always had either another singer/songwriter with me, or a friend. I’m not going to lie, touring alone is hard. A lot harder than I thought it was going to be. It just gets depressing. ha. I don’t advise it. Especially for women. I was grateful enough to stay with friends at every stop and had friends around me majority of the time, for the random sketchy encounters. But really, I suggest finding friends or other artists to get in that car/bus/van with, because it makes the whole thing seem like a road trip vacation, instead of a morbid death march. ha. Granted don’t get me wrong, when I played music, it was a beautiful trip. Just the spaces in between… Photobucket

3. Now that I’ve been on tour a couple times I’ve started to really build relationships with venue owners, newspaper journalists, radio stations. So getting my concert in the paper is a lot easier, and this time around I got some GREAT PRESS!! Thanks to the relationships I’ve built over the years. This picture has me on the main spread of the Monterey Herald! (Thanks Mac McDonald!!) ALSO you can listen to this audio clip HERE of me being interviewed and my music! The spot will be playing on the Krush 92.5 in San Luis Obispo this month!! Thanks to Steve Key at SongwritersAtPlay.com

4. Get a sponsor!! If you can. I was lucky enough to find an amazing sponsor!! For more information read about it in my blog entry HERE.

5. One thing that I did a lot more my last tour and not so much of this tour was emphasize my email list! Last time I had free CDs that I handed out to people that signed up for my mailing list. If you can do this, its a GREAT incentive for people to sign up! The more contacts you have, the better your reach!! Also, this helps when trying to get sponsors interested!! Gather those contacts!!!

Thats all I can think of right now… :)

Any questions you have? Write a comment?!?! I check them! I’ll answer! My knowledge is your knowledge :)


Sponsorship w/ Video Invitation . Net

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 3:51 pm

Photobucket I like to believe that Luck is when Skill meets Opportunity. Meeting the founder of VideoInvitation.net, Samir Trivedi, was definitely one of those cases of lucky chances. He found one of my videos online and wanted me to do an acting job for his site. This came right after I had my acting experience in the play (read that blog here), so I thought, HEY WHY NOT! In my usual fashion, I hustled. Not only did I do his acting job for him, but I was fast in getting him his product, and then, without him asking for it, I wrote him a jingle for his company. He was so impressed by my fervor for getting things done, he asked me if I had any SPONSORSHIP opportunities where he could help me! This lead to him ultimately helping fund the physical duplication of my latest album!
Lessons learned:
1. Always do your best because you never know when one door will open other doors!!
2. I was lucky enough to meet an amazing person who believed in my vision and wanted to help. But it is also my job to make them feel like its not one sided and they are getting something in return. I placed his logo on my physical CD case, on all my tour flyers that went up in numerous venues around the West Coast, along with many other placements to help market his brand. We worked through the legal agreement until both felt we were happy.
3. Always have a legal agreement.
4. I’ve locked down a couple sponsorship agreements so far in my career, and all of them have been based on the the passion and drive I have, not only for helping my sponsor, but for promoting something that I believe in with all my heart. At the end of the day, be excited about what you’re doing, and your excitement will become contagious :)

Did I mention that I also LOVE their website!! I know we’ve all gotten those email greeting cards with the cute poems and flowery music. But with Video Invitations, they set up a template where you can upload your own videos and photos, and put them in a beautiful presentation and send them out through email for, WEDDING INVITATIONS, BABY ANNOUNCEMENTS, ANNIVERSARIES, BIRTHDAYS, DONATION REQUESTS. So now, instead of having a written wedding invitation, you have you and your husband/wife saying it into a video and adding your own personal touch to the invitation! It’s really a wonderful way to use technology to our advantage and make our emails have more heart and soul! I love it! Check it out for yourself: www.VideoInvitation.net
Here’s one of the wedding invitation videos, you might recognize one of the actors (hehe), to see the video click HERE.


NEW ALBUM! “Chasing the Sun” Available on iTunes!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 12:03 pm

Buy it on iTunes!!!!!! Or listen here
Photobucket
This album has been a labor of love for the last year. Life got in the way and had to postpone it for a year, but I’m finally happy with every song, every lick, every piece. I took five of my most requested songs and put them on this CD. You can read my blog entry about the creative process with my producer Kevin Rivers here
I have to thank all the musicians, if it weren’t for you guys this would have been just another recording of me and a guitar. You brought your heart and soul and thats what made these songs breathe magic. Special thanks to the producer Kevin Rivers for putting up with me for so long and always giving 150%. Thank you for taking my baby in as your own and demanding excellence.

Credits:
All songs written by Amanda Holmes, #2,4,5 co-written with Brittany Crawshaw
Producer/Arranger/Instrumentation/Engineer- Kevin Rivers, Mixed by Joe Lisuzzo, Mastered by Andrew Garver. All songs recorded at Fox Forve Five Studios, except “Rootless” recorded at North 40 Studios.
Voice- Amanda Holmes, Drums/Percussion/Glock/Car Keys- Jake Reed, Bass- Nick Campbell, Guitar- Alex Pfender & Jack Kovacs, Keys- Morgan Jones & Noah Dietterich, Horns- Marcus Paul & Erika Binsley, Strings- Jessica Ryou, Emily Candaux, Audrey Kwong, Cristina Ceja, Stella Cho, David Beytas, Backup Vox Arrangements: Kenton Chen, Backup Vox- Kenton Chen & Rachel Saltzman, Creepy Whisper/Guitar- Kevin Rivers, Vocals of “Rootless” engineered by- Jack Zoephel Produced by Joe Lisuzzo, Copiest- Katie Fellman.

NEED MUSICIANS? I’M SHARING MY SECRET WEAPONS
Drums: If you ever need a KILLER drummer with the most supportive attitude on the face of the planet: Jake Reed.
Guitar/Producer: Alex Pfender is one of the most creative people I know, not only with guitar. I’m pretty sure he will take over the world with his music one day. Check out his solo project Yoya.
Guitar: Jack Kovacs is responsible for being a STUD on the guitar. He can play anything, and its such a pleasure to play with greatness. Check out his band North
Trumpet: Marcus Paul- not only a great player, but a warm hearted soul- marcusp@usc.edu (323) 540-1435
Keys/Sax:He played keys on my album but he’s also currently attending Julliard as a saxaphone player, Morgan Jones.


Photoshoot for album cover!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 11:37 am

I had 3 different photo shoots to get the right album cover, all to no avail. I kept breaking the camera ha. Either the picture made me look like I was a country artist (wrong branding), or my eyes were too small, or… jeeze, everything went wrong.

Then, a beacon of light came into my life. Ms. Ashley Turner. Spunky, vivacious go getter of a woman! Using the tools that I learned from my acting experience with the play, and Ashley’s supportive complimentary attitude, I was able to FINALLY relax in front of a camera and be ME. It also helped that Ashley was the most supportive wonderful photographer I’ve ever had! The mixture of the two lead to these photos that I’m so happy how they turned out!!!

Check out just a few of the photos here!
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

To check out more of Ashley’s AMAZING photos go to Ashley-Turner.com

To see more of my pictures from the photoshoot go to my fan Facebook page HERE


January 23, 2011

My ACTING debut…?

Filed under: Performances — Amanda @ 3:00 am

Acting is taking everything that is private, and sharing it in public.” (One of my acting coaches, Valerie Lansburg, told me.) Honestly, that’s exactly what it is. Its jumping off a CLIFF, with no hesitation, no holding back, no second thoughts, and no excuses.

Emilys Song Marquee on the wall!!

Emily's Song Marquee on the wall!!

(FYI, I’m learning how to act because I’m now acting as the understudy for the lead role in Emily’s Song, look below for details. I’ve never professionally acted before. Thats the terrifying part. ha.)

In the beginning of this journey, I was terrified of making that leap. I’ve found that in acting, you can’t hold back. Ever. You have to feel, and TRUST YOURSELF. If you don’t trust what you’re doing, how you’re feeling, why you’re there, where you’re going, where you came from… Then you will never be believable. Not only is it not believable, but judging your every move is no way to live life .

This experience is teaching me to trust my instincts, trust my heart, teaching me to lock in with who I am and what makes me tick. Somewhere in the shuffle of college to the real world, I think I lost that instinct, lost that trust, lost in the abyss that is the real world and who I am in it. These last two weeks, I have already seen progress of making me feel more GROUNDED. Centered. More capable and DARING.

One of my favorite quotes, “If you’re not growing, you’re dieing.” -Tony Robbins.

I feel like I’ve had a serious growth spert over the last two weeks. That sounds ridiculous. How much could really happen in two weeks. But let me tell you, I feel like I’ve hiked the himalayas. And you know why I feel I’ve reached the top of the mountain? Because I decided to change my attitude from terrified, overwhelmed, incapable, to excited, adventurous, daring. I made the conscious decision to stop judging everything I do with the harshest of critiques, and decide to just BE PRESENT. Do you know how difficult it is to just be PRESENT?

Moral to the story, if you’re offered an opportunity to do something you think is impossible, DO IT. I could very well be a horrible actress. ha. But honestly, this experience has taught me so much more than just acting. I’ve already won and I haven’t even performed yet… I won the battle against MYSELF.

Now its time to enjoy :)

P.S. I wrote this post the night before my “acting debut” and I’m sooo happy how the performance turned out. I think the reason it went so well was because I wasn’t emotionally attached to the outcome. I already felt I’d succeeded, I’d given it EVERYTHING I had, without judgement. And in the end, I made the audience cry, laugh, and love my songs. What an amazing experience.

P.P.S. Read the post below to hear more about Emily’s Song!!!

P.P.P.S.- Buy tickets here:  running from January 21st-February 27th 2011


December 21, 2010

My original music in: Emily’s Song- The Play

Filed under: About — Amanda @ 2:08 am

People keep asking me what I’m up to now that I’m finally graduated college, I thought I should write a blog about my latest endeavor.

—Emily’s Song—

Some years back, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. While laying in bed recovering from his surgery, he wrote a screenplay called “Emily’s Song.” When he was diagnosed and going through all the procedures of cancer, he kept thinking what life would be like for my brother and I if he passed away and never came back. This started the inspiration for his screenplay. Not long after he wrote the script he sold it to Warner Brothers with LeAnn Rimes attached to play the lead (this was right after she’d released her huge album). After some painful years of Hollywood writers and directors changing the story, he decided to buy it back to preserve his precious baby. Since then, he’s now modified it into a play.

I’m lucky enough to be the Musical Director of his play! Not only that, but I have 5 original songs in the play!! HOW AMAZING IS THAT! My father strategically placed my songs so they are woven into the story line :) (He takes care of me)

Let me tell you, its been a great adventure!!! Through the intense casting process we were able to find some UNBELIEVABLE actors/actresses!!! Our leading lady-Emily- played by Lindsey Haun. I must say, this woman is a jaw dropping, goosebump inspiring actress. She’s been making me cry all through the rehearsals, she’s so fantastic. She’s been a SAG actress for 21 yrs, starting at age 3. Most recently, she plays Hadley on the TV series TrueBlood. She also toured as a singer with Toby Keith for 9 months promoting her movie Broken Bridges! Check out this wonderful song she sang for the movie: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UabGi_jZRPM Her voice is absolutely terrific, she’s got a ridonkulous range, and pipes to ROCK OUT. And, I must say, its really been inspiring to watch this woman give EVERYTHING SHE’S GOT, for every take, every run, every minute, for the last two months. Not only has she won over my ears and heart, but she’s won my respect as a professional. I feel so blessed to have her singing my songs :) (It makes me giddy like a lil school girl every time. ha)

In truth, the WHOLE cast is filled with the most spectacular actors!!! Every character is fricken spectacular. You can read more about them and their credits on www.EmilysSong.com

—What’s the basic jist of ‘Emily’s Song’?—

The play is about Emily, her mother dies in childbirth leaving her father, Charlie, to raise her on his own. By 10 yrs old, she’s a musical prodigy, and her relationship with her Dad is the most heart warmingly adorable  thing you could ever imagine between a father and daughter. Sadly, tragedy strikes again when Charlie goes on a business trip and mysteriously disappears leaving Emily isolated and alone. As years pass, Emily’s emotional grief fuel her talent as a fast rising singer/songwriter, setting the world on fire with her soul-filled style. But just as fame finds her, true love eludes her as her fear of loss keeps her from falling in love with the man she loves. Want to find out more…? I left out the best parts on purpose ;) Come see it!!!

Watching the run throughs of this play has been such a thrill!! Honestly, this story has EVERYTHING. It has humor, angst, love, drama, overwhelming joy. This play has it all. Here’s one of the songs thats in the play, I originally wrote it for a childhood best friend of mine that passed away, in the play, Emily writes it for the father she’s lost: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RUd6eFFRPcw

EMILY’S SONG will begin previews on Sunday January 9 and will open on Saturday, January 15 and perform for six weeks through Sunday, February 27 at the Hudson Backstage Theatre, 6539 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Buy tickets online herrrr: EmilysSong.com

oh, something semi-important… I’M the UNDERSTUDY for EMILY! Soooo, I will have my acting debut during the previews starting January 9th. You should come! Cheer me on! I’m excited for the challenge!!! But I need a supportive crowd to get me through the night. ha. Come!!!! Acting in theater hasn’t really been something I’ve done a whole lot of, so this should be an exciting adventure!!

Alright thats all for now. G-night


December 12, 2010

The Proposal

Filed under: Performances — Amanda @ 7:03 pm

Last week I was hired to pose as a street musician out on a pier in Long Beach CA. Guitar extrodinaire, Alex Kerckhoff, and I set up as the sun was relaxing into the horizon. As we played on the pier, John (the employer) and Colene (unassuming girlfriend), slowly walked up. There we played “Lady in Red” by Chris DeBurgh, and John twirled Colene around, singing the lyrics to her in her ear. Once we finished the first song, we seg-wayed into “Question” by Old 97’s.

He proposed

"Some day somebody's gonna ask you. A question that you should say YES to, once in your life. Baby tonight, I've got a question for you"

Later, Colene told us that she noticed we were playing a song about proposing, and it wasn’t until he got down on his knee that she realized that he was indeed proposing to HER! We were originally “random” street performers, and then moved over to be their own personal band. I swear it was like something out of a MOVIE where everyone starts singing and you realize that everyone is in on it. I watched on her face as she realized that we were planted, and she looked at John with so much love :) John was clever enough to also have a photographer hiding in the shadows, and when he got down on a knee, she came out too and was there to capture the moment. (Photos by: AshleyTurnerPhotography.blogspot.com)

Colene said yes :) Tears in her eyes.

They danced more as we played “Dear Bobbie” by Yellowcard.

Cuz when I die, then Ill die, loving you.

"Cuz when I die, then I'll die, loving you."

It was so beautiful.

This gig reminded me the magic that music brings to the world. In the lala land that is Hollywood, its so easy to loose focus on what’s really truly important. I’ve felt so much stress trying to find my image, my brand, my online presence.

But this day, I remembered the magic.

Creating the soundtrack for these two LOVELY couple’s engagement, was a thrill that I don’t think I’ll live down for a while :) ATTENTION ALL MEN: THIS is how you ask your woman to be your WIFE. (And if you need my services to help facilitate that, I would love to help ;)

Thank you John for giving me an opportunity that I will never forget. Congratulations, I know you two will be the most adorable married couple EVER.

P.S. Unbelievably amazing photographer Ashley Turner took all these pictures! She was hiding just like me! :)


August 30, 2010

Tribute to the Family I Lost this Summer

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 7:00 pm

The world works in ways that we, that I, can’t always figure out. In the past 5 months I’ve lost three of my Grandparents who I adored with all my heart. You always have to look at the silver lining (my Grandma Holmes taught me that). So here I go, finding the silver lining in the loss of my loved ones.

I learned…

-My Grandma Holmes was diagnosed with cancer 18 months ago. She had lung and breast cancer, the doctors gave her 6 months to live (that was if she stayed with the kemo). She laughed in their faces and walked out of the doctor’s office. 80% of people die just by a prognosis by a doctor, someone’s mental frame of mind can be the difference between someone living and dieing. Well my grandmother decided to cure herself naturally. She never went back to the doctor after that. She knew she’d beat the cancer, and low and behold, SHE DID. The doctors scanned her body 2 days ago and found there was NO MORE LUNG CANCER. My grandmother cured herself of lung cancer purely on her determination to live. Unbelievable. She’s a Holmes.

Yesterday, she passed away from a heart attack. Honestly, she had a million different health issues, and every single one she dominated and cured herself. But the one thing she couldn’t cure herself of was LOVE. My Grandfather, her husband, had passed 5 months earlier, and honestly, she couldn’t live without him. I believe thats what killed her. Not the cancer, not her heart virus, not her tar filled lungs. Those were all factors in the end, but really, she died from the same thing that kept her going, LOVE. My Grandmother was fueled by her passion, her drive, her HEART. When the love of her life passed away, she couldn’t be without him. wow. I learned 2 things from my grandma, the first, that you can do ANYTHING you put your mind to, even curing cancer. And secondly, I learned what true love really is. I cannot even fathom meeting a man that I could be married to for 50 years, love them every day, so much so, that when they die, I wouldn’t be able to handle life without them. They were like giddy little high school sweethearts until the day he died. They lived for each other. And that gift they gave me, I will cherish forever.

I learned…

-My Grandpa Hirdler passed away two weeks ago. My grandfather had ten children, 18 grandchildren, and 11 GREAT grandchildren. Thats a HUGE family. He was a man of subtle humor that would hit you when you least expected it. Even in his final days, when he barely had enough strength to wake up, he found the energy to wink at me, whistle at me, ha, what a sense of humor :) He was a husband for 65 long years, and a beautiful human being for 85.

He laid in a bed in his living room for three days. For three days he drifted, his body slowly shutting down. Our family filled the walls of the room, every day we had at least 20-30 IMMEDIATE family in the room. We all were loving him, kissing him, holding his hand, praying for him. I have NEVER in my life seen one person so undeniably loved by so many compassionate people. As hard as it was to see him wither away, I’ve never seen such a beautiful, pure, and true display of love.

Thats the day I realized the true definition of success.

My grandfather didn’t have much money to his name, but no money in the world could have paid for the amount of love and adoration that was in that room for his final days. If I could have even a fourth of the love he had, when I pass, I would be proud to have even that much. No words can really describe how truly beautiful the display of affection was. And though you may feel you comprehend the scene I’m painting, it was really in the feeling, the emotion in the room that will change my life forever -a feeling I will never forget. He died in his home, with his family surrounding him in love, and it was beautiful.

I learned…

-My Grandpa Holmes passed away 5 months ago. He grew up in 10 different foster homes as a child, thrown around without love, until he was 17 years old and old enough to go into the army. He was a forceful, scary, younger man. But as the years went by, he never stopped evolving. My father says, “he’s the only person I know that grew better with age.” And its true. He became more and more loving, more expressive, more thankful for life, while most become bitter, grumpy, and old. He was my cookie monster, I never met the rigid, abusive man he used to be, only the loving, silly, strong man he was. From the day I walked in his door to the day I would leave him, he would tease me, jibber jabbered at me, and most of all, he loved me unconditionally. He taught me a love that was so pure, so strong, he empowered me.

My Grandfather taught me to age with grace, keep evolving, keep loving, and don’t let age tell you any different. As we grow old, we think we can’t do things. My grandfather was still working security jobs at age 70. You would have guessed he was 60. He had a strong heart, and a force of will that matched my Grandmother’s. My grandfather gave me the precious gift of eternal youth. That’s what he taught me. He never grew old. He was still a high school sweetheart with his wife of 50 years, he was still strong enough to break up fights and demand control over brutality, he gave me that gift by living it every day. A lesson we can all learn.

I learned…

There’s so many interpretations to the twists and turns of life’s rigid roads, and you can either look at it as a pain in your back, or an adventure. These last months have been a lesson in life, and I will live on, proud to be a descendant of these beautiful, compassionate, loving people.

Love with all your heart. I do. I will. I am.


May 31, 2010

Tour Blog Part 2

Filed under: Tour Blog, Uncategorized — Amanda @ 2:44 pm

Its been two weeks on the road and we’re still alive! ha. Only one encounter with the police since we last spoke (no biggie ;P). Lessons learned:
Getting people out to shows is NOT easy. Just making a facebook event and inviting people to it IS NOT ENOUGH. With all the junk that goes on the internet these days its rare for people to really filter through all the invites. You have to make invitations PERSONAL. That’s the gift of the internet! To bridge the gap between people sitting in front of their computers and whoever is providing the entertainment.

Also, do what you can to remind the people without being annoying. For example, I update my status letting people know that I have a show that day, maybe the day before, but instead of shoving it down peoples throats repeating the same information, I hide it in new information. I’ll post a new video showing us on tour, then mention that I have these dates still going on. Or I’ll post pictures as I’m on tour, to promote the show… Give more content to promote whats already been said. Be creative!! Use your creativity that you already have in your art, and apply it to your marketing campaign!

Well there’s two more Amanda cents. Here’s another video blog!!!
Show in San Francisco TONIGHT (details here),
Davis June 1st, then back down to San Fran and Petaluma. Details here.

Follow our minute by minute progress on our respective twitters:
http://www.twitter.com/AmandaHolmes
http://www.twitter.com/JuliaJara

Read Julia’s blog here


May 22, 2010

On TOUR, Day 4!

Filed under: Tour Blog, Uncategorized — Amanda @ 2:30 pm

Life is best when I’m on the road :) There’s nothing better than meeting new people, playing music, and traveling up the PCH. I may have lost my car keys yesterday in the gazillions of sand grains that make up Pismo Beach’s coast line…. BUT. Every tour I’ve done, there’s been some kind of car trouble. Tour #1, locked keys in car. Tour #2, car window broken and ipod stolen. Now, tour #3, lost car keys had to have it towed to get new ones (see picture here). Only this time, it happened right at the beginning of the tour (day 3) instead of at the end. I’d like to think that we just had to get it out of the way earlier than later :P

Shani is getting her Masters this summer so I couldn’t tour with her again :( BUT, we are having a reunion show at Genghis Cohen June 9th (details here). Instead, I got my roommate of the last four years, Julia, to come on the road with me! We made our first video blog, pretty entertaining if I must say so myself ;) Check it out:

We will be on tour until June 9th in Los Angeles so come out to see us live!! Tour dates/locations/times here. Or you can go to my myspace.

To follow our random adventures on a daily basis, you can follow us on twitter at:
@AmandaHolmes or
@JuliaJara


May 17, 2010

Mini Acoustic Tour

Filed under: Performances — Amanda @ 9:23 pm

Hey hey :)

I’m going on tour again! This time its a quick few dates from Los Angeles to Davis and back down.

Check out the Facebook event here

You can follow my day to day adventures on my twitter at www.twitter.com/amandaholmes

Let me know if you’re planning on coming! Here are the dates:

Wed 5/19: Java Jones 5pm
6560 Pardall Rd, 
Isla Vista CA (Santa Barbara)

Thurs 5/20: The Porch 6:30pm-9:30pm (A couple artists playing!)
22322 El Camino Real, 
Santa Margarita (Near SLO)

Fri 5/21: The Ugly Mug 6pm
4640 Soquel Drive
Soquel, CA 95073 (Next to Santa Cruz)

Sat 5/22: Somewhere on the street in downtown Santa Cruz :)
Follow my twitter to find my location: www.twitter.com/amandaholmes

Thurs 5/27: Orchard Valley Coffee
349 E. Campbell Ave,
Campbell CA 95008 (South bay)

Fri 5/28: Barefoot Coffee Roasters (TBA)
5237 Stevens Creek Boulevard
Santa Clara, CA (South Bay)

Sunday 5/30: Northgate Mall (Foodcourt!!) 12-2pm
5800 Northgate Mall 
San Rafael, CA 94903

***Mon 5/31: Rockit Room 8pm***
This bar is 21 and up, but its definitely one of my fav’s from last tour!
Other performers include:
Chantelle Tibbs: http://www.myspace.com/chantelletibbs
Joshua Thorton
406 Clement Street (between 5th and 6th ave)
San Francisco, CA 94118

Tues 6/1: Delta of Venus 6pm-8pm
Guest performer http://www.MartinPurtill.com (He’s fricken brilliant. come)
122 B Street
Davis, CA

Fri 6/4: It’s a Grind- (TBA)
1800 Polk St (between Jackson St & Washington St)
San Francisco, CA

Sat 6/5: Whole Foods (I LOVE playing here. Great tips ;)
621 East Washington Street
Petaluma, CA

Wed 6/9: Genghis Cohen************ Last SHOW! w/ guest Shani Shousterman! 8pm
$5 Cover (All ages)
740 N. Fairfax Ave,
LOS ANGELES. 90046


April 12, 2010

Overcoming life’s surprises

Filed under: Performances, Uncategorized — Amanda @ 10:23 pm

one of my favorite quotes, if you’re not growing you’re dieing.

I have a month left of my college career, it feels like a lifetime I’ve been here. This last friday I put on the largest concert I’ve ever played. I figure, when’s the next time I will have these resources at my fingertips to do something this epic, better use them before its too late. So I rallied the troops, 15 musicians to come share the stage with me for one final performance at Ground Zero, our trusty on campus venue that I’d played oh so many times. The whole experience felt like I was looking at it from the outside, reflecting. Thinking about my very first time performing with a band at the Knitting Factory freshmen year, singing on the streets of hollywood to try to sell my last few tickets for the promoter :) 

I sang in the streets of USC just like I did freshmen year, but this time, I had the college radio station, KSCR, sponsor the event and set up speakers so my voice reverberated throughout the quad. 

I had a flyer designed (Jackie ***** did an amazing job btw), and I littered the campus with them. I had announcements up on the main USC page for student access. I even bargained my way into getting Baskin Robbins to sponsor the event and give away free ice cream! Every little piece of the puzzle was thought out, all the way down to excel sheets and a glockenspiel.

With a week to go, and my first band practice coming up, I was feeling pretty confident about the whole situation. Then life threw me a curve ball, as it always tends to do… A week before my grand debut, my grandfather passed away. I can’t tell you how much it shattered my heart. I thought I had the world in the palm of my hand, everything in control, until I got the call that sent my family rushing to the hospital.

When someone you love is in jeopardy, its amazing how everything you thought was important or stressful seems to dissolve and become so small in comparison.

When it came to the night of my performance, I was sitting outside getting mentally prepared to go on, I vowed to myself that I’d go up on stage and sing my heart out for my Grandpa, make him proud, and do it for him. Because he loved me, and I loved him back. And thats when it hit me. The love that my grandfather had for me was bigger than one show, one performance, one good note, or one bad. What I did that night wouldn’t define who I was, whether I did good or bad was insignificant. Just the simple fact that I kept going in those last few days, even though all I wanted to do was sit and cry my eyes out… The fact that I even pushed myself to put on such a large production. The fact that I always aim for the stars when others settle for the sky. He loved and believed in me for that. 

 

Thats when I realized that I had already made him proud, I’d already succeeded. There was nothing I had to prove. I had arrived, and all I had to do was enjoy it. 

 

The simple matter that I didn’t have to try, made everything better, I had better pitch because I didn’t worry about hitting a mark, I recovered faster because it didn’t matter when I messed up. I didn’t worry about what the audience thought of me, because when its all said and done, everyone thinks differently, and as long as I was happy, enjoying every moment, then and only then, would I be the best I could be. 

Thats why I had the time of my life that night. Thats why I had one of my best performances I’ve ever had with a band. Because I didn’t have to try. I just was. I accepted me, and lived in that moment. No worry, no nerves.

Look at all of us :)

Four years ago, I wouldn’t have picked up a guitar and sang in front of more than four people. That night, I opened the show with a solo performance, just me, my guitar, and a room full of people. 

Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has people that they look up to, and wish they could be as good as them. Its good to have goals, and be surrounded by people that are doing things grander than yourself. But every once in a while, when you’re feel inadequate in comparison to someone else… Look back at where you’ve come from. Look at the people that look up to you. And most importantly, find it within yourself to be happy and appreciate it. 

Everyone has their ups and downs. This last week was such an extreme up and down I could have been the new roller coaster ride at six flags. I’m sure in a couple months time, I’ll be out on my own in the real world, and start at square one, all over again. Like college never happened. ha. But thats what being alive is all about. We live and breathe. We get the wind knocked out of us to appreciate the simple task of inhaling and exhaling. 

 

One chapter in my life coming to a beautiful end. Next chapter even harder than the last. But I’m going to do it with my friends and family by my side, because no matter where life takes me, I love them with all my heart, and I’m lucky enough to have them love me in return. THAT, is what its really all about.

Thank you to everyone that came to the show. And for those of you that couldn’t make it, you can hear the new track “Came to us in Mexico”  off the upcoming 4th album “Chasing the Sun” here: http://tinyurl.com/y4ywo89

The rest of the album scheduled to release sometime before… the earth freezes over.. :) 

 

xx


January 25, 2010

New Album In Progress -Greatness

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 3:09 am

Guess what… I am in the midst of releasing ANOTHER EP. This will be my fourth EP. I’m starting to get quite a bit of experience with the creative process that goes into making an album. I’ve written about my discoveries from my past album on this blog: http://amandaholmes.com/blog/?p=143

But our motto for THIS album:

 

“Its good… But let’s make it great.”

 

Kevin Rivers produced my last album, and words cannot describe how fantastic he was… So we’re working together, again :) Thats why I say “OUR” motto. Because really, this album has become a team effort. The best team you can have is people around you that push you to be better, and make you rise to their expectations.

We’ve spent the last three weeks picking the songs, producing the sound/vibe/feel for every song, and then orchestrating all the parts for every song, and we don’t stop working on it until its really absolutely the best it can be… What a feeling. To work on something relentlessly until you feel it can’t be any better. And when I say the best it can be, truly great, I mean the kind of great where you hear it and it makes you giddy inside because you think you’ve just created something genuinely extraordinary. The kind of feeling where you can’t stop smiling because you know that its just SOOO COOL. Thats how I feel… About EVERY SONG.

Don’t get me wrong, it took some dedicated hard work. We start at 9am, and end around 12 or 1am. Thats 15 to 16 hour days, with a few meal breaks here and there. And there have been times where we’ve wanted to chop off each other’s heads saying, “What do you mean its not good enough???” 

But in the end, I am feeling more prepared than I ever have. Every song has its own distinct sound, and every song is different. Its been a real character builder working on this album. There are two songs particularly that are seriously cool. We both stepped completely out of our comfort zones and made something that sounded cool, forgetting for a second that everything has to be “commercially viable” or like everyone else. I admit, I was afraid to make that jump, but in the end, I think its going to be worth it.

I’ll give you an example. One of the songs is called, “Putty” this song has been a favorite among my male fans because its really more rock oriented. Its more gritty, and higher energy than my usual songwriting. Well Kevin and I sat down with it, I told him I wanted something like Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles, and all of a sudden, Kevin arranged this song into something brilliant. Now, the whole song is focused around a killer string section. It borderlines a classical genre more than rock or pop. Its orchestral with many intricacies and parts that really mimic the vocal in a sweet syncopated way. But still with a distorted guitar, and drum accents… Its… GREAT. Giddy in my chair because I can’t believe it turned out that awesome, GREAT. Every verse, every chorus, we slave labored over for hours to make sure it had those moments where you just love it.

 

So thats what I’m doing right now. Every spare minute, second, hour, I am working on the new album with Kevin Rivers. I must also mention that three of the five songs on the album I co-wrote with Brittany Crawshaw. A huge majority of the reason why this album is shaping up to be something great is because Brittany pushes boundaries. She writes the kind of lyrics that will be in history books some day, lyrics that leave you thinking, layered with imagery and wisdom beyond her years… And her musical sensibilities are naturally exquisite. She really does have a gift for creating, the kind of creating that breaks down the box that everyone else lives in, and rebuilds it into something of her own. Unique. Genius :)

 

So basically, I’m working unbelievably hard, I’m battling for greatness (with every inch of muscles and energy I have), and I’m blessed to be surrounded by not only geniuses, but people I love, respect, look up to, and challenge me to be bold. What could be better? (I’ll give you the answer to that question, and that would be… Nothing. Nothing is better than this feeling.) So I leave you with this message, strive to be greater, and if you can’t do it yourself, find someone that challenges you and do it together.

love,

Amanda

P.S. Album will be released physically on April 9th at USC’s Ground Zero. Be there :)


November 2, 2009

What defines a failure?

Filed under: Music Videos, Uncategorized — Amanda @ 9:14 pm

Nothing in life is under your control. You can try really hard to make plans, but in the end, life brings unexpected circumstances which completely screw you up… The only thing you are truly in control of, is the way in which you decide to react.–I had an epiphany last week. –Since I am in control of my own thoughts and reactions, I chose not to care about the let downs, and criticisms, but instead, enjoy the moments and keep going.  Understand that if I choose to see let downs as learning experiences, then they’re not bad experiences at all, they’re what I make of them… Nothing is a failure, unless you decide its a failure. It was an interesting experiment…

Example, last week was CRAZY. I decided to react positive and hopeful, in an environment of let downs. Look where it got me…
On Monday, I entered a Grammy University contest against a bunch of Los Angeles bands, to open for major label artist Anjulie. Turned out, I made it into the Top 5 bands in the competition!! Celebration! Unfortunately, I didn’t make it into the top two.  But the night of the performance, instead of staying at home and pouting, I went to the event. Glad I sucked up my pride and went, because I ended up meeting a bunch of awesome people, and afterwards hung out with Rickey Minor himself! If you don’t know who Rickey Minor is, you should. He’s the musical director for American Idol, he was telling me about his schedule for the next month, he would be working with Jennifer Hudson, Celine Dion, and Carrie Underwood. In just the following three weeks. Life is what you make of it…

The next day I auditioned to open for Steve Miller Band!!! I walked into the audition not caring what the judges thought, I didn’t care if I messed up, or if I would get the gig. I ended up having a great audition, wasn’t nervous at all because I genuinely enjoyed the moment. Turns out.. I didn’t get that either… ha. But one of the people judging ended up offering me a gig the next day! woohoo. Life is what you make of it…

Then, the following day, I went to a mixer. Instead of sitting in the corner waiting for people to talk to me, I ran around introducing myself to everyone there! Ended up, I was offered a gig to sing the national anthem at the opening hockey game for the Reign, at the Civil Business Bank Arena! ha. Life must be what you make of it…

So basically, I think that you just have to keep going. You aren’t going to win every one every time. Its not an equation where 2+2=4. Music is biased and personal. Some people will like you, and some won’t. You just have to keep going, blindly, without faulter, and enjoy yourself. Of course it helps to have amazing friends and family around :)

There’s another Amanda Holmes epiphany, brought to you by the world of positive thinking. ha.

Check it out. Here’s a video of me singing the national anthem for thousands of people at the Citizen bank business arena :)


October 2, 2009

Inspired

Filed under: Uncategorized — Amanda @ 12:25 am

I went to see Joss Stone live in concert tonight. I was in tears watching her on stage. Watching her sing so effortlessly on stage, the big production, the connection to the audience, it all just made me think how happy I would be to do that EVERY DAY. I couldn’t hold back the joy that flowed through my body like a gust of wind taking me away. 

After the concert, my roommate Julia and I waited outside the door for an hour hoping to meet Joss. She ended up coming out because Julia made friends with her friend (ha), and voila! There is Joss Stone! And I hand her my demo and tell her that she is the reason I’ve become the artist I am today. She was so kind and actually took the time to listen to me talk to her :) Magical. A look into what a successful career in the music industry is like… Her advice for me, “Just don’t sign to a record label and you’ll be fine.” ha.

Its times like these that make me know I’m walking the right path. Follow your heart and good things will come :) Here’s a video I made the other day, enjoy!

 

P.S. I’m playing at the Pig N’ Whistle Thursday October 8th at 7:30pm, All ages, $9
P.P.S. I’m playing at Linnaea’s Cafe in San Luis Obispo Friday October 9th :) Info at myspace.com/amandaholmesband


September 22, 2009

The Science of Street Performing

Filed under: Random Thoughts on Music — Amanda @ 11:12 pm

I’ve been doing a bunch of street performing lately. Like I mentioned in one of my last blog entries, it can be very difficult to play in Los Angeles where they always need you to bring your own crowd… So I’m working at building my fan base by playing to new people!

A great place to play in Los Angeles area is 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. All you have to do is go to City Hall down the street and get a license. Then you can play to the masses! I’ve seen many singer/songwriters start on those streets and really build a strong following. 

The key concept that I’ve learned about street performing is, its not about the tips. Yes the tips and cd sales can help, people signing up for your mailing list is a great thing as well. But more importantly, its about building recognition. There are days when I’ve played my best, and not even made enough money to pay my parking meter. Then there are other days where I’ve made enough to consider street performing as a day job… During the hard days, I just keep reminding myself that I’m building a following. Its not easy. Being an artist isn’t easy. But if you keep working at it, and you become a familiar face, familiar name, momentum will build. 

So if you start to get discouraged, just look at the bright side, maybe you didn’t make much money today, but lots of people heard a glimpse of your music, maybe they didn’t stop today, but maybe they’ll stop another day…

The other day I performed on the street corner next to USC where all the students stop and wait to cross the street. I thought it would be a great spot since its a captive audience that can’t leave! However, people completely ignored my existence and pretended I wasn’t there. Yes I cracked a bunch of jokes so they’d look over and laugh. But most of the time I sang to the back of peoples heads. I thought the day was a complete failure, and then I found this: http://universityparkfamily.ning.com/photo/amanda-holmes-entertains
Someone took a picture and put it up on their blog! Awesome! I also had a bunch of people I didn’t know recognize me later that week… 

Build that fan base. Persistence and Patience are important to success.

Here’s a video of Jack Kovacs and I:
p.s. I don’t know why these videos pick the most unflattering pictures of me imaginable… It won’t let me change the picture…


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