By the Lead Singer of the Fake Band TigerTripp.
I had known I couldn’t sing since the time my mother told me in the laundry when I was a kid. I thought she was going to say I sounded fantastic, she started with, “I know where you got your singing voice from…me.” I had never heard my mother sing. “You can’t sing,” she finished up.
It was a bit of a bummer. I stopped singing after that. Instead, I got very good at lipsynching. Looking out across the floodplain at the back of our house, I’d stand on the sundeck imagining it a stadium, the grass below a hundred thousand Pet Shop Boys fans, and I, one of their backup singers moving my lips in time with the oohs and ahs. A skill you could argue comes in handy when one has a fake band. (So thank you, Mum.)
Upon moving to Los Angeles, I found a city so crazy I felt sane. It is a place full of dreamers where the line between delusion and fame is thin. You can fake it ’til you make it and if you feel you’ll never make it, just start a fake band.
That’s what I did.
Too often, we wait for permission, approval, for someone to pick us. Chances are you are not going to get picked, but you shouldn’t let that get in the way. E.L. James self-published Fifty Shades of Grey. Sylvester Stallone cast himself as Rocky. Both created success by not waiting for someone else to pick them.
I remember when working in radio, when I lived in Australia, all I wanted was to host the nightly countdown show. Then, the woman hosting the show announced she was leaving. I was bummed. The timing wasn’t right. I figured, surely, I needed another year’s experience before my boss would consider me as a replacement. Then, the station announced a competition to find a new host for the show. The woman who won was a dental nurse with no radio experience whatsoever.
Around the same year I formed TigerTripp, Seth Godin published this blog post.
“It’s a cultural instinct to wait to get picked. To seek out the permission and authority that comes from a publisher or talk show host or even a blogger saying, “I pick you.” Once you reject that impulse and realize that no one is going to select you…then you can actually get to work,” said Godin.
Who cares if a guy called Robert Thoa hates what you do or that most of the positive feedback you get comes from friends or, that guy you used to know who is now in jail?
Picking yourself is liberating. It sucks to be a prisoner of other’s opinions.