"dinner with Rose Reiter"

Hello Everyone!

Today is a special post. It's not only the first in a special series called "dinners with...," but it's also where I get to interview 
Rose Reiter, one of my very dear and close friends, who I've known for almost twenty years. "dinners with..." is a series where I interview artists, musicians, crafters, writers, entrepreneurs, bloggers and extraordinary persons who have something wonderful to share - their experiences, love of their work, passions, creativity and wisdom. 

The idea for this series originated after much thought and correlates with the message that I want to communicate with 
everyone in this blogosphere. 
Be present. Be passionate. Be authentic.

This is  a 2-Part Interview. 
Please stay tuned for the second part of the Interview and the giveaway next Wednesday.

Rose Reiter is an indie Canadian singer, song writer and musican. 
Her passions are music, all types of cuisines, yoga, animals, travel, reading and adventure.

I'm fascinated by how people first realize their passions. How old were you when you realized that you wanted to be a singer song writer?

I remember writing my first piano piece, titled "Snowflakes" when I was about 3. I don't remember a time when I wasn't writing or loving writing. When I was in University, I realized I was skipping all my classes to find rooms with pianos to write on. I suppose that was when I really figured out that this was what I wanted to do professionally. (A little late regarding my University degree, which was in Germanic studies, but I did minor in music and theatre). And now, in my thirties, I feel I've come full circle - I still love writing the most.

Some writers write from their own experiences and others tell a tale. What inspires your writing and music?

Everything - Nature. Laughter. Sounds. My first breath every morning. Christmas lights. Other people's stories and ability to overcome life's challenges. The love and encouragement of my closest friends and personal notes from fans. My husband.

Anything that pulls my heart or resonates with me and my experiences.  I remember recently I wrote a song idea based on this one scene in Sherlock Holmes (Guy Ritchie version) at the end of the movie where he says his goodbye to his lady love on the London bridge. I felt such a pull that I wrote a song (unreleased) that wasn't directly about my own experience, but something that I could really connect with... See, my memory is an interesting thing - I used to wake up every day, with no memory of my day before. Almost all my life has been like this, so it's my normal state of being - but I know that all my experiences are locked up somewhere in my mind and body, and I find movies help me reconnect with my own emotions and writing. Human struggle, triumph, other's creative work, - our global experience - our shared human experience - really inspires and moves me to write...like when I was driving on Mar 11th - I pulled the car over and cried when I heard about the earthquake in Japan - I came home and the song was already pre-written while I was on the road, processing this event. And in that case the song "The world is watching" was my own personal emotional response to all the connection of our global family. So, for me, I think in song and music. It's the way I see the world around me, I suppose. 

How would you describe your daily routine?

I wake up every morning to write and produce music for a variety of projects. On any given day, you'll find me pitching compositions to agencies for T.V., Film and Ad work, or recording a set of vocals for a label in Nashville, or finishing a single, or perhaps rehearsing for a Rose Reiter show. I do spend a lot of my time online making new connections. Recently, I find I've been mentoring a lot more indie artists. I also spend part of my month helping companies with various projects (my other company www.directcorporate.com). I suppose communication, people, music, IT, projects - creativity can be expressed in so many ways, and as long as I have a chance to use my creative skills in any project I am a part of, I am happy. That, and as long as I can continue to write and produce music.  :) 

What do you like to do in your spare time and how do you relax?

You'll find me in my kitchen at some point, perhaps experimenting with a new curry or recipe. I love to move - so most days you'll find me walking or dancing to one of my many international spark radio stations, or training on the 80lb kick-bag in my gym, or hiking nearby, walking and doing yoga. I used to NOT relax. I kind of had a recent couple of years where I had no choice but to relax - so, now I'm finding balance in my days and if I don't, I'm not productive. Walking, I think, is my favourite thing to do to unwind. It's such great writing time. I, also, love to watch films, read all genres of books and meditate. I thoroughly love to laugh and I love hearing laughter. That is a great metaphor for who I am, cause' if you know me, you know that I'm about living life to its fullest, every hour of every day. My motto is 'love a little more, fear a little less.'

Did you have a mentor starting out in the business?

I've had several mentors when I was starting out, and I still do. Each of them play(ed) an important part in my life and career. But mainly my life. I have absolute gratitude for their honesty, wisdom and guidance. I was taught to work for myself and be able to hold my own. Sometimes a mentor is someone who tells you to change your strumming pattern (Thanks Drew!) or challenges you to find your authenticity (thank you Patrick!) or reminds you to remember and honour your spirit (thanks Penny). My vocal coaches were all mentors for me too. Yes, I've had several, but also, nobody at my time had really done the Indie thing - so that was kind of a thing I had to learn on my own. When I finally got into the business, I was in my early twenties and the demise of the major "record" labels was becoming more a reality. So I chose to go out on my own. Which meant I needed to be my own label and pay for my own development. I have no regrets, especially now that I know I chose the path that was most authentic to who I am as a person.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?

I would start with the spirit. The Japanese have a term called I-ki-gai. Simply translated - "life purpose." Find out what your specific passion and intent is when it comes to this business. If you have tried to leave music and can't, you know it's the right thing. If you think you're going to be a rock star and be famous and make tons of money - and if this is your driving factor, I'd recommend looking at other industries where you could accomplish the same with less struggle. If, however, you think, breathe, music, and if you are willing to work the long hours and still smile, then perhaps, it's for you. I you're under 25, consider signing with a major label, IF AND ONLY IF, the contract is fair. Do not settle. Learn about business, cause' you'll need it. It's still a business, and one that can always use new ideas. There's enough for everyone - so don't be a dick. Take the time to do some professional training, and know that you'll always keep learning in this business. It doesn't end!

Try and build a great team of people and fans around you and be true to yourself and your vision. Remind yourself of your worthiness and remember how great ideas are always available to the creative mind. There is no single formula, no magic pill. It takes a lot of hard work and money, and it's a craft and art that is a real valuable service we provide. We are doctors of the heart and spirit, and music does make the world a better place.

What are some difficult and challenging lessons you've learned while working in the business?

It can be overwhelming for me sometimes, as I juggle a lot of different aspects of my career. I would love to find a manager now that can have my level of commitment and work ethic and a better professional network than I have. I'd also like to connect with the right publisher for my portfolio. I find that I need more help now that I have a career.

Lessons? Many. For example, today I had a real heart to heart with myself about my workload (again) and realized that I had to resize the scope of my plans over the next 12 months. I really had to teach myself that I can focus on a few things really well - and can't focus on many things at the same time. I have to choose. There's only so much time in my day, without me burning out. 

Another big lesson for me is that what I do is of "value." I no longer do pay to play events. I was once told that one can die of exposure. LOL! So, if someone tells me that I'll get a lot of exposure for a gig, I usually take it to mean "We can't pay you, and we need you to play to help us fill out our night, and we want to take advantage of you, or make money because of your talent. We don't value your work enough to pay you."  If we, as writers and musicians, don't value our work, nobody else will. And frankly, there's lots of opportunities out there that are paying. I mean, to make my music, it costs me money to produce, master and promote it.  That being said, I will always gladly perform for free at charitable shows for causes or performer friends that I care about. 

I really believe that this series will enlighten, motivate and inspire you. 
I would love some feedback, so leave a comment and let me 
know what you think.

don't forget to come back for the second part of this "dinner with..." series where I ask Rose what professional advice she has and who she would invite to dinner, and the GIVEAWAY next Wednesday 


p.s. a wonderful thanks to you all for your encouragement 
regarding my Etsy Shop.
your support has been amazing!

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