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Why You Can’t Afford to Miss The Upcoming Artist Development Retreat!

  • Be Heard – Vocals with Brett Manning
  • Be Seen – Stage Performance with Tom Jackson
  • Be Followed – Social Media with Rick Barker


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My name’s Brett Manning and welcome to the Singing Success Show Podcast. Oh, you want to talk about me? Okay, yeah, hey, yeah, what’s the what Chaumont? Oh, not again. He’s making me learn Chinese so we could like better relate to our Chinese. Come on, mean – watch out ninja. I suppose Nijo, you know Nijo mom means. He says, “What jao dustin?” Oh yeah, watch out Dustin. Yeah, and then Nina Nina and you and I say good job Brett. Now you learned some Chinese. You’re smarter than you were a second ago by far. I’ve increased. I’ve doubled your IQ in 30 seconds. Incredible. Stick with us 30 milliseconds and we’ll add two percent to your IQ. Oh, proven today. Where we first of all, we want to give an announcement about our tornado that has taken a lot of innocent human lives. This is a horrible, horrible thing. I mean, I know you lost a lot of sleep that night. I lost a lot of sleep. It was just a terrifying night for all of us. We heard about this sweeping through the city. People were texting me pictures real-time as things were happening from 2:00 in the morning till like 5:00 in the morning. I didn’t sleep. And then to find out there was the loss of life. At first, the count was seven, and then it was 11, and then it was like 15, and then 19, 17, 19, and 22. And it’s just horrible because, you know, I don’t think there’s some people then I still haven’t heard from, so I don’t know at the time this is being recorded. These are pre-recorded, so this has been a little while. But you, I know that the cleanup is gonna be a while. It’s hundreds of millions of dollars of damage, so you can give money to the Red Cross. A lot of people lost their homes. So there’s miraculous stories of people who probably should have died, entire families who were able to… One story of a family, the artist, uh, oh my gosh, I think you know who he is. A well-known songwriter here, his name was on the tip of my tongue. But he’s talking about Dierks Bentley. Well, you know, his Steve Miss Moore lived in East Nashville. Yeah, their house was completely tore up. And yeah, he actually showed up to kind of help clear some of that debris. So that’s really cool, like seeing that kind of stuff when the artist community jumps in to help, you know, the community around them. I mean, Nashville is known for its volunteerism so much. It’s actually known or Tennessee’s called the Volunteer State, interesting enough. But when we had the flood, you remember ten years ago when we were doing my record, literally ten years ago. So, I guess every decade or some horrible thing happens here. It’s kind of eerie that how that has happened. Actually, because then we had two earthquakes 20 years ago here, earthquakes. No, the other tornado about 98. But this big flood and way before FEMA got here, they had so many volunteers. A couple of times I went and volunteered some site, and they said we got too many people. You have to leave. Well, they said we don’t have room for you. They’re in each house where they’re cleaning out and tear. They had too many people. Like, someone was standing around people. Yeah, yeah. So it was pretty exciting and to be able to help out a little bit and then be told you have to leave. Well, they said we don’t have room for you. There, in each house, where they’re cleaning out and tearing, they had too many people, like someone was standing around people. Yeah, yeah, so it was pretty exciting, and it to be able to help out a little bit, and then be told you got to go ’cause we got the next shift coming in. Yeah, that’s a beautiful thing you don’t see that a lot.

No, but you can donate to the Red Cross. I’m sure that this cleanup is gonna be a long and tedious thing. We lost most of our most treasured East Nashville spots. East Nashville is a super artsy community with really cool venues. The Basement East just tore that place up. I was just there with my good friend Madison, my coach, and her dad and family watching the North Mississippi Allstars. Those guys are so good, they are so funky. That drummer is insane. The kind of stuff I cut my teeth on, man. Oh yeah, wish to be that good, oh man. And that guitar player goes on for days, so soulful.

And so, that was my last memory of the Basement East. But it’s not going to be my last memory, you know. It’ll be back, better than ever. That’s how Nashville rolls. So anyway, please, you know, your thoughts, your prayers, and your money. Just donate to get on that Red Cross and, you know, anyway as well. Yep, you know, anyway as well.

But we want to talk about our, well, first of all, another shout-out to Benny’s student, who we’ve had a couple of chances to work with. But honestly, let’s be sure, he is the young man’s coach, the son of great classical pianist Graciela Cossack. And her little son’s name is Xander, and little Xander is just the sweetest, sweetest boy. Five years old, speaks almost fluent Chinese, almost fluent Spanish. I mean, it’s pretty intense. And he’s doing astrophysics talks on Ellen DeGeneres. If you haven’t seen that, watch The Ellen Show and look for Xander spelled with an “xx” and “de R.” He’s gonna be on there again, and there’s some chances that there will be a song that he has done. We’ll see. At the time this is released, you’re going to either hear about it or you’re not. But we did record a song, and you will hear it by the time this is out. So, five years old, a student just cute as a man.

Personality, we’d be in the studio and I says, “You want to do it again?” He goes, “Yes,” like because he’s just… he’s like a little jealous kid. Yes, you’re so excited to sing and a little raspy voice yet. You know, you’re coming off of something. He had an allergy attack the day we were recording, and I said, “Good,” because now his voice is fuzzy and cute. Yeah, and this little cute little fuzzy boy got his little raspy voice. Yes, this is adorable. I love it.

We want to talk about what are we here for today, talked about our upcoming artist retreat that we’re having. And as you know, we’ve had two last year. It was like these retreats were like 17, 18, 19 years apart because the last time we were doing this was around the year 2000. And so in 2000, 2001, we had both Keith Urban in 2000, takes six some of those guys out, and then Hayley Williams is an alumna of ours in 2001. She went in there, blew everybody’s minds. We kind of knew she was gonna be famous. Some people you can’t predict, but there were like, it’s a no-brainer, she’s a star. And several other people have gone on to do some great things since then.

But we have three things that we’re doing. We’re saying we want you to be heard, to be seen, and to be followed. So our heart means build your voice for seven days. This is June 7th at a lakeside beautiful retreat here in Nashville. Have you been out there? It’s unbelievable. It’s a paradise. You walk around like people who went to the first two. We had a spring retreat, then we had a fall retreat. This time it’s early summer, where you really is just the foliage, and it’s like a rainforest almost. It really is. It’s paradise. And then the lake, you can see through the trees, and you walk down to the lake, and especially in the mornings, just clear and still. And if you fish or if you don’t fish, whatever you want to do, and ride a canoe or something in the morning or a bid to catch your lunch, here, yes you do. And if you’re vegetarian, we make you pick your mushrooms or whatever, don’t pick the poisonous ones.

Harlan Howard, I need his name, is a famous country songwriter. He’s just… I wrote this last song about my ex-wife. Visit. He goes, “They all died, poisonous mushrooms, except for the last one. I had to shoot her. She wouldn’t eat the mushrooms.” Losing my mind. Nashville, but out there… Edit out. There’s beautiful trails, walking trails, beautiful retreat center, and there’s going to be every day just saturating yourself in vocal coaching and performance coaching with Tom Jackson, who is the industry’s go-to guy.

He’s unbelievable. He can turn my best description of him, after years of watching his magic, is that he can turn somebody from a dork to De Bono in about an hour. I’ve seen it happen, folks. It’s a lot less time than that, it’s really fast. It’s just his transformation. A lot of people are like, what I call Talladega Nights syndrome, in case you didn’t see it. Will Ferrell just went, “Take second this race,” and they’re interviewing him. He’s never been on camera. He goes, “I thought I was like on a spaceship. I’m not sure what to do with my hands.” Like, yeah, it’d be good just to put them down your side. He goes, “At the end of the day, you have to feel pretty good about the race.” And they keep wishing and keep loader doesn’t know what to do with themselves. The car handled real good.

So what happens is you get on stage and you’re just not sure. Little things like, yeah, and you remember doing all in your mind how we like killed that one and had the whole plan, and that was the one song that Tom coaches. So in every success, it seems so spontaneous. It wasn’t spontaneous. It was planned to look spontaneous. That’s the key. Yes, things have to look spontaneous, but it was mighty. Okay, did you believe me? That looks spontaneous, but I wasn’t planning on saying, “Where’s my tea?” You have to have it happen like it’s the first time you’ve had that thought. Even performing your song, you could actually be singing when you’re performing.

I’ll give you a couple of preview tips from Tom Jackson. We’ll talk about being followed later. Like, if I sit there and say, you know, if I’m sitting here going… [Music] “Man, I must be wicked, I was looking for some miracles. Attempting God, part two, just for me.” Now, if I say that, I can say that like it’s the first time I had that thought. So I could be sitting or say, “I must be wicked, looking for a miracle, tempting God, pirate the CEPA, only me.” But everything that I had longed for was suddenly in front of me.

All of a sudden, my world had started to spin. No lightning in the sky was flashing. You played drums on this several times. Oh, that’s… uh, oh my gosh. I can’t… it’s always on. I swore since the moon, though I swore a since the moonlight in your eyes, in broad daylight.

I can’t deny this any longer, I’m undone. I finally have found. I love seeing that stuff live when it seems like they’re writing something, yeah, like in real time. I try to do that, like the thought is coming to me. Like when I said, “Where’s my tea?” and Tom has the ability to do that. I try to get a person to do that vocally, but he has to do that like these and our motions are not planned. If your show looks too choreographed, unless it’s a legitimate dance move, if it looks too choreographed, your audience goes hokey. I went to a concert of a very famous diva. I’m not going to say her name, and everything was walk out here, do this. Very Vegas-y. Vegas is cool, I mean it has this thing. I’ve been to Vegas several times and you were just there. It’s an amazing city. Those people who just think it’s just Sin City, the most evil place you can go, it’s just, yeah, I got to avoid someplace. That’s a given. But there’s also some really cool things. It’s beautiful. But like you say, it’s very programmed. And if that’s your thing and that’s what you’re trying to do, that’s great. And Tom even works with people like that too. But still, to make it interesting, to make it feel spontaneous, because the more concise your plan is, the more spontaneous it will actually feel. That just sounds really crazy, but it’s planned spontaneous, which is ridiculous. If I say, “Yeah, I plan on being spontaneous tomorrow,” you’ve got to be spontaneous this second. But that plan can include options, and then you choose.

That’s the beauty of performance and creating an engaging show. It’s about finding that balance between planning and allowing room for spontaneity. Tom Jackson has mastered this art. He can take someone who may seem awkward or unsure and transform them into a captivating performer in just an hour or even less. I’ve witnessed it firsthand, and it’s truly incredible.

One common issue performers face is the Talladega Nights syndrome, as I like to call it. It’s when you’re on stage and you’re not sure what to do with your hands or how to present yourself. Tom helps artists overcome these challenges and teaches them how to make their performances look natural and unscripted, even though they are carefully planned.

When you perform, you want every moment to feel fresh and spontaneous, as if it’s the first time you’re having that thought or singing that song. It’s all about creating an authentic connection with your audience. Tom Jackson provides valuable coaching on how to achieve this. He guides artists to deliver their songs in a way that feels genuine and heartfelt, keeping the audience engaged and immersed in the experience.

I can’t stress enough the importance of striking a balance between choreography and the appearance of spontaneity. While choreography has its place, especially in dance routines, a music performance needs to have that element of surprise and unexpected moments. That’s what keeps the audience hooked and makes the show memorable.

So, if you’re aspiring to be a captivating performer, consider the art of planned spontaneity. Embrace the power of a well-crafted plan that allows room for improvisation and personal expression. Tom Jackson’s expertise in performance coaching can help you elevate your stage presence and create a show that feels alive and truly connected with your audience.

In the dating life, whether it’s with your spouse or before you’re married, the question of what to do often arises. Many people struggle with coming up with something spontaneous to do. Having a list of spontaneous activities can be helpful, like using an app that provides a variety of options. Back in the day, we didn’t have such conveniences and had to rely on notepads and brainstorming.

When it comes to the most spontaneous thing I’ve done on stage, it would probably be a drum solo. Drum solos typically don’t have much of a place in modern situations, but when executed well, they can be cool. It’s similar to a thrashing tapping guitar solo that adds excitement. However, too much choreography in a music performance can make it seem hokey, and the audience prefers a sense of spontaneity.

That’s where a good performance coach like Tom Jackson comes in. He has the ability to teach artists how to plan for spontaneity. By carefully crafting a plan that includes options, you can choose and adapt on stage, creating moments that feel fresh and unscripted. It may sound paradoxical, but planned spontaneity is key to engaging an audience and making a show memorable.

Now, with the upcoming retreat in June, it’s an incredible opportunity to spend seven days with Tom Jackson, which in the past would have been more expensive than the entire retreat itself. During the retreat, you’ll not only benefit from Tom’s coaching but also attend clinics, vocal masterclasses, social media masterclasses, and music marketing masterclasses.

Speaking of music marketing, Rick Barker, a former manager of Taylor Swift, is also involved in the retreat. Rick has great insights into the industry and can provide valuable guidance on how to be heard, seen, and followed. It’s important to have a comprehensive approach to building your career as an artist.

Rehearsals are a crucial part of becoming a great performer. Even the greatest acts rehearse extensively. They rehearse more than they perform, especially in the beginning. Eventually, the balance shifts, and they perform more than they rehearse. Rehearsals allow for adding new elements or improvisation into the setlist, enhancing the overall performance.

In the case of Taylor Swift, the combination of planned rehearsals and spontaneous additions on stage resulted in an unforgettable show. The audience was captivated by her talent and the unexpected moments she incorporated into her performance. It’s a testament to the power of blending preparation with the excitement of spontaneity.

To succeed as an artist, you need to be heard, seen, and followed. These three aspects are interconnected and crucial for building a dedicated fan base. With the expertise of Tom Jackson, Rick Barker, and others, the retreat offers a unique opportunity to learn and grow as a performer, enhancing your ability to connect with audiences and make a lasting impact.

Bringing joy through music is essential, as I experienced a breakthrough with one of my students, Peter, in China. We realized that beyond vocal range and technical improvements, the most important thing is to find joy in singing and to bring joy to others. Being heard brings happiness.

Imagine having the choice between opening for a famous band like Imagine Dragons or fulfilling the dying wish of a child from the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The right thing to do is to prioritize the child’s wish, even though it may seem selfish to some. It’s about having faith that doing the right thing will lead to the right results.

I remember a show called “Can You Do It?” where I was a judge. During the show, Bobby Brown was set to sing for children with cancer. However, he became overwhelmed by their bravery and couldn’t find the words to express his feelings. It’s incredible how these kids, despite their circumstances, inspire such admiration and respect.

Performers have a responsibility to spread joy, not only to large crowds but also to smaller audiences. I recall a time when I confronted a noisy table during a performance and asked them to be quiet. It may seem confrontational, but it’s about respect. When you attend a performance, you should give your full attention and refrain from disturbing others.

Sometimes, you have to command respect and silence in the room. Mindy Smith, a talented artist, experienced this when dealing with a noisy audience during a fundraising event. She had the confidence to demand their attention, and the applause that followed was a testament to her authenticity and determination.

As artists, knowing who you are and what you represent is crucial. It’s essential to have the confidence to command a room and demand respect, even if it means silencing a few disrespectful individuals. Joining the upcoming retreat with Tom Jackson and Rick Barker will provide valuable insights and knowledge that can transform your career. Fundraising is possible if you’re passionate and share your dreams with others.

Take the opportunity to invest in your career and break through any obstacles. This one-week retreat can change your life and propel you to the next level.