Thursday, December 15, 2011

I Guest Blogged! I'm a Rock Star!

I'm proud that I went out into cyber world and got myself a gig. Self promo can be daunting, which leads me to the whole gist of the blog - Channeling Your Inner Rock Star/Confidence for Self Promotion




Channeling Your Inner Rock Star/Overcome Shyness in Public Speaking

I'm delighted and honored to welcome Kim Hornsby to the blog today. Kim Hornsby is a legend in her own mind (her words, not mine). A former singer, she opened shows for Jamie Foxx, Jay Leno, Bob Hope, even Maya Angelou in the Hawaiian convention circuit and was the star of an international infomercial. An award winning stage actress for Evita and Annie Get your Gun, Kim is no stranger to self-promotion. Her thirty-year career in show biz prepped her to teach the online course Channeling Your Inner Rock Star, with a unique approach to abolishing shyness.

Here's Kim:
 No one is born a rock star, complete with over-the-top confidence and leather pants. An individual has to work for that. (And grow into the pants.) Ever heard the Nickelback song “We all just want to be big rock stars, live in hilltop mansions, driving fancy cars”? Well some actually live this way but most celebrities do not.

These days we use the term Rock Star to mean someone who’s achieved success in their field. Eg) Wow, kids, you finished homework. You are a Rock Star.

We tend to look at those who’ve achieved enormous success performing in a rock band as beyond ordinary. But remember, even Pat Benatar and Tommy Lee have baby pictures. They put their pants on one leg at a time and catch colds.

My Point: One must work at developing an image to fool the public into believing that you are special. It’s referred to as Smoke and Mirrors. And it’s human nature to want to believe it true, to see someone as super-talented, uber-wonderful. That’s not to say if you follow the advice I’m going to give you, you need to be so conceited your head won’t fit through the book store door. Believing in your own PR (public relations) is a slippery slope. A true Rock Star can take out the garbage when not in black leather and chains.

Under the costumes, tattoos, makeup, piercings and hair gel, a Rock Star is simply another person in the world who has insecurities-- a human being who probably feels more comfortable in a larger-than-life personality when greeting the public. I bet Pat Benatar made lots of PB and J’s for neighborhood kids between tours and Tommy Lee played Little League before he joined Metallica.

In my life I have known a few rock stars, celebrities, and movie actors of enormous proportions and I’m here to tell you that off stage and out of makeup, most are a bit shy--Steven Tyler, for example. I took him snorkeling in Hawaii once and he is a quiet man. Jamie Foxx, whose name is actually Eric was raised by his Grandma and is extremely humble. These people created a stage persona and you must too. If shyness is holding you back, you must dig deep to find that inner celebrity that we all have hiding somewhere behind the spleen. Once you find her she will help get through public events that would’ve otherwise leave you shaking in your boots, quivering in your Victoria’s Secrets, sweating through your sweat suits. (Note: Unless you are a sports star, I highly recommend you refrain from wearing sweat suits when trying to be a Rock Star.)

On that note, the first step to Rock Stardom is physical presentation. Go into your closet and find yourself an outfit that says “__”. You must insert your celebrity/pen name here and if you don’t have one I suggest you find one because this is how you will refer to yourself when it’s ‘ShowTime!’

My stage name used to be Kimberley Horn because there were too many syllables in my real name for my former talent agent. Now my pen name is Kim Hornsby. I did not deviate too far from the truth but you see where I’m going with this.

Once you have a few killer outfits that make you feel special, check that the rest of you is ready for the spotlight -- hairstyle, shoes, jewelry. What makes you feel successful enough to have a Lear jet to fly to San Fran for breakfast on the pier? This is the side of you that does not scrub toilets, make school lunches, clip coupons. She takes her pool boy (or husband) to South Beach on Saturday night to dance and sleeps until three the next day. After your have the look, you must make yourself believe how wonderful you are. If you skip this step you’re in trouble. Affirmations, self talk, call it what you want, but do it just before called upon to speak in public.

As you look out on the sea of faces, just remember, do not read your audience too closely. It’s the kiss of death. Just plough through, if you’re giving a key note speech, talking to a group at a book signing, whatever. Don’t assume you know what they are thinking. The expressions on their faces may not reflect their thoughts. Probably won’t if they are listening intently. Take your glasses off, look over heads but don’t read their faces.

I want to introduce to you a character I love to laugh at on SNL, called Shy Ronnie. He is played by Andy Samberg and the only reason he is so drop-dead funny is that we know Andy is not actually shy. The link to see him is at the end of the blog. Were Shy Ronnie a real person, it would be excruciatingly painful to watch him try to rap alongside Rhianna. When asked to speak up, his voice is so miniscule it’s painful to watch. But when his beautiful co-singer leaves the room in frustration, Shy Ronnie takes off. His shyness in front of Rhianna makes him not only unable to do his job but makes him look silly, due to lack of confidence.

Remember this when you are in front of an audience – the people who have paid money or taken time out of their busy lives want to like you. When you open a book, you are hoping that the protagonist is someone to relate to. Likewise, an audience member wants to like you and will give you every possible chance to be worth their time. If they don’t like you (and you will probably never know this), it might be their own problem. Maybe they’re distracted, closed-minded, too focused on their own lives or not ready to listen.

In recap, you must create a celebrity side to yourself complete with a celebrity look (and name) -- an outward appearance that says ‘Someone Special is in the House’, practice self talk and remember the audience wants to like you.

Good luck to all the shy people reading this. Now click on Shy Ronnie and tell me you aren’t this bad!

You can learn more about Kim here:!/kim.hornsby1

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Life Lessons at Christmas (From the 'Teau Mama Blog)

When the kids are grown (in years to come) and picking apart your mothering skills, no one will say that you didn’t do everything possible to make Christmas the most wonderful time of the year, right?
Remind them it was not about keeping up with the neighbors who had 20,000 Christmas lights on their lawn, made toys for poor kids and visited every Christmas activity, their mini van’s engine hardly cooling all December.
It was, and still is, about teaching your children some very important life skills while celebrating.
This month is the perfect time to slip in some teaching/parenting lessons, while you dangle the promise of toys in front of them.
1. When you get to Snowflake Lane at Bellevue Square at 7:20 p.m. and find there are no parking spaces or discover that the show just ended, the lesson of planning, checking schedules online, leaving early to avoid traffic would fit in here. (note: This lesson is best taught at Yo Plateau or U Top It in Sammamish where you will drive to make up for your disorganization)
2. Should you take them to Breakfast with Santa, pay extra for a photograph with your children on the Big Guy’s lap, and discover that they are terrified to be within twenty-seven feet of him, patience would be the obvious lesson here. That one is for you. Walk away from your dream of your darlings on Santa’s lap. Avoid future therapy costs and teach your children that Mommy did not put her expectations over her children’s fears. The money she paid for the photo is easily forgotten, as is the idea of having that photo decorate the wall every year at Christmas. Mommy can 'photoshop' one later with a picture of happy children.
 The children’s lesson is that Mommy loves them. A letter from the scary man in a strange costume might suffice.
3. Taking children to Toys 'R' Us or any toy store this time of year to pick out a sibling gift is just plain ridiculous. Don’t do it. This lesson is for Mom alone. No child can go shopping at a toy store, this time of year to buy something for someone else without tears. Don’t try to teach the spirit of giving to a young child at a toy store at Christmas. Period. Bartells has toys. Safeway too.
4. Having to decorate only the top third of your tree because this is the puppy’s first Christmas and doesn’t understand that a tree in the house with keepsake ornaments is off limits, is a lesson for your children about sacrifice. If they are upset because the tree looks strange, remind them that they wanted a puppy and then throw in that no one but you walks the puppy or feeds or gets up in the middle of the night with their puppy and you’re too tired to argue about what the tree looks like. (sorry, I’m getting carried away here).
5. When your children make a wish list as long as the driveway and you wonder how you can possibly fulfill their Christmas morning dreams, you must pull out the word moderation and explain that Santa can’t possibly put it all in the sleigh and only a few things will be chosen off that mega-list. Then you can teach them to throw their tear-soaked tissues in the trash when they finish crying. That lesson is cleanliness (as if I have to explain that to a mother!)
Enjoy the season, take your meds, ease up on the chardonay, don't electrocute yourself whilst putting up the lights and don't forget to buy yourself a little sompin, sompin to reward yourself for another Christmas well-done.
Over and out.