Growing up I had taken part in many music fests at school and college levels. When reality shows were the 'in thing', I gave them a shot as well. There had been phases in my life when I used to think these stages as the be all and end all of my future as a musician. When I was about to give up and was taking it too hard on myself, this thing called the internet happened. Not only did that open up a whole lot of new possibilities but it also made the idea of being a part of the industry to build a career or future obsolete. That said, it would be dishonest for me to say that I didn't learn anything from the reality shows and cultural competitions. Here are a few learnings from my experience and I urge the next gen kids to take part in these as well just as a part of shaping up their worldview on things.
1. How to deal with success and failure - The keyword here is 'deal with'. It simply means, how to take any success or failure and understand what they mean in the grand scheme of things. Any kind of failure or success at this level doesn't necessarily represent our future or true potential. However, how we react to these situations help us cultivate some invaluable transferable life skills. The quote by Charles R. Swindoll is relevant here: 'Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.'
2. A lab to test what works and what doesn't - This is a useful business lesson. Reality shows and culturals can give a fair idea as to what the market needs are and what works 'mainstream'. Knowing these can help us evaluate our options and help us choose what is best for us even if that means going non-mainstream a.k.a. independent. The quote by Albert Einstein is relevant here: 'I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won't work.'
The most important thing here is self-reflection after every performance, win or loss. It helps manage expectations as to how our skill sets and interests meet the market needs and how we can navigate the direction of our musical career.
Seth Godin talks about 'What's the point of popular?' in his blog. A few highlights worth reading and pondering about below.
If you see any value in this blog post, sign up below to our weekly newsletter and receive useful ideas, and tips to thrive as a musician.