I am rarely moved to tears, unfortunately. I often wonder if I even have tearducts, while I am often moved emotionally by pieces of art or performances I rarely cry. I guess I’m just a robot. But with that aside, this morning on my way to work I decided to utilize my 35 minute drive a little better than just listening to the same songs I’ve been playing all month. How I decided to become more mentally active in my drive was to re watch (more like re-listen since I was driving) the Beyoncé Year of 4 mini-documentary on Vevo/YouTube.
The 20 minute video shows a bit of what Beyoncé was doing during her year off that she took between her albums I Am… Sasha Fierce and 4, as well as the creative development behind the album 4 and how she is handling the role of being her own manager. In about 20 minutes you see Beyoncé enjoying a year of from work, which we all would love to do and she is fortunate to have the option to do so. On her days, the video shows her enjoying time with her nephew, husband, and mother. Beyoncé was even seen going to the Great Wall of China for the first time.
At that moment, Beyoncé had recently finished her I Am… World Tour which had a total of 108 shows in 6 continents and lasted nearly a full year. And visiting all of those countries, I assumed she would have had the time to go see things like the Great Wall of China, or any other landmark in the country she would be performing in. But, as the video went on it became evident that Beyoncé is not the typical kind of recording artist.
The video soon began to show her transition from being managed by her father, to managing herself. She held creative development meetings for her company Parkwood Entertainment, which is the entertainment and management company founded by Beyoncé in 2008 that she is the President of. The video also shows her in action, delegating work amongst her team, and hold a very strong business woman’s decisiveness that has helped make her career what it is.
What specifically moved me when watching this mini-documentary the first time, and every time I watch it, is how dedicated this woman is to her craft as well as her advancement to be mostly in control of her at. We often see artists looking glamorous at red carpet events, in music videos, or performing live on stage and we assume it must be easy to have a life where all you have to do is sing and dance to make a living. But what we often do not see is how much work and effort goes in to rising to that level and maintaining your artistry.
While Beyoncé is a large recording artist and multi-talented performer I believe many of her approaches to the business behind being a recording artist I admire and try to learn from. At the beginning, she would practice and rehearse almost endlessly to train her instruments, her voice as well as being diverse in the different styles of singing. Then steadily became more in control of her music by writing lyrics, then producing, next was directing music videos and tour DVDs. And how she learned how to do these things was from learning from those who already do it and applying that to her “work” to the point where she is her manager and creative director. Beyoncé runs Beyoncé and that is an inspirational place to see her at as well as where I hope to be as an artist; in control of my shit.
Just the dream alone of waking up everyday doing all of the things that pertain to making myself a better artist and living off of that is moving enough. So I look up to other artists’ personal life management styles to see what could work for me when I get to similar points in my life.
Ok, so I guess my tear ducts do work because im tearing up now just thinking about the artistic freedom I can have in my near future… stupid emotions.