“ Ability is what you’re capable of doing. Motivation determines what you do. Attitude determines how well you do it. ”
― Lou Holtz
*PS-Dear Reader- The only favor I ask is that you follow the story, Share if you are so inclined. Know that I am following dreams as you do.
Yesterday’s video created some of the most amazing responses. People, that I have known for years and people I have no idea are are cheering me on…each one contributes this seed of hope being strung on to this massive pearl necklace and it is becoming a beautiful thing.
This popped up in my email, I sign up for all kinds of affirmation type emails, follow people who seem genuine and are not “all about the money” and this came in today…I immediately thought of what you had said at the end of the Young Arts Documentary…something I bet those three kids will remember for the rest of their life…
There may be times when we get an idea but have no idea howto carry it out. Ideas are floating like radio stations on the airwaves, waiting for the right people to pick them up and manifest them in the world. We may not be able to carry out every idea that inspires us, but we can be sure that someone is taking steps to follow those ideas through. When the idea is something we can do, it may seem natural, or it may become a passion that we feel we must follow.
……do you ever contemplate the ripples…the awe at the lives you do touch and have no awareness of…that thought keeps me humble EVERY SINGLE day I wake up and has really come to the forefront in this journey. I try and I mean I literally think about the meaning and the power behind each word…the damage, the goodness, the necessariness…
I said I was going to post the transcribed copy for the video here because well these words are as important as the ones spoken yesterday as well.
Hi, my name is Miriam Rieck. I am a photographer who specializes in music and dance.
This is the story behind the 104 Letters to Josh Groban that I am writing and publishing on my blog, daily.
There have been three things that have become my solace, my refuge and my creative voice and those three things are Music, writing and photography.
Several years ago I had lost what I thought was going to be a lifetime dream business and home. When the financial market crashed in 2010 and it seemed like overnight, it was gone. After that point, I felt like I was at loose ends as to what I was supposed to be doing or what my passion and purpose was. Even my photography lacked a direction— until I won a media pass to a Josh Groban concert in November of 2013. I had never shot a concert or even considered shooting music and dance until that night. The night of the concert was like someone had whacked me upside the back of the head, all I could see was images in my head of music, being created, what it was like to be on tour, honest interactions between the band and the audience ALL the while shooting my three song limit at the Josh Groban concert…after leaving the concert I spent several weeks hammering out the concept of tour books based on themes as well as the band itself…and at the time, as a thank you I decided I wanted to go on tour with Josh Groban, when his next album released.
I also knew that I did not have the experience of either, so I dug in and got it. I have spent the last 18+ months shooting over 40 other bands in a variety of venues like Jesse Cook and Lindsey Stirling. I have produced a tour book with a band called Hazy Ray…all the while pursuing all leads and referrals to have a sit down meeting with Josh Groban management.
Then the Stages Album was released in late April and shortly thereafter the tour venues/dates were also released and I realized the whole concept, scope of the book had changed.
The goal is to go on Tour with Josh Groban through the STAGES tour and photograph behind the scenes, the theatres and the performances and then to create a hard cover art photography book based on Stages….
Now you may ask…yawn who wants a boring book…here is the why…
If you know anything about Josh Groban’s story, you know that he was essentially plucked out of his first month at Carnegie Mellon. He was there to study drama specifically Musical Theatre Performance-i.e. Broadway….but that dream never came to pass, David Foster signed him …and well 13 or so years later he is who he is. BUT his dream to perform on Broadway has never died. So here comes Stages, an album of his favorite Musical songs. The theatres and the tour he is creating is equally unique. He typically books in large arenas that can handle 10,000 people plus. This time the tour is being created, using for the most part, Historical Theatres across the United States. These stages are the history of American Performance and The Golden Era of Movies and Hollywood. Vaudeville, Ziegfeld Follies, The Rat Pack, birth of our “Rock n Roll” bands. Moments like Ronald Reagan proposing to Jane Wyman. Truman giving a war speech. Ballet and Dance of all kinds…these are the energies that have given life to these grand ole dames of theatre. Most of them were constructed in the early 1900’s and for ungodly heard of sums of money…at that time. Opulent, Elegant, Grand Ole Dames. Some even haunted…
So here is the first weave of this magical story. Josh actually gets his dream, it may not be necessarily in the format he had imagined at 17 but he gets to perform these classic songs on many of the same stages that some of these songs were originally performed on and lay his energy right on top of this history.
The second weave is my dream, to go on tour and document this incredible, unique, unduplicatable tour.
The third weave actually is all of yours. My friend Holly said it best the other night. You and Josh actually have no idea of the ripples that will be sent out when two polar opposites come together and create this collaboration. How many people will not lose hope, will take that extra step and come into their dream…so many you may never ever know the magnitude of the ripples and she is right.
So why Social Media? Well I have spent the last 18 months hitting one wall after another. I did not see the difficulty in reaching out to a musician of Josh Groban’s fame because to me people are people. The journey from November 12, 2013 to today has been one of growth and learning for me. I‘ve met some incredible people as well as musicians and bands.
Some of them so unique that they are really a part of the story, one of the first people I reached out to –well she has this odd knack of texting just as I have decided to quit—telling me not to quit, that she is praying me to succeed. Then there is the first band I approached and asked to let me in, which if you know anything about musicians…every band is a very tightly knit family so to take me in was a huge honor and that band was Hazy Ray. One of the co-founders, Michael, has become a best friend to me and it was he that led me to the second band that stands out as an inspiration for me and that band is Roxy Roca. Their dedication not just to their music but staying socially conscious and activist is just amazing and several of their songs have become…well inspiration songs for me. There are so many people who have played a part in this story but the ending of this story right now really lays in why the number 104 and why Social Media.
Well on May 31st of this year a life coach by the name of Tess Marshall posted on her FB page…anyone out there need a new set of eyes on a lingering problem…and before I knew it my fingers were flying and a really rough draft of this story was sitting on her FB page. Up until that point I had rarely told the story, mostly out of fear of being that open and vulnerable to the trolls that we all have experienced on Facebook…but I was reaching a point where I was literally stuck and had no idea what to do…
She and I had a really lovely conversation and my biggest fear; the internet became my best effort…
104 was the number of days left before the STAGES tour takes off on September 12 in Atlanta GA. So every day, I go get my ass kicked at my trainers and come home inspired to write the application letter of the day.
Through the course of these letters, these applications to Josh- I have completely exposed who I am. What I do personally and professionally. I discuss the theatres, things and people who have made an impact on me and why.
We have about 50 days to go….so time is of the essence. You can find me through my blog, my website or my studio Facebook page…All under Wylde Soul Photography and all of them are interlinked and easy to find….
What do I need from you? I need to go viral or hit that one person that can take me in the door to a sit down meeting with Josh Groban’s management … Thank you for believing in my dream and passing the word ….