Archive for the ‘Inspirational’ Category

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 2

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Your Audience

My audience of potential donors is small and scattered around the globe. How do I reach them?

Most benefits only reach a local audience – those who are within driving distance of the venue and also happen to be free on that particular evening at that particular time. But what if your audience is bigger than that? What if your potential reach is world-wide? What if your potential donors are scattered around the country? Or what if they just happened to be traveling elsewhere on that particular evening?

Here’s how to go far beyond your usual local audience and reach people of interest around the world.

“Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast goes to them wherever they might be – anywhere in the world. It can play to groups or individual on their meeting houses or their living rooms. Additionally, when the webcast is presented, it is also recorded in its entirety at absolutely no extra cost and can be shown again and again to individuals and groups when needed.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 1: Producing A Benefit
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

Seven Steps To Creating A Successful Benefit – Part 1

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

 

Producing A Benefit

I need to raise money for my favorite cause. Where do I start?

Here’s an engaging way of producing your next benefit!

Need to raise funding for your special church project or favorite charity organization? One of the first things a good event producer looks for is an Inspirational Entertainment that draws potential donors to your benefit evening. Clearly the draw of the event needs to be compelling, elegant and inspiring. Yes, it’s all about the giving, but if there’s one thing I’ve always understood, it’s this:

Working in the theater for some four decades now, I’ve had the necessity to raise money for my various projects through backer’s auditions again and again. What I’ve learned is that potential investors who attend really don’t invest in the play or musical, but instead, they invest in the backer’s audition. They come to your evening knowing relatively little about the concept or script, but if you do the audition right – polished, professional, with great talent and great songs – they gain a kind of confidence in the talent behind the audition and decide to invest in that.

 I’ve also had the opportunity to produce and direct many world-class benefits at both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall in NYC and have seen the power of presentation result in hundreds of thousands of dollars of donations.

And, unfortunately, I’ve also had to attend all too many benefit evenings that simply do it wrong – are overly long, disorganized and simply boring. Ya’ wonder how they ever raised a cent.

I’ve also seen benefits that were so costly to produce that the benefit cost more to produce than the money raised!

So the trick is to do it with low cost up front, put a well organized and inspiring entertainment on the stage, keep the speeches short and give the potential donors an evening that thrills and inspires and builds confidence in you, the producing organization..

“Is Anybody Listening?” Webcast is a professional, polished and inspiring concert with a theme that touches hearts and minds and can be shaped to meet your constituency.

Seven Steps to Creating a Successful Benefit

Part 2: Your Audience
Part 3: The Professional Producer/Presenter
Part 4: Promoting Your Benefit
Part 5: The Cost And The Profit
Part 6: The Benefit – More or Less
Part 7: The “It’s Time To Get Our Checkbook” Speech

To Webcast Or Not To Webcast

Friday, May 5th, 2017

On May 2, 2017, at 10:00 AM, right after receiving our first general public flyer promoting “Is Anybody Listening? Webcast”, a person, who shall remain anonymous, wrote to me:

“With all due respect, there is nothing like sitting in front of an orchestra as they create sounds with their instruments. I feel that webcasts do not allow us the human contact necessary to intermingle with one another, or watch the person sitting next to you as they smile when they hear a piece of music that thrills them. Or from the beginning of a concert, the search for ones seat, which is such a part of seeing live music.

“Thank you for your suggestion, but I will pass.”

I answered his thoughts with the following:

Hello (Sir),

Thanks for writing back.  You are correct, of course, and that’s why we run the concert live in New York City as well as our webcast. We too love a live show.

But for those who can’t afford to get on a plane from Dallas, TX, much less Paris or some small town in Australia, at one tenth the price of our New York Live show, it’s a pretty compelling experience.  A ticket to a Broadway show now costs between $100 and $500 and up, not to mention the cost of getting there and the extras that “just going out” incur. To view our webcast will cost the individual around $10 or less. And the viewing can be from the comfort of their living room chair with a live visit backstage to meet the stars for a personal talkback at the end that has, so far in the first two webcasts, lasted around 40 minutes plus. In all, a two hour entertainment.

Also, don’t forget television.  It’s not “live”, but it is a powerful entertainment and communication phenomena. I saw a Sting concert the other night on TV that was terrific.  His tour did take him to Madison Square Garden here in NYC, but I was traveling at the time and missed it. I was most grateful to at least experience the better part of it.

Yes, a webcast is an alternative way (with no commercial interruption) to enjoy a performance, and perhaps not as ‘live human’ an experience as one might wish desiring a “live human” performance.  But for those who could never make it in the first place for a large variety of reasons, it’s attracting an otherwise impossible audience all over the world.

One last consideration before I get off my soapbox: We all love our movies.  I used to go out the movies once or twice a week.  Now, if I go, it’s more like maybe once a month and I now watch twice as many movies as I used to from the comfort and enjoyment of my living room chair.  It too is an alternative experience that I’m quite comfortable with.  Also far less expensive …

I don’t expect to change your mind here, rather just give you a deeper insight into why we have gone through so much to do this.  For those who live too far, or cannot afford, we’re finding a most grateful nation. And for those who might just want to stay at home and invite a few friends in for the evening — a great fun and personal experience.  It’s a new world we’re dabbling in and yes, an exciting alternative to a changing world.

I, myself, will renew my Philadelphia Orchestra concerts seats at Carnegie Hall this year and certainly look forward to that!  We hope you will reconsider one night in the future and join us for an extraordinarily reduced cost.  Or join us in the fall in NYC for the next live iteration of “Is Anybody Listening?”  Thanks for listening!

 

“Is Anybody Listening – Concert and Webcast” Premier

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

 Webcast World Premier

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Private Showing

Here’s a word or two (or 10) from those who listened to one of  the performances in NYC last fall.

“Your performance on Thursday night was extraordinary in every way.  Anita and I both concurred that, even for both of us who’ve experienced the consistent level of your artistry for so many years, IS ANYBODY LISTENING? was such an intense, emotional and inspirational evening.” ~Brent Nicholson Earle, New York City

“Peter, as I said to you as we were leaving, you have the unique song-writing skills to create powerhouse show stopping production numbers (like “Tear Down The House”) … poignant ballads (like “A Sill Small Voice”… which Julia sang lights-out!!!) … and give unique arrangements to old familiar tunes like “The Times They Are A’Changin’.” ~Bob Donnelly, Entertainment Attorney, NYC

“Julia, you were amazing last night. WOW! I had tears running down my cheeks with your last 2 songs. The contrast between the emotions you evoke juxtaposed with those evoked by Jenny was … words to describe are failing me at the moment — a whole new revelation! Thank you. Peter, accolades for all you created with your music.” ~ Dr. Barbara Keller, Merritt Island, FL

“You are a true artist, Jenny — a voice that is a gift from the Gods. You personalize every moment and make us take that spiritual journey with you. Thank you for allowing me to experience such work. Peter Link is a musical genius!” ~Charles Turner, New York City

Saturday, April 15, 2017 – 4:00 PM

First Church of Christ, Scientist, San Rafael, CA

Saturday, April 15, 2017 – 6:00 PM

First Church of Christ, Scientist, McAllen, TX

 

 

 

We’re Running Out Of Time

Saturday, March 11th, 2017



That’s right! We’re now all going so fast that we’re running out of time! Perhaps you don’t even have time to read this!! If so, good luck, cuz there’s not much time left!!!

Left to what?

Think about it … We’re all going faster and faster to what end? Is this really what life is all about? Actually it’s a confusion of opposites. It really makes no sense that we’re going faster and faster and actually are having less time. Going faster and faster does not create MORE time; it just means that we’re going faster and faster in LESS time.

Whoa … Slow down. Take some time to relax. Read a book. Sit down for 45 minutes in front of those speakers and listen to an album, play with your kids, talk to your mate, walk in the park, sit and stare at the moon.

If this sounds old fashioned, you’re in the same trouble that I get into some times by simply going too fast and trying to get too much done.

And to what end? Mo’ money? Mo’ advancement? Mo’ done? Mo’ stress???

In defense of my own work, I’d like you to really listen to the music I create. That’s not while you’re making dinner, or are on the phone with the bank, or even in the car. Now I do know that listening to music in the car has become the preferred way for many, but between the tire noise and the traffic noise and the engine noise you know you’re not really hearing about half of what I wrote – the details of the music that I so painstakingly labored over just for you during those long hours in the studio.

There’s really so much more to the music than you can hear in the car – unless you just stop and pull over at your favorite lookout place up in the mountains.

The biggest culprits, of course, are the internet and new media. They give us so many choices that we are overwhelmed with possibilities and end up trying to do it all – and of course failing. So we go faster and faster. But ya’ know, we’ll never catch up. There’s just far too many things to do in which to spend our time.

It’s a well known fact now that nobody has time to read things on line, so we’ve learned that in order to communicate with you, we always have to make things short, short, short! But some things are just hard to communicate short, short, short! So when we do that, we figure that it will never get communicated.

Like this blog: If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably one of the few. So thanks for stickin’ with me here.

Summary: Slow down certain things in life. Take the time to enjoy life. Relax. A good balance of the two will work better. I know. I’m doing it more and more.

And if you’re still with me here, perhaps you’re one of the few who didn’t need to read this in the first place! :o)

On Fear And Aging

Monday, February 20th, 2017

A number of years ago I decided to spend some time looking at the great inevitable transition in life called death. I decided to face it head on through music. I seem to think best that way.

What transpired was an album of songs on the subject of eternal life called “Goin’ Home – On Heaven and Beyond – A Gospel Cantata.”

I recently sat down and gave the album a listen and very much enjoyed the experience. It brought up for me first a plethora of thoughts that stayed with me for days and touched inner chords that I didn’t know I had. It got me to thinkin’.

And though the album presents a totally positive view of life and transition, I let my thinking wander occasionally onto some dangerous ground. And occasionally maybe that was not so good, because I got a bit suckered into the world suggestions of aging and body and all the confusion that comes with facing the transition that I suppose each of us will make one day.

A couple of mornings I woke up to an unrest that was disturbing to me and produced a grumbling of fear and depression and even anger that at some point I would have to go through this transition. Hey, I love my life and I love being Pete and I can’t see doing anything else but staying on the track that I’m on. Yet I began to fear the future and regret the so-called inevitability of transition. It was not fun and for a guy who leads a pretty positive life, I was simply not myself for a period of a couple of weeks.

I struggled with this – not all the time, but periodically when I was not caught up in my work. I had turned to my work to get away from this fear that began to haunt me. I found that I spent far too much time thinking about it and became frustrated with myself for doing so.

Then one morning I woke up very fearful. I couldn’t seem to get on top of it as the day went on and it produced a lethargy in me that I understood was simply feeling “OLD.” Yikes!

Wisely I took my stand. I knew that if I were to keep up this kind of thinking that I would just be at the result of my thinking and I am in no way interested in slowing down in life.

One thing I know for sure is that fear of the future and regret of the past are traps that we all fall into and are simply no good for us. I also know that the way to conquer these mistakes is to BE HERE NOW.

Literally, in an instant, I applied this truth. I thought to myself, “Get out of the fear of the future and into the nowness of your life, and work, watch and pray that you stay in the nowness.” I was instantly healed of a depression in that moment and have applied this simple truth each time the bad habit has tried to reappear.

It has not been hard to do this. Being here in the now simply works. It’s the way to live. Even when I’m planning the future, I’m in the now of organizing my life in a positive way. There is no fear in the now because I’m dealing with the best of me that I can see and live. This simple step has wiped away the bad habit of the fear of aging and I am so much the better for it, so much the younger for it, so much the healthier for it, and so much the happier for it.

There’s no struggle in now; there is simply the application of dealing with whatever it is that I have to do, and seeing ‘worry’ as a waste of time and energy.

“Be here now.” Three simple words that say a whole lot on the subject of how to live happily ever after.

Listening to the album fulfilled the album’s original intention. It made me deal with my thinking and some of the weak points in the process of my approach to life. It alerted me to some slippage in my thought process that needed a greater understanding. It reminded me of the reason that I produced the album in the first place. It brought me back home to the best of me. It restored my positive energies.

So I’ve learned once again to make the best of my NOW. It works! Give it a shot.

Creativity

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Creativity-450

All of us are creative people. After all we each create a new experience every day. For some, that experience is pretty much the same —  day in and day out. Get up, do your stuff, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, eat dinner, watch your program, go to bed.

For others, perhaps the more creative types, the days take on various shapes as we try to diverge from the norm, we try to expand life into an experience of greater color to keep things interesting. We re-invent our lives daily and refuse to get bogged down in the sameness of the routine. So we create things, we make it up as we go along – just as I’m doing now.

Creativity isn’t difficult. It’s actually the easiest part of life. Personally, it’s what I live for. Oh I can get bogged down in the routine just like anybody else, and when that happens, I find myself fluctuating between the edges of happiness and unhappiness. I would love to be creative all the time, but that just doesn’t seem to be possible here on Planet Earth. No matter how hard I try, the routines keep popping up.

And when they do, I find that life goes by faster, time flies, the weeks spin by and leave little memory. What’s to remember? Not much. Just the daily grind?

So I revolt. I break away from the routine. I brush my teeth differently. I try sleeping in another position. I change my schedule, try a different breakfast combination, water the grass at a different time of day, read a book in the middle of the afternoon. Get creative.

creativity2

Not all these ideas work. Some are complete failures. Others are “take it or leave it” ideas. Occasionally one makes total sense and so it becomes part of my routine. It’s a good idea that sticks.

That’s what it means to be creative. Try something new. Break the mold. Lean out over the edge. Chance to fail. Chance to fall.

Creativity often results in mistake. It has to. After all, you’re out there in no man’s land, in an atmosphere of danger, not always knowing where you’re going, rarely sure of yourself, trusting something beyond the tried and true and the routine.

You want to be creative? You have to build the muscle – the muscle that allows failure, the muscle of determination to get up off the mat and try again, the muscle to lose and yet still march on.

You have to be willing to make a mistake and then make something of it. In music, there are musicians who read the music and stick to that no matter what. Then there are musicians who improvise – who take the chance to lean out over the cliff and go where their heart and soul takes them – not their brain.

When you do that, mistakes will be made, but that’s where the muscle comes in. The muscle is the ability to turn the mistake into something unexpectedly creative, to right the wrong in such a way that the wrong becomes a brilliancy. Improvisationalists do this all the time, and they pull it off because they are rooted into the music — the chord progressions, the groove, the feel — in such a way that they are tied to the cliff and cannot fall, but rather can lean out farther and farther. Because they have the muscle of the bedrock of music under them.

sitting-at-the-edge-of-a-cliff-450

The same goes with all art – whether it’s watercolor, sculpture, or writing. Be willing to go where no soul has gone before, be willing to try the untried, be willing to fail. It’s a brave man’s game. It takes courage.

If you fail all too often, you’re liable to say, “Well, I guess I’m not very creative.” But that would not be correct. It would simply mean that you’re not yet rooted enough in your craft to lean out so far over the edge. If we fail too often, we become dis-couraged – we lose our courage. We lose our ability to be creative.

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So go back to work on your craft. If you’re a musician, practice your scales. If you’re a writer, read more. If you’re a painter, study the masters. And if you’re simply human, try reading the biographies of great people.

Study greatness. Feed your roots. The size of the tree above the ground equals the root system below. If the tree above the ground becomes much bigger than its root system, that tree will eventually die and fall over. It’s the way of the world.

“The comfort zone is the great enemy to creativity; moving beyond it necessitates intuition, which in turn configures new perspectives and conquers fears.” ~Dan Stevens

“Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks.” ~Yo-Yo Ma

Creativity 1

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.” ~Scott Adams

I Grew Grass

Friday, May 27th, 2016

grass-wide-450

I grew grass! Well, I, personally, didn’t grow it. Rather I planted the seeds and watered it daily. Uhhh, actually, my neighbor, Bill, planted the seeds and put down the topsoil. But I did water it with my garden hose.

And miracle of all miracles, it grew!

I’m in awe of life and its amazing ability to create and re-create. We put these little skinny brown seeds in the dirt, scattered them around and covered them a bit and put on some other shiny green stuff on top of that so the birds wouldn’t eat the seeds. Then I watered it every day for a week … and nothing happened.

I didn’t really think it would. I mean, how could green stuff come from skinny brown stuff? It made no sense whatsoever.

But on the eighth day, lo’ and behold, little skinny green stuff began to emerge. And now, a week later, the little skinny green stuff has grown up to be … a lawn!

grass-450

Ya’ see, a tree in our front yard had died; the city came along and cut it down leaving a big patch of dirt. Ugly as sin! And we had just moved in! Something needed to be done!

And so neighbor, Bill, recommended GRASS!

Living in New York City two blocks from Times Square for 40 years simply did not prepare me for this. Life in the country is one miracle after another. What a trip!

Who invented this concept? Plant seeds, water, grass grows. What intelligence made this up? God? Mother Nature? Someone we haven’t even thought of yet?

It’s a mystery.

But oh so fascinating …

Yeah, I know, there’s a science behind all of this – Biology. I took a biology course once and it was explained to me, and I probably said, “Well OK, so that’s how it works”, but biology never explained the essence of the process. It explained the process, but we never got to the essence. Somehow it was overlooked.

Biology never explained Life.

Where did life come from? What did it look like? Where did it go when our tree died? Does it live in the dirt?

Seed + Water + Dirt + Life = Grass???

What a concept!

I once spent an afternoon getting to know a tree many years ago and had the same basic experience. I realized that the tree and I were essentially the same. What made us both was life. Life! We were each made of different stuff, but at the heart of each of us was life – essentially life. Without that life neither of us could possibly exist. And though we were each made of different stuff, what was the same in each of us was life.

You and I are each made of the same stuff, yet we are still very different. Perhaps we’re like me and the tree – different, but essentially the same. We both have life.

Maybe this is what’s meant by the Universal Truth that states, “We Are All One.” We are all one in life. We are all one in essence. We are all one in the miracle of this continuing energy.

Some of us are even different colors! If we miss the point, if we overlook the essence and fail to get down to the basic truth of who we really are and what really makes us up, if we fail to see this and miss the true concept, that’s called Racism.

If we’re really smart and in-depth thinkers and seers, we’ll simply know the truth and the truth shall make us free – free from racism.

This all came from growing grass.

You’ll have to excuse me now. I have to go water my lawn.


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