Michelle Obama on SOUL MUSIC and on BEING GREAT! (Message from THE WHITE HOUSE)

“Embrace whatever makes you unique, even if it makes other people uncomfortable….Take some risks…Work your butt off…work it until your butt comes off.” – Michelle Obama

The White House gets down too! The First Lady shares stories of Melissa Etheridge, Patti LaBelle, Janelle Monae and more people who bare their soul.

Have a beautiful week!

Love,

Dani W Crew 🙂
Performing Artist/Songwriter

#DaniW Project is underway. To join the team making the album with exclusive behind the scenes content, visit us online at http://www.danielleWcarter.com.

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Cheers to the exclusive debut at Hotel Cafe!

Throwing a party hat in the air! This week, a song I co-wrote with the talented Mary Ruth Pearce was debuted at a songwriter showcase called The Writer’s Block at Hotel Cafe. Our song “Gone” was sang beautifully by songwriter/vocalist Lindsey Ray.

Lindsey was accompanied by an all star music industry cast including Mike Elizondo. There was a solid lineup of well crafted songs by accomplished songwriters. Solid talent graced the stage and I felt honored and proud to hear them deliver our Pop song titled “Gone.”

The feel of “Gone” is Top 40s Justin Timberlake. Lindsey Ray did it great justice with her powerful vocals. “Gone” is an uptempo pop ballad (think Demi Lovato, Carrie Underwood, Pink, Jessie J vocal range). Cheers to a great night and to the talented writers who showcase their music through the Writer’s Block. Find out when the next event is TheWritersBl0ck via twitter or the Hotel Cafe calendar. You don’t have to be a songwriter to attend. All are welcome!

Lindsey Ray had a song recorded by Mariah Carey recently. Mike Elizondo has a career worth Wikipedia-ing as well, including working with Dr. Dre, Fiona Apple, Carrie Underwood, Maroon 5 and more.

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Remember iRobot and Catch Me If You Can? Behind the scenes with Producer Michel Shane…

Michel is just like us, an inspired person with big dreams that he developed “from the ground up.”

My eyes are still puffy and I’m on my first cup of coffee. Was it worth waking up early? Absolutely!  I’m sitting at Raleigh Studios across from Paramount listening to producer Michel Shane speak about his career and how he turned iRobot and Catch Me If You Can from a script into profitable international artwork.

Danielle attends Hollywood Networking Breakfast

I’m a recording artist, what am I doing at a Film/TV networking event?  Yes, I will leave the acting to the professionals.  I’m here because I find people fascinating.  Everyone has a different purpose and an interesting life with important messages to share.  A room at any networking event is filled with stories and lessons that translate across all industries.  I’m excited to share the “cliff notes” from this intimate talk with Michel Shane!  This is now yours to enjoy!

“Big Picture” Highlights

– The gift of youth is to ask for what you want fearlessly.
– Be thorough. Michel got his law degree and used it to his advantage to build credibility in the industry.  When he started in the business, he read a 75 page contract and came back with questions before signing with a big wig UK lawyer.  That big wig now runs a hedge fund and they are still friends today because of Michel’s ability to dive into and understand the details of the business.
– Right place, right time is a key to success.  Have the knowledge to support your luck.  Preparation meets opportunity.
– If you say it enough times, people start believing you.
– Why pay more, every dollar spent matters.
– You will have people who are not your friend.  That’s okay.
– “Catch Me If You Can” took nine years to make. He’s still getting DVD revenues.  If his revenues are still significant, imagine how much the other guys are making.  Possibilities are huge.  Believe in your projects!

Financing and Funding
– Market is bouncing back. Used to make pre-sales in order to get funding for movies (pre-sales would account for about 40%).  When market crashed distributors stopped buying.  Now equity from investors has taken the place of largely funding by pre-sales.
Veronica Mars has raised 4MM via crowd funding. It’s brilliant. Free money. You give someone some merchandise and you get free money. It will probably start getting regulated to include investors receiving a percentage of earnings, especially now that larger companies are receiving funding this way as well.
– Equity is the hardest money to come by.  However, there are lots of wealthy investors and a lot of boring business proposals.  Thus, there is an opportunity to make your business stand out.  There is still incentive to invest in films.  Wealthy investors still like the opportunity to enjoy the perks of investing in a project that allows them to meet celebrities in person.

More Tricks of the Trade

– Read 5,000 scripts.  Study your craft.

-Understand how much you can sell your film for. Then make your cost lower so you can make a profit.  As creators, we can tend to overestimate the value of our work.  Get a realistic market price perspective.
– Another way to get your movie funded, focus on talent to make a quality film. When those actors make it, you can leverage their notability to get funding.
– Film commissions and states offer funding for a limited time. This is another way to get your project made.
– Tv is fast versus film. What takes ten years in film takes two in TV.  Netflix is essentially TV. It has as many subscribers as HBO. It’s all about story. Pitch stories that are interesting.
– All the banks have entertainment departments. It’s a high interest quick return for them. There’s no magic or special secret to getting a movie made. You should be proud that you’ve been able to take something and make it happen whether it makes one cent or millions of dollars.

Determination Pays Off
– There was a period of time that was challenging.  Michel like has a family to support. Wife asked when are you going to get a real job and take your heads out of the clouds? He laughed and said “what else am I qualified to do?” Keep pushing for your vision to come to life.
– Negotiate. Even cash flow timing is negotiable. For example, if an investor is going to recoup 100% of money plus interest.  You can still negotiate the timing of who gets paid back when. Once investor gets the initial investment plus interest back, you could receive profit first then investor gets an additional 25%. Otherwise, you may not see a dollar of profit for some time.  Structure your earnings. That’s part of the negotiation.
– Put periods and commas in the right place. Otherwise, it can be detrimental. Get a good lawyer.
– In earlier days, he would read ten scripts a week. Now Michel chooses scripts that he can fight for today and for years down the line.

Persistence and Intuition 
– He was approached by someone with a good movie concept.  Four years later, they started pre production. Unfortunately, because the wrong actor was hired, they had to start over.  Never know how long a project could take and for what reason.  Allow time and planning.
– Partners are valuable. They can keep you humble and can keep your perspective in line.
– Michel enjoys being hands up until it’s time to shoot.  He’s a problem solver.  Know your strengths and what you enjoy and do that part of it.
– Trust your instincts. Always listen to your little voice.  Michel has always gotten in trouble when he hasn’t listened.
– Audi and FedEx spent money to integrate their brands into the film iRobot. This can be part of your strategy from the beginning. Usually you’ll go through the brand’s agency.
– Trust but verify when it comes to everything and everyone.
– If you make a brilliant movie you’re set. Sometimes movies fail up. One film is met with great expectations, but upon release is not so good. Meanwhile you’re working on your next film.  You’re second movie allows people to forgive you for failing on your first.
– Go to your core audience and build it slow. You’re numbers will tell the success story. You can’t beat word of mouth.

100 Million Good Deeds

– Most importantly, remember to GIVE BACK!  Michel shared a tragic and touching story which began the Emily Shane Foundation.  Read more and you can join the global mission to do 100 Million Good Deeds.

The theme of my week is “Showing Up.”   I never know what opportunities could come about from stepping outside of my immediate line of work.  What takeaways hit home for you?

 

VISIT ME ONLINE & JOIN THE MAILING LIST HERE 

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NEXT LIVE PERFORMANCE IS Friday, May 3, 2013 @ 8PM.  Universal Bar & Grill.  Join us for drinks and new songs!

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What topics or events are you interested in learning more about?

If you’re looking to build some relationships in the Film/TV industry, you can join Hollywood Networking Breakfasts next month.   Every month they have an interesting speaker and attendees, many of who have nice accomplishments and are still active writing, producing, acting and financing projects.  Check out the site for the list of previous speakers.  Very impressive!

 

Random Night Out: VIP Tickets to Lianne La Havas (London’s Soulful Singer/Songwriter)

Pleasant surprise!  Random story about how I ended up in VIP at Lianne’s concert.  My friend’s cousin (who I met a couple days prior) texts me at 9PM.  He has an extra ticket to see London singer/songwriter Lianne La Havas.  The concert is going to start in 15 minutes!  I grab a quick dry kale salad…it was so dry!!…and jump into a cab downtown.  As I walk up the dimly light steps into the concert venue, I hear Lianne singing.  As I wait by the steps/entrance, a couple who is leaving asks if I want to take their VIP passes since they have to go.  Yes please!  My new friend and I head on up to VIP for some photo opps, then down to the ground level where the root of the crowd energy is already boiling.  What a fantastic and surprising night!  In the flow of life; some things you can’t plan.

Lianne La Havas was great live.  The tone of her voice was rich with a nice edge.  Great energy from the audience.  The stage setup was simple.  Acoustic set, good songs with strong lyrics and a powerful voice.  The entire concert hall was singing along.  It’s good to know that pure music from someone’s heart without all the gimics is still appreciated.  I am inspired by tonight’s show.  Can’t wait to write more songs for my project and with other talented artists.

Thanks for visiting me online!   Connect on Facebook, Twitter and ReverbNation 

We love your comments below.  Have a “VIP” or “Random Luck” story?

Lianne La Havas at Webster Hall IMG_2082 IMG_2085

Pics Are Here! Wonderful Seeing You @TheMintLA Showcase

The Mint LA, Songsalive! Showcase

The Mint LA, Songsalive! Showcase

It was just last week that Chris Lee and I were playing at The Mint Los Angeles with family and friends. If you had a chance to join us, please leave your comments and “testify” at the bottom of this blog or on my site with your experience. Your comments, few or plenty, make a huge impact on the shows we bring you in the future! Thank you for sharing your journey with us!

Hello Ladies!  Moni brightens the evening with her fashionable touch!

Hello Ladies! Moni brightens the evening with her fashionable touch!

Danielle W Carter

Intense discussion after the show!

Good excuse for a mini reunion!

Good excuse for a mini reunion!

Staying Connected!

We have a new look, what do you think? Are you getting the monthly newsletter? Sign up here.
ReverbNationTweet, Tweet, TweetConnect with Chris Lee, Pianist, Composer, Producer on YouTube or MySpace

Songsalive! Showcase @TheMintLA

Songsalive! Showcase @TheMintLA

Danielle and Chris Lee, Pianist Danielle and Chris Lee, Pianist, Composer Producer

Danielle and Jimmy, Musician and Founder of Song Net

Danielle @TheMintLA

Singer/Songwriters in around Nashville Style Showcase

Singer/Songwriters in a round Nashville Style Showcase

Danielle W. Carter taking in Chris Lee on Piano

Coming Soon!
Season II of “From the Ground Up: Life Of An Indie Artist”
Outdoor photo shoot by Blanco Photography

Special THANK YOU’s to Chris Lee, Amber C. for collecting fav song votes at The Mint, Cynthia C. for your photography skills and Songsalive! for selecting us for Spotlight Member of The Month and the Mint showcase and last but never least PURE+Prive Jewelry Company for the frosting both on stage and off

SET LIST
Find Another Way – Written by: Danielle W. Carter
The Other Room – Written with Anthony Bowman
Talking to Love – Written with Sophie Ilys

How time flies! Show is over and now I am sitting at a small coffee counter overlooking 43rd Street and 9th Avenue in the Big Apple. Taking a careful sip of my steamy mug, I watch thousands of shoes scurry down the worn cemented streets. Sometimes I’m amazed by the simple fact that it is so easy to pick up and leave one city for another, immersed in a brand new rhythm. It feels like a fresh start, or maybe what having a new identity would be like. All of the things that I “had to do” but didn’t have enough time to get to don’t seem as urgent when I step outside of my bubble. There are so many places I’m naturally drawn to that I know I must visit like the UK, Argentina, Peru, etc…Where do you want to go? There are definitely more adventures with my name on it. What could be waiting for you?

You Won’t Want To Miss This

What! If you like live music, check out this one-man-show video below. Have you heard this guy before? I just found out Bernhoft is coming to the US, specifically to Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, on March 20, 2013 at 8PM.

I have an online show and interview that night through Google Plus, Artist In the Plus at 7pm with artist Tiffany Parker.

I would absolutely love for you to tune in online through Google Artists In The Plus. However, if you feel the itch to get out of the house that night, I would forgive you with all my heart if it’s to go to Bernhoft’s show.

Here’s one of his videos “C’mon Talk”

Tickets for Hotel Cafe available here.

Thanks for your love and support always.

My spotlight Songsalive! Interview and Free Sneak Peak Listen to “Enough” is available at the bottom of my home page.

I love it when you comment! Thank you.

Stay connected and let me know what you’re listening to these days. Find me on ReverbNation and on Facebook

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Bernhoft is coming to town!!