Episode 89: Jess Gramuglia - Life is Short

Aug 02, 2023

This episode is like a double shot of espresso, Mike Meiers and Music Supervisor, Jess Gramuglia bring a dynamic energy that will keep you engaged from start to finish.


Filled with insights, Jess shares her experiences in the industry, the big highs, the excitement and the challenges.


She’s proof that dreams you never thought you'd achieve can in fact become your reality. This episode explores topics ranging from the balance between having a great life and navigating hustle culture without burning out; what’s required to checking off your goal list; why the energy and passion you bring to the table matters and why she sees a shift in culture as necessary for our happiness in the industry.


Music supervisors, like Jess, are “simply people doing a job” who care a great deal about great music and the musicians creating it. This conversational episode just proves it!


Don't forget to screenshot and send us your 5-star review. Your feedback is invaluable and helps us continue to bring you fantastic content!


Listen here or read the ai generated transcript below...


Mike Meiers 0:00
Hey, I'm Mike Meiers and this is the Songwriting for Guitar Podcast which is geared to support songwriters and producers to gain confidence and turn pro. I bring on industry experts to help you improve and monetize your skills, Engage better in the writing process, and build healthy habits to create a sustainable career that you love. Caffeinated, inspirational, conversational.

Hey friends, Mike Meiers here with the songwriting for guitar podcast episode number 89. Jessica Gramuglia. Now I've known Jess for a while we you know, you meet on clubhouse during a pandemic, yet chat. We talked about the used war tour. Turns out she's an amazing music supervisor. And I love her perspective on maintaining and building quality relationships in this business. We even dive into a point where she had to hit the pause button on everything. Because her self care, taking care of her health, maintaining her health. Her job was actually slowly slowly killing her. I know this gets a little heavy. But here's the thing. Every time I talk to Jess, it's like an espresso shot. I think that's just her Italian heritage just coming through so we're gonna get into it in this episode, episode number 89. Jessica Megilla

somebody asked me, oh, how do you know Jess? And I was like, I think I reached out to her on Instagram when she mentioned the use on clubhouse and I was like, I know

Speaker 2 1:44
exactly what it is because I talked about it the use is my favorite sync placement ever. I didn't do it. I don't know who did it. But it's my favorite thing trailer. Not even like use in general favorite use. In general. They use bird from a worm. For what Clash of the Titans trailer. Okay, and I remember the first time I saw it, I was like, what and it was so good because like no one really there like big in the emo space like the punk space but I don't actually I don't know if they'd be considered punk. But

Mike Meiers 2:20
no, I think there would be because they worked with John Feldman so to me it's just like it's that weird transition where it was going from like pop punk to like Okay, now we've got story of the year we've got the US we've got all these bit kind of like warm for was changing hair was getting longer and pulled down a little bit. A little

Speaker 2 2:36
darker eyeliner. Yeah, tighter pants, but holes. Yeah, the pants. That sucks. Oh

Mike Meiers 2:49
we don't need sound effects. You have provided your own sound effects for that. And I can get that visual. Crazy. That's I remember you mentioning this. And nobody on clubhouse was like the use and I was like, no one got it. And I didn't one. And then so I was like, follow. And I was like, Hey, you mentioned to you and you were like, Oh, awesome. And this is where it was funny. And you were like, oh, yeah, and if you got music you can said to me here

Unknown Speaker 3:12
70 music.

Mike Meiers 3:15
So I mean, you know, I want to get into this Where did you kind of get into licensing and just that whole space because I'm like, everybody's path is so different to so

Speaker 2 3:25
different. My path I like to describe like this, that's like the best way. So I my my degrees in music business, like I got a music industry degree. And it was a bachelor science on even arts like I got business business degree. But I didn't know what my job was when we were growing up. And so I started off as a video editor and audio producer. And so I went to three different colleges. And by the third call, I got my Associates in like Communications and Media Studies. And I remember one of my classes was in a recording studio, we're like bringing our friends bands in. We're learning how to record a tape and like, and all that stuff. I don't even know if they teach recording to tape anymore. But that was I'm glad I got to learn that. And I was talking to the professor because we were graduating and I was like, I don't know where to go from here. My parents want me to get a four year degree Oh, who needs that? I still I still stand by to work in this industry. Do you do not need a degree? Do they require it? Sure. But you don't you don't need it. Everything I've learned was really from doing the job. And I never actually took music supervision or licensing in school ever never took it just did the job.

Mike Meiers 4:34
I love that you were like, it's just doing it is where you which kind of makes sense because you can read and be like, Oh, that's interesting. Yeah, interesting until you're given something to actually do and be like, oh shit, do I know this?

Speaker 2 4:49
It's also like the area of the industry that I think changes the most quickly, constantly. So it's like whatever you read in a book, in school or whatever they're teaching you by the time you graduate, it's already different. So it's like for me, I focused on learning everything else. I did everything else to make sure that by the time I graduated, and I really chased after being a music supervisor, I actually wanted to do it. And that so there's a recording teacher told me what I wanted to do was called music supervision and kind of like opened the world up. Never heard that term before. You know, I was watching One Tree Hill and like I knew, I was like, I didn't even know who Lindsay was at that time, like when Lindsey walked in to supervise from the show. And I watched her live music shows when they started, I was like, and like, I don't know, 11th or 12th grade in high school when they started. And so that kind of like opened the door for research. And so there were at the time only, like a handful of schools you could go to on the East Coast. And I went to go to school in Boston, I auditioned to go to Berkeley because I was the first year that they made business applicants audition. I walked out of there, I was like, I didn't get in again. Because I really like sightseeing. I'm like, I'm not a classically trained musician. I'm going to business school. This is silly. So I didn't get it. And I'm so glad I didn't get in so glad because even having friends from Berkeley because they were right, I went to Northeastern they're right next door was um, so that was my school was a five year school. And every other semester, you work full time in the field. And it's not like getting coffee, like the school makes relationships with businesses to make sure you're actually learning and so I worked at Glassnote records and I did like a&r for Mumford and Sons first big album, I was on the air, you know, I wasn't like, I was a co op student but, but they like let me go get immersed in there. I did a guerilla marketing campaign for Phoenix's first US album like Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix carried a massive plane around New York City to all like the like news outlets and press people. So I got like, a massive amount of experience just at the age of 21. Because I transferred in at that point am as Midler is what we call the apparently that doesn't exist at least anymore. But I was a meddler and the third year, and so yeah, so from there, I just I worked in management, I worked for publishers, I worked. I actually was a publicist on the side for like, most of my career, even after school, because I got so much marketing and promo experience, I worked at a concert venue in Poughkeepsie, New York. So I literally, I learned all of this stuff. And then because I was a video editor, and I had all my friends from production, I was like, I'm just gonna start supervising, I'm gonna start they were doing all these short films. And so I started music supervising for free, I don't even remember half the stuff that we did have no credit, you know, just getting my feet wet. Hire my friends, as composers work with get to work with the composers and start to learn like the industry language. And just from work, my first job after school was working at Harry Fox doing licensing. And so you start to like, learn all the different people where the who the writers are, and you just basically start collecting information knowledge. And I was I remember I was at Harry Fox, and I took my first vacation. And I went to LA for the first time because since I was a kid, I was like, I'm also a surfer. Okay, I was like, I'm moving. I'm gonna move to LA. I'm gonna live in California. So I went with a couple of friends and I loved it. And as soon as I went home, I put my two weeks in. And then at that point, I just like was crashing with my parents had a million jobs. I had so many jobs to save up money to go move across the country. So eventually, I moved across the country. For two suitcases lived on my friend's living room floor and an air mattress. I got my job at Warner Chappell within like the first couple weeks, they're like, unheard of like this is anyone listening? This is not normal, not a normal progression. I was very, very lucky. And luckily, I didn't have a car. So my friends happened to be walkable to the Warner Chappell office at the time. So I would walk and ride one of their bikes, depending on the day, because it doesn't rain so it doesn't matter. And then so the first thing I got was a car. And then I had my own car, and I had more like, ability to wander around. And then I found an apartment and the rest kind of just fell into place. But yeah, that's kind of how I got my start. That's how I started.

Mike Meiers 9:18
That's amazing. That just that first, the idea of just like Warner Chappell right out of the gate. That is awesome. And it's in like walking biking distance. I know. That's even better.

Speaker 2 9:31
People not in LA, the fact that I could walk to my office from where it was crashing is not normal. Not normal. Everything is so spread out in LA if you have never been

Mike Meiers 9:42
so long. I feel like every experience I've ever had in LA is like, okay, it's, it's like not that far. It's like, it's technically like less than a mile away. It'll take us two hours. Yeah. Okay, here we go.

Speaker 2 9:54
I know. Anywhere else you go. They're like, Oh, this traffic is so bad. I'm like what traffic What are you talking about? When

Mike Meiers 10:01
you get to Warner Chappell what is that experience like being kind of like, going cross country and be like right out the gate. Here we go.

Speaker 2 10:09
I loved working at Warner Chappell. I love my bosses. I love my team. I love the music. I remember because they were interviewing me from New York. So we were we're doing Skype back then. So I don't even use Skype anymore. And so I literally, I flew on a Friday. And then on Monday, I had my last in person interview in the office, and I got hired that week. And I started then a week after so it was like that quit. I remember I walked in, I went to go look at my desk. And the first thing I see on the wall, as I turned into, like our area of desks was a Michael Jackson award like one of the multi platinum albums or something. And at that time, he had recently passed, like within the last like year or two and they were just converting their catalogue back because it went back to Sony but it used to be the heat. His music is all it was all over the place. He was a genius in business. What everyone should know like as you roll your eyes as I talk about Michael Jackson, I love Michael Jackson. He's the whole reason I do everything I do in the entertainment and creative music day. I was a competitive dancer. Like it was always about Michael. You're a dancer. I was I'm an award winning dancer. You never know if you took me out. You never know. But yeah. And a gymnast Anna, like a national I don't remember like 11 or 13 Cheerleader. Our team was in the country. National. Yeah. The only thing I wish I was good at was soccer and surfing. And those are the two things I'm terrible at. Then it was injured in high school. So I like don't really I never got to like, try to get better at soccer because I was basically out from gymnastics. But yeah, it was it all it always goes back to Michael Jackson. You know, with all this stuff. It's like hit or miss how people think. But like for me walking into my first job in LA and seeing a plaque of him on the wall. I was like, you know, it was like one of those like signs in the universe like this is the right place to be and my managers I still I still like I just saw my manager from Warner Chappell. His name is Nick when I was in LA a couple weeks ago, like Yeah, still talk to him. He's been my reference for every job after working under him. And they just made it like a really good environment. And the thing I don't know what it's like anymore, but from I'm still friends with everyone I met working there. Like my closest friends in the industry that are like real life friends I met because we work together want to travel. And that's not like normal for the entertainment industry. And so So yeah, it's just like really special. And I loved what I did. But I didn't get to do enough sync and I really wanted to sync and so I was supervising freelance on the side for my friends still, which was easier because everyone moved out to LA was doing bigger and better things. And so my job after that was working at Warner Brothers TV. So still a warner but different companies for anyone watching or listening, but I love that job to work. That was really what I like I feel really grateful and lucky because I have like you know, you have like dream jobs and dreams in life and you know, like things you don't ever think you'll achieve. And so my unrealistic dream for me was I wanted to be in the next Spice Girls or be on Senate live. That's like my pipe dream. But then like career wise my dreams which also seemed unreachable and unattainable, were where I really wanted to work for Warner Brothers television. Everyone else I feel like I wanted to be supervisor wanted to like work at chop shop. I didn't I wanted to work for the studio. I want to work at Warner Brothers I wanted to be on the lot. And the other job was World Surf League, which growing up wasn't even called world certainly they changed her name. But like I want to do music and surfing and that was like out of reach because there was no music team you know I'm coming from New York not not being in serve at all like so like to me and like how would you even work there? What you'd have to do something else not music, right? Yeah, spoiler I worked at Worlds certainly doing music. And it's just you look back you look back and I'm like, wow. So like the one thing I want is to do it like in realistic terms thinking will be towards the end of my career would be working at Warner Brothers TV. And I did that within like two years of moving to LA and I did that because I met I met Lindsay Wellington and she was mentoring me at the time and and I probably I don't even know if they would have concerned me for that job and and because of that it kind of just like had the trajectory for everything else because after that somebody else I met through Lindsay took me to go over to ABC Family for the rebrand to freeform. Yeah, which is funny because like half of our which web shows were freeform shows. So like I still touch the same shows and then did different stuff in house and did a lot like studio wise versus the network. There's different things that you do in those types of roles. And I love I love working there too, because the network side kind of took on my other experience. So events, PR live music, promos and branded content on script non script like short form, which is now kind of just turned into social media funds snippets, like behind the scenes. And so that job kind of just took everything else that I acquired through my life. And I put it into unroll, which who knew was going to like take that times 10 and throw me into World Surf League, which was all of that and then sound like planning music festivals at the surf ranch and like having art installations and craziness. So So yeah, it's kind of like weird how life takes Yeah,

Mike Meiers 15:40
I feel like with a lot of those things, too, and I could be wrong. I feel like you said like, these are the things that I want. Did you think about them a lot, even when you didn't have them? Oh, yeah, there's something about like that energy of, you know, people will be like, Oh, this is kind of like woowoo. But like, manifestation of really wanting something, thinking about it obsessing about it. Yeah. And it kind of comes to fruition. People are like, how's that possible? It's like, how do you think about and what would that be like you imagine, what is it like to be in that role? And your, your brain is kind of like, oh, yeah, I think this could happen this

Speaker 2 16:15
email. It's funny, because back then, I don't even think I knew like about all this spiritual, like, manifestation stuff that's, like, so prominent on social media now, but, but everything I did do, like every decision I made was like with the end goal in mind, and so like, the stuff that a lot of people don't see or didn't see was networking in the surfing world. And so like, I was at freeform, and I also got like a freelance client through my old PR job, because the endless summer film was creating a anniversary art book, which I'm like, where's it Oh, it's all the way back there so I can't show it to you. And so they were there like you have the book VR experience. And you also know surfing because at that time, I've already like, done a bunch of like short form spots for John John Florence, who was one of the World Champs at the time of surfing. And like I knew his whole team and like I one of his buddies became my buddies and he did the the most beautiful surf film I've probably ever seen view from a blue moon you should definitely watch it was one of his like best friends is like a great underwater cinematographer. And but also just like a great dp and stuff. And he shoots all of John John's content, which I think John goes by John now. Now that he's not a child anymore, but But yeah, so like, behind the scenes, I was I was already immersing myself, you know, other people were like, trying to get the cool concert invites and doing all these things. And I was like, No, I want to meet them. Directors, I want to meet producers, I want to meet the people in surfing, how do I do that. And so once I was on the map in the Bruce Brown family who's like the creator of endless summer, that kind of just like, introduced me to a whole other world I don't think I ever would have had access to. And because of that, it just, it became much more possible to potentially work at world surfing. And I remember I was at I think like the Avon brothers concert like country Americana, if you don't know them, anyone listening at like the Greek theatre, and I remember the person, my boss at the time was there. But she was from New York. And I was like, What are you doing? You just like visiting or something? And she goes, Oh, I'm like, I'm contracting for like, a few months temp, like testing out like a music department, a World Surf League. And I remember going no, no, no. No, it there's a music department there. I would know about it. Me, of all the supervisors in the industry, I will be the one to know. Yeah. And she was No, there wasn't one. That's what we're testing. We're gonna see like, if it makes sense. And then a year later, all of a sudden, she was hiring somebody on her team. And so that's how I got in and, and the rest was history. And yeah, and so every every choice I made like, it wasn't about my health. It wasn't about my sanity, it was about how will this affect my career? Like, will this get me one step further to the end of this tunnel that I see. You know, maybe it being surfing, because at that time, like Warner Brothers was check moving on, you know? Yeah. So yeah, so that, that's kind of how that happened. I know, it's not weird.

Mike Meiers 19:09
It's Red Bull. What's amazing about all of these things, too, is, you know, I think, you know, for anyone listening, the big thing that I feel like that also is your strength is just your personality and your connection with. I'm serious. So it's just like, because I it's, you know, as you're describing this, I can see you in those scenarios, being super personal, wanting to connect, wanting to get like to know can I know this person could I know? Like knowing names, knowing and not just trying to get something but make a connection, build something, build a bridge, build a bridge, if you can help? So that to me is what I hear throughout all the stories where a lot of people are like, they try to rush to someone. And it's the Shakedown, like, give me the thing that I want but it just seems like you're more interested in just like Can I make that connection? I mean, that's my long goal. I'd love to be here. But let's just build this. Let's just see what this bridge is. And let's just try.

Speaker 2 20:08
It's funny you say that because I realize listening back to that, that's probably like the number one advice I give people when they ask for, like, advice on how to break into saying, or licensing or become a supervisor is like, I guess that's what I've been doing the whole time. And I didn't know that you just said that to me. I'm like, Oh, I guess I guess I say that, because that's what I do. But I'm always like, no, just meet people. Like don't try to it's not about what you can get from that at the time. It's just collect people make relationships, because you never know how this person will affect the other person. So like, for me saying I want to do music. I will certainly other people go well, what is PR has to do with it? I'll tell you half of it was I needed money. I couldn't afford to live. I had like five jobs. And I wish more people talked about it. So I was working full time at free for him. I was babysitting, I was event catering. I was freelance supervising, and I was working in PR. That was that's for maybe there's a fifth I don't know, don't Oh, yeah, rover, I dog sit and dogwalk. And so I would do all that stuff. And like the only thing people really see is this, like glamorous, like working under Disney umbrella life. Meanwhile, like I wasn't getting any benefits. You know, I had a strict two year contract. And after a year, the studios, they either convert you or they don't. And they actually never, as far as I'm aware, they never made that a full time position. They never made it headcount. So it's still just like one person impossibly attempt that expires in a year. So it's like, all the other divisions of entertainment are coming together and striking. And I'm like, we have this we have a same issue with that too. But no one wants to talk about and it's like kind of taboo. But it's, you know, I am not coming from a pigeon. I'm coming from like a tiny fisherman town in southern Italy, where like my job, people can't even fathom what it is. Versus like some people who come you know, the nipple babies and all those other people who like have their parents paying for rent so they can afford to go out and like rent or they're like just going into insane credit card debt. And I was like, Well, I don't want to set myself up to fail. I'm going to do what I have to get by. And because it's so taboo to talk about the people who are struggling, that money is their biggest issues like well, I know I need to be in the major cities. But how do I make that happen? It's okay. All of us have other jobs. No one talks about it. I'm talking about it. If you can do it, and your sanity and your health will allow you Yeah, yeah. Well, they got myself off topic there. But

Mike Meiers 22:35
no, no, no, I think what you were just also just trying to state is that yes, I was doing these things. But I was doing a whole bunch of other stuff. Don't think I was just sitting here. Oh, this is a cool song play. Because I think that's another thing like artists songwriters are just like, listen to my stuff. And it's like, Okay, remember, they're, they have a schedule they have to adhere to. But they also have all these other things that they have to do. And they might be running on very little sleep. Very little energy. And so don't send three emails in a row being like you listen, you listen. Hey, yeah, you listen. Yeah. Yeah, you don't have time for that.

Speaker 2 23:13
Now, I know in a lot of people think we're just like, busy at work. And it's like, no, I have like a life outside of work to like, literally, like, Please don't bother me on my front don't like ask me on my free time, why I'm not answering it. That's my biggest, I guess boundary for myself is to try to maintain a wall of my privacy. Because it gets like, I always find myself going how to famous people do it because like, I'm nobody, and it's creepy. And I pay for a website to delete my information off the internet. So people leave me alone, like, because there's stuff that they can find is terrifying. And like, also, I want to protect my family and people close to me. And I'm always like, how do celebrities do it? And so that's like the thing I wish people tech took a step back out of their own objectives to understand like, I'm not answering you immediately because I'm probably at my sister's birthday party. Or like, Yeah, I'm having like, some kind of an emergency. Like, so it's just like, be mindful is for just people doing a job and we like music as much as you do. You know, come calm down.

Mike Meiers 24:16
That's the important thing of just like, if they love the song, and you've done everything you'll hear. Yeah,

Speaker 2 24:24
thank you. Yeah, I'm gonna find you. I'm gonna find you. My job is stalking you on the internet. Because if we want to use your song, I'm gonna do everything possible to use that damn song. Yeah, so like, that's what I wish people focus more on. Not the end result of making like a million dollars from an advertisement and focus more on making good music. You and I have talked about this before it's like make just make good is it

Mike Meiers 24:49
that's the thing too. Like I've heard this like, you know, when people are like, well, how many songs should I write? I'm like, I can't give you an exact number of like, how many quotas you need to do because everybody is different, you may have to write 50 songs. 60 songs. Yeah. And that's only that may get the wheels turning, don't write off that first song and be like, This is the first one I've done GarageBand I'm gonna give it to you. No, that's not gonna work, it's not going to work, because I think they forget, you're also a music fan. Like you listen to music so your ear can hear when like, that's not those are off.

Speaker 2 25:24
But I have synesthesia. So like, I experienced music on a whole different level. So like, for me hearing sync specific music. And now even like people freaking out about AI, the one thing I can tell you is AI music and sync music. Not coming from artists creating because they're inspired. There's no soul to it. And so it's like, it almost physically hurts me, I guess is the easiest way to describe it. So everyone's like, Oh, yeah, I'm like, oh, yeah, that sounds like a deep fake of Kanye West. But what I can tell you is that's not Kanye. Because that's not how his music looks. It's not how it feels like it's not like it just sounds like a blah song with with a fake, almost Kanye song on it. And so it's really funny watching everyone's spiral, like, what I'm more concerned about with AI is like the copyright and like, protecting your copyrights in your IP. But, uh, but yeah, like, I think it's, you can tell when someone's writing a song because it's coming from your soul, and it's coming from your heart, just like any other art form, I think, like, and so I wish people felt more confident to get out of their head about the end game and just, just make just create an eventually, with practice and time, you're gonna find your sweet spot

Mike Meiers 26:37
right there practice in time, I think people skip over that.

Speaker 2 26:41
They just go oh, well, I watch this tick tock, and I can make a million dollars if I put my song in libraries. And I'm also like, also libraries are Production Music, and they're never gonna make you a million dollars, maybe in 10 years all accumulated it'll be a million dollars.

Mike Meiers 26:57
You gotta do a lot when people are like, Production Music. I'm like, Yeah, you gotta do like, you know, can you do like, at least like, you know, I don't know, 1015 2025 tracks a week. And remember, each one has different versions. So you're doing lots of them, but then do that for the next like, six years and then you're gonna have to revamp the cattle. That's a lot for people when they're like, I just did a song is this good? Scott's like, do more, but it does, it can grind your game

Hey, it's Mike. I'm jumping in the middle of this episode to let you know that we're doing something really cool. We're gonna do an amazing giveaway. Because we're approaching the 100th episode of the song rang for guitar podcast. Can you believe that? 100 episodes. So many podcasts don't even make it to 50. But here we are approaching 100. And guess what? We're moving on to the next 100 And we want to celebrate that. And if you have not left us a review on Apple podcasts yet. Here is your opportunity to do that right now. So all you got to do leave us a five star review talk about your favorite episode, then screenshot that review and send it to us at support at song rang for guitar.com. So you can be entered into the giveaway. So what are we giving away Sweetwater gift cards, GH s strings, a one on one coaching session with me plus, giving away one of our courses, guitar essentials. So those are going to be our giveaways. And you have until August 18 to enter. So all you got to do five star review. Talk about your favorite episode, screenshot it and send it to us at support at songwriting for guitar.com Winners will be announced August 18. Again, Sweetwater gift cards GHS strings on top of that one on one session with me and someone is going to win access to one of our courses, guitar essentials. Again, my friends. Thank you for listening. I love this. I love all the guests that I've talked to. I can't wait to keep on doing even more of this. So to celebrate, leave us that review. And you know what? I'm gonna stop my jibber jabber and we're gonna go back into the episode

now I'm curious. You then after spending time in LA, came back to New York?

Unknown Speaker 29:18
Yeah. What happened?

Mike Meiers 29:20
Yeah. Did you feel like it was just like this was a time to move back?

Speaker 2 29:25
Well, loaded questions. So let's see how I can answer this as like, concisely as I can for you without completely derailing this conversation. So I You probably hear this from most like East Coasters like New York people, people from Chicago. I feel like we're the same mindset. Going to LA is kind of a culture shock. And I did not like living in LA. I didn't. California will always feel like home to me. But LA was very rough. Because I had to change who I was. I had to change my core values to fit into the box to be successful in LA. And what that looks like is being fake to people's faces. Being told that you're too aggressive, you're bitchy. Well, so that's a whole, like female experience and in the world, but uh, you know, but I would just be like, well, am I being aggressive? Or am I being direct and you don't like what I'm saying, because I'm not tiptoeing around the point. And that's the biggest difference in LA is like, in New York, you know, everyone goes, What You See Is What You Get, because we're way too busy to deal with the bullshit, you know, in a lay people would prefer that you fake it. They don't want you to be direct, they want to play this game play nice. And then they're going to talk shit about you behind your back there, you're gonna watch people fail upwards in LA, but you won't see that in New York. It's very hard. It doesn't happen. Sure, but nowhere near as much as in LA like, so you work for people in these executive roles. And you're like, how do you not know what perpetuity means? Yeah, that's your job. You know what I mean? And it's because like people, people care more about relationships, and who you know, rather than what you've done, and what your accomplishments are. And in New York, it's like, if you're good at your job, maybe you and I don't get along, but we're gonna make it work to get the job done. And then we just won't talk after this. We're in LA, you're like, forced to be fake friends with people. And then when shit hits the fan, all of a sudden, you're alone. So that that was my biggest experience was like, and it was very eye opening when I did leave, because I told no one except for my like, five close friends that kept in touch with me during the pandemic. And then I left and ever when I finally posted publicly that I was because I left and I moved to Scotland. So I basically backwards what I did to La solo my things, and I moved to Scotland with two suitcases, maybe three might have been three with count the carry on. But I moved to Edinburgh and I live there and I waited for a while till I told anyone. And I made like a post, it wasn't even a picture of me it was like, it's actually the background of my phone screen because I can't believe I took it. It's like this beautiful picture on the Royal Mile. And I posted that picture and I was like I'm here. This is what's going on. Like I want a better life. For myself, I can't do this. Like I was so sick all the time, I was drinking way too much. I was so unhappy. And I realized, I never planned to live in LA that long in the first place. Because it just wasn't resonating with me. But I wanted to do surfing so I was gonna stay until I could and every time I would try to leave something would present itself to put me right back in. So the pandemic was the perfect experience. Every every reason you can find to keep you here doesn't exist right now. It's terrifying. Life is short, people are dying. I haven't seen my family in two years. Even before, you know the because I moved. No one lived out there with me. They're all on the East Coast or in another country. And even spanning to Australia, you know, like Italians are in Australia. So they, so you know, I was like, okay, no one can talk me out of it. And that's also why I didn't tell anyone I was like, I don't want anyone to talk me out of it. Because they could they kind of talked to my rational brain. And I'm a very impulsive person. So for me, I'm like, if I don't just like do it without thinking it's never gonna happen. And I've wanted to live in the UK since I was 18. I went there for the first time right after my 18th birthday. And I left a piece of my soul there. I don't regret it at all. It was like the most amazing experience. I want to live there again, but because my visa was up, I was trying to like, stay there longer. I just was like, I don't know what to do the world still shut down. The offices are closed. I'll just go home with my family. So I crashed with my sister. Then I went to my parents house. I was like, I guess I'm gonna be here longer. So I rented a place this, this like, very empty place. Because I'm like, I don't want to commit. I don't want to commit commitment issues. And so now I'm kind of just like floating around. I don't know where I'll be next. Life's too short to be unhappy.

Mike Meiers 33:52
Yeah. I think that's also a good reminder of some of the things that we accept where we're like, yeah, I don't feel great. But health isn't awesome. But that's okay. I'm just gonna keep on pushing through this. I saw this Tony Robbins video. And he said keep on moving. And I was like, All right. All right. I'm gonna do it for you.

Speaker 2 34:13
Well, honestly, that's like what the biggest eye opener with travel is is like you see your you see the country and our standards and our norms from other people's eyes and other points of view from different cultures. And the common denominator is like were viewed and it's true like I am like, American hospital be productive. Oh, you're burned down take a nap that makes every you know, like, yeah, American like the insert of the eagle like I love I just I love making fun of America. It's just so funny. Like Team America is one of my favorite.

Mike Meiers 34:50
That song plays in my head written free constantly America.

Speaker 2 34:55
Or no The best one is when there's like a sad montage and one in Washington, DC units like freedom isn't free. I'm sorry. Like, this is like, my brain knows don't sing music on this. We're now I'm just like breaking my own rules for podcasts. But what's it called? But yeah, so that that is the thing I wish more people spoke because we've allowed these norms to be normal. And so when you do express it to even your friends, people go, Oh, that sucks. But you know, that's what we all go through. Oh, you were sexually harassed and assaulted. Well, that sucks. But unfortunately, that's normal for the entertainment industry. You know, like that, that has happened to me. I was told I made it up for attention. Yeah, I told myself, I'm going to live more authentically. And so I'm not going to like I told myself, whenever I talk about all these things, I'm going to be honest and like, because I want more people to feel comfortable in questioning our norms. Like it's not normal. This is not normal. It's not okay. And how are you supposed to know that? If no one says it out loud?

Mike Meiers 35:59
It's one thing thinking it and being like, Oh, I think that, but saying it is not easy, but I think it also makes people go like, Oh, wait a minute, maybe it is. No, that's not. Yeah. And that allows more people to speak up.

Speaker 2 36:12
Yeah. Well, it takes time. Yeah, it takes time and therapy. I've lost time in therapy to like, even realize that, like you're being abused, and like, these things are not okay. And yeah, you know, like having somebody sit you down and go, that is not normal. And someone should have, like, protected you, you know, like, someone to protect me after I was told I made it up. But it wasn't enough to continue seeing that person in the office every day. Like, why am I being shamed? I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't even report it. Somebody else was so uncomfortable watching it happen to me, they recorded it. That was the worst part. So if I didn't even say this to you, because I was terrified of losing my job. That's the only thing you'll speak up because you're terrified of losing your job. Or you accept these norms, because you're lucky to have this job. It's the dream and like we can get anyone else would want to do it because everyone wants to work here. And I'm like, I don't care. I just wanted to go like pet a dog and laugh at something stupid. Laugh at children falling down. Like I just think. I just think that's so funny. You know, like, I just want to dance when I feel like inspired to do so like, I just don't care anymore. I

Mike Meiers 37:20
just love those three things. It's like let me put a dog. Let me just dance like no one's looking at let me see a child just like, wow.

Speaker 2 37:30
I know. It's awful. But it's just they're like rubber and they bounce back. It's just so funny to me. Because I was that kid I was that kid I have. I am still that kid. Honestly, I'm so accident prone. People think I'm faking it. I was like, I swear, I did not mean to do that.

Mike Meiers 37:50
Just seeing all these little children just bounce and be like, it's okay. It's okay. They bounce. They're just yeah, the rubber. I did that, then do you feel like you're in a I feel like now where you're at? It's like your I'm going to do the things that I want to do that I believe in that make me happy. Anything that doesn't fit that I don't have time for

Speaker 2 38:12
Yeah, that's kind of where I'm at is like, if it doesn't resonate anymore, it's a no, like, I'm not, I used to be really good at talking away, though. Like, feeling. You know, like, I feel like your body naturally tells you, this might sound very woowoo to some people, but your body like tells you what the answer is before you even consciously know. And so like, something comes up and my body's like, like you physically want to go like this? Or maybe you even do, that's a hard No. And so like absolutely not. And like I find it very empowering to work for yourself and have the ability to say no, because when you work for someone else, you kind of don't have that much control. Yeah. And it's really hard to maintain your boundaries because you're not in charge. And, you know, it's like, do I say this? Can I say no to this? Like, what, what is or isn't, you know, in my purview, kind of a thing. And so I get to make time for myself, I get to go hiking, I get to go like out in nature and like sometimes I'll just like work and sit outside on my patio. I think it's so much more important. And I wish we valued more of our living here in the states, like are in the industry, like, our lives are so short, and I was hoping after the world going through a global pandemic, which is still happening. I wish more people and more corporations realistically took into account like, our lives are short, and we don't know what tomorrow brings. We're not saving lives. We're making content. You know, I'm like this. I'm like we're making content. I'm like none no one's dying if I don't answer my email at midnight. Yeah. And I used to let that I used to let that The guilt control me like, I'm supposed to do this. I'm like, just because it's your emergency doesn't mean it's mine. And I'm sorry, I'm not putting my health at risk any longer. Because you think I need to be working at midnight when I could just answer this in the morning. Like, what about this? Or like, if the song isn't clear, I'm like, if I'm not answering my email at midnight, what do you think the song I'm trying to clear why those publishers, the songwriters, the managers, you think any of them are going to be answering me at midnight? No. And if they do, I don't want to be involved in that. No, thank you.

Mike Meiers 40:29
Why are you doing this? What's you're talking about? Brendon Burchard talks about that, too, where it's like, A, if your life revolves around your email, you're just accommodating other people's schedules, and you have nothing. And I'm like, it's right. How many times do we see an email? And we're like, I need like that impulsive. Just like, I've got to answer, Susan. Hi, Susan. You're sent.

Speaker 2 40:54
Yeah. Yeah. It's wild. It's really wild. And so I don't know, I don't know what happened to me over the last few years. But I'm very much like, trying to be loud and proud about these changes I'm making because I work and my career has made me so sick physically and mentally that I just can't I can't do it. Like I had a doctor sit me down and go if you don't fix this, if you get sick one more time, you're you're you might die. Like a doctor said you actually didn't say my he said you will die. I got like a 10 page bloodwork report about how my body's like, basically not functioning anymore.

Mike Meiers 41:30
Have you ever read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert?

Speaker 2 41:32
No. Is that the Eat Pray Love girl. She wrote more books. She is a girl. She's a woman, but you pray love? Yeah,

Mike Meiers 41:43
she did. She did write another book called Big Magic where she talks about creativity. And she talks about this one scenario in which she was in a relationship that she knew she just shouldn't be in. And she was getting sick all the time. Her body was reacting and basically shutting down. And she was like, I had to make this change. Otherwise, this change was just going to destroy me. And once she did, her health came back, she started to feel better. She started to live into her authentic self, do the things that made her happy, allow creativity to naturally come to her and not make it seem like it's this like, Oh, get in there. Come on, let's keep on going. But allow it to happen naturally. And the universe is for her and she doesn't have to fight her. Try to make things happen. It's a really good book that would

Unknown Speaker 42:35
I mean, I liked her other books. I'll check it out.

Mike Meiers 42:39
It's funny. I think it made a movie. Wasn't that a movie? Eventually?

Speaker 2 42:42
It was Julia Roberts. Really? I liked it. I like anything. Julia Roberts stuff. So I liked I liked it. Um, yeah, they, they I don't I wish I knew what it was to like sign like two references. But I believe that there's like scientific evidence that backs like creativity doesn't happen in a productivity. Busy mode, like creativity happens when you're relaxed. And just like existing like so like you find like a lot of artists will go into the woods, like you hear all these stories of musicians making albums in the woods and they like lock themselves away in a cabin. And it's because that's where art is made. That's where you get inspired, is you have to remove yourself from the noise, to let yourself just be present so you can attune to the nature and like what you need whatever you know, inspires you is different nature inspires me. So like I love being in the woods and stuff but I'm or the ocean or just buy any like Foggy Mountain Link to

Mike Meiers 43:39
I think it's just the idea of quiet because our noise or our laws are so noisy, like especially if you're in music, it's always just like, noise noise noise noise and our eyes are just constantly their lights on the screen screens over here screens over there. The actual, like separating yourself and being like, oh, there's a tree and there's a natural body of water that's existed even before I existed. And when I'm gone it's still going to exist.

Speaker 2 44:08
Yeah. Wow. There I've been it just came up in a conversation recently so I feel like it might be nice to talk about here i years ago whenever the book came out Arianna Huffington from like the Huffington Post, yes, wrote her book thrive. And I remember towards the back end of it she was talking about like she fell and hit her head and like it like really like was a bad I don't remember like the story directly but it forced her to like very much evaluate her life and she goes I realized like every area of my life I'm being pushed content I'm being pushed this pushed up you go outside there's advertisements, like on walls and on cars now. And she goes so I I turned off all my notifications on my phone. And so years ago I did this I was like, I'm not gonna get notifications unless it's a call to email my bank account or something. Soccer. That's fine. I get soccer. Football and so like you know like so it I wish more people do that because they're like, did you see this ago? No, because I I get notifications when I choose to see it I don't get so so people get annoyed me because I don't answer social media right away and it's like I don't get the notification. So I, I have to make a point to log on to Instagram. And even if I'm on Instagram, I have to make a point to open the dams which I'm like, it's the numbers too high, I get overwhelmed. And I'm like, No, you know, insane so like even text messages I started not reading them if I'm not in the space to like answer or like sometimes there's still feel social. I'm like, Oh, I'll read it later. But now I stop answering because you can't unmarked them unread. Come on Apple. And so like for me, I'm like, I only I get pushed. And it's like, created so much peace. I think that was like one of the first things that I did on this like, journey of healing. Before that. I started that before I even left LA. And I wish more people did that. Like don't allow your email to control. You don't allow social media and advertisements and pop ups like every app wants to like, notify you about a sale here. I'm like, No, thank you.

Mike Meiers 46:12
No, thank you must play. I'm just like, it is okay. I've pet a dog. I've seen a child fall today. My life has. I'm good. Never gonna let me live that down. I just love that. But I think what, what is really important, I think this is refreshing because there's lots of people that probably think this, like I think we all encounter like, oh, I don't think it should be this way. I don't think I should be doing. I don't think I should. And either we acknowledge it or we just like, we push it down. We're like, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. It's okay. It's okay. I'm just gonna go on a shopping spree that will curb my momentary unhappiness of my total existence. And I haven't heard back from that music supervisor. I can't afford this. But that's okay. Yeah, it's an it's just like, that challenge, I think is you can still create, you can still live the life you can still do all those things. But it doesn't always have to be where you're running yourself into the ground where it's just like, I guess this is how it's supposed to be. And I'm supposed to feel like death. But that's okay. It's just like, oh, no, just like, I don't know, you're on like some terrible drugs that just like slowly, just but that's interesting. And to me, that's refreshing to hear. Because, again, this is what I think what why people connect with you and still stay in contact, because I doubt people that you used to work with stay in contact with everyone. No, no. Well, why again, I think it's just your ability to make connections, that you genuinely care about those relationships, too. And I think that's important for any artists, any songwriter. It really does boil down, it doesn't matter how fucking great Your song is. If you're an asshole, if you're a jerk. Yeah, see? Ya be sitting alone on a mountaintop full of great songs that no one really wants to push because you're an ass. Yeah, person. That's genuine. That's kind that's like, oh, no, no, no, no, don't I understand? Those are the people that are like, come on into the fold. And welcome.

Speaker 2 48:17
Yeah. At least in my corner, in my little, my little corner of the industry. And Mark

Mike Meiers 48:23
is awesome. I think there should be more corners like that.

Speaker 2 48:26
I hope so. I hope they're, I'm sure there are more than we just haven't met yet. But I don't know. It feels good. Like, it feels good to work with people that don't feel like they're taking advantage of you. And vice versa. Like because it's not like being a music supervisor, you don't get taken advantage of you often get people who are like, well, I'll approve this for like triple the budget just because like I haven't made money in three years. And, you know, I know you need this song for your project. And I have 5% And I'm gonna hold hold the whole thing up. We get that to like, so I know. It's much more common on the other side of the whatever the fence, but we get it a little bit on our side, too. So that's why I'm like let's just, let's just like be kind to each other. Like we're not again, we're none of us are saving lives. We're making music, we're making content. It's supposed to make bring joy to people. So why is it so stressful? While we're making it and doing it? You know?

Mike Meiers 49:22
And that's the thing too, that I try to encourage songwriters like this is it like regardless of how much you're making, creating this? This is so if you hate every single second of it, man, I've got terrible news. This is that this is the thing and so if it's driving you to the ground, you fucking hate it. This is probably not going to be your thing. But if you enjoy it if you're curious if you're constantly like, oh man every day I'm excited to do this thing and yeah, there are things that annoy me but like, I wouldn't have it any other way. I love doing this I love you know, then you're in the right place. You're you'll be okay. You'll grow you'll make the connections, you don't have to rush and worry that you're going to miss the train or the plane or whatever metaphorical thing, you will get there perfectly on time. But don't rush and forget about the people that you meet along the way, because that's actually the best part. If you're too focused on just like, I gotta fucking get there, you're gonna miss great relationships that you could build and people that you can connect with. Yeah,

Speaker 2 50:25
it's really, it's really nice. Like, the thing that I miss not being in LA is when you go to like a concert or like some kind of industry event. And then you see everyone that you've been emailing all the time, you just like, get to hug everyone in the room, you're like, so happy to be there. I wish that I wish. And I hope that there's more of that. I'm sure there is more than that, than I've experienced. Because I also like have removed myself from like, going to events as much as possible. And I don't even go to concerts that much anymore. Because they started to feel like work.

Mike Meiers 50:52
I just stopped because they were so late. Like honestly, honestly, there. Can we just get Can we just agree that it ends at nine. I know we just have it and

Speaker 2 51:02
who was it? Was it like Jamie Lee Curtis, who was saying like, can we have that in a coffee? What?

Mike Meiers 51:07
I'm all for that. I'm just like, sweet. So that means I can get home before 630. Awesome. Let's go.

Unknown Speaker 51:15
Can you imagine your lunch break is going to a matinee concert.

Mike Meiers 51:19
Amazing. Yeah, I'm totally fine with that. Just like a sit down concert where it's just like we sit down. We're like that was great.

Speaker 2 51:27
Sit down. That is the key is the sit down concert.

Mike Meiers 51:31
Yeah, I mean, because like after a while, I'm just like, I gotta find something to lean up against. There we go. Okay, that shouldn't have worn chucks. These are the worst foot support for everything. Okay, so let's end on this note. So, if out of the places you've traveled? Yes. What are your top three places? Oh, okay.

Speaker 2 51:52
I mean, definitely Scotland. Okay. Scotland's number one. I mean, I feel like I have to say Italy, but not really Hawaii, I think okay, I absolutely love to why there's still so many places I want to go. It's like hard to answer. I feel like I'm not equipped to give a true answer yet.

Mike Meiers 52:10
When you were in Scotland. Did you have some authentic Scottish food? What is authentic Scottish food? Oh,

Speaker 2 52:16
I mean, no, because I'm allergic to like most foods. I'm like the worst person to try to feed. So I can't say that

Mike Meiers 52:24
haggis haggis is a scam. Yes. Yeah, I guess it's

Speaker 2 52:26
like huge. Also beard whiskey, both of which I can't drink. Or scotch. Can't drink it. I found like a lot of really good coffee shops. And I love like, does that count

Mike Meiers 52:37
that does?

Speaker 2 52:40
I mean, they you? Probably if people have seen like videos of Edinburgh, they've seen my favorite coffee shop. It's called the milkman. It's on Cockburn Street. It's like this cute little tiny street off the right off the Royal Mile. And it's just like, really tiny hole in the wall. Really beautiful. Like beautiful, like cozy design. Lots of plants hanging and stuff, but the coffee's just really good. But it's more the people. I love the Scottish people. It's just the banter. I'm a big banter person because I'm silly. I don't Life is too short to be serious. So like anyone who could just be goofy and make fun of themselves. Yeah, the banter is like the best banter I've had in the world besides Australians, but I've never been to Australia to like really put that to the top of my list and yeah, it's I think that's what makes it the people and the scenery is gorgeous but I mean there's a lot of gorgeous scenery and a lot of bad people I'm I don't know there's just like this mentality of like Scotland for you. You know like

Mike Meiers 53:41
you're just what that that rough Scottish voice but I get what you're saying just being in a small coffee shop and banter and just like

Speaker 2 53:48
just like they all just want to talk and like hear your life story. It's I don't like small talk, which is another reason why the industry is so hard for me. Which I didn't learn until like only like this year I learned to hate small talk. I was like oh no wonder know what that makes so much sense. I'm so like in Scotland like people don't go Oh, how's your day gone? There? They like ask you like, what are your political Oh, you're American. What are your political views? Like? What are you doing here? Like Tommy and like, start like, how did you come here? This is so cool. No one comes to Scotland their own London, you know? So yeah, I love it. Like everyone was just like, I want to have a real conversation with you. And I'm going to be silly.

Mike Meiers 54:22
Oh, that's a better plus. I

Speaker 2 54:24
just love there's like the bro that anyone who has like the heavier accent. It's just like so. I don't know cozy and inviting.

Mike Meiers 54:30
It's like a big Yeah, it's a big blanket. It's just that that deep rough kind of like, I just can't even do it. But I'm like, Oh, I know what you're talking about where it's just like, Scott's the whole you know, the way set

Speaker 2 54:45
up music is like so big in their culture. Like you go anywhere and there's like music playing. The one thing I didn't get to do is go to a Kayleigh, which I really want. I don't know if I'm pronouncing it it's a Gallic word and I'm like, Am I saying that right? But it's like a date like a dance with live music and they Have like traditional dancer teens. And I'm like, no one's like hopping you from behind dancing. It's like dancing like, yeah.

Mike Meiers 55:10
This was so good. I feel like we dived into many different things facets where we'll just categorize this as part one. We will have part two later. Yeah, this was awesome. Thanks for being here. Jess,

Unknown Speaker 55:25
you got it. Thanks for having me.

Mike Meiers 55:32
And that does it for this week. It was edited and produced by Chris Mathias. I'm Mike Myers. Thanks for listening.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai