Today’s Note From The Universe

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Act with faith, Jessica. Prepare the way for your inevitable success. To the degree you can, behave as if your dreams have already come true, as if you already owned a career in the music industry, as if later today you were going to make it to Nashville. And you shall see the power you wield as the floodgates begin to tremble, the elements begin to conspire, people in your life begin to change, insights are summoned, comprehensions soar, and clarity is born.

Not to mention fierce, wild animals lying down when you walk on by –
The Universe

Pretending is so powerful, Jessica. Look how far it’s already taken you.

Definitely needed to read that today! So many signs from the universe lately are pointing me in this direction! ❤

To get your own daily (or however often you wish) Note from the Universe, go to tut.com!

Happy Holidaze!

Happy Holidays from Country Heartbeat! Enjoy these holiday photos of Michael Ray and Parmalee that I took at WPOR’s Jingle Jam a couple weeks ago! Michael is wearing his Nana’s Christmas sweater for his performance, but when Parmalee took the stage, M. Ray came out dancing and wearing an ELF SUIT! He was such a good sport about it!

Then, check out the hilarious parody video that Parmalee made with Jake Owen singing about getting into the Christmas “spirits”. This video was released a couple days after Jingle Jam… I wish Parmalee had been wearing those outfits for our show!!!

And lastly, check out these awesome Christmas cards from BK & B.Cole and Hayley and Tyler, Florida Georgia Line and their wives! (And the Kelley’s 4 dogs. Sunday looks adorbs!)

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Best wishes for a happy holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, I hope that it’s merry and bright!

Love, Jess

Open Letter To All Contestants

To Those Of You Who Aimlessly Enter Every Contest That Seems “Cool”,

(Warning: Mildly strong language, deeply passionate feelings!) 

There are two types of people who enter contests. The people with the mind-frame, “Hey it’s worth a shot, I might win!” and the people who considerately pick and choose which contests they enter because they wouldn’t want to take away a prize from someone who might want it more than they do. (For example, I wouldn’t try to win tickets to a concert for an artist that I only know a few songs and don’t 100% “love”… because there is a super-fan out there that I might take that opportunity away from.) Those people who fall into the latter category, of course only enter the ones that are really important to them, those that they would be able to actually attend/claim if they won. (High five to you like-minded souls out there!)

50th Annual CMA Awards. #ForeverCountry. You’re looking at the girl who wants to move to Nashville, who works at a country radio station, who has a country blog, who has been to over 130 country concerts, who has country music beating in her heart and running through her veins. You think I want to be there? Hell yeah. Am I bitter that I didn’t win any of the ones that I entered? Absolutely not, that’s not what this is about, AT ALL. (I actually fully trust God’s plan and that there’s a reason that I didn’t make it there, again, this year.) It’s about that one lady who did win…

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Synchronicities

The Universe knows how hard I’ve been working to network, make connections, learn everything that I can, and unremittingly working an excess of jobs and hours to save money for the big move to Nashville. This week, there’s been some amazing coincidences, that I truly believe is more than just happenstance. If you haven’t established yet that I’m crazy for the 8 part-time jobs that I currently juggle, well, crazy just met crazier! I have two more job interviews tomorrow (non music related)… both of which I believe were placed in my path for a reason.

One of them is a bar-tending job, which is something that I can fall back on in Nashville if I don’t land my dream music industry job right away. (I have zero previous experience, which means the bars in Nashville wouldn’t even look twice at me… but this will make it so that I DO have experience on my resume!) The other is a nannying job, which I have several of… but after speaking with the Mom on the phone, I learned that her best friend works at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville and has been in the country music industry for a long time! HOLY SERENDIPITY! What are the chances?!? Hopefully I can develop a good relationship with this family and Mom can pass along a good word for me to her BFF for when I get there.

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You Just Gotta Believe

Shine Bright!

“How are you going to make enough money to survive? How are you going to make this happen? Where are you going to work? Do you even have a plan?”

In the words of Big Kenny (of Big & Rich):

“You just gotta believe. You come to this town and you start meeting all these people and you become inspired. Everywhere you go there’s someone who can play, someone who can write a song. You finally meet enough of them that you start to think to yourself, ‘Wow, maybe I am kind of normal after all.'”

Nashville. “It’s a crazy town full of neon dreams, everybody plays, everybody sings.”

Although I don’t have the typical musician dream, I do have a dream of working in the country music industry. I fully believe that once I am there, surrounded by the people that make this crazy passion of mine feel “normal,” that this dream is going to really take flight. Thriving most on inspiration, I am positive that, although I might feel slightly threatened by the competition at first, it’s what I truly need.

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For All Those Underappreciated Supporting Musicians Out There!

I’ve always felt that the band members never get as much credit as the artists themselves. They can go out in public without being recognized (for the most part), and they rarely get to attend awards shows or join the main singers on stage when they win. Half of the time, they don’t even get to record their instruments on the record (there are of course exceptions to this rule!). After following certain bands for several years, I’ve noticed a lot of changes. It seems like just after I’ve finally located all of the band members on twitter and/or instagram, next show I go to, they’ve already been replaced! I guess the supporting musicians aren’t as set in stone as the singers, but I still feel like they play a very important role. I highly respect artists like Kip Moore who make it a point to include his band members in all that he does, and publicly recognizes “The Slow Hearts” as part of his success. We need more artists like him that truly believe in their band, and who know that it’s the support of the guys behind them on stage that make the live shows an amazing experience.

TO ALL OF THE BAND MEMBERS: Thanks for all that you do! Your efforts and kick ass performances do not go unnoticed by the true fans!

 

I think I will start with Kip Moore & The Slow Hearts, because I have so much friggin’ respect for those guys! Besides, who else’s band has their own name? With the exception of a change in drummer, Kip has stuck with his original crew that he started off with. 

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Manny Medina, my favorite Scorpio & Kip’s amazing bass player!
Adam and the Kip Chicks
Adam Browder and some loyal #kipchicks!

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Reflections & What I Want In 2016

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Lately I’ve been finding myself comparing my twitter/instagram/facebook page to others in this world of country fan sites/blogs. I’m noticing how many followers they have in comparison with me, and I know this is partially due to the fact that they are on top of the latest news stories that fans want to hear. I swore in the beginning that I would not be one of those sites/blogs, whose purpose is to relay the latest gossip in the country music industry or keep fans with the most up to date information. Nothing against them, because clearly they have hundreds of thousands more followers than I do… but I want my blog, my brand, Country Heartbeat to be a bit more personal. To tell a story. MY story. I want to introduce you to this life that I lead, that yeah, happens to be immersed in country music. It’s the thing I’m most passionate about, and much to my boyfriend’s dismay, comes first above everything. I want to inspire people to chase their dreams, to step out of their comfort zone, to grab hold of something that they love and take a leap of faith, to do things they never thought they could do.

I had a talk with a close friend recently that helped me realize that out of our group of friends, or even out of the people in this local area… heck, even in all of Maine… don’t love the industry in the same way that I do. One of my best friends since early childhood, God love her, once commented on my new profile picture with Lee Brice on his tour bus and asked, “Is that your new man?”. Oh, sweet Jesus. These people around here just don’t get it.

That’s why I’ve got to get to Nashville, and soon. That’s why I love every minute of “The Week Vegas Goes Country” aka ACM week, where I can surround myself with those friends who are as passionate about country music as I am. I’ve got friends from California, South Dakota, Minnesota, Florida, Ohio… all these people come together in Vegas and are as crazy about it as I am.

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An Open Letter to Meet & Greet Photographers

Dear Meet & Greet Photographer,

I write to you as a photographer myself. Not only do I know how to take a good quality photo, but it is very important to me. Often times I find myself angry at you for being so clueless and lacking concern for the photos you are taking. Some of you clearly just don’t care… (In that case, move over, I would like your job!)

I work for a radio station and often find myself taking meet and greet photos at shows, and you know what I do? I LOOK at every single image after I take it. Why? To make sure that no ones eyes are closed, no one is looking in an odd direction, it’s clear in focus, properly lit, etc. It takes an extra second for a quick glance, and if an issue is spotted, guess what? I correct it!

What angers me the most, is that now artists are charging a lot of money for VIP experiences before their shows and fans choose to pay for this mainly because they want a nice photo souvenir. As a paying customer, especially when some of these super-fans pay $100-$200 for this experience, I would hope to hell that you at least know what you are doing behind a camera and how to use one properly. For instance, in low lighting settings, USE A FLASH. No one wants a dark, shadowy, grainy image after paying $200.

Artists, please make sure that you have someone who knows how a camera functions running these Meet & Greets. So many times I see photos posted where the fan has their eyes closed. Do you know how simple it would have been to check the photo you just took and then ask for a second one to correct the problem? Oh maybe 3 seconds of your time and it would mean the world to a fan who would be otherwise devastated because they’ve been waiting 5 years to meet their favorite artist and finally get a photo with them… only to discover their eyes are closed.

I’ve always felt passionate about this, and recently it has happened to me (as well as every other person who was photographed that day). I would like to share with you my once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with both Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge. Do you see how I am in Thomas’ shadow? This is due to a poorly lit venue and lack of flash. Low lighting? Turn on the darn flash, people.

TR and BE BangorThankfully, as a photographer, I am also savvy at editing and was able to make it look a LITTLE bit better, but there is really no excuse for this. Here are a few other examples…

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