“The cream rises to the top” 
     Many have heard this phrase and agree with its content without any debate or question. If you give this phrase a quick glance or this sentence a quick read, there’s really not much to debate at all. It’s hard to debate a cold, hard fact. 
(although man has clever ways of doing so) 
Let the truth be told however “cream” (in reference to standing milk) actually does rise to the top. The phrase itself often pertains to those with exceptional talents or gifts that make them stand out from the crowd. Yet still, even in its metaphorical state, there’s not much to debate here either. The best do stand out from the crowd like a very large forehead opposite a receding hairline. So since there is no debate here as well, I will not do so. The cool thing is that my job as a writer is not necessarily to debate or argue. My job as an artist is to provoke thought. My job as an artist is to point out the details that may be missed by an untrained eye. My job as an artist is to make sense out of nonsense. That being said, I believe that looking at only one side, one element or dynamic of anything to be “nonsensical” So yes, the cream rises to the top; but only with the support of the fluid it floats on. Yes the exceptional stand out from the ordinary. But if everyone where exceptional, the exceptional would become ordinary. My point is this; you cannot have one without the other. The boldness of a stripe depends on its contrast with colors it lays beside. Can you see a white stripe on white paper? Not very well at least. The team or support is critical to any individual in the same circle. That being said, I want to underscore this type of relationship of words with a pair I deal with a lot.
     The “Show” and “Business” of “Show Business” share this exact same relationship. You cannot have one without the other. Just like the beginning phrase above, many look at this term with a quick glance and an untrained eye. Glamour has many artists and entrepreneurs alike putting on more “show” than “business” I see too many promoters, musicians, writers and performers all looking the part for the show and not handling the business on a sustainable, lucrative and respectable level. Simply giving yourself a title doesn’t make you that which you call yourself. The tongue does have power, but not in that way. Dressing the part doesn’t do it alone either. I have a laundry list of examples that proves my point.
  • Rappers that can’t freestyle.
  • Figure heads that are not focused.
  • Promoters that talk about themselves more than the artists they represent.
  • Cats that politic with you all night, exchange numbers with you and won’t return your phone call.
  • Cats that say they represent the same team but they never communicate with each other.
  • Writers that are too shy to read a paragraph aloud to a trusted friend.
  • DJ s that don’t own turntables.
  • Poets that don’t own mics.
  • Musicians that carry instruments they can’t play.
     I can go on… but you understand, I’m sure. Someone once asked me “How I memorized so much?” Pertaining to my poems, lines in a book I wrote or a clever line in a great movie I wish I wrote. “Practice” I replied. I write, I read what I wrote, I rewrite and then read again. I practice poems in the mirror. I watch movies to study camera angles and study great exchanges in dialogue between two strong characters. I have also been asked; “When do you sleep?” My reply was “When I can” I have a scheduled that I write down, a calendar to keep it in order and a hungry group of folks around me to see that things get done. In short; I’m about my business long before the curtains are pulled to the sides to reveal the show. I maybe confident to the point where some ask if I’m cocky. But my humility does its best to keep the Glamour in check. I have seen glamour get in the way of many great people and I do not want to be one of them.
  • Glamour makes you feel like no one can tell you anything.
  • Glamour prevents you from being a student of the new ways of the game you play.
  • Glamour makes you feel like you’ve made it, when you’re not even close.
  • Glamour makes you feel like your success is imminent, knowing deep down that nothing in this life is guaranteed.
  • Glamour makes you lose focus due to a warped perception of where you’re actually looking at.
  • Glamour makes you feel you can do it all by yourself without help. Even though every success can be linked to an extraordinary team that pushed them.

In closing I would like you to ask yourself a few questions from time to time on your way to the the top.

  • Am I about my business or am I about the show?
  • How about those in your circle?
  • What effort do you think it will take for you to break through?
  • Do you honor your word?
  • Since the cream rises to the top; do you see any cream when you look at your team?

Until next time kids…