Life in a World Touring Band

Contributed by Daniel Freiburg

It is amazing to have the opportunity to tour nationally and internationally. A lot goes into organizing a good tour, so it is very rewarding to play the shows and connect with such unique audiences everywhere we go.

We’ve completed our second successful tour in Morocco recently, which we are very excited about. It took lots of planning and logistics, especially taking the language barrier into consideration, but the hard work certainly paid off. Morocco is so different from the USA in so many ways, but when we go there, we are reminded that music is a universal language that brings everybody together. No matter who you are, your body will move to good music, and our responsibility is to bring an energizing and memorable performance to all the audiences we play for.

We’ve also had the amazing opportunity to play in Brazil. Two of our band members are from there, and it was incredible to play in their home country. The crowds were extremely responsive and welcoming, and the experience was unforgettable.

As a band, we have a strong message of inclusion and always respecting other people’s unique differences. We believe that as long as you respect others, you can be free to do whatever you want. It brings us great joy to be able to spread that message in so many places around the world. It also gives us the opportunity to meet so many people with such distinct personalities. Fans end up becoming our friends in so many situations, and that just makes everything fall into place and make sense for us.

Tour life is not glorious all the time though. Even though lots of people think that show time is the only time of the day we really need to work, we would argue that it is the complete opposite. We see the show as the reward: a time to let go, forget everything, and just focus on connecting with the audience through the magic of music. Aside from having to carry lots gear around, sound checks, extensive drives and flights, and lots of planning for the group/tour managing, there are always problems that pop up along the way. We’ve had a van break down on us on the side of road for example, and had to be towed into our gig by a Triple A truck! Traveling a lot is tiring, and takes a hard toll on the body. Not to mention when you sleep little and move around a lot, your immune system doesn’t always hold up very well.

Through challenges, triumphs, sweat, and tears, we bring our best and most energetic show possible everywhere we go. We know that what we do is unique and requires a certain kind of personality, and we all think we fit right into the requirements. We absolutely love what we do every single day, and are thankful that the art we love so much takes us around the world and allows us to meet such incredible people. If you are reading this, I hope we will have the opportunity to hang out at an Added Color show very soon!!!

Learn More about Added Color: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/added-color/

 

Six Words to Live By, Contributed by Nash Fung

“I’m proud to be an immigrant”, those six words and the following story are what I tell my audience in every show. It is because when I first immigrated to the USA, I was everything but proud of being an immigrant, being an outsider.

For 100 years, Hong Kong was a colonial state of The Great Britain, and yes, I grew up learning the proper “Queen’s English”, and no, it didn’t help my communication when I first step foot in the US at the age of 14. It was the summer of 1997 when our step-mother England gave sovereignty back to our biological parent China, this is when my family left Hong Kong and started our new chapter in Seattle. There are many lessons I had learned from being an immigrant, but the one I share in all my shows is one of self confidence and embracing one’s difference.

Being an immigrant at the age 14 means I was immediately thrown into a very unforgiving environment called the American high school. How you look, how you talk, how you act were judged on a daily basis. As an outsider, I was different from everyone in every one of those aspects. I barely understood what anyone was saying for the first 6 months, doing a presentation in class was terrifying especially with other students snickering at my accent.

I feared that people would reject me because I was different, that’s why I tried to hide my differences. I feared that people would look down on me because of the negative Asian stereotype, that we were the “uncool” minorities. This is why I discovered magic; magic gave me confidence by deflecting people’s attentions from that which makes me different, magic made me look cool so people wouldn’t dismiss me as another nerdy and unattractive Asian immigrant.

A lot of life choices I made as an immigrant were stemmed from my fear of other people’s judgment, but looking back, I honestly don’t think anyone has ever really looked at me negatively because I was an Asian immigrant, or because I was different. Ultimately my idea of people’s perception of me was an illusion that was conjured up in my head and rooted in my own insecurity.

If we constantly live to pass others’ judgment, we’ll forever be unhappy. My experience as an immigrant taught me the value in truly embracing one’s identity, and most importantly, embrace that which makes you different from others. It is ok to be an outsider, it is ok if other people think you are “uncool”. But if you know who you are authentically and live out who you are unapologetically, you will be infinitely happier. I know who I am, I am an immigrant, I bring a different angle of perspective and life experience, and you damn right, I am proud to be one.

Contributed by Nash Fung, award-winning magician

Learn more about Nash! http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/nash-fung-premier-magic/

Growing up Multi-cultural: Reflecting Back

Growing up in the “Bay Area” region of California, I was the only girl in our suburban elementary school who couldn’t easily identify her origins. I grew up around the traditions and customs of my family, while at school, I integrated into the norms of my school environment. When curious minds asked about my background, my answers flip-flopped between being Indian, South Asian, American, Fijian, Pacific Islander and a cousin (Islanders think we are all cousins). “Which is it?,” they would ask when I gave them more than one answer. My multiculturalism meant I didn’t fit in any one category, that my roots couldn’t be explained by checking one box. My identity is complicated – an Indian girl born in the United States to parents from the little Fiji Islands.

In elementary school, I was treated as the “Indian girl.” Classmates would often call me “Gandhi dot,” referring to the red dot usually placed on married women and on the forehead of Indian Hindus after a prayer ritual. As I got older, I’d get the oddest questions like “Why do your parents arrange your marriage for you? Isn’t that against the law?” At the time, I was still learning the ropes and wasn’t prepared with a meaningful answer. My best retort was to inform the inquirer that, despite this tradition, Indians continue to have a lower divorce rate than Americans. Over time, I became wittier and even watched Indian-born comics include arranged marriage jokes in their sets. I’ve since learned an array of smart ass comebacks.

My family and friends might be surprised to know that I still face these kinds of challenges. It turns out that, in some places, Indians from Fiji still face classism and casteism from those from India.  Unfortunately, there are some Indians from the motherland who ignorantly view Indians from Fiji as second class. To them, we are not to be socialized with nor should we be allowed educational and employment opportunities.  I’ve experienced this phenomenon first-hand. A suitor’s mother once casually told me that “no reputable Indian man would marry a girl from Fiji.” Recently, an Indian actually turned down my job offer simply because he did not feel comfortable working for someone from Fiji. These experiences have definitely given me pause and made me reevaluate my moral compass as well as that of those around me.  

When I was growing up, diversity and inclusion weren’t part of the curriculum at school.  I don’t recall a book, TV show, or elder providing me with advice on how to explain my culturally rich background in a manner that wouldn’t be confusing to the uninformed. Integrating into American culture was often simpler than trying to explain who I am and where I come from. While this made everyday life a little less complicated, my brown skin and Pacific Islander features meant I would still always be viewed as different.

As it does for everyone, life went on and I landed this job as an agent, which has been a time of great learning and awareness. I’ve immersed myself into the world of Student Affairs, leading to exposure and friendships with people at many different colleges and universities – people who spend their days educating and spreading awareness about inclusion and diversity. Through this network, I have been able to make some sense of the inadequacy I felt and now have closure from that time. Most importantly, I’ve been empowered to help and educate so many others who feel as if they don’t fully belong.

Ironically, it’s the values embraced in Fiji, a small island in the Pacific Ocean where my Indian parents hail from, that has helped shape my understanding and compassion for myself and everyone around me. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve actually taken on even more facets to my identity – wife, mother, business owner. I now welcome these different labels and have learned to cherish and be proud of all the characteristics that uniquely make me who I am.

While I may not have realized it when I was younger, I now know I’m lucky to have such a diverse background. I celebrate American, Indian, South Asian, and Fijian holidays. I watch Bollywood movies and sing Hindi songs. I have beautifully embroidered clothing and glittery jewelry. I eat cassava and listen to my family share stories around a bowl of kava.  And, we even partake in the chaos that is Black Friday and Christmas shopping. All of these rich and rewarding experiences were made possible for me because I am an Indian born in America whose parents are from Fiji.

-Contributed by Joyce Jiawan

Owner/Regional Account Manager

Metropolis Management

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Mental Health Awareness Month was started in the United States in 1949 by the Mental Health America organization (then known as the National Association for Mental Health). Each year Mental Health America releases a toolkit of materials for outreach activities during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Its purpose is to raise awareness and educate the public about mental illnesses, such as the 18.1% of Americans who suffer from  depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder; the realities of living with these conditions; and strategies for attaining mental health and wellness. It also aims to draw attention to suicide, which can be precipitated by some mental illnesses. Additionally, Mental Health Awareness Month strives to reduce the negative attitudes and misconceptions that surrounds mental illnesses.

Studies have shown that Mental illnesses affect 19% of the adult population, 46% of teenagers and 13% of children each year. Whether we know it or not, people struggling with mental health may be family members, neighbors, teachers, friends, or coworkers. We can all take steps to reduce the stigma associated with mental illness by doing the following:

  • Learning more about mental health: allows helpful support to those affected in our families and communities.
  • Advocating within our circles of influence: helps ensure these individuals have the same rights and opportunities as other members of your church, school and community.
  • Showing individuals respect and acceptance: removes a significant barrier to successfully coping with their illness. Having people see you as an individual and not as your illness can make the biggest difference for someone who is struggling with their mental health.

During the month of May, Mental Health America, its affiliates, and other organizations interested in mental health conduct a number of activities which are based on a different theme each year.

The theme for 2018 is Fitness #4Mind4Body.  During the month of May, the main focus is on what we as individuals can do to be fit for our own futures – no matter where we happen to be on our own personal journeys to health and wellness.

You can find more information from Mental Health America about their #4Mind4Body Challenge or download their mental health toolkit by visiting their website.   http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/may

 

CELEBRATING APAHM

May is Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM)! We all can join in celebrating the achievements and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

If you didn’t know,  the description Asian/Pacific heritage encompasses a wide variety of wonderful people and places. Here is a comprehensive list of the areas that comprise the term Asian/Pacific.

  • All of the Asian continent and the Pacific islands of Melanesia including New Guinea, New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji and the Solomon Islands.
  • Polynesia, Including: New Zealand, Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, Cook Islands, French Polynesia and Easter Island.
  • Micronesia, Including: Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru and the Federated States of Micronesia.

As you can see, there are many diverse regions with many reasons to celebrate their beautiful heritage, but where did Asian Pacific American Heritage Month get its start?  

Like most commemorative months, Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month originated with Congress. In June 1977, Reps. Frank Horton of New York and Norman Y. Mineta of California introduced a House resolution to proclaim the first ten days of May as Asian-Pacific Heritage week. This resolution proposed that the President should “proclaim a week, which is to include the seventh and tenth of the month, during the first ten days in May of 1979 as ‘Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week.” The following month, Senators Daniel K. Inouye and Spark Matsunaga from Hawaii introduced a similar bill in the Senate. Both were passed and on October 5, 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a Joint Resolution designating the annual celebration.

During the next decade, presidents passed annual proclamations for Asian/Pacific American Heritage Week until 1990, when President George H. W. Bush signed a bill passed by Congress to extend the week-long celebration to a month-long celebration. In 1992, the official designation of May as Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month was signed into law.

The month of May was chosen to commemorate the immigration of the first Japanese to the United States on May 7, 1843, and to mark the anniversary of the completion of the transcontinental railroad on May 10, 1869. The majority of the workers who laid the tracks were Chinese immigrants.

We can all be thankful for the amazing achievements and contributions as well as celebrate the culture, traditions, and history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.

3 Skills All Women in Leadership Need

Leading from a Woman’s Perspective: Coach Sherry Winn

Women have come a long way since the days when my Olympic Teammates had to wear the hand-me- downs from the men’s team. Because the elastic was worn out, they were forced to duct tape their waist bands, so that their shorts wouldn’t fall off when they were running down the court. Those were the days when women reporters were banned from male locker rooms, when women were ridiculed who wanted to coach men, and when the thought of a woman president of the United States was so far from mainstream thought that no woman would even consider running.

Life has changed. And yet, women are far from having the opportunity to lead that men do. Less than 4.2% of the top CEOs from Fortune 500 companies are women. Even though 57% of the population of colleges and universities are women, only 26% of college presidents are female. And 42.8% of all coaches who coach women are female while less than 5% of all coaches coaching males are females. Because women are not afforded the same opportunities as men to lead, women must show superior leadership skills to gain opportunities.

What type of skills will bring you to the top? The three main leadership skills to bring to the table are assertive communication, conflict resolution skills, and motivational skills.

1.ASSERTIVE COMMUNICATION

When I taught leadership skills to Anytime Fitness, their women leaders struggled with the label that many women receive when they are strong—the “B” label. When you are a strong woman, you might face men who suggest you continually suffer from PMS, or women take your words personally complaining that you are too mean. As a student female leader, you have a tough line to walk, but when you learn assertive communication skills, that line gets easier. Assertive communicators are confident, open-minded, good listeners, and respond rather than react. They possess the ability to gather information, ask team members for suggestions, and determine the best course of action. They are inclusive but will take decisive action when needed.

2.CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Team members look to leaders to resolve issues. If you cannot resolve the issues that student team members bring to you, chaos will ensue, and nobody will follow you. When I ask student leaders at leadership retreats where they learned communication skills, they normally respond, “Our parents.” When I ask them how many of their parents had great conflict resolution skills, one or two students out of a hundred will raise their hands. Most of your student members will do exactly what their parents did: play the blame game, use the silent treatment, or throw a temper tantrum. If these are the skills you use, you will not get ANY students to follow you. The secret to conflict resolution is to provide yourself with these five ground rules:

  1. Let the other person finish speaking before you speak;
  2. Focus on the current issue only
  3. Keep open body language
  4. Use active listening;
  5. Concentrate on the solution rather than the blame.

3.MOTIVATION

Zig Ziglar said, “Some people say motivation doesn’t last. Neither does taking a bath. That is why you do it every day.” Students love to remain in their comfort zones, because it is easy. If you allow your student team members to sit back and take the easy route, they will enjoy the ride until they realize they didn’t accomplish their dreams. Then they will blame you. You are the one responsible for exuding positivity in tough times, offering solutions to challenges, and holding the vision toward your goals. To accomplish any goal, you will find dips in the momentum of reaching that goal. If you allow your team members to dip in enthusiasm, the goal is lost.

FINAL THOUGHTS

The only way that women will have more opportunities to lead is if more women are willing to take leadership roles, and if we support the women who are in leadership roles. Women don’t support women like men support men. We are awesome at assisting our female friends when they are sick, hurt, or their boyfriends break up with them, but we fail to support them when they run for office or seek higher roles in organizations.

Now is the day to support one another and to change the percentages of women in leadership roles.

About the Author

Coach Sherry Winn is a Two-Time Olympian, National Championship Coach, and Amazon Best Seller. She is one of the nation’s foremost speakers on winning in life, love, and leadership sharing over 2,000 hours of WINNING WISDOM with audience members.

For More information about Coach Sherry Winn, Her Programs, and Booking Inquiries, Clink Here: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/coach-winn/

 

Making Diversity Programs More Than an Experience

While in undergraduate students at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, Diversity Author, Speaker and Presenter, Justin L. Brown found that many of his peers and colleagues lacked the diversity skills needed to be successful in the global market. Many of his friends and acquaintances displayed several “micro aggressive” behaviors which ultimately led him to create the D.A.P. (Diversity Awareness Program).

“I created this program to give students the necessary tools, skills and confidence to have authentic relationships with one another.”

If your not familiar, the purpose of “D.A.P.” is to encourage diversity and cultural unity in all areas of life among students, faculty, and staff on the University campus. This will be accomplished through energetic and vigorous engagements of dynamic discussions on issues and ideas. “D.A.P.” serves as a catalyst in encouraging students and members to search for opportunities to become more culturally aware and conscious.

So is this just like any other diversity program?

GUESS AGAIN!

Justin’s method of facilitating diversity training is through the facilitation of games, activities, icebreakers, team builders, social experiences and role playing. Students, staff and faculty alike love his program and he has been invited to more than 300 schools in the programs existence. This 2-hour high energy presentation incorporates very strong fundamental ideas and concepts on topics relating to diversity. Topics are presented in a new and exciting way, which allows students to actively engage in discussions on social issues and ideas. Justin’s presentation style is high energy, while demonstrating his approach in interaction amongst the participating individuals.

Justin’s method to engage students is unique: his sessions are dynamic and organized, and his enthusiasm for crowd participation motivates and encourages students to actively participate. Justin uses various sources of media in his workshops such as PowerPoint, video clips, cell phones, role playing and games to create a constructive learning environment. Students will feel comfortable, eager to participate and ready to learn more about each other and themselves. One of Justin’s most useful techniques is the “turn and talk” method. This is where he says, “Turn to your partner, friend, teammate, etc.” and students engage in the activity. He also likes to use the “call and answer” method, where he asks the audience a series of questions and they respond. The program is fun from beginning to end, and participants walk away learning useful tips, techniques and strategies to help them in their daily lives.

But we can’t forget the learning outcomes!

Students Will…

  • Engage in experiential learning in the domains of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, physical ability, sexual orientation, language, age, and social class towards an analysis of equity.
  • Explore challenges that surface amidst interactions between people of different backgrounds, world views, environmental opportunities, and how social contexts exacerbate or reduce those challenges.
  • Participate in thought-provoking, fun activities in large and small groups that will challenge thinking, understanding, society views and personal experiences.
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of relationships in diversity, inequality, and social, economic, and political power both in the United States and globally.
  • Be able to demonstrate an understanding of relationships in diversity, inequality, and social, economic, and political power both in the United States and globally.

ABOUT JUSTIN:

Justin Brown is a well known speaker and diversity instructor in the field of higher education. He currently works as a resident director at West Chester University in West Chester, Pennsylvania. Justin’s passion for working with students developed while pursuing a bachelors degree in public relations from Slippery Rock University. During his undergraduate tenure, Justin was actively involved on campus, working and collaborating with various offices and departments on campus. It was during this time that Justin created the Diversity Awareness Program (D.A.P), a program dedicated to raising awareness and educating college campuses about the importance of diversity, and the embracing of all cultures and backgrounds. Justin then continued nurturing D.A.P through his graduate studies at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania, while working towards earning his masters degree in student affairs in higher education. D.A.P. has successfully grown in popularity, having visited over 100 colleges and universities, and over 20 chapters established within those institutions.

For More Information About Justin Brown, His Programs, and Booking Inquiries,  Click Here: http://metropolismanagement.com/portfolio/justin-brown/

 

 

Top 5 Things To Consider When Booking a Hypnotist

There’s no doubt that hypnosis is one of the most entertaining and versatile forms of entertainment around. From stage shows to empowerment workshops and team-building, you really can’t go wrong. But, finding the right hypnotist for your event is not as simple as booking the first name that comes up in your google search. You want to ensure a positive and safe experience for everyone involved. Take some advice from world renowned Hypnotist, Sailesh. Here’s the 5 most important things to consider when booking a hypnotist.

  1. Ethical Behavior

Make sure the performance is appropriate for the intended audience. Be sure to ask if the potential hypnotist has variations of the performance – from mild to more mature subject matter. Also, they should be willing to adjust their show content and their professional behavior among guests and participants accordingly.

Sailesh Says:

A Hypnotist should always take responsibility of their skits as well as possible responses from the volunteers. Conduct before the show, content of the show, and after the show should always be the first priority of the Hypnotist. Accommodating the current climate of being inclusive to the entire audience and creating a safe environment should also be taken to heart.

  1. Certified and Insured

Ask to see the hypnotist’s certification AND their insurance. Make sure that insurance coverage is up to date, valid in your area, and provides enough protection for everyone involved.

Sailesh Says:

When deciding on your hypnotist, a certified hypnotist guarantees the buyer a professional that has the knowledge of the mind and aware of triggers to avoid adverse reactions. Having an insured artist also protects the buyer and their patrons.

  1. Experience

Certifications are great but nothing beats experience. Always inquire about the amount and type of experience the hypnotist has. Keep in mind, hypnosis has many applications. You’ll want to choose a professional that has a decent amount of experience specifically in the area you’re booking for.

Sailesh Says:

I have been a hypnotist for over 23 years with certification form the American Institute of Hypnotherapy and the National Guild of Hypnotherapy. I teach at the Mitchell Institute of Hypnotherapy and have performed over 5,000 shows.

(It’s a safe to bet experience like this will make sure a hypnotist can handle any situation!)

 

  1. Adaptability to Audiences

When it comes to events, one thing is sure ANYTHING can happen. A successful hypnosis show depends on the ability of the hypnotist to adapt to the audience on all fronts. They are responsible for safely keeping the good time going and handling the unexpected, all while remaining calm, cool and collected. You can use the points above to gauge a hypnotist’s adaptability.

Sailesh Says:

Can the hypnotist read their audiences? What happens when a volunteer has a reaction under hypnosis? With the years of experience, I can tailor the show to the buyers request for content and have the ability to read the diversity of the crowd to know which skits to use to create the greatest impact.

  1. Reputation

Always do your research. You should look for honest reviews and be able to request references. Check to make sure any awards and accolades (as well as reviews) are current and consistent.

Sailesh Says:

Being the most nominated and award-winning Artist in the college market in the past decade not only as a Hypnotist but also as an artist speaks for itself!

(and definitely something to be proud of!)

 

Think Global! Book Local!

Here at Metropolis, we love our Think Global, Book Local campaign!

    1. Booking a Local Artist or Speaker can save you money. You may not have to pay for travel costs, hotel or meal. Many times it’s easier for artists to bring their own equipment and that means you can save on tech rider requirements.
    2. It’s a great opportunity to invest and do business within your community.
    3. And in keeping with the theme of Earth Day, booking local artists and speakers is one way that we can help reduce our carbon footprint. Not only that, you don’t have to worry about flight delays!
Orientation

Why Orientation Matters – Three Reasons Orientation Benefits ALL Students

I remember my first weeks on campus. A stranger in an even stranger land although I wasn’t more than an hour away from home. I was anxious, overwhelmed and for a brief moment- I was in way over my head.

My first semester looked like it would be a breeze. The classes weren’t difficult, I was familiar enough with the area and I even knew some people that had graduated from my high school a few years prior. I had meticulously taken care of every detail I could think of- from the application process, scholarships and financial aid, to securing my first apartment. Everything was in order. Despite all the items on my “college check list” being accomplished and things running smoothly, I struggled! Where did I go wrong? Could it be that I just wasn’t college material? It wasn’t until my second semester that I found the answer. I had underestimated the value of participating in orientation programs on my campus.

Orientation programs on campus are key to student success. While programs are versatile and really do meet a variety of needs for first year students, here are three reasons orientation is beneficial for ALL students!

Social interaction. The first few weeks of college is an essential time for new students to meet people and make friends. The social aspect of university life allows students to feel like they belong. It’s important for students to meet with their academic advisor, get familiar with the campus, and participate in activities that will help them forge a bond with other incoming freshmen. It is this sense of belonging that will be the foundation of successful students.

Physical transition. Moving to a completely different place without the safety net of having family nearby can cause great anxiety for students. Strive to provide students with information about things like the physical locations of different student services, safety on campus, and what they can expect from living in the area. Keep in mind to include those staying in dorms, commuters, and students living locally.

Academic preparation. Of course, the main reason students attend college is to learn and earn a degree! Orientation helps students with the first steps toward academic success. It’s essential to cultivate a relationship between students and advisors by focusing on creating intentional time with the faculty. When students are comfortable with their advisors, they are more likely to reach out for help and guidance to steer clear from failure.

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