Three years ago, I went to a FEE seminar about an hour from where I live. (The one in Orange at Chapman University.) That’s where I first heard about Praxis. A man named T.K. Coleman went up and talked about a program he works with called “Praxis”. I was interested, it sounded like something I would agree with on most principles, but I didn’t think anything further. As the seminar continued I discovered I really liked T.K.. He had a philosophical way of teaching, he was respectable, and he had a unique presence the others didn’t.
During one of his lessons he asked a question, so I raised my hand to give my answer. In less than two minutes he did the following: put me on the spot, kindly proved me wrong, and challenged me to rethink my answer. As soon as I got home I looked up Praxis.
(Fast forward one year.)
I had such a great time at FEE, I decided to go again. But this year, I asked T.K. if he’d answer some questions about Praxis. He said he would, and we talked over dinner that night. I told him about my plans for becoming a musician, and he said he thought it would still work out. At this point I began to seriously consider applying.
This was right when everything in music came crashing down. As a result of that, I saw the door open for Praxis and I to it. Regardless of my fears, I was fully aware that Praxis was going to be an amazing opportunity. I’ve loved what Praxis is about since the beginning and as I continue through the program I love it even more each day. I never doubted Praxis, but I didn’t think it would help me as a musician. I was under the impression that I would be putting music aside for a while, if not forever.
Back to the present, back to music.
I play music for the experience. I’m not aiming to become famous.
When someone asks about my future, I always tell them “I want to be a musician”. It’s funny, their mind usually goes to the fact that it’s risky. Yes, it’s risky, but it may not be as risky as they think. The reason being when they hear the word “musician” they think of the most popular names out there. They never imagine what I’ve been picturing for years now. They assume I want to be the next biggest rockstar, but in reality I just want to get by. Music isn’t about fame to me, it’s a tool to influence society. I don’t give a rip about fame. I hardly care about the money. My dream is to go unnoticed and play music that encourages people to take action.
Now that I’m in Praxis, I see how I was wrong about it not helping me musically. It’s true I’m not learning music theory or techniques in the program, but I’m learning more about making a career out of music.
There were a few decisions I made beginning Praxis that were crucial for this. I didn’t realize then, but now I’m reaping the benefits of those decisions. The first is deciding to be bold about my passion for music. I learned the hard way that I wasn’t consciously being vocal about it. Once given this new opportunity with Praxis, I decided I wasn’t going to let it happen again. Here’s how I introduced myself to the Praxis community:
“Hello everyone! I'm so excited to get to know you all and be a part of this community. I'm new here and just wanted to introduce myself. I'm seventeen currently living in SoCal. I'm heavily artistic, love music (I play bass, piano and drums), graphic design and of course doodling. Yes I'm named after the Matrix, and no I haven't seen all three so no spoilers please! Jokes aside, I am really stoked about this program and seeing how far I can go with this. Thanks everyone!”
I made myself stand out in three subtle (but memorable) ways: music, humor, and The Matrix. Back then no one knew this, but my introduction was a small success for me. It was one of the first steps in the right direction as I boldly shared my love for music to everyone in the community. That’s something I would’ve been too scared to do just months before.
The second decision I made was in Module 1 when deciding which field to go into. At first, I was aiming to get into marketing because I’d already had experience with graphic design, photography, and advertising for events. I didn’t think to consider anything else. At the last minute, I chose operations instead. At first I was hesitant but I’m glad I chose that route. Here’s why: I wanted to separate my “artistic” life and my “work” life. Operations seemed like a good middle ground. It’s just challenging enough, but since some skills from learning art cross over into that field, I found it most suitable.
That’s where I am right now. Every month we gain a new major concept in the program, and I’m learning how to apply those to both my “music” and my “work” lives right now. Forward tilt, creating value, and breaking the mold - I’m learning to do the same in music too.
I’d encourage anyone in Praxis who’s in a similar position to learn to separate the two “lives”, yet be open, and learn to balance the two. It might seem like living two lives, but it’s more like owning two businesses. The entrepreneurial mindset learned through Praxis has also been crucial my journey.
To sum everything up, I’m learning to view music in a whole new light because of everything I’ve been learning (and doing) through Praxis. In this phase of my musical journey, I’m learning how to strategically direct my passion in the right direction. If it weren’t for mentors and for Praxis, I have a feeling I’d still be stuck in that place of fear and shock. Or I’d be in college. (Which would’ve been the same thing, plus debt.)