Red Light… Green Light!

stop-wait-go

Wait… wait… wait… GO! Wait… wait… wait… GO! GO!! If this sounds anything like familiar to you than either you’re an expert “Red Light Green Light” gamer or you have encountered the hurry up and wait challenges that life often brings.

Living in NYC, my level of patience tends to fluctuate between absolutely nothing, and when I am mindful, slightly more than very little. This of course doesn’t leave much for my 9 million fellow New Yorkers I share the space with. It certainly doesn’t leave much for my coworkers and colleagues, and at the end of the day, there’s almost nothing left for my loved ones, friends and family.

Since this is ultimately a post about life balance and community, I’d love your input on how you find your patient place. How do you snuggle up to the red lights when you already have all the adrenaline rushing through your veins from the green? Do tell! Wait… ok yeah, please share. 🙂

-TZB

TZB Project 365 (Day 63) – Unleash the Good Stuff

Ever start talking to someone about something you’re incredibly passionate about and you find your mind/body/spirit/mouth just run on autopilot? You’re so excited and inspired that you’re entire body and energy become animated? Your cheeks flush and your smile takes over your face? Your spirit practically leaps out of your chest, mocking you as it dances in front of your body? Know what I’m saying? Yeah…passion. The good stuff. You feel like you’re floating on air. It’s where work isn’t work. Where thought becomes opportunity. It’s what makes us want to be better human beings.

Find it. Tap into it. Unleash it. Be a better human being.

Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

TZB Project 365 (Day 27) – One Inspiring Interview

Hey Zenful Dancers! As part of the TZB Project 365, I plan to contribute a few interviews here and there with inspiring people I have the pleasure of meeting along the way. In my music industry day job, I have ample opportunities to meet a lot of people. But once in a while, I cross paths with someone who has that rare combination of spark, integrity, ambition and a big heart and I can’t help but want to know them better!

Today’s interview is with Melissa Sabo; one incredible young lady. The music business is very lucky to have her.

TZB: Give us a little background about who you are and how you came to work in music.

MS:  My name is Melissa Sabo. I started out working in my college radio station and became the GM quickly…then moved onto MD & PD in the second semester of college. I continued at the station until i graduated. This is where i built strong relationships with label reps. Through this I landed internships that would create friendships and opportunities that would change my life & mold my future. I saw an ad in the back of a CMJ (College Music Journal) magazine for a college radio rep at MCA Records. I landed the job with the agreement that i would start the day i graduated. From there i moved on to CEC Mgmt (Ben Folds, The Rocket Summer), Red Light Management (Underoath, Say Anthing, The Starting Line, The Photo Atlas)…and here I am today involved in A&R at Ultra Records and managing pop producer Sandy Vee, DJ/producer Adrian Lux, rising star Kiesza. Its been nothing short of a dream come true.

TZB: What does it mean to you to be a woman who works in the music industry?

MS:  I do believe in certain situations women have to work harder or be more aggressive to be taken seriously. In corporate work environments women are usually fairly respected however through other experiences i have seen, If a guy walks onto a tour bus or into a recording studio he is sometimes looked at differently than a women. At the end of the day gender and age don’t mean much if you have a good successful company with reputable clients & a good reputation yourself, people will want to work with you no matter what.

TZB: Some folks meditate to find balance, some people hit the gym. How do you find a live/work balance in your life?

MS: Spending time with friends and also being out at shows is my way of relaxing. A night out watching Adrian Lux (whom I manage) or Calvin Harris (Ultra Records) play until 4am could be considered work… but for me this is my passion and I love it.

TZB: What are some of the challenges you face in your day-to-day and how do you overcome them?

MS: Trying to balance meetings, conference calls, deadlines. The best way to handle the day-to-day challenges to is learn that are the main priorities and also delegate.

TZB: Can you share one of your own inspirational stories with us?

MS: 3 years ago I took a few days off from working with bands (Red Light Management) and found myself on a plane down to Miami for Winter Music Conference. A friend of mine had just sent me P!nk’s Funhouse album and i couldn’t stop playing it over and over on the plane ride (It was at that moment i remember thinking that one day I would manage a pop star). During that weekend i walked into a dance tent and discovered a group called Swedish House Mafia. They weren’t known at the time but the energy in that tent was unbelievable. I took a picture on my phone and kept it as my background photo for a year. It gave me chills every time i Looked at it. At that moment it became my dream to manage a DJ/producer and having it on my phone was a constant reminder. FAST FORWARD 3 years later: I’m managing a pop producer – Sandy Vee- who is currently nominated for 3 Grammy’s (Record of the Year Katy Perry Firework, Album of the year Rihanna Loud, Best Dance/Electronic Album David Guetta) Managing a Swedish DJ/Producer Adrian Lux whom is very much supported by Swedish House Mafia & released a huge worldwide smash single Teenage Crime Developing a rising pop star- Kiesza!

TZB: Favorite album of 2011?

MS:  I can’t answer this….i have too many.haha

TZB: Most inspiring person in 2011?

MS:  Lady Gaga. With her…. the sky is the limit. I want to manage a pop star that carries the same motivation. An artist that goes beyond the expectations of a typical cookie cutter pop star and breaks the rules and creates their own. Someone that has the ability to change history and people’s lives forever. That’s everything I want to be and the person I want to work with for the rest of my life.

TZB: If you had to pick and then stick with only one resolution for 2012, what would it be?

MS: To try and become a “morning” person. I am terrible in the morning. I am my most creative & energetic after midnight. That is good if you are an artist but as a manager… not so good. Hahaha

I hope you’ve felt the inspiration from Melissa as I have! If you are interested in contacting Melissa, please comment below and I will be sure to pass the message onto her.

Keep on keepin’ on and visualize your dreams into reality!

Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

TZB Project 365 (Day 19) – Lost and Found


When I was in my early 20s, I spent some time in Zimbabwe studying dance and music and in between I would get lost. Literally lost. My sense of direction was so bad it was good! I would ask for directions somewhere and would start walking with so much conviction that everyone cleared out of my way. At times, I even fooled myself into thinking I was going the right way because my steps held so much conviction. I got into a little trouble once wandering around dark streets of Victoria Falls at 3 o’clock in the morning looking for the campsite. I walked for hours in the dark while grunting warthogs roamed the streets. Scary! Or another time I walked around downtown Harare absolutely certain the backpackers hostel was only blocks away (when it was more like a few miles). That happened a lot!

I am happy to report that my sense of direction has since improved but I learned a lot about myself while I was busy getting lost and then found. Bravery and courage were there to lead me through accompanied by a heightened sense of awareness. A big lesson for me was learning to trust complete strangers to help me when I otherwise had little choice. Whatever street-smarts I brought with me to Africa, I came back trusting myself more than I ever had before.

I’m not suggesting you lose your GPS and get crazy, but maybe tomorrow take a slightly different route to work. Maybe instead of averting your eyes on the subway, you could build up the courage to make eye contact with a fellow passenger and smile. And here’s another thought: maybe playing it safe and following the directions isn’t always the safest way to go?

Keep on keepin’ on. Enjoy the journey, you’ll get there eventually.

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

TZB Project 365 – Just Do It Already! – Day 4

Hey Zenful Dancers! Why wait when you can do it now? Do what you ask? Do IT! You know, IT, as in Interesting Things!

1. Plant wintery bulbs in your window.
2. Instead of asking “how are you?” to a stranger (when you really just meant to say “hello”), wait and actually listen for the answer to your question.
3. Stand on your head (if you don’t have a neck injury)
4. Ask for what you want even if you think the answer is no.
5. Laugh at yourself out loud.
6. Learn a gibberish language ibitand spibiteak ibita libitittle ebitvery dibitay. 🙂
7. Steal a kiss in an unexpected place or moment.
9. Brush your teeth with your left hand if your right-handed. Or with your feet if your left-handed. 🙂
10. (and my personal favorite) Dance like nobody is watching but while everyone is watching you.

Keep on keepin’ on and keep it interesting. You might just learn something new about yourself!

-Leah Joy, The Zenful Blogger

P.S. Thanks to Allison Barber for the inspiring title to today’s post!