2006

April 2006

Howdy, Friends!

A fourth of the year is done now and it just keeps flying by. In this short time, I’ve broken into the top 150 on the Americana chart and seen continued radio interest here and abroad (thanks, Belgium and Holland!). I’ve been privileged to play in a few different parts of the country for fans and hospital patients. I’ve also learned a lot and continue to work hard toward achieving my musical career goals. (My debut CD, “Distance and Miles,” is available at CDBaby.com and Amazon.com)

But I think the best thing so far has been the fine folks I know and continue to meet. Have there been negative people? Sure. And there probably always will be. Believe me when I tell you this: All the wonderful folks I continue to cross paths with truly erase the thought of people I would choose to forget anyway. Whether it’s an email from a new fan, a person sitting beside me on a plane or standing next to me at a concert — I’m blessed to encounter such fabulous people. And I’m grateful.

Since it’s “April Fool’s Day,” I want to preface this story by letting you know it’s no joke. This actually happened… A few weeks ago I was in Austin, TX at South by SouthWest, attending yet another fabulous concert. The final act of this particular night was The Pretenders. A few songs into their set, Ms. Chrissie Hynde looked at me (I was in the very front of the crowd) and asked if I could play tambourine. I nodded and said yes. Mid-song, she walked over and handed her tambourine to me and I worked it with every fiber of my being. When the song was done, she came over, thanked me and took the tambourine back for the next number. So there you have it folks: your friend, Mikki, has jammed with The Pretenders. Honors and benefits, already at the age of…

Best–

Mikki Brisk

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May 2006

Howdy, Friends!

To all the folks who are new to this list, welcome! It’s good to have you on board. To all of you who’ve been with me for a while now, thanks for sticking around. I truly love to hear from you and as always, I deeply appreciate your support. Some of you have heard me in person, others on the radio. Either way, thanks for listening and checking in. (FYI, my debut CD, “Distance and Miles,” is available at CDBaby.com and Amazon.com)

I don’t know how things look in your neck of the woods, but in southern California the May flowers are in full bloom and beautiful. Of course, the May pollen is wreaking havoc with some of us, too. I guess that’s just the price we pay to live in this climate.

Speaking of prices paid, it really IS hard out here for a pimp! Seriously, I want to touch on something some of you may be familiar with: it can be hard to pursue your dreams. The hard work is necessary and sometimes daunting, but it’s not impossible. A steep learning curve is sometimes involved but that, too, is something we can deal with. The emotional strain is an altogether different beast. (You know what I’m talking about if you’ve changed careers, changed your life, changed your mind!)

I’ve struggled with figuring out my path in this world. Pursuing music seems like an easy choice for me, but it’s not always an easy practice. And I’ve been waiting and hoping for some good news on the career front. Well, I just received notice that I’m one of 10 finalists chosen to compete in the “KRCL Performing Songwriter Showcase” in Salt Lake City, Utah this summer. The news came at just the right time, and I was so happy to hear I’d been selected that I not only did a little dance, I also shed a few tears of joy.

Pursuing dreams is hard work. But it’s worth it. Those of us who are on that path know just how hard it is. And those of us who have yet to choose that path know just how painful avoidance can be. I’m up for the challenge. I hope you (in your own life) are, too.

Best–

Mikki Brisk

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October 2006

Howdy, Friends!

3/4 of the year is behind us now and the remainder is all about harvesting and planning ahead for next year’s new growth. Autumn, how doth thou rock!

For me, October is all about pumpkins, fall colors, football, pulling out sweaters and roasting something good to eat after a long summer of grilling outside and trying not to heat up the house too much. And of course, there’s Halloween.

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. Personally, I don’t associate any special meaning or reverence with October 31st. Instead, that date triggers the kid in me and I find myself thinking of candy and costumes. Since my sweet tooth is a bit underdeveloped, I tend to focus on costumes.

I love dressing up for Halloween. Not only do I spend a ri-donk-ulous amount of time figuring out what/whom to dress as, I then spend a stupid amount of time putting together and making the costume. And I’ve pulled off a few humdingers: “Devil With a Blue Dress On,” “Sonny & Cher” (where I was Sonny and my fella was Cher), “Medusa” (with moving snakes in my hair and — wait a minute — that might have been the year I went topless on CNN Europe. Give me a break — I was younger.) If you’ve got a photo of a favorite costume — past or current, yours or the kids’ — send it my way. I love a good costume.

As a kid, I liked dressing up at Halloween because it was a way to mask (no pun intended) my real and unhappy life. As an adult, it’s a way to explore my psyche. I get to wear 100 times more make-up than I ordinarily wear. I can dress as a horrible monster, a person from another time in history or an imagined creature from no place or time in our real world.

While I’m on stage, one might assume I’m wearing a mask then. But I’m not. When I get up and play and sing my songs, it’s true and pure. I’m amazed at how authentic those moments feel, how connected I am to my soul.

My life is a work-in-progress. I am constantly “becoming” me. Halloween doesn’t really help me figure out who I am, but it can show me what I’m not.

This autumn, I hope you feel your own “becoming” and that it’s a wonderful time for harvest in your soul. And doesn’t it feel good to pull out your favorite sweater?

Best–

Mikki Brisk

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November 2006

Howdy, Friends!

“So little to do, so much time.” Yeah, right.

Lest you think I’m taking it easy on the career front: I’m playing a private party for charity in a few days, followed by participation in a choir for another charity event, then I’m off to upper New York state for a music conference, only to return home in time to drive up the coast for a second music conference. It’s all good stuff. It’s just so crammed together. Like life.

This is when it really kicks in, isn’t it? Not only do we find ourselves in the midst of the accelerated social season, but there are so many holidays coming up that our time and attention are no longer our own.

Generally, we love it. We get to visit with friends we’ve not seen in a while. We get to pull out that platter we use only for Thanksgiving dinner. We get to think of the ones we love, near and far.

On the other hand, we also get to visit with that family member we’re not so crazy about. We get to fret over scheduling all these darned parties. We get to realize just how much there is to do before the end of the year.

This can be a tough time of year, as well as a wonderful time. Many of us deal with issues rooted in past holidays and find ourselves struggling as we approach the last months of the year. I am no exception. I don’t have any answers as to how to make it all good. I only know that I have a roof over my head, clean clothes to keep me warm and food in my belly. There are about a jillion things I may want. But there is very little I actually need.

Later this month, after rushing around to get the turkey and all the sides ready for dinner, when I finally sit down and count my blessings, I will be sure to give heart-felt thanks. For I am truly blessed. And I know it.

Best–

Mikki Brisk

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December 2006

Howdy, Friends!

“God gave us memory so that we might have roses in December.”     J.M. Barrie (1860-1937)

As I look back over all that’s happened for me, musically, I can honestly say it’s been quite a year. Not only did I receive over 1,000 spins on domestic, international and internet radio, I now have a Christmas song hitting those very same radio waves. (You can check it out at http://www.mikkibrisk.com/MikkiBrisk.Music.Christmas.html to get the scoop and have a listen.) It’s been a good year — hard at times, but good. Just like life.

Remembering is rather important to me each December. I like to look back over the year and ruminate over what was right (and wrong), what I’d hoped for (and what actually came to pass), what I gained (and, sadly, what I lost). It’s bittersweet, to be sure, but it allows me the privilege of thinking ahead to the coming new year. That blank canvas holds so much promise and possibility. A new year is truly a gift.

I want to share something I realized just last night… I was trying to recall what the kid-me wanted to be when she grew up and I remembered wanting to become a doctor because I was hospitalized at 6 years old and understood the doctors had helped me heal. I wanted to be able to give that to others. Obviously, I have taken a different route in life. BUT! Each week I go to a local hospital and sing and play music for patients. I go room to room, and I do what I can to make them feel better, if only for a few minutes. No one could ever confuse me with a doctor. But I am doing what I can to heal others through music. It brings tears to my eyes, knowing that one dream of that little girl has morphed its way into coming true. Remembering is good.

May your December be filled with remembered roses.

Best–

Mikki Brisk