James Dore’s Birthday Bash/Music Video Sneak Peek

So, it’s been one year since the release of my Debut CD entitled The EP and held my Birthday Bash/CD Release Party. Now it’s time we do it again. Only this time we celebrate my birthday and Music Video Sneak Peek!

The event will be held at Taps Bistro again but this time at their brand new location in Park West right next to the Harkins Theater. Dj Area 4 and Dj Smash will be in the building choppin it up and switchin it up on the wheels of steel!

Celebrity Photographer Petey Wheatstraw with be there doing what he does best… as well as Dj (yes he can scratch folks, he LIGIT!) Celebrity Stylist Remy Toh will make one of his very rare appearences. And the talented and beautiful Model/Actor Sheba Shaffie Price will be in the building! And of course as always lot’s of give aways, including T-Shirts, Posters and Movie tickets!

This is a free event. In other words no cover charge at the door. But there is a great menue and drink list to order from to keep your night feelin fancy. Please drink responisbly.

The event is Sunday Feb 24th. Starts at 7PM and will go until we feel we’ve done enough damage.

Hope to see you there!

James Doré

Click the countdown clock below to see location details at Taps Bistro on Northern Ave. Park West.

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This Is Earthshattering

Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411
April 17, 2012

When volcanic lava and ocean water meet, something happens.

Over the course of thousands of years, the lava and water come together to form certain healing minerals that are used to purify water.

These minerals are called zeolites.

And they do more than just purify water; they can also help purify your body.

Our modern world is filled with toxins. They’re in the air we breathe. They’re in the processed foods we eat. They’re in the household chemicals we use regularly. And if you’re over-exposed to these toxins, they can lead to any number of diseases.

That’s where zeolites come in.

When you take zeolites in a pill or liquid form, it works like a potent antioxidant. The zeolites absorb free radicals and reduce the damage the free radicals can cause to your body.

In fact, a study in Nutrition and Dietary Supplements showed zeolites remove heavy metals like lead, mercury and arsenic from people’s bodies.1

Zeolites also attract carcinogens in your digestive tract like a magnet. They trap them in their cage-like molecular structures and eliminate them from your body. This helps balance your digestive pH, reduces acid reflux and helps your body absorb nutrients better.

Another study found that zeolites support a stronger immune system. They can capture antigens that trigger allergies, migraines and asthma – reducing the rate and severity of these symptoms.2

Zeolites have been used for over 800 years in Asia as a traditional remedy to promote overall wellness.

You won’t hear about this from most Western doctors, but I’m telling you about it because I want you to have real alternatives to the drug-and-surgery fueled medical culture we’re exposed to every day. I want you to be empowered to make informed choices and take back control over your own health.

And I’m not alone. My colleagues at Total Health Breakthroughs are among the few who dare to speak the truth about the causes of chronic disease, many of which are man-made, and the natural ways to prevent and cure them.

They publish Natural Health Dossier which is one of the best sources for alternative, natural medical information I’ve found over the years. Each issue probes deeper to uncover cures you won’t find in most medical journals. And the stories and tips show you how to add years of healthy living to your life.

To find out more about it and check it out for yourself, click here.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

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Cancer Cures In African Herbs?

Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

March 19, 2012

Dear James,

I feel like it’s 2 in the morning, instead of noon…

I’ve been reviewing my little brown notebook, given to me by my staff, since I got back. I’ve got maps, tips on the Luganda language, and pages like these two, full of names and descriptions of herbs and healing plants.

I just got back from Africa late last night and now I’m sitting at my desk in my office in South Florida. It’s going to take me a week or so to adjust to the time, I think.

But I was leafing through the journal I kept while I was on my trip, and came across a story about Dr. Kizito I had forgotten.

Do you remember Dr. Josiah Kizito? He’s the herbalist I met with in South Africa who also runs a hospice.

He told me he was near Chernobyl in 1986, when the nuclear reactor blew up.

He was out running at the time, near the city of Kiev, which is about 60 miles away.

He was in Russia on scholarship. He told me that he was accepted at the University of Iowa on scholarship, where he would be given free registration and tuition, but that the Russians threw in a paid plane ticket on top of his scholarship offer. He had very little money to do anything himself at the time, so that made the difference, and he went to Russia.

When he heard the news that reactor number 4 had overheated and exploded, he treated himself with iodine and ionic clay. He credits the ionic clay for detoxifying his body.

“That’s how I was able to have children after that,” he told me. The clay was from an area in Uganda where many different kinds of clay are mined. It has a basic charge which removes anything that has a negative charge or that’s acidic.

Radiation forms acids as byproducts and combines with organic tissue, and the ionic clay removes those byproducts. Dr. Kizito just had a son, and other people who were near Chernobyl at the time are amazed because no one else in that area is fertile.

He says in addition to the people who were killed, the nuclear accident created a whole generation of sterile men.

And that’s just one of the amazing stories I heard from the herbalists I met.

I wrote down as many of them as I could in my journal, and I took more than 2,000 photos and probably have a hundred videos.

I’m going to create a slideshow for my staff and show them the best of what I experienced in the six different African countries I traveled to over two months.

I visited Kenya, The Congo, Tanzania, South Africa, Rwanda and Uganda, which I made my home base for the trip.

And I’ll also be writing a book about what I saw there.

There was a lot of information about herbs, and better information than what I had before. A lot more aggressive, more impressive accounts of treating serious problems, and especially treating cancer.

A big portion of all the herbs I learned about in Africa are anti-cancer herbs.

I saw amazing pictures of the resolution of advanced cancers. Breast cancer, skin cancer, prostate cancer… Kaposi’s sarcoma… even HIV-infected people that had really gross disfiguring ulcerated wounds.

One picture shows it, and the next picture shows the same person healed. One woman had a mass in the breast – a several kilogram mass – and it’s now gone.

It doesn’t prove the efficacy of those herbs, but it makes you wonder, what made this go away? Is it the use of the herb?

You don’t have enough that you could publish a study, because you don’t know how many times they used the herb. Maybe this herb was one in a thousand? You don’t know. But when you see the pictures, they’re pretty impressive.

In fact, I brought so much information back with me that we’re still going through the maps, videos, notes and the pictures. And we still have contacts there. I’ve also hired a personal assistant in Kampala, Uganda, and we’ve established relationships with eight different herbalist doctors throughout Africa.

It’s good to be home, but I’ll be going back to Africa, and you’ll be hearing a lot more about our African connections soon.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

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Is Soy Killing us?

Doctor's House Call
Al Sears
Al Sears, MD
11903 Southern Blvd., Ste. 208
Royal Palm Beach, FL 33411

January 6, 2012

The world’s biggest and most powerful agricultural companies are still trying to convince you that their soy products are healthy… but there’s a problem.

It’s not traditional soy.

You see, Asian farmers used to consider soy to be a type of fertilizer, not a food. They recognized that most of what’s in a soybean is indigestible to people.

They only started eating soy after discovering that natural fermentation processes make soy okay to eat. That’s why – to this day – Asian cultures ferment their soybeans in a traditional way to make soy foods like natto, miso, tempeh, edamame and tofu.

It’s made by a simple process that Asian cultures have been following for thousands of years.

But this is a far cry from the soy foods made from the genetically modified, heavily processed ingredients that are in nearly every product you can buy at the market.

Instead of “soak, steam, ferment,” most food manufacturers follow an industrial crushing process called cracking that breaks down the raw, genetically modified bean to thin flakes. Then the flakes are “defatted” by percolating them like coffee in a petroleum-based hexane solvent to extract the soy oil.

The remains of the flakes are toasted and ground into meal.

For soy flour, the oil then goes through a process of cleaning, bleaching, degumming and deodorizing – all to remove the harmful solvents and soy’s horrible stench.

The sludge that forms in the oil during storage used to be considered to be a waste product. Now you know it as soy lecithin.

In other words, the part of the soy that’s left over as garbage after the petroleum processing and bleaching is the heart-destroying oil that makes up the trans fats in every kind of junk food you can think of.

Sound like something you want to eat?

When processed like that, soy products have huge amounts of natural toxins that block food digestion, and also absorption of essential vitamins and minerals.

But when they’re fermented in the traditional way, they retain powerful lignans that may help reduce your risk of cancer.

In fact, the average woman living in East Asia eats about 10 times the quantity of soy foods as the average woman in the United States. Yet East Asian women have lower rates of hormone-receptor-positive breast cancer than women in the United States.

There’s no sure way to know why this is true, but the speculation is that it’s because of what they eat. And they do eat a lot of traditionally made soy products.

You can make traditional soy foods too. It’s easy to do. All it takes is three simple steps: soak, steam, ferment. That’s it.

For example, to make natto, you simply:

  • soak the soybeans in water, until the beans stop swelling.
  • steam them so the beans become soft but don’t lose their skin.
  • lay the cooked beans on cooked rice straw
  • tie the package shut
  • leave it out and let a little heat and oxygen ferment the soy naturally

The Chinese have been doing this for thousands of years. And they discovered that mashing up the soft soybeans and mixing them with certain minerals would make a sort of curd… now known as tofu.

The secret to making traditional soy in this way so you can get its cancer-preventing benefits has been handed down for centuries in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). In fact, TCM is full of natural remedies and herbal health enhancers that have been time-tested and passed from generation to generation – from as far back as 3500 BC.

And there’s a whole lot more to TCM than just the secrets of benefitting from real soy. In fact, there’s a wonderful new resource that shows you many more of them.

It’s called Chinese Medicine: Healing Resource, and it’s full of remedies you would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. It would probably take countless hours of time reading books and burying yourself in mountains of research to find just a few of the secrets you’ll find there like how to:

  • Erase high blood pressure with an ancient stretching secret of Chinese masters
  • Cure rheumatoid arthritis with a “thunderous” herb
  • Reduce an enlarged prostate with a proven, no-drug therapy
  • Shrink cancerous tumors in your breast, lungs and liver with a medicinal plant

That’s just a very small list of what you’ll get with Chinese Medicine: Healing Resource. Click here to try it out for yourself.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD

 

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New Song Lyric Posted: YOU AND ME

(1st Verse)

It’s amazing– all the places we haven’t been to– since I’ve been with you.

I’m not complaining– just explaining– I really miss you though I live with you.

It can be draining all this running around– let’s turn it around– get city bound.

 

 

(Chorus)

Just you– just me– on the road–on the beach

No hype– no distractions.

With the sunrise– with the moon– with the wind– in our hair

In the city– in the country– all the places we love to be.

 

We’ve got time– let’s go take it– Just you– and me.

 

(2nd Verse)

I’ve been thinking we should be drinking Chablis on the beaches of Belize.

In an instant we could be flying over the mountains of Greece.

It can be draining all this running around– let’s turn it around– get country bound.

 

(Chorus)

 

(Bridge)

Let’s– take a chance.

Spark our romance.

Dance a new dance on the edge of life

While there’s still time.

 

 

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New Song Lyrics Posted: HAVE MERCY

HAVE MERCY

Written by James Dore’ Henderson November 14, 2011

(1st Verse)

I’ve done a lot of dirt in my life.

Some days so dark just like a black-hole– the absence of light.

No one can make my wrongs alright.

Look in the mirror it’s like I’m staring at a lie.

 

(Pre-chorus)

Look back at what I’ve done– all I can do is cry—

I’m my own worst enemy– I’ve lost my will ta fight OH!

 

(Chorus)

Lord have mercy— God have mercy!

Ain’t nothin working— I’m so unworthy!

I said Lord have mercy— God have mercy!

Lord— have mercy– on– me.

 

(Vamp)

Oooh, Oooh, Oooh, Oooh (2X)

 

Said I’m lookin for a new way— new day— New road— with that new flow. New eyes— new light— New—  Cause I’m feelin blue.

 

(2nd Verse)

I’ve been down this road so many times.

Deserve that penalty but don’t wanna pay for my crimes.

Don’t let me be pulled into the cold, cold night.

Try ta scale the mountain but can only get so high.

 

(Pre-chorus)

Look back at what I’ve done– all I can do is cry—

I’m my own worst enemy– I’ve lost my will ta fight OH!

 

(Chorus)

 

(Bridge)

You said your mercy last forever. Pour it out on me cause from you I can’t be severed. It’s a new day…

 

(Vamp)

It’s a new way— new day— New road— with that new flow. New eyes— new light— New—  Cause I’m feelin blue.

It’s a new way— new day— New road— with that new flow. New eyes— new light— New—  Can you feel it? Yeah, I’m feelin new.

Yeah, I’m feelin new.

 

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10 Widgets to Make Your Website More Social

10 Widgets to Make Your Website More Social

Chris Bolton

Everybody loves web widgets: mini web applications that can be embedded almost anywhere. But with so many widgets out there, it’s hard to know which will enhance your website and engage your audience. Below are some of the most popular and social widgets available.

Note: Embedding a widget involves ‘cut, copy, and paste’ functions and a website that allows you to embed HTML code. If you are using HostBaby’s Site Builder, you can embed any of these widgets in your widget sidebar or directly on a page.

Facebook’s Like Button

The Like allows your visitors to see how many people “Like” you page. When clicked, it also sends a status update to the visitors’ Facebook page so their friends can see what they ‘Liked.’ This is a great and easy way to increase your visibility on Facebook. You can set up the Facebook “Like” button here.

Twitter Widgets

Twitter offers 4 widgets you can put on your website. The Profile Widget Displays your most recent Twitter updates, the Search Widget displays the twitter search results of your choosing, the Favs widget shows off your favorite tweets and the List Widget allows you to put your favorite Twitter users in a single feed. You can set up any of the four here.

Widgetbox RSS Widget

This Widget allows you to syndicate any blog feed right on your website. This could be your blog or simply a blog that you think your visitors will enjoy. This is a great way to constantly refresh your site with new content without lifting a finger.Build a RSS Widget here.

Google +1

Adding a +1 button allows your fans to give you a boost in search ranking (the boost is mostly noticible within the visitors’ Google network of friends, but that’s not a bad thing). Clicking the +1 also updates your Google+ status. You can get theGoogle +1 button here.

StumbleUpon Badge

Tap into a the rabid and numerous StumbleUpon users by encouraging them to ‘like” your page. The more people that like it, the more people will see it.StumbleUpon serves up random webpages based on user preferences. Warning: It’s very addictive. StumbleUpon Badge

StumbleUpon also just added a new widget that will showcase your favorite ‘stumbled’ websites. You can get that here.

Flickr Slideshow

If you use Flickr (or even if you don’t) you can embed any Flickr slideshow on your site. Simply navigate to the Flickr slideshow you want to embed, click the share menu. From there, grab the embed code or click “customize this HTML” if you want to specify the size of your slideshow. Grab the code and drop it into your website.

YouTube Videos

Never underestimate the power of video to make your website come alive. Sharing YouTube videos on your website will increase your views and hopefully your video “likes”. Don’t forget to encourage people to subscribe to your YouTube channel. In  order to embed a YouTube video on your site, simply click the ‘share’ button located below the YouTube video in question and then click “embed.” Copy the code and then paste it on the page you want the video to appear.

PayPal Donation Widget

Why not give your fans the opportunity to give you money for all your hard work? If you have a PayPal account, setting up a donation button is easy. You’ll find the widget creator under merchant services in your account at www.paypal.com. Don’t forget to send contributors a nice thank you note.

Wufoo Forms

With Wufoo forms you can create a submission or booking form, a survey, quiz or a questionnaire and embed it on your website.Go to wufoo.com to get started.

USTREAM

For the ultimate social experience set up a USTREAM feed and talk to your fans live on your website. USTREAM allows you to host live video on your website. Schedule a talk, concert, or performance and stream it on your website. Visitors will be able to interact with you live. You can embed any USTREAM channel on your website by using the embed button located beneath the video. www.Ustream.tv

Do you have a favorite widget you’d like to recommend? Let us know in the comments below.

Build a widget ready website with HostBaby today!

October 14th, 2011 | Tags: 

 

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New Song Lyric Post: WHY WE PRAY

(1st Verse)

Out there– past the horizon– lies the origin of dreams– unbelievable things.

Like water– falls from the mountains– we can get relief– from streams delivering–  release from burdens of this life– find answers falling from the skies– when we feel like nothings  going right—

 

(Chorus)

We just let it go— Rising on the wind— destined to ascend— no need to pretend.

Loving all the peace— that comes from the release— There’s more than what is seen—

We capture every dream.

 

Let it all  go— We do this everyday— no matter what they say— Join the children, dance & play— Refreshing rushes in— a new way to begin— Blessings pave the way— This is why we pray— This is why we pray.

 

(2nd Verse)

Somewhere– we know there’s power– over everything– that causes broken dreams. Healing– comes from the Father– the light that we receive– burns away disease.  Concur like valiant fighting knights–find answers falling from the skies– when we feel like nothings  going right—

(Chorus)

(Bridge)

An ancient form of wireless communication— That brings the world into a celebration. Connect the earth into the spirit nation— Growing stronger we proceed— helping those in need— with the love that we receive.

(Chorus)

 

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Why 3 Acts Will Kill Your Writing By Jon Truby (Planet of The Apes, Sceam, Shrek & more),

Why 3 Acts Will Kill Your Writing

Truby Web Panel 2

 

By John Truby

 

It has been estimated that at least 50,000 scripts are written every year. Yet only a few hundred are bought and made. Why do so many writers fail?

 

Clearly, there is a limit to how many scripts the business can support. But in the vast majority of cases, scripts do not sell because the writer has not written a good script.

 

I have taught and worked with literally thousands of writers. Every one of those writers was an intelligent, dedicated and determined person. Those who failed did not lack brains, heart or will. In every case, failure was due to the lack of training and professional technique.

 

Most writers have had no training at all when they try to write a script that will sell. Great screenwriting is more difficult than brain surgery, yet most people think that they can write a great script because they watch a lot of movies or they did well in school.

 

When they do decide to get a little knowledge, most writers go out and buy a couple of books on screenwriting. And what do they learn? Almost invariably, these books tell them about the so-called 3-act structure. These writers have just killed any chance they had of writing a script that will sell.

 

The so-called 3-act structure is the biggest, most destructive myth ever foisted on writers. I would like to call it obsolete. But that implies that it worked in the first place. It didn’t. Let me explain why.

 

The 3-act structure exists for one reason and one reason only: a story analyst declared it into existence. He found that something important seemed to happen in some successful scripts on page 27 and on page 87. He called them plot points, said that based on these plot points every screenplay had three acts, and incredibly, everyone bought it.

 

Such has been the sad state of screenwriting training and the desperation of screenwriters themselves that no one noticed that the emperor was in fact naked. Instead, a lot of people who should know better joined in the chorus and wrote screenwriting books (over 100 to date) agreeing with this silly idea.

 

Some have gone so far as to say there are three acts in all fiction – there aren’t – and insist that it was Aristotle who first “discovered” this “fact.” In fact Aristotle never said anything about three acts. He said there is a beginning, middle, and end to every story, and that is the extent of your knowledge when you use the 3-act structure.

 

Using the 3-act structure to explain why one script was successful and another failed is like saying that most moneymaking scripts have a happy ending. Most do, but so do most films that fail and most scripts that don’t sell in the first place.

 

Now anyone can divide anything into three parts. It is often the first step in taking a big mass of something and breaking it into a manageable process. In fact, I refer to the 3-act structure as the “Training Wheels School of Drama.” It is a confidence builder for beginners to help them start writing. The problem is that thousands of people trying to write professionally are still riding around on their training wheels!

 

Why is it impossible for the 3-act structure to help you create a great script?

 

First, the concept of the act comes from theatre where we must open and close a curtain. Why would you want to take a relatively clumsy technique from theatre and apply it to the much more fluid medium of film?

 

Second, dividing a film into three acts is far too general and simplistic. The standard terms that this “method” uses – act, plot point, reversal, climax, resolution, etc. – are so broad as to be almost meaningless.

 

And that means these terms are difficult to apply to your particular plot and characters. For example, say your hero is being chased down a dark alley by some bad guys. Is that a plot point, a reversal, a climax, a resolution, or just another scene? Who knows? Our story concepts are our tools. If our tools are imprecise, we are bound to fail.

 

Fourth, the 3-act structure places no emphasis on character. Notice that none of the standard terms listed above has anything to do with character. Nor is there any mention of how character connects to plot. Not surprisingly, scripts written this way tend to have shallow characters.

 

Fifth, the 3-act structure almost guarantees that your script will have a weak plot. The 3-act structure says you need two or three “plot points.” Big mistake. Especially in the last few years, Hollywood has been emphasizing tightly-plotted stories. Take a look at the film “Presumed Innocent.” This film doesn’t have two or three plot points, or story turns. It has no less than twelve! Imagine competing in the Hollywood sweepstakes against scripts like “Presumed Innocent” with your three plot-point story. Yet that is precisely what most writers are doing.

 

Finally, the 3-act structure doesn’t work because it is arbitrary. Give a script to ten people and ask them to tell you where the plot points and the act breaks are. You will get at least ten different answers. And they will all be correct. Act breaks are wherever you say they are. Sometimes, writers reluctant to move beyond the 3-act structure ask: What will I say if executives ask me where my act breaks are? Tell them whatever you want. The executives won’t know the difference, or care. They just ask the question to make it look like they know something.

 

Why not say that all scripts are really divided into four acts, or five or six? Preston Sturges, a far better authority than most on great writing, used to divide his scripts into eight acts, or sections, as he called them.

 

Using the 3-act structure to explain the success or failure of a script is like “experts” explaining why the stock market went down or an earthquake occurred when it did – after the fact. Notice the experts never predict successfully before the occurrence. Why? Because their tools are too inexact.

 

The key distinction here is: what tools will you use to create a script vs. what tools will a story analyst use to evaluate a script. Story analysts can use the 3-act structure if they want, although most of the good ones I know moved beyond this simplistic formula a long time ago. Sure, even the good ones may still use some of the old terms. But that’s just a convenience. Their analysis and evaluation is based on a different set of principles for understanding plot and character.

 

But writers facing the blank page need a far more precise set of story tools to create compelling characters and tight plots. Here are some of the hallmarks of the training necessary to write professionally.

 

Professional writers are not members of some mysterious priesthood. They are masters of a craft, which, though complex, can be learned. Professional writers use techniques that are fundamentally different than other writers use. These techniques fall into two major areas: story structure and genre.

 

Story structure on the professional level doesn’t involve a simplistic three-part structure. A professional script almost always involves a journey of learning by the main character. This journey covers a number of steps, and includes numerous false starts. To express this complex journey, professional story training doesn’t involve imposing some false set of false plot points from the outside. Instead professionals always make sure that the character drives the plot. Indeed, the plot is simply the playing out of the character’s actions and personal development.

 

Professional training in story structure, then, involves learning how to map the character’s journey in a very detailed way. (By the way, this journey is usually not a mythical one.) I cannot emphasize enough how detailed this map must be for a professional script. Why do most 3-act structure scripts fail in the “middle?” Because the 3-act structure gives you absolutely no map to the middle.

 

Unlike the one-size-fits-all approach of the 3-act structure, this professional approach is always unique to your particular story because it uses a map that details your unique hero.

 

The other aspect of professional training that the 3-act structure completely disregards is genre. The first rule of Hollywood is this: Hollywood buys and sells story forms. If you want to succeed you simply must master your particular genre better than anyone else. Each genre has its own set of story beats – another map – that you must hit if you are to tell that story in a satisfying way. The trick is to hit those beats as originally as possible.

 

For example, you could say that “Tootsie” is a perfect case of the 3-act structure. But does anyone really believe that the tight comical spiral of “Tootsie” was created by writers using the one-size-fits-all approach of the screenwriting books? Or was it the result of highly-trained, professional comedy writers who knew their genres cold and tracked a chauvinist through a series of tightly-plotted farcical events leading him to his change of heart?

 

When you answer that question you are on your way to realizing what you need to write professionally in the brutal competition of the entertainment industry.

 

 

About the Author

 

John Truby is regarded as the serious writer’s story instructor, and has taught his 3-day Story & Screenwriting Master Class to sold-out audiences in Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, Sydney, Rome, Toronto, and other far-flung cities.

 

Over the past twenty years, more than 35,000 students have taken Truby’s class and rave about the insights and direction it has given them.

 

His students include the writer/director/or producer for the following films:

 

In Treatment, District 9, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Family Guy, House, Lost, Shrek, The West Wing, Mary Mother Of Christ (2012, with Al Pacino), Kiss of the Spider Woman, the Oscars, Planet of the Apes, Scream, African Cats and thousands more.

 

Truby Register

Anatomy of Story – John Truby’s 3-Day Master Class

 

 

John Truby’s Anatomy of Story Master Class

 

When:      Los Angeles – October 28-30, 2011

New York – November 4-6, 2011

 

Times: 9:30am to 6:00pm each day

 

Venues: LA – Westin Hotel @ LAX (5400 W. Century Blvd., LA, CA 90045)

NY – DoubleTree Hotel Times Square (1568 Broadway, NY, NY 10036)

 

Price: $545

 

Website: www.TrubyWriting.com

 

 

 

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How To Get A Record Deal

THE KNOWLEDGE TO SUCCEED.

The first book in the series is called HOW TO GET A RECORD DEAL, since that is the #1 questions artists ask.  It’s an eBook that is available at Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble’s website, and the Sony e-Reader website.

 

To keep the price low on this important book, Wendy has released it digitally.  It can be read on any eReader (kindle, nook, etc), any laptop or computer, and most smart phones.  How To Get A Record Deal is priced at $6.99 and is available here:

Here is an excerpt from the book about 360 Deals:

 

HOW TO GET A RECORD DEAL

This free sample is a portion of Chapter 5 from Wendy Day’s new book, The Knowledge ToSucceed: How To Get A Record Deal. Chapter 5 discusses the different types of Record Dealsavailable in 2011 (this portion of the chapter discusses 360 Deals, what they are, why they exist,and the financial realities of having one).

 

Types of Record Deals

 

“You don’t get what’s fair in this industry, you get what you negotiate.” -Wendy Day, Founder, Rap Coalition

 

“The whole music business in the United States is based on numbers, based on unit sales, and not on quality. It’s not based on beauty, it’s based on hype, and it’s based on cocaine. It’s based on giving presents of large packages of dollars to play records on the air.” -Frank Zappa, recording artist

 

There are a variety of deals that labels will offer you, once you are able to garner their attention. The deals are offered based on your leverage. If very few people know who you are and your buzz is minimal, you will be offered a “standard record deal,” which is a 360 Deal. Additionally, it may not be direct with a major label, it may be through a production deal or a sub-label. This means there is a middleman getting a percentage of everything you do. But it’s often the entry level for artists who don’t know any better, or who lack the capital (money) to promote themselves in their own area (build a buzz).

 

 

There are a multitude of different deals out there for any recording artist. It depends solely on what you agree to contractually. There is no such thing as a “standard” contract– a contract is just an agreement between two people that says who will do what by when, what happens if they do not do it, and how everyone gets paid. You don’t get what you deserve in this business, you get what you negotiate.

 

The more leverage you have, the better the deal should be. The best deal I’ve seen is an 80/20 distribution deal (meaning the artist gets 80% and the label or distributor gets 20%). I’m about to explain the types of deals now, but understand that you as the artist rarely get to dictate the type of deal you are offered-your leverage is responsible for that. So build up your leverage before you even start taking meetings, if you want a good deal that has a strong chance of leading to a successful career.

 

The following deals are explained in as basic layman terms as I can find to give you an overall understanding. EVERY deal is different, and every offer is different based on artist, leverage, team, co-sign, timing, situation, whether other labels are bidding (a bidding war), etc. This is in very general terms, and most deals are a combination of factors, not quite as cut and dried as this explanation will seem, but for the general purpose of knowledge and understanding, it will suffice. I am not a lawyer and I do not pretend to be one. When I negotiate deals, I have an experienced and powerful entertainment lawyer next to me at all times and I do not make a move without him or her. It is the lawyer’s job to work out the intricate contractual details.

 

360 Deals

 

I have to state right up front that I am biased against 360 Deals. I understand WHY they exist; I just find them unfairly oppressive in the label’s favor, in an industry with a draconian history of jerking artists out of money. I stopped negotiating deals for artists in 2005 because I refuse to do a 360 Deal for any artist! How strongly do you have to hate something to stop your own income over it?

In the early 2000s, the music industry went through a severe change. Music sales plummeted, the importance of the internet reigned supreme, and there was an influx of artists into the industry causing an over saturation never seen before. It’s gotten worse, not better, for the major record labels.

Once used to a healthy profit margin that afforded grand lifestyles for those at the top of the food chain, the major labels became disgruntled as sales dropped while they missed the boat on less profitable digital sales. Taking on the role of dinosaurs fighting for survival, they tried everything from stopping the new digital revolution, to fighting it, to suing fans, to band wagon jumping too late. Nothing worked for them. And they still haven’t learned from their mistakes-they still continue to fight the ways the consumers want to receive their music.

So to justify their continuing existence, they decided to take an even larger share of the pie from the ONLY aspect of the equation that they controlled-the artist (or the “content” provided for digital download). Back in the day, labels took roughly 88% of the pie while giving the artists 12% of the money AFTER the artist paid back from that 12% share, almost everything spent on them (that’s called “recouping”). This means that if the artist sold $500,000 worth of CDs, and it cost $50,000 to market and promote that CD (a very unrealistically low example), the artist share of $60,000 (which is 12% of $500k) would be divided between paying the label back that $50,000 and a check for the remaining $10,000 for the artist. The label would receive $490,000 for its investment and belief in that artist while the artist made $10,000. In exchange for giving up the lion’s share of the sales in the past, the labels always told the artists that they’d make 100% of the touring. Any show money, was the artist’s to keep! Not so with a 360 Deal!

When the shit hit the fan financially for the labels, they decided to tap into the show money, and all other streams of income for the artists, as well. After all, if the company’s profit margin is made smaller, they need to eat more of everyone’s income to keep the fat cats at the top, and the stock holders, happy. Most 360 Deals share in endorsement income (15% to 30% depending on the artist), performance income (10% to 30% depending on the artist), merchandising income (20% to 50%) and Film/TV money (15% to 40%). Before I go any further, I have to thank the good folks at Warner Bros Records for leaking me two major label contracts for different artists’ 360 Deals. This enabled me to write about REAL contracts instead of just what I’d heard from lawyers, artists, and label folks.

How do labels justify taking an even BIGGER share of the pie from artists? They cite the high risk they are taking in signing an act–they complain that they are doing all of the developing, investing, marketing, and promoting. Their argument is that they believed in the artist when the artist had nothing, and they feel that assuming the lion’s share of the risk should result in receiving the lion’s share of the profit. If the label is developing and building the artist to a level of super stardom, they feel they have the right to share in a percentage of everything that super stardom affords the artist. So if they drive the artist platinum, they feel they should get a piece of the tour that came from the fame the label helped the artist build, and a piece of the endorsement deal or film income that came from the fame that the label helped build. I guess I could see this argument better, if I actually agreed that the labels did their jobs well when building artists.

I have a different vantage point of record labels. I see major labels based in tall glass buildings in NY and L.A. that have little interaction with the streets, fans, or the artists. I see them sign artists that have already started to build a buzz or sell music themselves, and then I see them sit back and let the artists’ teams continue to do much of the work themselves. I don’t see major labels taking much risk with their artists, but do continue to put them through a system that is almost an outdated cookie cutter version of how to sell CDs. The labels rarely interact with the fans and are quite out of touch about what the fans want or are willing to buy. They seem to create this assembly line of artists who all sound similar and fit a certain format at radio. They seem to throw a lot of music into the marketplace and work whatever catches on quickly and easily. Most labels do what’s best and easiest for the label, not what’s in the best interest of the artist. Now, in a way, it’s very unfair of me to make this sweeping generalization, because there are some amazing people who work inside of major labels and really go all out for the artists. But I find these people to be the exception, not the norm, and I also find them to be frustrated most of the time because they constantly have to fight with their bosses and the status quo to succeed on a project. Additionally, like all corporations, I find that with the downsizing of the labels, the employees who are the best at their jobs are not always retained, but many bosses keep the most politically correct staff members, the lowest paid staff members, or the ones who cause the least resistance within the company. This is not always what’s best for a project or the artist.

 

I can’t begin to tell you how many artists’ careers I’ve seen stall because the A&R person at the label lost his or her job before the release date. Once the cheerleader or champion for the artist inside the label is gone, it’s rare that the project ever sees the light of day (a smart negotiator might ask for a “key man clause” in the agreement to prevent this kind of fiasco, or at the very least state a release date in the contract so if the label misses that date, at least the artist has a way out of the contract-a “breach”).

I also find that competitor labels usually hire the best people away from the labels who are experiencing some success, thereby breaking up the synergy within a team once they all learn to work well together. This is why a label like Def Jam or Universal could be so strong in the late 90s and yet be struggling to succeed today. I find that artists rarely look at the teams working at labels and they just fiend in general for a record deal no matter the success of the label or who’s at the label (staff or other artists).

So labels got further away from the fans, the staffs got lazier or more frustrated (perhaps more work for less pay?), the artists took less risk because there were more of them and they were just happy to have a record deal, and the fans started expecting music for free because they could download it easily if they didn’t feel like paying for it. Major labels continued reducing spending, slashing budgets, cutting pay, and signing “sure things” (whatever that means). And to justify the spending they were still doing, they decided to offer deals that cut into more of the artists’ income. The argument was that out of 50 artists signed to their label, only one was successful and funding the 49 losses. No other business on earth has such a backwards business model. Imagine if Ford built cars and accepted the fact that every model but the Taurus was meant to be a loss leader, and that the Taurus sales had to make up the loss of every other brand under their umbrella. Huh?

Or imagine if banks lent money for mortgages expecting 99% of the mortgages to default, and 1% of the mortgages were expected to make up the bank’s profits that year. Further imagine if each homeowner paying back their mortgage didn’t actually get to keep ownership of the house after their mortgage was paid back! The bank’s argument would be that they took all the risk on the house and the borrower, so they should get to retain ownership. The people that lived in the house would still have to pay for all the repairs and upkeep, but the bank would own the house. That’s how the music industry is built. And the folks at the top with the most to lose are the ones fighting to keep this backwards system alive.

People ask me all the time what I think is wrong with the music business. I would like to blame our troubles on the greed of major labels, the proliferation of bad music that the fans don’t seem to want, or the free downloading of (stolen) music. But the truth is that if the artists didn’t agree to these incredibly bad deals, there would not be incredibly bad deals. If a bank existed that kept ownership of your house after you paid back your mortgage, you would never do business with that bank. No one would. Yet all day, every day, there is a long line of artists willing to sign their lives away to record labels because they don’t understand, or possibly don’t know about, the consequences. Or maybe they just don’t care. Maybe the need for fame overpowers the need for money…until they realize they aren’t making money but someone else is. I find that it generally takes artists 3 to 5 years to realize they are getting jerked. In that time, a lot of money is lost and one of two things happens: either the artist is replaced with a new artist willing to make less money, or the artist has enough value to renegotiate their deal and share a larger piece of the pie. Sometimes, they even start their own labels and repeat this onerous process with their own new, unknowing artist! They got jerked, so they turn around and jerk someone else.

But back to 360 Deals. This new model will exist until artists are willing to say “no!” and I don’t see any signs of that happening. What I do see happening are artists becoming more entrepreneurial, and instead of signing to major labels, I see them finding their own investors and building their own teams who can help them succeed. There are enough laid off employees of record labels who’ve experienced some success out here to hire to run and work at indie labels. There’s a huge void in the marketplace to deliver the kinds of music fans want…and that’s not just one kind of music.

What I learned from both the buzz of Drake (lyrical mainstream artist who succeeds with radio spins) and Gucci Mane’s buzz (not-so-lyrical street artist with gutter stories and experiences to share) is that fans still want music. Major labels are slow to respond to the needs of the streets and the internet is only speeding up and splintering demand further. There’s still a market for good music that the fans want. Our job is to give it to them. And if we do so with a fair and equitable split of the profits, the artists can build lifetime careers and we can all make money!

I hear the artists who sign 360 Deals say that they feel they have to sign these deals because the label won’t work their projects if they don’t give up a bigger split. I hear the artists say they want the labels to help them land endorsement deals, major tours, and TV Shows and film roles-but I’ve yet to see a major label do this. Let’s be realistic, these major opportunities go to the biggest stars and the ones who apply themselves directly in those alternate areas. If you hire a film agent, and take acting lessons, you may get increased roles in film and TV. If you increase your fame through hard work and hot music, which leads to music sales, your endorsement opportunities increase. Beyonce landed a Revlon contract because she was a star, Revlon did not make her a star. How many new artists are the major labels building to be stars? In 2009, there were only two big “superstar” releases that went on to sell in the millions: Taylor Swift and Susan Boyle, out of all of the releases that came and went that year. And neither of them was developed by the major label system-one was a product of an indie label and the other a product of a TV show. The majors had access because they did deals with middlemen and then applied their systems behind those movements that were already happening. Maybe that has become the function of a major label in today’s environment.
In my opinion, a 360 Deal is an excuse for a major label to take a bigger piece of the pie without doing any additional work. It’s insurance on their part. If the artist does blow up by chance, it gives them more opportunity to make a bigger cut. And that’s just smart business. I guess if they called it what it really is, I’d be less annoyed by it: the price of doing business with a major label. If they played a bigger role in building overall success, I’d be happy to see them share in a bigger piece of the pie at the end of the day.

 

With a 360 Deal, the label does everything regarding the marketing and promotion of the music. They pay for the recording and often choose the producers and songs. In many cases, they even direct the artist’s image, fashion, style, and “gimmick,” if there is one utilized. A gimmick can be that the artist was a drug dealer in his neighborhood, or that the artist is a college dropout, or that he got shot 9 times and lived, or that he hates everyone and everything, or that her followers are part of an exclusive club referred to as “Barbies” or “Barbz,” or that he’s a regular dude who just always wants to smoke weed, etc. It’s whatever separates you as unique and different from the other million artists out there.

Example of a “360 Deal” (this is not an actual artist example):

Male rapper based in Atlanta with a strong following. He has his own team of inexperienced friends and family around him and a very strong street following. The DJs, fans, other artists and industry are supporting him and propelling him forward. With no real single or CD in the marketplace, demand is high-he’s getting $30,000 a show and performing three or four times a week for the past few months. This will last about 6 months, approximately. He’s put out a series of mixed CDs, for free, over the past year. The label signed him a year ago to a 360 Deal but hadn’t begun to promote him yet because their roster was full. The artist got tired of waiting and began putting out a new mixed CD every month to build his buzz.

Advance: $75,000
Album Budget once popularity increased: $350,000
Recoupable Marketing and Promotions: $750,000
Monthly Show Income: $420,000
Endorsement Deal: $50,000

Album comes out and sells a total of 350,000 copies (it was a very commercial album but the artist had been very street, almost gutter, up to the point of his album release so fans didn’t really embrace the album as expected).

Album income for label: $3.5 million
Artists’ Share after Recouping: negative balance of $405,000
$750,000 + $75,000 = $825,000
12% of $3.5 mill = $420,000
$825,000 – $420,000 = $405,000
Artist’s endorsement Deal Share: $37,500
75% of $50,000
Artists Share of Touring Income: $1,764,000
70% of $420,000 x 6 months
Artists Share of Publishing Income (50%): $100,000 (estimate of mechanicals and ASCAP/BMI royalties)
Income for Label: $4,773,500 gross income on an investment of $825,000
$3,500,000 sales
$405,000 recoupment
$12,500 endorsement income
$756,000 tour/show income
+ $100,000 publishing income
$4,773,500 gross income
Less Staff costs
Less Day to Day operating expenses
Less Taxes

Income For Artist: $1,122,375 income
$37,500 endorsement income
$1,764,000 tour income
+$100,000 publishing income
$1,901,500 sub total
-$405,000 recoupment
$1,496,500 gross income
Less 20% management fee
Less 5% Business Manager fee (Accountant)
Less Tour costs/legal costs/tour manager/DJ/Operating expenses/taxes

Let’s compare gross incomes…
Artist made 1.5 million while label made 4.7 million
Artist share: 24%
Label share: 76%

Let’s compare Net incomes before taxes…
Artist made approximately $1 million while the label made approximately $4.5 million
Artist share: 18%
Label share: 82%

If the label is taking all of the risk (they are not), putting up all of the money in all of the right places (they are not), devoting all of their attention to this one artist (they are not), and doing most of the work (they are not), then this business model makes sense for everyone involved. But if the artist is doing the bulk of the work, risking their career in the hands of the label, and coming out of their own pocket for many expenses, then this business model is hugely skewed in favor of the major label.

 

 

This portion has been reprinted with the express permission of Finders Keepers Books, LLC.

 

 

 

 

 

FOR MORE INFORMATION, GO TO www.TheKnowledgeToSucceed.com

 

 

 

To buy a copy of this new book, How To Get A Record Deal written by industry veteran, WendyDay, please go to www.TheKnowledgeTo Succeed.com or purchase at Amazon.com, BN.com,iBooks.com, and the Sony eReader store.

 

 

Included in the book are the following Chapters:

 

 

 

1. Who The Heck Is Wendy Day?

2. Turning Your Music Into Money

3. The Cold Hard Truth

4. Types of Record Labels

5. Types of Record Deals

 

360 Deal

Artist Deal

Joint Venture

Distribution Deal

6. Indie Labels VS Major Labels

7. Unsigned VS Indie

8. Current State Of The Music Business Economy

9. Selling Music In A Changing Economy -or- How To Build Your Incredible Buzz

10. The Qualities You Need To Succeed

 

The Knowledge To Succeed: How To Get A Record Deal was written by Wendy Day, an industry insider, who has ACTUALLY shopped, found, and negotiated record deals for artists.  This book explains the inner workings of a hard to penetrate industry: the music business.  Written in 2011, it takes into consideration the vast changes occurring in the music industry, and  is a basic how-to for any artist or support team person propelling an artist’s career forward who wants to know more about the urban music industry AND how to secure a record deal in 2011!

Wendy Day is a twenty year veteran of the music industry and has worked with Eminem, CashMoney (BG, Lil Wayne, Birdman, Hot Boyz, Juvenile, and Mannie Fresh), No Limit (Master P,CMurder, Fiend, Mia X, and TRU, Beats By The Pound), Twista, Do Or Die, David Banner, YoungBuck, Ras Kass, DJ GreenLantern, UGK, Ruff Ryders, Rock City, TMI Boyz, Cormega, SlickRick, and many, many others.

 

Book Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for reading this far and thanks for supporting The Knowledge To Succeed: HOW TO GET A RECORD DEAL!
Sincerely,
Rap Coalition

 

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