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Imagine a world free of image…

Images are of no real value, though we’ve been given vision to see. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. So value must come from within only you.

What then is beauty?

The Beu Sisters have used, and have been used by, the machine. We have experienced the rewards and pains of our choices. We have been glittered and glossed for the industries and our own pleasure, and we happily gained some status, but not lasting joy…

After many years and many lessons learned or “dues paid” in the music industry, we decided to take a leap into the unknown as independent artists. Through this very scary endeavor we found real joy and new value in our passions and in each other. We started making music to heal our hurts, bring us peace in chaos and purpose in very uncertain times. We turned our focus inward and created together a musical paradise and creative outlet from the often scary, sad, hard, demanding world.

Don’t be mislead into thinking this was a glamorous venture into the realm of making art. For the definition of artist is not glamorous at all. We are eccentric. Yes. Creative. Yes. We are also insane, raw, expressive, emotional, loud, passionate workers, putting in long, long hours and years to share our gifts. We don’t wear makeup and fancy clothes and for the most part are broke people pouring any increase in finances right back into the craft. However, the product of this insanity makes for beautiful and compelling art.

Why is anyone attracted to any form of art if not for an escape into its beautiful, thought provoking expression. As a group, our creative expressions have been through making music. The art of making music is for the benefit of your ears…a musical story, a lyrical picture. As the listener, your mind interprets what it hears and paints its own beautiful world of thought. The music helps evoke a certain feeling that you allow to guide you through your own personal memories. Each song you love becomes part of the soundtrack to your life. What more could you expect to receive than this beautiful gift?

Well, we are human, so of course, we always want more. We all want to feel connected. But we often confuse connection with something we can see, touch, and own. In turn we find false connection. We look to the maker of the art and dissect his personal tastes, physical attributes, and life story in hopes that we will find the key to what we think makes them so special. This distracts us from the real beauty of the artwork. The beauty only we the beholders made inside of it.

True connection lies within your perceptions, your interpretations and thoughts. YOU. You are the connection you feel to art, because you take someone’s expression and make it personal to you! Get it? This is the reason it speaks to you because you are speaking to yourself. It’s meaning is yours to cherish and share. If you put your focus onto the artist, you’re losing all of your own personal fantasies full of meaning, and the art has become diluted. Then the art has just become the artist’s piece, for self gain. His/Her thoughts, personal experience, and personal image have been dressed up and packaged for you the consumer.

How is this art? You can have a successful career in making art and showing beauty, but what is the beauty that you’re selling? Is it the beautiful thought process or the beautiful maker? When did the focus shift from the mystery and expression of music being valuable, to the maker of the music being the value? Can you look past the physical and actually see the artist through the feelings their art gives you?

Do you look at a beautiful painting, an architectural masterpiece or a delicious gourmet meal and wonder what the creator looks like or what his/her favorite color or book is? Do you question their sexual preference or their religious views? Or do you take in their creation and let it move through and inspire you?

Unfortunately today we live in a world so hard pressed at buying and selling that advertising and image have become integral to the value and sale of said products to unknown consumers, slowly hiding the importance of our real values. These “great” marketing ideas have caused us great destruction and spans far beyond the music industry. We have children being beaten by gangs for having the latest technology and trends, or being teased for not having the cool new thing. Teens are cutting themselves for release. There’s childhood obesity sprung from self-hate and rampant cases of anorexia and bulimia in younger and younger kids. Worst of all is the increase in school shootings and suicides due to bullying over our differences. These children are literally killing themselves to be more beautiful, based on what the media tells them is acceptable as beauty. When do we stop talking about the changes that need to be made and actually take giant steps to change?

Don’t let the TV baby sit your children; don’t buy into everything you see on the news and magazines as truth and the norm. Do not allow the media to control your every thought and belief. Stop placing so much value on the things you see and start learning now that there’s so much more to everything than what we can perceive visually. We all seem very concerned about where it’s headed, but what have we done to stop it? Once in a blue moon there is movie made, an article written, or a guest on a talk show speaking about how the over emphasis on beauty and image is causing great dysfunction. Then immediately after the hype has died down a super model is booked to sell a new product and reruns of the hottest bodies of 2011 countdown is aired. And now we even have a TV show solely based on ripping apart the fashion choices of our beloved artists! Is this a fair amount of exposure for both causes? Or are we putting a higher value on what makes us more money, more attractive, and more popular than our competition. Where does the selfish attitude end and love begin? Where does SELF end? When will we truly start to care for each other, and come together?

I ask that you look into your true self and ask where have I misjudged?
Where have I been insensitive to my fellow man?
When have I been enticed by the cause and what was my effect?

Can we change? Will YOU make changes in yourself?

Are we brave enough to starve the insatiable monster?

 
A Big Bopper-esque Blog
By Candice Beu 

BIG Blogger: Here’s the burning question on everyone’s mind today:
What will Rick Astley & the Beu Sisters NEVER do?
a) Give you up
b) Let you down
c) Run around & Dessert you
d) All of the above!

Beu Sisters: Well…I can’t speak for Rick…but our answer, obviously, is D.

BIG Blogger: The real question on everyone’s mind is …why?
Beu Sisters: why what? Why do we love our mother so much? Why are
girls pretty?….People asked us why all the time? Why remake this 80’s
classic”? Why today? Well, Because it’s totally classic! That’s
precisely why.….AND Because its Mr. Astley’s 46th BIRTHDAY!!! Woo
hooo!!

 

 

 

 

 

BIG Blogger: Tell us how this whole idea came about?
Candice Beu: Contrary to popular belief, growing up in the 80’s wasn’t
as radical as it’s now perceived as being. However, it did provide us
with some awesome entertainment, totally tubular times and unique
influences. Before there was the internet or ipods or smart phones….we
lived for catching our favorite music videos on MTV, playing with our
record players and making mixed tapes to listen to on our “walkman”.
Back in the day, my pre-teen regiment consisted of tearing apart my
Tiger Beat & Bop magazines looking for all the Corey Haim heads I
could wallpaper my room with. My sisters and I would sneak the
forbidden MTV when mom wasn’t home, dance around the playroom &
daydream about being in love, pretending someday we’d be like the
super stars in those magazines. In the late 80’s of my youth, teen
idols ruled, cheesy clothes & cheesy graphics dominated, Pop stars
were iconic and THE MUSIC VIDEO was King. We just wanted to transport
our fans back to that time of innocence that we, as sisters, were
fortunate to have shared.

BIG Blogger: Why do a Rick Astley cover?
Candice Beu: After 17 yrs in the business, I have developed great
respect for all my peers, especially the ones who have experienced the
effects of “The POP Machine” and come out the other side with their
sense of humor still intact. One who has done this, with such grace,
is Mr. Rick Astley. We may not know very much about the man behind the
Roll….But what we do know, we love. There’s no mistaking (…“can’tcha
hear me I’m sayin”) his massive talent and power house voice is the
reason he’s made such a lasting impression on so many of us all these
years later. Plus…”Never Gonna Give You Up” is a great song! What a
fun, positive song to sing, especially with the new vocal break down
we added! (and the choreography!) We totally dig performing it.

BIG Blogger: In 2007/8, twenty yrs after the amazing success of the
original “Never Gonna give you Up”, a chance resurgence of this
Ast-tastic 1987/88 hit single spread like internet wild fire! What’s
your take on this phenomenon?
Candice Beu: Well, anyone with an internet connection has caught
“Rick-Roll Fever” at some point or another….including me. Our dear
grandmother always use to  say, “the only cure for Astley fever…is
more Astley.” Hence, therefore and such, my sisters and I have come up
with a sweet tonic for all that ails ye Astley fans. Anyone who has
ever had the fever, wants the fever…needs more of the fever…go to this
link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EewbIbVuDfA&feature=youtu.be

BIG Blogger: What separates your version & vision from the rest of the pack?
Candice Beu: The song and video we created definitely has the Astley
flavor, but its signature Beu Sisters all the way. The Beu-nique
vocals and sweet styling totally make it our own. Basically we’ve
“girlified” the track and reVAMPed the packaging a bit.

BIG Blogger: Any final thoughts?
Candice Beu: Yes, just want to mention that this video tribute project
was lovingly made by a generous group of artists who love life, art
and creating joy.
My best to Rick Astley, his fans and his family today, and always.
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery and “laughter”
truly is the BEST medicine, so I hope this little homage makes
everyone smile a little brighter and a little longer every time they
watch it.
We’d like to wish Rick Astley an AMAZING AND BLESSED 46th year.
Have a Happy, Happy Birthday J

(Special thanks to all who helped make this pet project possible!)
BTW! Check out this rad Rick Astley article and reacquaint yourselves
with the man behind the music.
http://ohnotheydidnt.livejournal.com/21794283.html

 
How’s every ones holiday been so far? I hope splendid is an appropriate description. As for me and my family/friends, we are “simply having a wonderful Christmas time”! We had a great December but, honestly, I’m not really ready to let go of the Christmas spirit quite yet. Why should I, anyway? Because its December 30th and the stores have already begun pushing Valentines Day down our throats?? Because the radio stopped playing Christmas music? No way.
Here I sit on this cold day in Florida, heat blasting, curtains drawn and Christmas lights on, wrapped in pj’s & robe at 2 in the afternoon… remembering why I love Christmas vacation so much. Because it is the main time to do exactly what I am doing now right now…BEING HAPPY.
It’s so Christmasy inside my house & subsequently inside my world. I am loving this time of year, this year, like never before. I’ve been flipping between Music Choice’s Holiday hits channel and the traditional one all day long, listening to the same songs over and over, dancing across the living room with my 4 yr old (who thinks this is the norm..she thinks its just the greatest thing ever).
I do too, but, how strange that we as human beings don’t celebrate like this more often. I know “Elmo Saves Christmas” says we can’t have Christmas everyday because it would be lame & expensive and no one would ever be able to get anything done…. but wouldn’t we be wise to spend every day likeChristmas…. giving of ourselves, being kind to our neighbors, visiting our families & friends, praising love and proclaiming joy to our world? Singing loud for all to hear…bringing good cheer? I realize this is not a new concept, I’m just sayin’.
I am a big fan of holiday music, tho. I know it gets played out, but there’s much to love about these seasonal tunes. Whether Christian based or otherwise, they all maintain certain unifying elements: Love and Joviality….Peace and Lightness….Connection and Salvation. It’s very nice, and pretty awesome actually.
For me, a fellow musician, its been cool to sing all these classics in our own Beu way. Its also been enlightening, listening to all these other artists from different era’s & genre’s getting airplaytogether on the same station, singing the same songs (in their own way) and sending the same message this season brings: LOVE, PEACE, CHARITY & JOY.
Its been wonderful. Very interesting and inspiring to hear all these creative interpretations of the same songs virtually back to back.
In my opinion, Holiday Music is the great equalizer of the music industry. Here are some of my favorite things about it:
#1. All artists can re-make any of the classic holiday songs and make them their very own.
Example, Bruce Springsteen’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” vs Mariah Carey’s “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”….both completely different…completely awesome and completely unique to each artist.
However, this re-make-a-thon can also turn into a “Battle of the Indistinguishables”: If you can tell the difference between Ashley Tisdale’s “Last Christmas” and the cast of Glee’s version, you get a candy cane!
#2. Any artist can try & create a brand new holiday song and hope it becomes a classic (ex. Mariah’s “All I Want For Christmas is You”) or just throw some bells on the track and call it a Christmas song (Beu Sisters “My Christmas was in June”…not technically a Christmas song tho it has the word Christmas in it!)
Not to mention, it can be a pretty terrible song and still get tons of airplay… as long as its Christmas-y enough! For instance, ”I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Spike Jones or “I’m Gonna E-mail Santa” Billy Gillman & Rosie O’Donnell from 2000′s “Another Rosie Christmas”! Give it a listen…I dare you
#3. All (holiday music) artists (even independents) are almost guaranteed airplay for a whole month! There also seems to be no discrimination between artists of today and yesteryear. This is a great musical buffet we often neglect in our everyday listening diet….
Where else can you hear little Aarons Carter played side by side the Trans-Siberian Orchestra? Mariah Carey & John Legend beside Monica Matocha! (I only just heard of Ms. Matocha this season because of her rendition of “Holiday Road” (which my Bella loves). Her seasonal single was released independently on itunes in 2011.)
No where, except on the Holiday Hits channel, is this kind of smorgasbord EVER available. I’m not saying this is the best idea in the world…I’m just pointing out the facts….
#4. Artists are remembered and revered for a time (if not a short time) Perry Como, Andy Williams, Bing Crosby, Johnny Mathis….When did they last get airplay?? LAST CHRISTMAS! (lol) I just heard Chicago’s rendition of “The Christmas Song ” released on 2005′s A Chicago Christmas. Much like The Beu Sisters, ”Dear Santa” & “Home for Christmas” (released yrs ago on Disney Jingle Jams), they are probably pretty grateful for the air play.

#5. I can put this channel on all day long with my daughter in the room and not worry (as much) about what her little ears & subconscious
are recording. For the most part we’re hearing positive songs, with good messages and clean lyrics (altho…Danielle Car’s “Save Your Cookies For Me” is as questionable as  ”I saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”, in my book… but whatcha gonna do.)
Whenever those depressing Christmas songs play, I flip to the other holiday channels as quickly as if a Spike Jones classic came on. Bella doesn’t care for the sad ones. I’m good without the sad ones too (and anything by Spike Jones).
Anyway….I have been singing Christmas songs in all our shows, caroling up & down Downtown Disney, and dancing across my living room to Music Choice in the Funny enough, this little holiday music experiment has brought me exactly what my heart desired this season:ice with spirit. my daughter for a month now….you’d think I’d be over it. Any rational human being might be. I, however, am allowing self to be less rational (and less human) this year as I embrace the sometimes irrational joy of living my JOY to my world (and airplay for our songs!!)

Holiday music is like the Snowman, eventually it melts away but it is sure to return again next year!

Cheers to all….SMILE & Have a Happy New Year!

P.S.
You gotta admit that MUSIC CHOICE is pretty awesome, guys….
Did you know that in Mexico, the Pointsetta is known as “the Flower of the Night”?
Holiday Triva all day long :)
 
Embracing the Season of Light
My mother texted me this reminder the other day, “happy happy joy joy: Ren & Stimpy were definitely on to something there…”
This little revelation gave me pause.
“Happy Happy Joy Joy”….who’d of thunk it….a little mantra from a cartoon….the key to personal salvation!
It totally made me laugh out loud as I pictured them dancing like sugar plum fairies in my head.
How easily we can miss the simple, simple message of the season when we get ourselves all tangled up in work, life & the consumer crazed holiday experience.
My mothers text reminded me that this need not be our holiday experience tho.
Or our life experience. We can, in fact, choose differently.
Collectively and individually, we can be kinder & more considerate on the highways to our fellow drivers, we can be courteous and patient in the parking lots and waiting lines, we can smile in the isles as we mirror each others joy, we can say Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas, or any number of seasonal greeting that lift the heart…and we can also graciously receive these greetings, no matter what your personal preference is.
Most importantly….above all else….we can all be kinder to ourselves, and act & speak more kindly to those closest to us.
Respect, compassion, kindness, immediate forgiveness, gentleness, joy, peace, LAUGHTER & love!
That’s the holiday recipe I’m cooking up this Christmas. Just gotta remember to keep myself stocked with all those ingredients
and this Christmas will indeed be, a very special Christmas
….cause…. “lovin each other will make the season bright”….so true.
Our function is to be a light in the world & to bring that light-ness to each person we encounter.
I pray a prayer of thanksgiving today for the many kindnesses I have seen and personally experienced.
I also pray that each person this holiday season remembers to stoke the embers of their own divine light by taking time to meditate in silence, and pray with oneanother in LOVE.
Let us not forget this, our function, but do all that we do in remembrance and exultation of this light we carry in our hearts. So precious is this gift, that we cannot afford to let ourselves extinguish it by grumbling, complaining, blaming, or stressing out. All we need to do is forgive (ourselves & others), asap, so we may happily share our glowing personalities, smiles, and uniquely creative selves in joyous ways this holiday.
In doing this, we help to keep each others lanterns lit.
In the words of dear mother: Peace begats peace….joy begats joy!
That is why celebration is so necessary, why we must gather to celebrate light & life, together, singing the glory of our present joy to all we encounter.
It is one of the most enlightening ways in which all lanterns can come together and shine brightly as one.
I love you, friends (and fellow lanterns).
May the light of our spirits win out over that grinchy old Ego this season, and grow our hearts to overflowing!
MERRY MERRY JOY JOY TO ALL
 

Sept 21st, 10:30 pm, was a very exciting moment for “The Beu-tiful Project”!

After a month of research, creating our video & building our page….I was super excited to launch our Kickstarter on Sept 1st!
I campaigned (heavily) & watched (expectantly), the progress on our kickstarter page for 3 weeks…. remembering to stay calm & positive (keeping, diligently, the faith)….right til the very end…
After a long final day, I noticed we were getting close but BARELY had 2 hrs to go and were still a good ways from our $5000 goal.
At that point, I really tried not to panic and to do what I knew I must…just trust.
However, I admit, I did text my manager immediately…with a kind of panicked sounding text.
She wrote me back saying “Congratulations…God is good…etc”!!
I was totally confused and responded, “yes, God IS good..but we are still only at 3000 and its 10 pm…what should we do?”
She’s all like, “Its all wonderful…taken care of…so exciting…datadatada”.
But I was not excited. I became worried.
My computer said otherwise and I was hoping there wasn’t some kind of problem with the site itself.
So, I got away from the phone and back in front of my computer screen, did the double check… and it STILL said 1 hr left, $3,041 pledged.
I decided, instead of panicking, as I normally would have… I needed to BREATHE & to let it all go, cause I really didn’t know what was going on at that point.
So, I closed my eyes, took a breath and then went to click open another page.
Well, it ended up refreshing the Kickstarter page for me…
….and like a mirage…all of a sudden there it was.
I saw it!
$5041 pledged!
With 1 hour left, our project had been successfully funded!
In my anticipation…I had simply forgotten to refresh the page.
That final $1,400 gift brought us just past our goal, right in the nick of time…
When I checked who our nick-o-time ANGEL was….I saw that the very generous donation was from a dear supporter, fan and friend (who has impeccable timing!)
We met Tessie 2 yrs ago at the farmers market, fell in love with each other and performed at the Guinta’s wedding & vow renewal, reception party… last November.
… I had my first taste of delicious pork roll that autumn evening and the rest is pretty much history…
(THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU to Tessie and John (for all the love and support…for that 2 am pork roll… and your blessed donation!)
It was very dream like.
I sat there, so emotionally & physically exhausted, in front of our kickstarter page for a good couple of minutes and just cried for joy.
What a release! What a blessing. All these people who came together to help us out…I was completely thankful.
Such feelings of accomplishment, love and gratitude overwhelmed me.
Then I immediately began laughing like a lunatic to myself, thinking “Morgan…you are correct…God is good….and very FUNNY.”
What a comedian…. forgetting to refresh the page!
Anyway, we thank you…. all our wonderful backers and everyone who participated in ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM, to make our Kickstarter campaign a success!
It was an exciting experience and a successful endeavor. We are now able to complete the production & manufacturing of the ENTIRE Beu-tiful album collection properly.
It is important to us that our listeners get to journey through the “Beu-tiful” album as it was originally meant to be heard.
You will soon be able to experience, from start to finish…The Stars, H-Art, Definition of a lady, On My Mind, Manifesto, Haunted, Take Control, Garden of Eden, Sister, Daze, Unconditional Love, Little Girls, Everything will Be Alright, Beu-tiful, Colorblind and our bonus track…One Song!
Finishing touches are being added and completed this week, and we will be on our way to producing the hard copies in NO TIME!
So thank you everyone for helping to get the wheels BACK in motion.
You guys were like our own special Kickstarter pit crew!
….and NOW may the rubber meet the road again!
MUCH LOVE and APPRECIATION!
~The WHOLE BEU-TIFUL TEAM
 

Hello all bloggers and blogettes!  This has been a while coming, but I
hope well worth the wait…
It is no easy task sitting down to write this (Glog) today.  Not
because I couldn’t think of anything good to write about, (and no I do
not suffer from Candice’s infamous SMD).
My trepidation on this is a bit more sensitive and personal.  I am
dyslexic.

As much as I enjoy writing stories, poetry, and lyrics to music, there
is always an underlying fear and anxiety that follows.  With every
thought that comes to mind I judge myself and assume others will think
what I have to say is dumb, and so I dig for any confidence left in
myself, (and in my intelligence), to spit it out.  This is one of the
many side effects of my condition.

Now, I am not looking for sympathy or an excuse for my dilly dallying,
I just felt led to write my first blog on this subject after I was
recently asked in an interview, “what is one of the biggest things
you’ve had to overcome in your life?”  I immediately thought, hands
down, it has been growing up with several forms of dyslexia.  I
thought, ‘hey! Maybe in my position I could help educate some
individuals on the subject’.  So for those of you who don’t know;
Dyslexia is a broad term defining a learning disability that impairs a
person’s fluency or comprehension accuracy in being able to read,
spell, and in some cases work with numbers.

Dyslexia has no cure and it is not something one wants to go blabbing
to people about having.  Though it is out of our control, one can feel
stupid for having the condition to start with; like your immediately
being judged or stamped incapable. Now as ridiculous as that may sound
it can cause a person extreme anxiety to socialize, to speak publicly,
to have new experiences, or sometimes even to read to a child…  I see
so many young children growing up assuming they are dumb, who are
afraid of being socially accepted all because of some silly little
crossed wires in the mind.  I was one of those children, and it’s a
daily challenge to remind yourself that you are smart, confidant, and
capable.

I am not trying to speak for all those with dyslexia, but merely to
share my own challenges in hopes that maybe someone, somewhere can
relate.  To see that maybe they are not so stupid after all, but
possibly just process information a bit differently.  So to give you
some insight to my personal struggles with being dyslexic, I’ll take
y’all back to them good old days…

Since elementary school I’ve struggled with what my eyes and ears
perceive and what is actually there.  Even as I write this now I see
many errors from poor spelling to letters missing I swore I wrote, to
words I didn’t mean to write down like SO instead of OF , or WHAT
instead of WHERE.  These seem like simple mistakes but it can get quite
frustrating, especially if you choose to be a writer ;)  And though I
try my darnedest to focus and slow down, these little lapses in
grammar, spelling, reading and ughh… math, just happen quicker than I
can catch them. Thank God for spell check!

I started feeling the pangs of inadequacy in first grade when I was
having trouble reading Dr. Seuss books while other children breezed
through Charlotte’s Web and Goosebumps.  When called to the blackboard
to do anything, (especially MATH!), I would get physically ill and
break out in hives.  But, in school you must do as your told and so
with green complexion and sweaty palms turning the chalk to mush in my
vice grip, I’d walk death row to the blackboard.  As the children down
the line zipped through their math problems I stood staring at the
puzzle I saw before me.  Reluctantly I did what was given, or what I
‘thought’ was given to solve, only to hear the hushed giggles of my
piers behind me. And so with red face and bruised confidence, I crawled
back to my seat only to be assigned, in front of the whole classroom
extra homework to “re-fresh” my memory, and so my fears began.

Years of this painful torture persisted even as I was later home
schooled by my Mother and sister, and despite their best efforts and
tireless dedication to my education; I still wavered in spelling, was
slow in reading, and dreadful in math; even if I studied till my eyes
dried up.  Finally in 7th grade I decided to hire my sister Candice’s
best friend, Dascha, to tutor me.

Our first few subjects went along well enough.  History, no problem.
Science, bring it on! and grammar, thanks to Candice’s teaching
techniques, sat well with me.  And then the inevitable… spelling,
yikes!  Reading, eh? And Math, Horrible :( But something was different
this time.  Before me sat Dascha with a no excuse attitude.  During
math one afternoon, Dascha stopped me.  At the mention of fractions,
she noticed I had red splotches creeping up my neck.  She then forced
me to talk out my fears.  I admitted I was so terrified of being wrong
that I would get too discouraged to even try and think of answer.  This
is unfortunately something I still battle with often in many
situations, like writing my first blog ;)
but strapped with my trusty eraser, I scrubbed out a lot of false ideas
about myself (and being a dumb blonde).  Over my high school years and
after many tears, hugs, and cups of tea; one fateful day changed
everything.  Dascha discovered, as she read me the numbers 279 and
watched me write 297, that I was dyslexic!  All the little pieces
coming together I WAS dyslexic!  It all made sense finally!  Thank
the Lord above.  Now she knew how to take real big steps forward with
me and I realized I wasn’t dumb, I just needed to work slower and
double check myself. My problems, though written incorrectly, were
actually correct!  Something in me changed.  With a bit more confidence
re-gained I actually became very excited to go to class and learn!  Who
knew?!?  :)

Now many years have passed since I was in school, but I am by no means
near the end of my struggles with my own mind.  With patience and care
it’s much easier to recognize when you’re making a mistake and quickly
fix it, however, as an adult in the work force, such luxuries are not
always granted.  Job after job I still get extremely nervous and feel
anxiety ridden when dealing with cash registers and making change.
Doing simple math is not so simple for me, especially when someone is
rolling their eyes at you while you painfully struggle to do addition.
Often I do still feel like I’m back in first grade at the black board,
and it can be crippling in certain situations.  Now I have accepted
this as a great challenge in life to overcome.  Unfortunately, it’s not
as simple as hiring a tutor to check my work while I’m paying my bills,
grocery shopping, doing taxes, and tipping at restaurants.  Although
living as an adult with dyslexia will always have its challenges, I
encourage pushing forward with a hopeful spirit and with patience.
There is nothing in my mind that will ever distort my persistence to
move forward —> and change my thinking. We all have the ability to
heal our own minds.

To wrap up this blog on an uplifting note, I am happy to say I have
found that I perceive the world around me very differently than most as
a beautiful result of all this chaos in my mind… and it’s pretty
awesome :)  I see pictures and images within everything I look at.  I
turn them into paintings of abstract visuals and complex line
formations.  I find deeper meaning in words I hear because they are
always being scrambled in my mind, unfolding a whole new side to what
was really being said.  I write unique rhythms in my rhyming, and
choose odd melody patterns.  I have an innate ability to breakdown and
re-organize giant messes and I enjoy doing it ;)  So there is always a
silver lining to a situation if you’re willing to look closely.  For
all you living with dyslexia who think you are not smart, hold tight to
this fun fact: Einstein was dyslexic. You think anyone told him he was
dumb? :)

So, I hope for the future to only educate myself and others more on the
characteristics of dyslexia, and learn new ways to overcome and enjoy
the way our minds work.  This little hurdle is nothing more than an
opportunity from God to be great and succeed.  Maybe in a backwards
way, but most definitely, a Beu-tiful way.

The list of characteristics for dyslexia is extensive. and for more
information about the signs of dyslexia, you can Google any and all
information you wish :) Much love and light.  God bless!
<3 Dani

 

Yes everyone, I AM writing 2 blogs in a row.  I can feel all the virtual pats on the back already, thank you much!  Anyway, the reason for this momentous occasion is the release of a very special song by a very special person.  The song, “Love-Dance” (available on iTunes now!) The man, Glenn Douglas Packard. Glenn Packard Love Dance

I met Glenn over 10 years ago when I took his dance class in Orlando, Florida, and boy was it tough.  I could barely keep up with all the “real” dancers, but Glenn was always encouraging.  After class we talked and immediately clicked.  I had never met someone so full of life, so driven, with so much passion for what he did.  So much so that his zest for life can’t help but overflow onto everyone he comes in contact with.

At the time, Glenn was a successful dancer/choreographer who was also part of the boy band “twONEty” (21), managed by Lou Pearlman of the Transcontinental music group.  He always had aspirations of being a star.  Anyone who knows Glenn knows he has always been a star.  I knew it from the moment I met him, and Glenn, with his ever inspiring words, said the same of me.  He saw how driven I was and how much love and passion I had for what I do, and told me, no matter what, to always dream BIG!

Dream Big… two words I have heard him say 1000′s of times!  It even used to be the tag line on his voicemail, (a little reminder every time I’d call).  But those two words can come off sounding generic and uninspired if said by anyone with less of a story of overcoming trials and adversity to go for their dreams no matter how impossible they seemed.  Glenn never even stepped into a dance class before 21 years old.  Starting a dance career that late in life is already a huge obstacle to overcome, but nothing compared to what he had faced only a few years earlier.  At 19, Glenn was in a major tractor accident that broke his back.  He almost died from the infection that spread throughout his body, and was told by doctors that he would have to have his leg amputated.  On that day, he made a promise to himself and God that, if he got to keep his leg, he would chase his dream of being a professional dancer and enroll in class.  He made a miraculous full recovery and did the impossible.  This ‘farm-boy’ from a small town in Michigan, left his home to pursue his dreams of being in show business, and did so in ways he could never have imagined!  Throughout his vast career he has choreographed for some of the biggest names in the business, including Pink, Destiny’s Child, Whitney Houston, Missy Elliot, Usher, and Liza Minnelli.  He was also nominated for an Emmy for his artistic direction on Michael Jackson’s 30 year anniversary special.  With his many accomplishments, Glenn never stopped dreaming even bigger and continued helping others to dream big, including us.

When we were chosen to be the opening act for Kelly Clarkson and Clay Aiken’s 2004 independent tour, Glenn hopped on board to help us with our staging and choreography, all the while encouraging us to have fun doing what we loved.  He also invited us to do a show with him in Guam, taking us halfway around the world to make some unforgettable memories.  Not long before that, he started working with another Central Florida artist, Brooke Hogan, who was featured on her father’s hit reality tv show “Hogan knows Best”.  Glenn made some guest appearances on the show, which eventually spun-off into another VH1 reality show “Brooke knows Best” co-starring Glenn Douglas Packard, (based out of Miami).  Already a star in the dance community, Glenn was quickly becoming a reality TV star.

Though Glenn now lived hundreds of miles away from me in south beach, we still remained very close, visiting often and going out dancing whenever we got the chance.  The last season of his show wrapped, but that was just the beginning of a new chapter in Glenn’s life.  With everything Glenn he touched turning to gold, you would think he would be satisfied, but there was one more aspect of Glenn’s big dream that had yet to be fulfilled; releasing his very own single.

In April of 2011, Glenn came to me with an idea he had for a song.  The infectiously catchy hook “ooh la love, ooh la dance”, had me immediately.  My sisters and I started working on this idea, making sure it captured the true essence of who Glenn is, and what he stands for.  The collaborative efforts of Glenn, Candice, Danielle, myself, and Loronzo Nicholson started bringing “Love Dance” to life.  We finished recording the song at Mix Masters Studios in Miami, FL (produced by OnDre (Mendoza) and myself).  Hearing Glenn belt out his song in the studio with such freedom, brought me so much joy because I knew I was helping him manifest one of his lifelong dreams.

And now the day is here.  The release of his long awaited, highly anticipated, new single, “LOVE DANCE”.  As I said before, I had never met anyone so driven, so inspiring, so lovable and full of life in all my years.  That is why his message needs to be heard all over the world.  Being around Glenn reminds you simply to live, to laugh, to love, and to dance!

He has always believed in us, continually reminding us that we have something special to offer the world, and now we have the opportunity to return the favor.  So I ask all of you now to click the link above, check out his song and join the LOVE DANCE revolution.  Follow him on Facebook and Twitter (@glennpackard), and if you don’t know Glenn already, be prepared to fall in love with him, just like I did over 10 years ago.

I close with this; a special thank you to Glenn, who is a constant reminder to me in my hour of darkness, that dreams do come true if you believe, never give up, and always dream BIG!  So everybody, get up out of your seats, and get ready to Live, Laugh, LOVE, DANCE!  (Ooh la Love, Ooh la Dance)…

 

 

‘Today, as I finished giving a voice lesson to one of my very talented students, I was inspired to write my very 1st ‘glog’.  Interestingly enough, I felt it necessary to check all my social media outlets first, and came upon Candice’s latest blog concerning SMD (social media disorder).  I suppose I deserved to be called out, but I swear I was already forming the blog in my head before reading her last entry.

So now, with all excuses & justifications behind me, I proceed.  Um, wait, what was I gonna write about?  Oh yeah, it had nothing to do with SMD, (although I think I have a pretty severe case of it).  Anyway, my 8 year old student, Olivia, took it upon herself to learn to play (on the guitar) and sing a song of ours that is very near and dear to my heart.  We hadn’t had a lesson together in several months, and I had no idea that in that time she started taking guitar lessons only 3 months earlier.  She strolled in with her tiny guitar in hand, and said she had something to show me.  She strummed the opening chords, and I immediately recognized that it was a song of ours called “Everything will be alright”.  As she sang the opening line “Its hard to know just what to say…” my eyes welled up, so touched and flattered that this gifted little girl would choose to learn one of our songs and gift it back to me in her very own unique way.

 

This  was one of those songs that practically wrote itself.  It poured out of me in less than 10 minutes. Verses, chorus, bridge, melody, and lyrics all at once!  So much so that it could have only come from divine inspiration.  Truly a gift from above!  As Olivia sang, I was reminded of the sunny afternoon when I had written this song, over 12 years ago.
At the time, I was living with my Ex, (my son’s father), in a duplex we shared with his mother, Harriet, who was steadily deteriorating from a brain tumor that was consuming her body, mind, and emotions.  On a daily basis I would witness the miscommunication between her and her son, and the emotional pain they were both feeling due to their inability to express to each other their love, and fears in a healthy way.  I was stuck in the middle, trying to referee fights that didn’t need to be fought.  I couldn’t bare watching them spend their last few months together arguing, when all they really wanted to do was hold on to one another for dear life; a mother and her precious son.

Feeling completely helpless, I left her apartment and went upstairs to ours and did the only thing I knew how to do in that moment.  I prayed for them, for some peace and understanding between them.  Immediately I began to express everything I didn’t know how to say (and everything they didn’t know how to say to each other), through music.  I grabbed my songwriting journal, and 10 minutes later at my dining room table, a song was born.  The opening line said it all… “It’s hard to know just what to say, words don’t always take the hurt away”….  As it turns out, sometimes words paired with emotional musical expression can do just that, and be very healing indeed.  In Harriet’s case, it was not a physical healing that took place, but the song was the vehicle for an emotional healing between her and her son before she passed on.

The 1st time I sang it for Harriet at her bedside, she held my hand as tightly as her illness would allow, and took every word to heart.  As I finished singing to her, she looked at me with tear filled eyes, thanked me, and humbly asked if I would sing it at her funeral.  Although I had no idea how I would be able to get through such a task, I agreed.  How could I deny her her dying wish?

Harriet passed away that following spring on Easter Sunday.  As I had promised her, I sang “Everything will be alright” at her funeral service, (the most difficult performance of my life), and prayed that each word I sang would bring peace and healing to everyone gathered in the chapel that morning.

The version I sang that day was much different than the version found on Vol. III of our ‘Beu~tiful’ album.  Originally it was much slower, & although meant to be uplifting, was rather depressing.  I knew in my heart it need to be re-worked and wasn’t quite right yet.  That idea was confirmed the next time it was sung, many years later, in a different life threatening situation.  I stood with my sister Candice, holding hands over the tiny hospital bed that cradled her 1 week old baby girl in the Intensive Care Unit.  Together, we sang the words of this very special song, and I knew, in that moment, it was my job to be full of positivity & hope for my big sister. No way could she feel the slightest bit of fear or doubt coming from me.  I was there to fortify her, to give her strength, and above all, let her know that everything would truly be alright.  I sang that song with her in a way I never had before, keeping it light and bouncy, as to better relay the message of hope within.  Hence, the song started to evolve into the song it was always meant to be.

Years later, as we were choosing which songs to include on our album, Candice expressed to me that she thought it was very important to include this simple song of mine in the collection because, in the darkest of her nights, it had been her light.  With the chance to give this 12 year old song new life, we went into the studio with my brother Jesse on guitar.  Finally,

it felt like the happy song I intended it to be; an uplifting song with healing properties far beyond this realm.
Whether sung at a funeral or as a lullaby at bedtime to soothe my son to sleep, this song always shows me the powerful, healing gift that music can be.  I am forever grateful to be chosen as the vessel in which this magical gift could be brought forth.

I dedicate this song to Harriet, who is always with us in spirit.  I know she is watching over us and, especially, her grandson. (Although they never met on this earthly plain).  Thank you Harriet,for inspiring this song.  I look forward to this song reaching a wider audience (available on iTunes soon), and pray that this song will do for others what it has miraculously done for me.  It is that gentle reminder from my source, my father in heaven, that no matter what we may be going through, I am certain that, indeed, “Everything will be alright”.

 

 

(cough-cough)
*I know that I made a promise a few blogs back that u would be hearing from my sisters soon, but…

To whom it may concern,

Please excuse my sisters, they have a (not-so-a”cute”) case of SMD…Social Media Disorder.
These lovely ladies are such amazing women… who sing, dance, write, cook, sew, teach & create art in all forms, BUT who question their ability to BLOG weekly, and thus, have yet to dive into the still waters of this here Beu Blah Blog.
Well, MY blog is about to call them out and explain why they need not fear.

They have told me…”but you like writing…you’re good at it…I don’t know how to “glog” (Beu slang for Blog)…. I don’t know what to write about…blah blah BLAH BLAH”.  Well, to all that jazz… I call straight BULLSH*T! They can write. They are writers. They write well & from the heart. I should know, I was their creative writing teacher for yrs and I’ve heard the lyrics they write so, I don’t buy it anymore!

And just so you guys (my 5 readers out there) know, I am NOT a BLOG HOG…but I do, personally, very much enjoy the process of writing no matter what the format (unlike my sisters…who I believe would sometimes rather tar a roof in Florida, in August… than pen an entry longer than 140 characters) I do understand, tho. Writing itself can be a very scary prospect. Social media writing….even scarier. I know. I have been known to have mini-heart attacks when sending anything out into the ether via BLOG/EMAIL/TWITTER/FB…Cause once its out there…its out there.

In this age of voyeuristic and technical overload, we think we know everything about (not only) our favorite & not so favorite celebrities & politicians…. but we know all about the comings and goings of our friends, enemies, neighbors, strangers, distant relatives, old classmates, colleagues, bosses, institutions, and every subject you can plug into a search engine.

It seems no stone has been left unturned, no intimacy un-learned, everything is fair game and EVERYONE IS AN EXPERT! Not very much is sacred anymore and the sad thing is, if you are a person who shies away from (or are opposed to) airing out everything about yourself to complete and utter strangers YOU ARE CONSIDERED THE STRANGE ONE! To put it bluntly, if you are not willing to twit pic your feces these days…YOU may be considered the rude one. (But that’s a different blog…)

(I know…I know…you don’t HAVE to twit pic your excrement daily…but some people out there really WANT to share their fecal adventures…Conversely, some people really WANT you to share, as well.

Curiously, That’s how reality TV got started. (Boo-yah!)

They call it Social Media: Media?….Yes….Social? That’s a joke….its the anti-socialites dream come true. No face to face…just you and your trusty computer. You don’t even have to have anything purposeful to add to the world at large…..All you really need is the time, the means and the ballz to do so. My question is: Have we all just become our own paparazzi? Our own PR person. No one even asks us and we willingly put it all out there for the masses…FOR FREE? Makes perfect sense…Cause every one is a reality star now (of their own reality, so)…who cares…I digress….
Basically, If you have access to a computer & have an opinion (no facts, intellect, or talent are really necessary anymore)

YOU CAN HAVE A BLOG!
Look at me :)  ….Cheers! (clinking glasses in the air)

With that said…I call out to my sisters in the ether world: “Hey guys…jump in…the waters real nice once you get used to it! :)
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

You may have “SMD” if:

1) Dred washes over you when you have left your computer or smart phone for more than an hour and now have 6 different social media networks to check, report on and respond to (including your voice mail, texts and e-mails)

2) You become anxious and doubt yourself when it comes time to put ink to paper (….or, in this case, keys to the keyboard)

and spend an exorbitant amount of time thinking, questioning & proofing yourself before you press the send/post/tweet button.

3) You tend to avoid social media networking like the plague.

 

All I can say is…I am so blessed…..and grateful.

The Sade/John Legend concert last Sunday was simply enchanting!

John Legend’s voice is very rich “live” and sounds like the joy of Christmas to me….

And Sade, well, she is just a class act all the way…and really adorable….this strong, little, freckle-faced warrior woman (so small in stature, so large in spirit) who just melts you from the start.

I can’t believe it was just a week ago she was singing straight to me….through me…less than 20 ft away, in person. Such a gift…..An amazing, surreal experience.

Her songs have been part of my life for so very long. Multiple memories attached to all those tracks. Such an emotional night for me. An inspiring night…one I will not soon forget.

I have always longed to emulate Sade Adu’s sensual stage presence, the resonance of her deep, sultry voice and the impeccable talent displayed through her music, her career path & persona.

How has she managed to stay out of the spot light yet still shine purer, brighter, and longer, than anyone I can think of? Cause she’s is a smooth operator…obviously.

Anyway…My dear friend Sophie Muller is to thank for my row C seats but more so for the phenomenal experience of her visual expertise paired with Sade’s vocals. Simply put…It was a dream come true for me in all ways. Everything about the show was just…complete. The show was spot on….both theatrically and musically on point. Nothing overdone, nothing under done…..Like fine cuisine from a master Chef!  Mmmmmmm….perfection.

And the encore was…Pure Bliss. She leaves you wanting more…

So many amazing ideas, executed precisely at the right moments.

I know what I want for our stage show someday. I always have….this experience just confirmed it.

Simply put…I want Sophie. Everything she did in this show is everything I have been seeing created in my dreams….our vision…our music……(everything she does, period, I am a fan of anyway…)

This was very special. She is very special. Ideally, I think Sophie would be that person who could help bring our audience to a similar place of enchantment…but into the Beu realm of things…of course. We just want to invite everyone to enter through the gates of that Avant Garden of Eden… step thru those magic curtains with us…and explore the dream within the dream within the dream as it unfolds before the eyes and ears of our audience in stunning, immaculate, and imaginative ways…inspiring all who come to share the LOVE with us.

That’s all :)

Til then…I will just keep moving forward…cultivating and carrying out to the goal, one step at a time.

(I hear that’s the only way to get to that breath taking view at the top of the mountain)

And may each step be a miracle of LOVE. (Well…love IS the miracle..ha! )

So, friends, onward I shall march…inspired by my mentors and motivational guides…part of the rEVOLution…

Just another Soldier of LOVE…..