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Tea and Honey Tuesday Vol. 5: Animated!

Green tea! That’s what I’ve got. I’ve managed to keep my house cool and fresh on this hot and dry Tuesday, so I’m drinking hot green tea with a good dose of honey and as a result (as long as tea involved) my heart is happy. You should cozy up with some tea of your own, it'll be worth it! :) 

I tried running today, I usually am able to fit in 3-4 miles (ok,3) before burning out, but because of this day’s dry weather my asthma kicked in so I’m hoping that I got as far as 2, I don’t have anything to tell me what I accomplished so I’m guesstimating. I don’t have serious asthma, but when it’s dry and hot and I’m exerting myself it likes to show its ugly little face.

So I’ve had a breakthrough! Thanks to the Lord Almighty, he’s given me a change of heart and perspective when it comes to practicing music. I finally love the feeling of learning, I can’t even begin to explain how huge that is for me. Instead of worrying and getting frustrated about not being at the skill level I wish to be, I’m finally taking my time, presenting to the world what I have presently, and meanwhile working on my craft.

I have other exciting news, but it’s going to have to start with some backstory: I love to draw and paint. Watercolor and ink are my favorite mediums to work with. Something I’ve learned to appreciate about art this past year is how self-dependent it is, if that makes sense. When creating a song with other musicians, it can be difficult to interpret the sound I want as a novice amongst experienced artists. It takes time to connect with them, to understand each other, which is an awesome adventure on its own, but it can feel like you’re trapped with ideas in your head when you don’t have the immediate skills to accomplish it alone.

What I love about drawing and painting is that it’s dependent on yourself, you create the image without having to explain your ideas to anyone else. Music has a lot of complexities, don’t even get me started about music theory. It can sometimes feel like falling into the rabbit hole. Art can arguably be the same, but it doesn’t require remembering what the 13 of a G chord is (Dave (my guitar/music instructor) if you’re reading this, I forgot and I’m sorry). Art is your own quiet, personal experience that you need only yourself to discover and understand.

As I wrote that, a little voice in my head just made me realize that music works basically the same way, which is kind of throwing off the point I’m trying to make, but all I’m saying that with painting and drawing it’s all on you. Ugh, “music is all on you, too” the voice in my head is saying. I’m just trying to say that I don’t need anyone else to compose a painting while in my present skill-set, adding composition to one of my songs requires other musicians. IT GIVES ME PEACE AND IT’S THERAPEUTIC. SO IS SONGWRITING AND CREATING MUSIC. I can’t win this fight in my head, I see that now. I’m done here.

Looooooong story short, growing up I’ve loved the idea of animating as well as becoming a touring singer/songwriter. Creating storyboards for Pixar was the dream. However, I leaned more towards music, pushing aside animating as a hobby for later in life, but my father had an amazing idea: animate my first music video! So that’s what I’m going to do! I’ve been happily doodling away with different character ideas. Here’s a picture of the first fluid “movement” I did of myself (of course it’d be of me drinking tea, what else?). I have no idea what the lingo for this type of concept art is, unless it’s just concept art…. anyways here it is. Sorry it's a bit blurry.

The goal is to have this up and running in the fall of this year, so look forward to that! I’m so excited that I have the opportunity to realize both of my dreams. Thanks again for reading, see you in two weeks!

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Tea and Honey Tuesday Vol.4: Catching Up With 2016

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Tea and Honey Tuesday Vol.4: Catching Up With 2016

               So I found this new tea called Rooibos (I guess it’s pronounced Roy-boss, so… yeah… fun fact of the day…) and it’s nice to have it at night since it’s calming and makes you feel fuzzy and happy inside, my favorite kind of feeling! It tastes like it could be the nighttime, caffeine free version of breakfast tea, and I’m digging it. That’s what I’m currently downing while typing away in an attempt to catch up with this blog.

               I feel like that kid starting their first day of school determined to get it right this time around and keep up with their grades and school work. You know how it is when you go school supply shopping, it’s so exciting! You have all these pens and pencils and other tools and then you begin imagining yourself in a montage of working hard and being studious and pulling all-nighters because you’re inspired of how cool your new school gear is. But sometimes things fall through, and the initial excitement of your new stuff can fade, and then you lose some pens and pencils and you’re not as inspired anymore. This is another thing I’m learning about myself, because this description is me through and through. It’s like I have an infatuation with new ideas and dreams without really falling in love with the commitment of working hard to reach them. On my first blog I told you about this little agenda that I got that I was sure would help motivate me to organize my time. That fell through. I’ve learned that there isn’t a quick fix, you have to learn about your flaws, and decide to be strong enough to push through that “infatuation stage” and commit to growing. No agenda or other material object can do that for you, no matter how cute. And I’m telling you that little planner was freaking adorable.

               That being said, let me catch you up on what’s been going on! Recently I performed at the NAMM show representing Sennheiser.. I want to give a huge thank you to Jay Tinsky for introducing me to Sennheiser, and to Sennheiser for allowing me to perform at their booth, and to my amazing musicians who help make the music come to life: Mark, Lucas, and Leo. There were so many people, I saw the back of Stevie Wonder’s head; that was fantastic. It was an overall overwhelming experience full of excitement and at the same time just being flat out overwhelmed! I’m not the biggest fan of conventions, but I absolutely loved performing and am beyond grateful for the opportunity given me.

                Now I need your help, I've been nominated for the Deli Magazine's Emerging Artist of 2015. Winning this could potentially assist the forward of my career, as I could get exposure to new ears and win other very useful prizes. If you're interested, here's the steps that you can follow to submit your vote:

STEP 1: Head on over to this link http://la.thedelimagazine.com/

STEP 2: The third column to the right has a list of different genres that you can vote for, scroll down to "singer'songwriter" and click on "vote'

STEP 3: This is where you can decide to vote for another talented artist or for myself (Michaella), either way choose an artist and submit your vote!

This poll closes Febraury 16, 2016 at 9pm, your support would mean so much to me!

Alright, this self-promoting feels very strange, but I gotta get myself out there one way or another! If you feel extra-inspired, feel free to spread the word to your friends and family. Who knows! Maybe you can say that you were a part of history and helped me make the big time! Either way, I can't tell you how much I will appreciate your support :) 

As always, thank you to those who read these, I'm going to be that kid that kept up with her homework and have another post in two weeks! Until next time!

 

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Tea And Honey Tuesday Vol.3 (Late Night Edition!): A Short Story and The Love of Songwriting

         Alright! I have some peppermint tea emitting happy little trails of steam beside me, the billowing clouds bring long-awaited and most welcome rain. There’s a beautiful contrast of fading blue sky shining behind the fluffy formations, and it’s time for some stories!

         I believe it’s time I told you the story of Bathtub the horse. It’s honestly super quick and simple, so I’m sorry if any of you had been anticipating this day and are now about to find that this story is more of a light appetizer as opposed to the main course.

        When I was very young I’d have this reoccurring dream about a black Friesian named Bathtub. In the dream, his coat would appear shaggy and dirty in the shade, but when we were out riding in the sun, it shone with colors of deep mahogany and rich dark chocolate, and he was beautiful. Thus, my adolescent brain donned him the name Bathtub, because he was clean and shiny despite his initial appearance. I want to one day get a Friesian and name him or her Bathtub to fulfill this dream of my childhood. That’s it! That’s the story of Bathtub, the horse that galloped through my dreams.

        I’ve written lyrics since I was in elementary school, and my friend and I would huddle up against the school’s walls during recess and share what we’d come up with, sometimes challenging the other to put melodies to each other’s pieces. Back then, my lyrics were only make believe and had no relevance to the current events of my life, they were basically knock off themes from Avril Lavigne and other punk pop princesses of that time, which was actually a lot of fun to write because you could get so sassy!

        Since then I’ve appreciated how writing lyrics to life’s situations can be a form of expression as well as presenting you with insight to how you feel and are perceiving those situations. For example: you’re crushing on someone, hard, and it feels like an impossible situation. Either you know for certain that this love is destined to be unrequited, or you just don’t know how to deal with these feelings, and aren’t sure how or if the other person would reciprocate. Sometimes this can eat you alive, and make you feel troubled, irritable even, that this someone has managed to cut themselves so deep into your soul subconsciously and yet, whether or not you know about their affections towards you, you feel helpless and trapped in your emotions. Write a song! It’s helped me to take the time to organize my thoughts and feelings and transform them into something poetic. It’s almost as if my thoughts have developed into their own shape, and singing this new creation can feel like looking in a mirror. It enables me to examine my soul, heart, and mind, helping me to draw conclusions on what’s going on and whether or not I’ll let it affect me. It brings me understanding and peace.

        There’s another sense of freedom that comes from it as well, the freedom of feeling that your voice is heard. It’s freeing when you express how you feel, definitely a form of therapy I’d recommend. Even if the person that inspired your creation is not hearing it directly, you can still feel free with a stranger in the third row listening and connecting with you. My emotions are out in the open. Yes, it’s a very vulnerable experience, but this vulnerability is the kind that leaves you feeling light and airy. You’re not weighed down by your worries anymore, you’ve thought them out and they now have their own body, their own shape that is being weighed and measured by those around you. And who knows, maybe that person is there listening to you! Do they know it’s about them? Probably not, but even the fact that they are there and are aware of the goings on in your heart is enough. Your bones feel hollow, like you could fly away, your mind feels as if a cool breeze sifted through your thoughts and took the pain away. You are free. That’s what writing songs feels like to me: freedom.

        I’m going to leave it at that for now, thank you again for those who take the time to read these, you mean so much to me! If you’d like, comment below on what you’d like to hear concerning my music or just life in general, I’d love to keep you in the loop :) . Until next time!

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Tea and Honey Tuesday Vol. 2: The Big Picture Broken Up Into Perfect Little Ones

Tea and Honey Tuesday: Vol. 2

               Welcome back to the second volume of Tea and Honey Tuesday! Am I writing this while enjoying a nice warm cup of tea and a helpful dollop of honey? Yes, yes I am. Mate Cocido to be exact, and my heart is happy :) . I hope you have some nice tea to cozy up with as you read this, if not, go and grab some! To me, tea gives life’s moments the picturesque version of simplicity, and it just tastes so good! Emma Thompson’s character in the movie Saving Mr. Banks said “tea is balm for the soul”, I don’t think anyone else could have put it better.

               Anyways, I should talk about my music life now, since that’s what this blog is for. As some of you may know this past Saturday night I had my third show at Genghis Cohen in West Hollywood. Thank you to everyone who made it a great turnout! I’m so happy to say that the show was a great success! I’ve been working with my musician friends for over a year now, and I can’t tell you the joy I felt when that night I could see my guitarist and drummer truly enjoying the music they were playing. It’s all I want to create: music that people desire and love to play. I don’t doubt that they’ve had fun throughout this past year of learning the material, but to know that they are now well-versed in the music and can let loose and have fun performing with me was such a great moment in time. It’s strange, because it was as if the realization hit me in slow-motion. Leo’s face was all scrunched up in that classic rock and roll style as his fingers shredded effortlessly over his guitar. I couldn’t really look back at my drummer Lucas, I was avoiding the act of turning my back to the audience (I guess that one time the drama teacher came into my class and told us to never turn our backs on an audience stuck with me, though it doesn’t really apply to musical performers, now that I think about it), but I could feel the energy he was emitting through his drum set. And Mark, my dear bass player, is always rocking out and wears the coolest shades onstage, so that was a given. We were pumped, and agree that it’s been our best show yet.

Genghis Cohen, October 17, 2015

 

                Even listening back on the audio that my father recorded (God bless that man, for none of this would be happening without him) I was very happy with our sound, and only slightly cringed at my dialogue in between sets! All I’m saying is, if you ever come to a show of mine, keep the cameras rolling because it is likely that I could say something embarrassing. I like to share stories about the songs I write, but I never think about what I’m going to say during my dialogue portions of the set, so, it’s always a lot of fun for me and for my hearers, I’m sure. I don’t have a filter; I’m a gushing fountain of truth, enjoy!

                I finally was able to eat the food served there before our set! The steamed sole filet is stellar, I highly recommend it if you find yourself there. Yeah, I’m getting off-topic I suppose, but food is food, and I’m going to share the gift of good food with you whenever it is in my power to do so!   

               These past two weeks I’ve learned something, and my show the other night only confirmed to me what my struggle with practicing and honing my skills in music is: I am afraid of failure. It’s this fear that frustrates me when I am trying to learn a new lick or get that certain strumming pattern in line. I want to be the best I can be for you, for those who listen. I pick up the guitar or ukulele, and I have a skill level in my mind that I want to be at, and then I realize the effort and time it could take me to accomplish that goal, and it discourages me from working at my craft. I want my progress to be instantaneous, because I believe that the time for me and my music is now, and I get afraid when I feel that I’m not the best I can possibly be at the time I need to. My perspective of the big picture had overwhelmed me because I was looking at it the wrong way. I am so glad to be aware of this, because now I’m learning to pace myself and take it day by day, little by little. And I’ve also learned another beautiful thing about music while having a conversation with my father. I’ve learned that music is a journey, and it carries on with you in your lifetime. It is a lifetime pursuit, and it’s so exciting for me to grow and be a part of that journey. Ugh, I’m cheesy again, but it’s the truth! I’m sticking with it! This mindset is helping me to see the big picture, and instead of being overwhelmed by the possibilities, to understand that the big picture involves a lot of little goals and accomplishments along the way, and I’m looking forward to living every moment of it.

               Thank you for reading, and thank you to those who have given me constant encouragement in my pursuits, be it by coming out to my shows or simply letting me know that you appreciate the dreams I’m striving to make a reality. You are all very dear to my heart. You’ll soon hear about Bathtub the horse, for those who are wondering. Until next time!

-Meyka 

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Tea and Honey Tuesday Vol. 1: Getting to know me!

            Welcome to the very first Tea and Honey Tuesday! I am not a blogger, I have no idea how to blog, so this should be fun. So let’s start with an introduction! My name is Michaella Costa, I am 19 years old, and I love writing/composing music and sharing it with others. Music is a passion of mine, but unfortunately I'm not fond of the work ethic behind it. I don’t know how to explain it. I’ve lived a very comfortable life, I’ve never had to challenge or discipline myself, but I’m learning. I’ve been learning that I’m naturally a lazy person that doesn’t know how to work hard, but I’ve got myself an adorable planner to help me organize my days, and you will all see me become a hard-working and very self-disciplined person!!! And as I’ve been taking this past year off pursuing a career as a singer songwriter, I’ve learned something: music is everywhere. Ugh, so cliché I know. Everything about this intro is so cliché!!! But seriously if you think about it, music is everywhere!! In movies, in television shows, in art classes at school, in a jingle you hear as you walk down the street, sending waves out the car radio while muddling through a congested freeway. It raises our quality of living, and enhances our daily experiences. And it influences us so much. It’s amazing how certain music can make us feel a certain way. I just recently saw this funny video where they took out the score in the last part of the star wars scene, and it turned a heroic, happy ending into an awkward, hilarious moment with just a bunch of characters in costume. So yes, I’d say music is extremely important.

               My favorite part in music with lyrics is the honesty. Well, at least, with true artists that aren’t scrambling around for the next big buck and singing about the booty. I love hearing what a true artist has on their heart. I love reading between the lines and trying to decipher what situation that author was in that inspired them to create their song. A song is a manifestation of the soul, I truly believe that, and that’s what I try to create with my music. My music is my personal diary for the world to hear, I’m literally an open book. It’s a very vulnerable thing to perform, but I love making those kinds of connections with people. I have no idea why, but whenever I’m up on stage I have this strange notion that me and the audience are in on it together, so I’m irrationally honest with them. I feel like I can tell them anything.

               I’m naturally a goofy person, no, I don’t do it on purpose, but I’m finally embracing it! I’m that person that loves humor, and wishes so much to be naturally witty, but trying to be clever in less than 10 minutes is not my forte. My deliveries of punch lines always fall flat, but I’ve learned that people laugh more at myself than when I’m trying to be funny, and I’ve come to love making people laugh at my own expense, so there! I’m naturally so funny that trying would just ruin it! So that’s what this paragraph was for I guess, letting you know that I love to laugh, and that I’m awkward. You’re welcome.

               I’d love for you to be a part of this journey. I’d love for you to help me grow and listen to my random anecdotes and talk about the interesting things that go on in my brain. My goal for this blog is to have a Tea and Honey Tuesday post every other week. You’ll never know what I’ll talk about; I could be talking about a random horse in my dreams named Bathtub (stay tuned for that fun tale), and the next thing you know I’ll be talking about my songs and their backstories. But thank you for reading, and keep an eye out for another post in two weeks!

 

 

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