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Joshua Dupont Posts

Always Be Learning

I think that we have a responsibility to society as a whole to constantly be trying to improve ourselves. When one person learns, we all learn. When you sit down and read a book, our average intelligence as a species goes up a tick. Think about that – it’s true! You are making all of humanity better and adding a little bit of grey matter to your own head in the process. Altruism and selfishness – sweet! One thing I will be sharing on this site is the myriad resources available so you can sit down and learn something you didn’t know before. In the meantime, get your learn on!

-Josh

Write Every Day

I am not a good writer. I happily admit it. But I do know the secret to becoming a better writer, and it’s kind of what this website thing is all about. Are you ready? To become a better writer – write. Write every day. Your brain is like a muscle, and like any muscle, it can’t get stronger unless it’s worked out. Of course reading a lot and studying others’ thoughts on writing can help, but nothing gets you better faster than sitting down and doing it every day (at least I hope so!).

For example, when I first started songwriting, it was a real struggle. It was difficult to flesh out any ideas I had, lyrics came painfully slow, and it was all pretty cheesy at the end of the day. But guess what. The more I did it – the more I sat down and made myself try to come up with something – ANYTHING – the easier it became. I started writing songs I was proud of and that other people wanted to hear… hear multiple times! I even accomplished a personal life goal of mine and released an album (iTunes, CDBaby). [Quick side note – when I did a Google search to find the links for my album, I discovered that someone is selling a used one that I had signed. Haha! That really tickles me for some reason. Here it is if you want it – Amazon.]

Call to action – If you have something you want to accomplish, don’t just take the first steps. Dive in. Everyone knows the best way to learn a new language is through total immersion. It’s no different with learning to do anything else. (Disclaimer – maybe not ANYTHING else. This is probably not the best method for learning lion taming, for instance)

Have you discovered any tips and tricks for improving your own writing? Share it with everyone in the comments.

-Josh

Connecting with a Crowd

This is a blog post that I made over on the Piano Fondue site (pianofondue.com). I think it definitely belongs here now that I have this site up and running. Enjoy!

-Josh

Playing a show like Piano Fondue, you find yourself in front of a new crowd every night. You want these folks to sing along and have fun, but before that can happen, you have to connect with them. Once you develop a connection, the audience will pay way more attention to you, and they’ll be open to having some fun.

Here is a great trick that I learned early on. Start small. Focus on two or three audience members sitting close to you. Chat with them, ask how they’re doing, ask if they have any requests, show them other people’s requests, cheers them with your drink – anything you can do to involve them in what’s going on. Make sure these few people are having fun, and the rest of the crowd will follow suit. When the crowd is watching you, they’re watching you through the front few rows. They’ll want to have that experience that you’re having with that front table, and once that happens, you’re set! After a few songs, try opening the circle to some other folks in the room. Odds are, they’ll be ready to play along.

See you at the next show!
-Josh

Slow and Steady Loses the Race

“Slow and steady wins the race.”

I’ve never liked the moral of the tortoise and the hare. It’s always bugged me. Sure, the turtle plugged away and eventually crossed the finish line. And he beat the hare! Hooray! Here’s the rub – a moral is a theme from a story that can be taken and applied to real life, and when in real life is this even remotely going to happen? When is all of your competition going to lay down and take a nice long break, basking in their lead over you?

The point of this story isn’t to behave like the tortoise – setting a comfortable pace, not pushing yourself too hard. Just as long as you don’t quit, you’ll win it all. Right? What kind of horse shit is that?! The moral is to not behave like that stupid hare! He didn’t stop and rest because he was too tired to go on. He did it because he was so content with the lead he inherited from his talent, that he got lazy and didn’t even begin to push himself.

Here’s the real moral of the tortoise and the hare – don’t rest on your laurels. There is always someone behind you who is plugging along everyday with the hope of overtaking you. The real takeaway is to continually challenge yourself and don’t get lazy, because the people ahead of you aren’t going to lay down for a nap. The tortoise isn’t the hero of this story – he’s the villain. And he wins. So learn from the hare’s mistake. If you want to win this race, keep pushing the limits and don’t give up.

Call to action – What can you do at this moment to get a little farther than you were a moment ago? Why shouldn’t you just get up and do it. Proofread that article now. Start working on that important email now. Make your bed now. Lay out what you’ll need for your morning routine now. Do it. Now.

Taking a well-deserved rest can be the correct answer, too. In an upcoming post, I’d like to explore some ideas for even making your downtime more productive.

What’s your opinion on the “Tortoise and the Hare?” Did I come close, or am I way off base? What did you do when presented with today’s call to action? I’d love to hear it – let me know in the comments.

-Josh

Staying Hydrated

I was so happy yesterday to head over to the post office and discover a package from my friends at Wisconsin Public Radio (wpr.org). My water bottle (and Francie’s tote bag) had arrived! Time to get on top of hydration. I can’t tell you how many times 6pm has rolled around, and I realized I haven’t had a drop of water all god-damned day! Definitely some coffee, probably some beer, but not honest to goodness liquid water. You know – the building block of life?

My new water bottle! (Thanks, WPR)
My new water bottle! (Thanks, WPR)

Anyways, I’m loving my new little water bottle, and if you find yourself in the same position I did every day, maybe it’s time to grab one of your own. We’ll see if I keep up with the hydration once the novelty of mine wears off. I’ll cross my fingers.

Call To Action – Get up right now and have a sip of water. Your body will thank you for it. While you’re at it, why not throw some cash at your local public radio station? Your community will thank you for it. You can find your local station here.

-Josh

Hi, everybody!

Hi, everybody!

Welcome to my little side project on these open seas of the internet. I have been wanting to have an outlet for sharing what insight I have in the world of live music, business, and life in general, and the Piano Fondue site just didn’t quite seem the place for it all. Piano Fondue, by the way, is a business I run. It’s a piano-centric entertainment company based in Madison, Wisconsin. The main act is a dueling-pianos type show, and it’s just a riot! I started the company with my friend Christopher Lange back in 2006, and after almost a decade of wearing several different hats in and around the business (co-owner/entertainer, then as an independant contractor) I’ve been running things solo now since October, 2014. I highly recommend checking it out if you have the chance. Just head over to pianofondue.com </shameless_plug>

I hope that as this site develops, we will get to know each other a little better. I really mean it – please feel free to ask questions, comment, insult me, what have you… either here on the site or on twitter, where you can find me at @PianoJoshDupont. I think I’m looking to figure out the same things we all are in this crazy world. Join me, and let’s find stuff out together.

-Josh