The topic of this blog actually started from a Gchat with a fellow AG One staffer today. As always in the writing process, especially a collaborative process, you will run into differing opinions and new perspectives. The process for me can be fun and a bit grating at times. Fun because your working towards a common goal and together you both can come up with something amazing. However, like any writer, you're sensitive about your work and you believe that it is the best thing to ever flow from your brain, down through your fingertips and onto the computer screen/note pad/etc. So when you realize that the work is being chopped and those sentences you so lovingly strung together are being dismantled, you wince, you cringe and then you just pull an "I'm sensitive about my s***!" a'la Erykah Badu. You get where I'm coming from...

Anyway, the topic at hand was "What Ifs" and the connotation that the phrase carries in common everyday lexicon. To alot of people "What If" is a question that we ask when we're scared, insecure, reluctant and unsure. I'll admit, I'm the first to ask "what if" when taking on a new endeavor and the end result is not a sure thing and could result me looking like an idiot. It's an instant human reaction to hope for the best but brace for the worst and the what ifs give us the chance to weigh the options and outcomes before we fully invest ourselves in an inclement situation. The "what if" is our way out, our excuse to stay safe when really that "what if" could lead to progression beyond our wildest dreams.

I have had the pleasure of being mentored by a man who turned the "what if" into a weapon that prevents that lapse into mediocrity and complacency. His mantra of always asking questions in order to progress has helped me make alot of career and life choices that I would have otherwise pushed to the back burner and let simmer and die. I apply this philosophy of "what if" to the very industry that we are making our mark on today. As creatives in an entertainment industry that is ever changing and caters to consumers who are very skittish about long-term commitment, it is our responsibility to ask the questions that could lead to new frontiers in entertainment. Our audience depends on us asking the "what if" questions and matriculating from those inquiries. I have come to believe that the question of what if should never be one to hold you back, especially in this industry. Every what if may not lead to the desired outcome, but one of those questions leads to another question, which turns into an idea, which evolves into a plan and then becomes a successful solution. In the AG One family we are blessed to have each other to bounce those what if questions off of each other. Every day one of us asks "what if we do this...?" and yes, there are those counter-questions that ask "well, if we do that what if this (insert scary failure scenario here) happens?" Yet, alot of those what ifs have led to great ideas and solutions for us and keeps us moving forward creatively and professionally.

In the music industry, fear is a constant, never fading and always in the background, waiting for a moment's vulnerability. John Mayer has the greatest song on his 2006 Continuum album aptly titled "Vultures." What sounds like a pop song describing the music industry and it's dark side, is really a song about asking questions and letting fear and insecurity settle in. It takes a bold mind and spirit to step outside the norm and do what is least popular or new and unchartered. However, how many of the most successful artists asked that scary what if question and progressed? Plenty! How many are still asking what if and building upon that question, hoping to strike gold, but never losing that curiosity? Too many to count! How many have asked what if and left it at that? Never digging deeper and allowing that what if to grow into a "hell no?" You probably know one of them or are in fact one yourself. I believe that this is the most important time in entertainment to turn the "what if" into a tool of onward and upward movement. Stop sucking on the lollipop of passivity and dollar signs and actually ask questions that lead to innovation. Arnold Randall said it best, "As an artist you must put yourself in the position to go beyond the norm and yet be in the zone at the same time." So, not only as artists but as human beings we must get a little radical, get a little passionate, GET OUT OF THE BOX! We cannot continue to let a "what if" be the the question that holds us back from so many amazing possibilities.

Post By: Tamika