From Microsoft to Hugh Jackman

Comments: 23

Hugh Jackman and Amanda Easton

Years ago I was watching Robin Williams in ‘Dead Poets Society’ on video, squirming inside as they talked about ‘Carpe Diem’ or ‘Seize the Day’, the main theme of the movie. At the time, I was working in PR for a huge multinational corporation (OK, it was Microsoft) and it was quite prestigious and well paid, especially considering I was almost straight out of uni. On the side, I was performing in an amateur musical production of ‘West Side Story’ (pre-Hollywood Hugh Jackman was also in it and this is a photo of us backstage. Promise me you forgive my I-thought-I-was-fashionable-at-the-time styling).

I got more and more uncomfortable on my little couch in Sydney, Australia as Robin Williams’ character in the film inspired his students with one important message: make your life extraordinary and live it on your own terms. The movie was forcing me to ask myself if I was doing that. Because I had a job that made my parents proud and impressed strangers at parties, did that mean I loved the direction in which my life was heading?

The fulfilment of working in the corporate world where I spent the majority of my waking hours was not a speck on the heart-lifting joy and satisfaction I felt on weeknights and weekends when I was rehearsing and performing in this little show in the suburbs. Why couldn’t that be my full time life? It might sound a bit naff that a Hollywood movie changed my life but it was really just the straw that broke the back – a back that carried the weight of my increasing regrets and unfulfillment.

After a lot of soul searching and intense planning of a more practical kind, I left the world of big business with its good dosh and stability, to try to work in music full time. Was I even good enough? Was I crazy? Almost everyone around me thought I was out of my mind.

Amanda Easton onstage at Double Bay festivalFast forward through years which amazingly include international tours, independent charting singles, sold out shows at the Sydney Opera House and a lot more. I can say that I have never ever regretted my decision and that making and performing music still gives me incredible gratification.

People often say I’m ‘lucky’ to have a job I love. Of course everyone has different talents but I worked (and continue to work) pretty damn hard to achieve a full-time career in music. In the end I truly believe that the passion I have for the creativity far outweighs any in-born talent or luck I may have had.

I gotta admit that in the early days I wanted to be a Pop Star. I wanted to live the life of a celebrity and show all the naysayers that I did ‘make it’ away from the well-trodden path I was expected to take. I soon realised those things didn’t matter in the least. Now it’s the creativity that turns me on! I’m not suggesting at all that it’s been a smooth road. There have been times when I’ve craved an easier and ‘more normal’ life and just wanted to stay in bed and hide from the sometimes ruthless world of music. But I also think that the best things in life don’t come without some struggle.

I love getting up in the morning with butterflies in my tummy, thinking about a big show ahead. I love arriving backstage – even when it’s the size of a broom cupboard and hasn’t been cleaned in months – and setting out my costumes and makeup, doing my vocal warm-ups and double checking my lyrics. I love walking out onto the stage feeling the comaraderie with my bandmates, even just for the sound check. I love the metallic smell of the microphone in front of my face as I stand in a circle of light in the silence before a song starts, with all those expectant faces looking my way. I love, after hours and often days or weeks of torment and frustration, the exhilaration of finishing a song – writing something that reflects moments and emotions in time. And the thought that these songs might even one day become part of the soundtrack of people’s adventures or the salve to their heartaches. Just like Madonna and David Bowie songs were for me growing up. And that’s where you come in, because there wouldn’t be much point if people like you didn’t listen.

I look forward to a lot more exciting experiences in music – some of them will no doubt be heartbreaking or bank-breaking but they will also absolutely be worthwhile. I’d love it if you wanted to be part of these exploits.

If you’d like to hear the most recent milestone on this crazy road, click here to listen to my most recent release, ‘Polaroids & Postcards’.

Thank you for being a listener and helping make it all matter,

Amanda

23 Comments

  • Eddie Dunkeson says:

    Have a great week little girl

  • Cub Callaway says:

    Thanks for the free songs Amanda. I prefer “Dance to the music in my head” as I think it showcases your voice well and is less stylised than the other two IMHO. Good singing all round of course. Sure the mixes could be improved but hey, nothing like having a go!

    Your blog tells a story many of us know and few get to make a living solely out of music. I am from the indie/underground side of the tracks where we choose our own course. Fulfilling to the soul but not the bank account;)

    There are some of us who just have to play music, it goes much deeper than plain old DNA. Your blog expresses that very well. Looking forward to playing some music with you soon.

    Cheers
    Cub

    • Amanda Easton says:

      Thanks Cub. That’s my favourite of my songs too :). Yes I feel like life is about striking that balance between soul fulfilment and filling the fridge! Thanks for your comments and looking forward to gigging together soon,
      Cheers,
      Amanda

  • James Page says:

    Ok, first I want to thank you for the free songs. I truly enjoyed all three. Will listen to them many times as I marked all three favs. You have a fantastic talent. I will be getting more. Your voice is beautiful. The music goes to my soul. The vocals to my heart. And that photo with Hugh Jackman, I hope he knows how lucky he was there! Being with you! You are as beautiful as your music. Thank you again for choosing music over Microsoft.

  • Michael says:

    The three free songs you sent me were very relatable. They were emotionally telling. I could feel you through your voice and lyrics. You’re a wonderful entertainer. Keep up the good work.

  • Kauko says:

    Amanda you have a pleasant and a beautiful voice. out of the 3 tracks that you sent me , my personal favourite onewas the second one, althugh they were all done with great skill and care… it just happens to be the favourite one of the 3 thats just personal taste thank you for sharing you music and singing they were well done.

  • Amanda Easton says:

    Thank so much Alan,
    Amanda

  • alan brewin says:

    well i gave it a second try but sorry i dont like this one bit it absolute rubbish, but hey ho each to their own some one will like it but not me

  • Amanda Easton says:

    😁

  • John paine says:

    I’m glad I found you ,can’t wait to buy the cd
    Love your voice and thank you for the free downloads,see you in the charts soon

  • Tadd Spencer says:

    I love your voice and I enjoyed listening,female singers have always had a soothing affect on me and my love for music.You are unique and that makes you stand out from the rest I hope you make it big in music because you deserve it.:)

  • Harold Levy says:

    Amanda,

    First I wish to thank you for allowing me to download 3 of your songs.
    I enjoyed all three. I love your voice. It has a quality that is unlike anyone else which allows your music to stand out for so many of the others. And that is a good thing. I really loved them and look forward to hearing more.

    Thank you again,
    Harold

  • I love your sound it has depth and quality.I particularly like the track”untangle” and the way your skilled voice dances like silk through the delightful and amazing music.

    • Amanda Easton says:

      Hi Leesa,
      You’ve got to be a poet or writer of some sort? What a great way with words you have! Thanks so much for the comments. x

  • Larry Kohlruss says:

    Love the writing. Songs are great.
    What I don’t like, is some of the mixing. Untangle, at a few of the slightly more powerful vocals, there is a little distortion. Just a little. It’s hard to hear at low volumes, but gets more noticeable as volume goes up. Most people will likely not notice it.(listened on more that one system, so not the system) On the New Bohemians, the music distortion, is really a cool effect. Problem is, it also carries over to your vocals. It’s not the vocals distorting, it’s the vocals blending with the music so much, it make it sound like the same process was used on the vocals. Off hand, the only way I can think of to change this, would be to narrow the vocal track. Make it sound a little more separated from the music, by narrowing the reverb on the vocals.
    Sorry, I’m just very picky about some things. lol Outside of that, I Love your music….

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