Christian Pearson

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4 Reasons OKC Needs Model Musicians

OKC needs more model musicians. I mean that in two ways: We need musicians to be leaders and to be an example to the creative community, inspire others in what they do, what they stand for, and how they present themselves to the public. AND... We also need musicians to literally be models. Modeling is one of the many ancillary skills musicians need to hone to build their careers. Here are 4 reasons why musicians need to think a little bit about modeling, and I promise to limit the post to no more than two Zoolander references.

1. Content is still King - You need pictures of yourself. As a promoter and content creator. I need pictures of you to promote with. It's really hard to get people excited about a show or write a blog post about you if I have no photos or video to post with. If you don't have promotional assets easily accessible, you can forget about getting press coverage.

Some artist locally do a great job and have seen awesome results. Others, are have such and enigmatic online persona (or lack thereof) that no professional content creator has time trying to sift through the internet to find what they need to put a piece together or decide if you're someone they want to interview or something. Whether you're a dope emcee for an artful jazz cat. You must have good content on your channel to help other content creators support you, build a following, and book gigs.

2. Content Needs to be High-Quality - If you need pics of yourself, you might as well make them good. While you're at it, you should build a skill that you can reuse. With iPhone cameras and social media being so ubiquitous, it's a really good idea to be prepared with the self-awareness to know how to look the way you want to look when cameras are on you.

All of that takes practice. Modeling is kinda like yoga. You pose, and you get to know your own body on a more intimate level. It doesn't need to be about being vain or attractive. It should absolutely be about learning about how to easily present yourself to others.

I’m pretty sure there’s a lot more to life than being really, really, ridiculously good looking. And I plan on finding out what that is.
— Derek Zoolander

3. Modeling is a useful Creative Skill that involves other Creatives - Modeling is a creative endeavor. I was blown away by how much shooting with an experience photographer like Ryan Magnani feels so much like jamming with solid musicians. It's open ended, you can do anything you want within your role, and you're trusting and relying on the photographer to capture the right looks in the moment, and advise you on lighting, composition, etc.

You'll also pick up some photography knowledge if you're paying attention. That's another ancillary skill musicians need to be aware of. Anytime you do anything creative, it's an opportunity to connect with other artists, build relationships, share ideas, and learn from each other.

4. Music a Language, so is Body Language - We as musicians put hours refining our music to express the thing it's meant to express. Don't be unintentional about what your physical presence communicates. The way you look and carry yourself says something to others, and people often experience music with their eyes as much as their ears. If you aren't intentional about what your posture and facial expression says to the people around you, you're relinquishing control of your presence. This is true in photos and video, and it's also true on stage and when you're listening to other musicians play.

The idea of being intentional about your appearance and body language is like branding. You need to clearly communicate who you are and what your vibe is; because if you don't, people will make up their own ideas about you. It's not about being someone your not (kinda), it's always about being the best version of yourself. It takes practice and intention to get there, and you'll probably grow along the way.

Get Going

You can start by just shooting some selfies. You don't have to post them or anything, but get to know your looks a little bit. Get 2 or 3 go-to expressions so that when your next single blows up and Rolling Stone or the local news station does a piece on you, it's not your first rodeo.

OkSessions is planning some collaborative workgroups where artists work together to help them make the content we need, so keep an eye out for that. 

And of course, have fun with it.