Last Monday's release of my first original single, "Carry Me," was thrilling, thanks to all of your views, comments, and enthusiasm. THANK YOU SO MUCH for being there to usher the song into the world, and for being a part of this community.
If you missed it, or haven't yet downloaded the song yet, here are some links!
Reflecting on last week's release....
The most rewarding moments for me were reading your personal notes about how the song resonated with your own journey, or evoked a visceral emotional response (positive or not-so-positive!).
In this way I feel the song and video truly connected us, human to human -- perhaps more than any of my singing tips video could (even though those were fun, don't get me wrong).
A core intention of why I write and produce my music, and express myself creatively on video, is...
At long last.......you can now,
I dedicate this song and music video to those struggling with body dysmorphia, seeking the freedom to be carried away from their internal prisons and limitations.
Please share the video with friends if it resonated with you, and thank you so much for listening and for your support -- now and through the years.
It's only the beginning....
Music and Lyrics: Felicia Ricci
Music Production, Instruments, Mixing, Mastering: Felicia Ricci
Videographers: Lark and Felicia Ricci
Video Editor: Felicia Ricci
Special thanks to Lark for the patience, Elliott for the email, and Eddy Edgar for the EQ drum consultation.
The entire "Carry Me" music video was filmed on an iPhone X.
A serious question -- how many emails have I sent you over the past couple years where I'm like:
"LIFE IS REALLY WEIRD RIGHT NOW, I'M STILL CONVULSING IN THE FETAL POSITION IN A CAVE, I HAVE NOTHING FURTHER TO REPORT OR SHOW YOU, SORRY, OKAY BYE"?
You may have heard by now, but in case you haven't: since 2017, I quit teaching singing and began working on writing, producing, and recording my own music. The journey since then has been.............wild!
As far as my email list is concerned: it honestly felt like I kept inviting you over for dinner, where I would describe an elaborate recipe I was working on -- only to never actually bring out the food.
And for this I say -- thank you, always, for being patient.
The truth is, this experience was pretty much unavoidable.
During my journey to find my own voice as an artist, I got divorced, I uprooted my life to California, I felt...
[PHOTO: If my emotional landscape were an actual landscape...]
Y’all, I’m calling it: the body is back. It’s tired of the self concept that humans are advanced computers. Couldn't be less true.
The past three years have been WILD. My body is not joking around. It is ready to feel 24/7 and be taken seriously, not as a "too-sensitive" liability but as a compass, a portal to the self, and understanding. It is wise beyond what I can even explain.
The body contains emotion, the stuff of life! It moves me to love and make art and create. How about you??
I'm ready to step into an era of body not as object but as companion, building true emotional intelligence, honesty, and perceptiveness, where we all learn to feel, empathize, and play together again.
P.s. Shout-out to the hypersensitive dramatic passionate empaths out there reading this who feel in muuufuuuuing color, I see you.
I've performed as the lead role in a Broadway tour, been in over 100 musicals, and my YouTube channel has over half a million subscribers.
But I'd never sung an original song at an open mic.
Until this past Tuesday night.
Sound the frickin' trumpets, right?
For many folks reading this, an open mic might not seem like a big deal.
But to me, it was.
Playing a role in a musical is one thing. Playing your true self is a whole other challenge -- one I wasn't prepared to deal with until this year.
The intimidating part about this particular open mic (at a bar called TIME, appropriately enough) was that you play with the house band (drums, bass, keys) and they take your song and improvise and riff with you.
Most folks do cover songs, but if you want to perform an original you email them your chord chart ahead of time, attach an .mp3 demo, then sign up and go.
Your song undergoes a magical conversion of sorts, from your brain to a near instant materialization -- played by...
Lately I've been rebuilding my voice. It's not that my voice "went away," or anything -- but the truth is, when you spend the majority of your time teaching online and making content, you don't tend to your voice with the diligence it deserves.
So I've been working almost daily with my favorite warmups and techniques, and it re-occurred to me just how important ALIGNMENT is.
An aligned voice feels and sounds good. A misaligned voice feels and sounds not-so-good.
But alignment is more than just physical. It is also emotional and mental.
Alignment also means: relaxing into where you are, warts and all.
Alignment on a physical level is straightforward. It means: your body is working as one unit, and it's producing sound in a straight, unobstructed vertical line.
If you tilt your chin too far forward, or your posture caves in, or you don't engage your pelvis to support your torso, your alignment suffers, and technique gets wonky.
When I'm not "activated" or "aligned" this manifests as...
Last week, I stood at a pair of shiny gates. They were large and brass. They were closed.
Beyond the gates looked like Mount Olympus. I saw cotton-candy clouds and a glimmering palace decked in gold. Everything felt radiant, good, powerful.
I was flooded with knowing. But I sensed two contradictory things:
(1) This next step was so easy! All I had to do to was walk through the gates, and I would enter a new, beautiful life.
(2) Were I to do this, there would be extreme, earth-shattering danger and pain.
Suddenly, everything felt dark and smokey. The storm cloud of fear.
The truth was, my skin was too thin, my lungs too earthly to breathe in the new air. If I crossed into Olympus, I would disintegrate into nothing.
I wasn't "good enough" for this new atmosphere, this new altitude. I wouldn't be able to survive at a higher level.
As I hesitated I turned to my right and noticed a large figure. An ogre-type being who I was knew was there to pummel me to death if I tried to walk up the...
It's the end of my relationship. It's the beginning, too. I'm unpacking my new apartment, putting things in order. I'm unpacking my desires, thoughts, and pockets of pain. I'm redecorating the empty walls. Reconfiguring my concept of who I could be.
After the decimation comes the rebuild. The Winter and the Spring. Now
my outside world will begin to reflect new revelations about who I am on the inside. But this takes energy and clarity. Patience and thought.
All my life I've been an achiever, a succeeder, a producer, a creator. Do, do, do, do! Show your work, and show your worth!
For almost one year exactly, I've done the opposite. I've allowed myself to sit. To receive. To listen rather than talk.
* * *
The deeper I go, the more I realize that I am paving a new path that somehow integrates art and teaching. This path allows me to both explicitly and artistically share insights regarding my personal and spiritual growth, through performance, video, music, and writing.
My life path is...
It's been so long! How are you? I hope you are still singing up a storm. (Are you?? Huh??? Don't make me come over there!!!)
Me? I've been........chugging along. :) With my 32nd birthday coming up next month, I can now say, confidently:
Future Felicia will one day look back on this past year, cackle, slap me on the butt, and say: "Oh, honey, that was rough, wasn't it?"
And I'll be like, yes, Future Felicia, but please don't slap my butt that hard.
(Although I guess given the time-space reality I won't actually be there to respond?) (Whatever, you get the idea.)
The thing is, the last time I changed this much in a year was....I don't know! Puberty? And while change is often marketed as purely awesome, it is actually so, so, so disorienting and wack.
In case you hadn't heard, the human brain HATES change. In the right filtered light, change seems fun! Exciting! Wow! Let me Instagram my new haircut, etc!
In a more direct, honest light, change feels like churning swamps...
Well, well, well....if it isn't Fel. (<-- love 2 speak about myself in the third person and simultaneously rhyme)
I write to you now from my home office, which has become a true caricature of itself. The MUSIC PRODUCER AT WORK! Wires, cords, microphones, MIDI controllers, opened boxes, bubble wrap. But somehow there is order in the chaos.
I'm makin-da-sweet music.
And in the process, making myself.
Er. "Making myself" might not be the best phrase.
It occurred to me that the field of self-improvement should be called "self-clarification." Cuz there's nothing to improve.
Growth feels more like stripping away than building up. Stripping away what I was told to be and feel, groping around in the dark for the silhouette of my essential self. Like finding a melody through the noise.
The act of making music has helped me (forced me?) to do this. It's been....wild.
I've been asking myself:
Who am I, independent of judgment, shame, and the rules that were randomly laid...