Hollywood Coaching • Career Coach Los Angeles, Life Coach, Executive Business Coach

The New Hollywood Leader

Wit and Wisdom of Thelonious Monk as Noted by Steve Lacy

by Hollywood Coach Admin

This is not about film or television but it is about the creative process, team work and collaboration. I may write about this later but wanted to post this thing now.



Just because you’re not a drummer, doesn’t mean you don’t have to keep time.

Pat your foot and sing the melody in your head, when you play.

Stop playing all those weird notes (that bullshit), play the melody!

Make the drummer sound good.

Discrimination is important.

You’ve got to dig it to dig it, you dig?


Always know….(MONK)

It must be always night, otherwise they wouldn’t need the lights.

Let’s lift the band stand!!

I want to avoid the hecklers.

Don’t play the piano part, I’m playing that. Don’t listen to me. I’m supposed to be accompanying you!

The inside of the tune (the bridge) is the part that makes the outside sound good.

Don’t play everything (or every time); let some things go by. Some music just imagined. What you don’t play can be more important that what you do.

A note can be small as a pin or as big as the world, it depends on your imagination.

Stay in shape! Sometimes a musician waits for a gig, and when it comes, he’s out of shape and can’t make it.

When you’re swinging, swing some more.

(What should we wear tonight? Sharp as possible!)

Always leave them wanting more.

Don’t sound anybody for a gig, just be on the scene. These pieces were written so as to have something to play and get cats interested enough to come to rehearsal.

You’ve got it! If you don’t want to play, tell a joke or dance, but in any case, you got it! (To a drummer who didn’t want to solo)

Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it. A genius is the one most like himself.

They tried to get me to hate white people, but someone would always come along and spoil it.

Change Sucks (If You're Doing It Right)

by David Brownstein


Those of you who’ve been following my progress for the past few months may remember that I though I’d finished mixing my music CD in December. Very excited, I sent the tracks off to a friend who I hired to do the mastering.

Guess What?

I discovered that I really wasn’t finished. I didn’t like how they sounded when they came back.

And guess what else? It wasn’t his fault. It was mine. I still had more work to do, but I didn’t know what. And boy was I pissed.

Keep Reading…

What Is Your Big Bold Move For 2009?

by David Brownstein

Since December turned into a quiet month for my coaching practice I decided that rather than stress out and rail against the injustices of the global economy I would instead finish a long-incomplete creative project.

Yes. I completed mixing a 10-song music CD project that I've been working on for the past 4 (or more) years. And it felt really good to finish it.

Here are some things I learned in the process.

Focusing On One Thing Really Helps

Because even though it sounds like "one thing" it's really a million little things: new ideas, new obstacles, new solutions, new frustrations: each that must be encountered and mastered.

And it takes time, attention, energy, focus and desire to apply the necessary compression of attention, skills and persistence to complete something meaningful.

Obstacles As Indicator

A teacher I heard once said, "obstacles appear in proportion to the importance of the project at hand."

In other words, if the project is really important to you, the obstacles will be huge. Thus, your interior challenges will rise accordingly as well.

On my music project, I encountered, and survived, 2 hard drive crashes, numerous challenging software upgrades and incompatibilities, missing files, equipment failures and technical challenges etc.

And Then…

And then there are were the creative challenges and questions:

  • Are my songs any good?
  • What will people think?
  • Is the bass too loud?
  • Is this thing taking too long?
  • Is this music style passé?
  • Will anyone ever hear it?
  • Have my lyrics been too revealing?
  • Too chiche?
  • Too obtuse?
  • Am I using too much reverb?

Keep Reading…

Amazing Journey

by David Brownstein

I wrote this on the topic/challenge of our great songwriters to stay lyrically relevant in the later stages of their careers. This was after watching “Amazing Journey” the great documentary about The WHO on the plane to NY. (Virgin America Rocks.)


Artists Getting Older

The problem with being an older songwriter, like Pete Townsend, or Paul McCartney, or Joni Mitchell, is that if you’ve lived long enough, you
start to understand the meaning of things and you want to write about what you’ve seen and understand, have learned.

The Kids Are Alright

When they were younger and brash and confused and running a full tank of hormones they were able to spew and spout and rail with more directness, and less consciousness of what they were saying.

Now, years later they look at the songs they wrote as brilliant artists and young men and women and can actually see and hear what they were thinking about, wondering about, and searching for.

What, Me Worry?

What they were drawn to like a moth to the flame, ran from like a bat out of hell, and angry about like a rolling stone.

But now, they’re cursed, or challenged, with self knowledge and worldly awareness and it’s a bit harder to pull out a good image without knowing it’s meaning in our canon of past work, our library of clip part from our past journey, demon’s, angels and all.

OK. I commit to give another listen to that recent WHO CD.

Master How To Win Over The Most Intimidating VIP

by David Brownstein

(I was interviewed recently for this article below. Only one major factual error but basically this is what i said. See below for my comments/correction.)

BY MOREY STETTNER INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY Sometimes it’s hard enough to convince your best friend. Yet winning over a haughty VIP can prove far tougher. While some bigwigs are perfectly polite, others can bully and bluster their way through a meeting. They may skip the niceties and strike a stern, disapproving attitude from the moment you enter the room. “They’re thinking, ‘Now amaze me and make it quick,’ “ said David Brownstein, president of Hollywood Coaching in Los Angeles.

Keep Reading…