I offer up encouragingly [Editor's note: I'm not sure if that is really a word], "Don't you find though, that with the intimacy of the concert setting, they really can see more of YOU?"

"Yeah," Jim responds swimmingly. "Because of the way my concerts are set-up it's like I just kind of talk. It's somewhat irreverent. It's somewhat self-deprecating. Obviously it's a side of me. It's not completely an act. But you can turn into that persona when you do it every single day."

Not fearing my directness, I inquire about what might be a good way for someone to work through these conflicts?

"One thing, is spending more time alone -- alone with my thoughts, alone with God, alone with reading -- especially because I'm always around people -- all the time. It's especially confusing in relationships with other people. So, it's something that I have to force myself to do."

STEP SIX: Spend time alone.

Being alone is when you get confronted with the reality of...drum roll, pleaseYOU!

"Right!" he verbally high-fives me. "It's something that other people don't necessarily understand. But sometimes you need to take the time to do that."

I'm going deep again, but I'm wondering (out-loud) if there would be any sense in telling people more about yourself to kind of help justify this conflict

"Interesting. Interesting," he pauses, waiting for his thoughts to catch up with his feelings. "I think maybe you're right. It might actually help me to do that. I mean, I'm pretty honest with the audience in a kind of humorous way. I've never liked performers who get up on a soapbox. So I try to do it in a way that is comfortable to me, and my audience. I hate to take a personal agenda and put it in front of the audience unless I think there's some value in what they might get out of it too."

That's very...can I say, mature - without sounding stupid?

"Yeah...thank you."

Maybe respectful is a better word.

He explains his position further. "The whole idea is that people these days with disposable income, there are so many things they can do with it. To expect them to plunk down $30-40 for an evening of entertainment, they better get entertained! I've never understood performers who act like the audience was lucky to be able to come see them. It's your job - you're supposed to be an entertainer!"

STEP SEVEN: Remember who bought your ticket.

Click to hear "Love Of My Life" featuring Michael W. Smith!


Dropping most of my journalistic decorum, I have to take one more dive into the deep. I ask Brickman if there is actually something he'd want to talk more about, to teach people about - that he thinks would be beneficial to them?

No pause necessary, he begins. "It's the whole hard work thing. There's no trick to any of it. It's not like someone knocks on your door and says, 'Hey, you play the piano pretty well. Wanna be a star?' It doesn't work like that for anybody. The most successful people in this business are people who get up early in the morning and go to bed late and sacrifice parts of their lives for it. It's not an easy balance. To make it happen is just not what it seems.

"There's so much about it that has nothing to do with music at all. You need to make choices that lead you ultimately to what you're supposed to be, or what you're meant to do. What it really comes down to in general is the choices that you make. The choice that you make to get up at five o'clock in the morning, instead of at nine in the morning, allows you to get 50 more calls in that way. Or maybe it's your choice to go visit your family for Christmas day, instead of for two weeks, or whatever. Again, it's all a matter of what's important to you. There's nothing wrong with those choices obviously. But there are different choices for the different areas of responsibility in your life. You can't expect to have everything."


Jim Brickman & Friends
If You Believe
Provident
$14.98



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