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Do it with passion or don’t do it at all

by Ashley Dingess

“Do it with passion or don’t do it at all” — this isn’t just a quote meme on Instagram, this is something that speaks to me every single day in every way possible.

Do you ever sit back after a fulfilling day of doing something you love and think to yourself about how happy you are to be enjoying your life? You almost get a high from it! Many of us who work in the “industry” sometimes forget about how lucky we really are to be doing this. We all get so focused on our hectic schedules, deadlines, if we are going to get enough sleep, if we are pleasing enough people, if we are doing a good enough job at work, etc. If you’re like me, you have wanted to work in the music/entertainment business since you were a kid… dreaming of the glitz, the glam and being invited to cool parties and all that.

Sometimes when the hustle and business take over our lives, it’s hard to remember why we are here and we take it for granted. I know this first hand because I have let that happen to me!

I will never forget when one of my all time favorite bands was doing a private acoustic performance on a Hollywood building rooftop and I had to go and cover the social and photos for it. The event was scheduled to go on until about 10pm on a weekday and all I could think about was how annoyed I was that I had to drive all the way to Hollywood from the valley, park and stand on my feet until 10pm knowing I had a 7:30am meeting the next day. I couldn’t get out of my own head! People would legitimately kill for this opportunity and here I am complaining like a “negative Nancy”… what had gotten into me? Had my passion for music left me? What was happening?!

The following weekend I cleared my schedule for some serious 1 on 1 Ashley time. I went into my room, lit a candle, sat on my computer and decided to freely write about what makes me happy. I made playlists of my favorite music at the moment and just breathed and took in life. I let work leave my brain. I even attended a show at the Hotel Café that weekend, non-work related to really sit and enjoy music without having to worry about covering the event, networking or getting anxious about. Just listened to the words, the melodies, closed my eyes and smiled remembering how much I dig music and why I am where I am. Sounds hippy-ish, but hey, it helped a lot.

playlist

Images courtesy of Ashley Dingess

My point here is, if you’re in the movie business and you feel run down and annoyed with your next premiere or meeting, go to a movie alone or with your friend and watch it without worrying. Throw a classic movie night at your place with all the flicks that made you want to get involved in this crazy industry. If you work in music and you want to slap someone due to being so cranky from being out every night until 2am at listening parties during the week, buy some tickets to that weird band that you never get to see (we all have that one artist — mine would be Duncan Sheik or Dashboard Confessional) and go enjoy, jam out and take in the moment. If you write a celebrity gossip column and the thought of writing about another Kim Kardashian booty moment makes you want to just slam your head on your desk, sit down and try and write about something that makes you smile.

Happy place

“Rocking out to AFI, completely in my zone, on my musical Coachella vacation.” – Ashley Dingess

Remember, the people who do things with passion are the most successful. Any successful person I know talks about her career with a sparkle in her eye. Next time you feel like you’re about to freak, just breathe, sit with your thoughts and think back to when and why you wanted to be here. Even if you have to take an afternoon for you, it’s important you don’t get so jaded or upset that your passion turns into your destruction.

Ashley Dingess

About Ashley Dingess

Ashley Dingess is a social media maven and content curator for radio, artists and small businesses. Her current gig is as the Social Media Manager for LA's Hip Hop station, POWER 106 FM. She is a music-loving, selfie taking, go getter who showcases her celeb encounters and shenanigans on Instagram @ashleyhollabakk and Twitter @AshleyHollaBakk

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