Songwriting 101: Protecting Your Songs

Songwriting 101: Protecting Your SongsEver since the explosion of the internet, personal ownership of created content has been heavily disputed. In an arena where anyone can steal anything at any time, how does a songwriter protect their original content?

Library of Congress

Before diving into copyright protection, remember that you can’t prevent all forms of piracy. It exists and it will happen in some form or another, be it a blatant copy or simply a reimagining of your idea. You can’t fight every battle. You can only be informed and choose the battles worth fighting. In the end, the cases you choose to pursue should be based on your best judgement. A younger kid just getting into online performance probably made a simple mistake. A full company taking your song, however, is far less innocent.

To protect your songs, the best way is through registration with the Library of Congress. While your work is automatically protected in the United States once it exists in a tangible format, the Library produces a public record of it that provides legal advantages should you choose to pursue copyright infringement.

In order to do this, all you need to do is fill out a registration form, submit the correct fee and submit your work. This can all be done either online or through the mail. Once this is received, there is a procedure the Library will go through before accepting your work. First, they process the payment. After that clears, they examine your application to make sure everything is filled out properly. Following this verification, your song is assigned a number and a certificate of registration is mailed to you. Your work is them added to an online, searchable public record.

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Post Audition Checklist

Post Audition ChecklistJust like any job, the follow-up to an audition or agency interview is as important as the interview itself. Knowing what to do won’t guarantee a role or position but it will guarantee that your name will become a respected one for future endeavors, increasing the likelihood of success down the road.

  1. Review Your Performance – How do you feel it went? What could you improve? What did you nail? Give yourself introspection time to better understand how to perform even stronger next time. Write down what you discover in a journal. Every audition is a learning experience if you make it one.
  2. Send a Thank You Note – It’s important to let the agency or casting company know that you appreciate the time they took to judge your audition. A simple form of recognition is enough to communicate that you understand it’s an intense process on both sides and their input is greatly appreciated.
  3. Alert your Peers – If you have an agent or directors that you worked with to prepare for the audition, let them know how it went. They are eager to hear all about it. You can also use this time to thank them and elaborate on how what they did served you well.
  4. Toss Unimportant Audition Papers – If you were asked to read for a side or received any sort of paper used solely for that audition and nothing more, throw it away. You did the best you could and holding on to superfluous material makes moving forward harder.
  5. Move On – After spending time analyzing, making notes and celebrating your audition, move on. You will audition many times and need to learn how to let go. Getting bogged down on one thing only hampers your ability to see the next success on the horizon.
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Fall 2017 Accessories

Fall 2017 Accessories What is a true ensemble without a few loud accessories to really bring everything together? Instead of trying to guess what’s going to be a big hit, here’s the highlights from the fashion runways themselves.

Hot Hats

Every type of hat imaginable made its way down the runway across the globe. From giant, furry statements to more subdued berets, this season is all about what you choose to put on your head.

Eyeful Earrings

For women, it’s safe to say that earrings are always in fashion. This fall, however, earrings are taking on a lot more weight—literally. Giant hoops and decadently layered earrings are all the rage. According to the biggest names in fashion, a lady’s most eye-catching jewelry this fall dangles from the lobes.

Studded Steps

There was an undeniable presence of footwear decoration in the shape of gemstones. Many a boot was covered in them while other pumps opted for more delicate placement. Regardless, if you’re into sparkles, your feet are the best place to show them off.

Practical Purses

Gone are the days of the unstructured sack purses. This season, it’s a return to shape with angular handbags designed to remain firm. Though a full box with a handle is on the extreme end, you can’t deny the draw of a sturdy bag.

Bold Baubles

With the choker trend dominating most fashion circles, it was only a matter of time before that got pushed to even further extremes. This fall, expect to see tighter necklaces with large widths, acting as both choker and detached high collar.

Petit Purses

If you’re headed out for a more formal event that requires you to leave your purse behind, micro purses are coming into couture to save your stuff. Diminutive in size, these highly versatile bags allow you to carry the bare minimum while still making a statement.

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Removing the Polish

Removing the PolishWith as many colors as there are hues in the rainbow, nail polish is too addicting not to use. Perfect for adding a simple accent to make any outfit pop, even guys are drawn to the allure. However, when it’s time to give your nails a breather, removing the polish can be tricky. Here are some tried and true ways to tackle polish removal with or without remover.

Nail Polish Remover

Complete with non-acetone and acetone versions, nothing works faster or better than nail polish remover. Non-acetone options do take longer to get the job done but end up being much easier on the nails themselves. The smell is also pretty strong, making it an instant “no” for many. If you have stubborn glitter, apply and let sit for a bit longer.

A Fresh Coat

Though it sounds counterintuitive, simply paint a coat of slow-drying nail polish over the old nail polish you want to remove and wait about a half a minute. Next, wipe away the lair and watch as it pulls the old polish with it. Simply rinse and repeat for those stubborn areas. This is also a great way to test out new colors to see how they look.

Anything with Rubbing Alcohol

Check ingredients around your beauty station and you’ll no doubt find at least a few things that contain rubbing alcohol. You may even have a bottle of it lying around. From hairspray to perfumes, these concoctions work just as well as remover. Simply apply or spray on a small amount and let everything sit for one minute as the old nail polish is broken down chemically. Next, use tissue paper or a cotton swab to clean the area. Though it won’t work as fast as remover, the polish will come off.

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Men’s Fall 2017 Fashion

Men's Fall 2017 FashionAs the ladies receive some Fall fashion tips, so, too, do the men have their own line up of chic looks designed to keep away the chill while still keeping it hot.

Big Business

To pair nicely with the large shoulders of female coats, men are also taking it back to the boom of 80s and Wall Street glory. Whether you work in corporate or not, looking stylish in office wear is a major player this fall. Big shoulders, sharp angles and a fancy tie are all in vogue.

Rad Red

Fashion superstars are also in agreement that red is this fall’s color star. Including bright red and the more reserved darker hues, anything worn on the outside regardless of being a top or bottom is welcome to boast a loud and proud warm look.

Boss Beret

Unlike women, men often accent their limited range of hairstyles with a wide range of hats. This year, the beret is in. French in origin, it is an unassuming addition to virtually any wardrobe that keeps the head warm while tying together the ensemble.

Snazzy Sportswear

Warm and comfy, sportswear is often coming in and out of fashion circles. This year, virtually every form of fitness gear is in. From padded outer jackets to full track suits, men are welcome to embrace the casual side of haute couture.

Sizzlin’ Seventies

This year, the 70s are making a comeback on the runway. From rugged, long hair and wild beards to odd shapes on sweaters and form fitting pants, the classic looks of rebellion and disco are returning for an updated go.

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Fall 2017 Fashion Trends

Fall 2017 Fashion TrendsLeaves are turning, temperatures are dropping and all around the world closets are shifting toward warmer ensembles to welcome incoming fall. Stay ahead of the curve with the latest and hottest trends this season.

Roarin’ Red

Just because the heat of the summer is fading doesn’t mean your wardrobe’s appearance has to go drab. This year, fashion designers were unanimous in their color callout. Red is in vogue and keeping things steamy well into winter.

Western Ways

Styles are heading south for the season with a number of cowboy-inspired looks from head to toe. Including cow print tops and plenty of denim, it’s time to get in touch with your more rustic side.

Perfect Plaid

Fitting in perfectly with the cowboy theme, plaid is also on its way in. From head to toe, both bottoms and tops can sport this retro vibe that looks as cozy as one should feel in the fall.

Sassy Shoulders

Continuing a trend that’s been constant throughout 2017, broad shoulders endure through this fall. Keep in mind, however, that these shoulders are meant to be found on outer coats and not on the shirts and blouses underneath.

Midi Madness

It seems fashion designers this season aren’t quite ready to say farewell to skirts. To make up for their unfriendliness to cooler temperatures, many have adjusted the length. Skirts ending right around the calves with lots of flouncy material are being welcomed with open arms.

Beautiful Belts

With so many fashion options this season revolving around loose material, designers have turned the belt once more to give shape to the shapeless. Instead of small, this season is all about just how big the belt can be.

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Growing Social Media

Growing Social MediaA huge portion of one’s presence these days in online through social media sites, like Twitter and Instagram. However, achieving fame through said outlets is a long practice in determination and dedication to growing your community. With time and effort, though, anyone can grow their reach successfully.

Choose Your Platform

Before doing anything, you need to determine what your message is. If it’s short, fun sayings, Twitter is the best platform. If you’re more of a picture person, Instagram and Snapchat are ideal. Basically, you need to know what your brand is so you can make the most of the right platform for your message. Choose the wrong one and you’ll have to work even harder to grow your audience.

Post Regularly

Whether you post once a day or once a week, regularity is a must for all social media sites. Fans are addicted to schedules and if you can’t produce content for the schedule you’ve promised them, you will lose rather than gain. As you begin testing the waters, one post per week is ideal no matter the platform.

Use Hashtags

Hashtags are a great way to spread your message throughout the community as a whole, increasing the number of people that see you and potentially follow you. Social media is a popularity contest and there are many ways to win—one being community involvement. Smart use of hashtags makes it so that your name appears with the others chatting about a topic.

Share Shareables

Make sure that what you post has value. While you can engage others with hashtags, you’ll ultimately want to upload content that spreads itself across the internet with your tag as the origin. The more you can do this, the higher and faster your follower count will grow. If your posts have substance, you’re even more likely to see great growth.

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Men’s Summer Fashion Trends

Men's Summer Fashion TrendsWhile female fashion has long overshadowed male, there are still plenty of ideas and compilations deigned perfect for 2017.

Haute Hiking

During a season that is as much about the outdoors as it is about relaxing inside, hiking boots are this year’s preferred footwear. Comfortable, adaptable and perfect for virtually any ensemble, it’s a look that begs to be taken out through rugged terrain.

Snazzy Sportswear

Fashion has always had a tepid relationship with workout gear. Sometimes it’s the only thing one should wear; other times it’s a huge faux pas. This year, fit is in, but not just any fit. If it’s going to be pulled off correctly, the company’s logo should be emblazoned largely and proudly somewhere on the outfit.

Mellow Yellow

Both men and women should expect a lot more yellow in their lives, be it a bright, eye-catching hue or a mellower, more toned down version. As summer is a season for spectacle, it’s appropriate to break out a color that is otherwise often overlooked.

Nicely Nautical

Be it boat shoes or embroidered anchors, a seafaring look fits right in to the summer months when sailing and surfing are at the top of everyone’s lists. Some of the more fashionable items are even designed to be waterproof so that you can set sail without having to worry about damage.

Short Shorts

What goes around comes around. It seems that the acceptable length of a pair of shorts is forever in flux. This year, don’t be caught in your knee-length workout shorts. Instead, the shorter they are, the better. While runway models revealed very white legs, it is advised you get at least a small tan before releasing your legs upon the world.

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In A Pinch

In A PinchClothing occasionally lets us down from time to time. We’ve all endured ripped pants or torn sleeves. Material breaks down, it’s only natural. Unfortunately, this can strike at that most important of times—right before heading out on stage to audition. Luckily, this doesn’t mean you have to grin and bear it to the end. If you have enough time, you can fix what seems unfixable.

A Broken Bra

Bras break. Though not common, it’s still something that has been known to plague performers. If you find yourself with a broken back clasp, head to the bathroom, take it off and tie a knot. Once the knot is secure, pull the bra back on over your head like you would a shirt. Now, because the circumference is probably a bit smaller than when it was clasped, you’ll no doubt be pinched. Grin and bear it. Same goes for an underwire that has started poking out. You can remove it once the audition ends.

A Busted Buckle

Far more common is the broken shoe buckle on items like dance shoes. Under continual wear and tear, it’s amazing they last as long as they do, and if you’re not diligent in keeping up with the state of your shoes, you could very well end up snapping a clasp right before being asked to dance. Because of this, always make sure you carry around a small sewing kit. With this, you can quickly sew the strap to the shoe so that it will stay on as you dance.

A Snapped Strap

Depending on how active you need to be, you could end up needing to do a lot or a little. If there is little movement required, simply tuck the broken strap in and move as little as possible. If you need the strap to hold, either pull out a safety pin or a sewing kit to secure the loose strap.

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Recycling the Old Into New

Recycling the Old Into NewWhen it comes to fashion, it’s safe to say that it’s an expensive business, unless you know how to make it work for you. Even without a bottomless wallet, you can craft yourself a couture that is as timeless and fashionable as a good pair of shoes.

Extremes

As you go through your closet to find those items you don’t wear anymore, look for more of the extreme items that can only be worn at very specific events or situations. Chances are you have at least a few bottoms, tops and dresses that saw use once before being relegated to the closet. These are your targets for recycling because, though fashion does repeat, the most extreme parts of it don’t, meaning you run less of a risk of destroying something you could have used again.

Timelessness

Throughout all of fashion history, there is one rule to follow—make sure whatever you’re wearing fits your body. Fashion isn’t fashionable unless it hugs your frame. With this in mind, your more extreme outfits can be cut and tailored into anything you could imagine so long as the final product hangs off of your frame in a pleasing manner. Tight, loose, long or short, never settle for less than perfection.

Subtlety

Whether you yourself resew the old fashion or have a seamstress do so, don’t try to butcher the garments. Instead, look to tone down the most extreme parts. Maybe there’s a bit too much frill or maybe it hangs too much like a drape. By muting sections that belong to a very specific fashion period, you can alter anything into a special look that hearkens back to the good old days while giving you a unique style no one else can recreate.

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