Esse Quam Videri:

To be, rather than to seem.


Well, we are nearing the end of another semester here at Berklee Valencia. As I reflect back over my experiences, I thought it was appropriate to consider the motto of our institution as well.

Esse quam videri – to be, rather than to seem.

This Latin phrase has been on my mind recently because they are great words to live by. I think they reflect the mentality that our program, as well as numerous aspiring music professionals worldwide, should always try to embody.

When a peer reminded me of this slogan that Berklee College so proudly uses, my thoughts were taken back to when I first arrived on this campus. Nervous about having a fresh start and making an impression on my classmates, I remember feeling a natural sense of competition: “I used to be a…” or “I have 5 years of experience doing…” (You can insert almost any music industry related job or field that you like). While I learned a lot of great things about fellow students, over time I have also come to realize that they are not so different from me.

The fact is, we all made a huge sacrifice to be apart from family and friends while studying in Valencia this year.

We all want to find work in the music industry and establish (or rejuvenate) our careers.

We all crave an opportunity to succeed.

I like to talk about how being a good person that is genuine and sincere can take you very far in any industry. (see Can I Holla at Ya?)

Once again, this is a theme that I have been taking to heart lately. As I prepare to enter a tough and competitive industry in less than three months, I keep reminding myself to stay true to who I am. The music business is full of people who try to boost themselves up and really sell their profile (even if it is misleading at times).

Sometime these people are all “all talk” and actually don’t have the knowledge or skills necessary to lead yet are still trying to draw attention. Many of us can imagine that stereotypical cutthroat “business person” who only cares about money and advancing his or her own career. I used to get so frustrated seeing and hearing people do or say whatever it takes to gain an advantage when they are the very people I fear leading the music industry because of their questionable character and motives.

I keep asking myself: if there are so many people like that making noise, how am I to get noticed?

My plan is to continue to work hard at what I am doing now. If I want any chance at getting a job and keeping it, I will need to make sure that I am as competent to fulfill a role as I possibly can be. The rest will work itself out.

There is no point in trying to get people to believe I am someone I’m not. Instead, I am making every effort to do the things I need to.

To be, rather than to seem.

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