Int. Chic modern apartment. CARRY sits down at her computer with a coffee in hand. She brings up a video conference app and hesitantly dials a contact, DAN <3.
DAN answers. It’s late. He is in a different time zone. Travelling for business.
Hey Baby. How are you?
I’m good. Just calling to say hi. See what you’re up to.
DAN (leaving his hotel room, phone in hand)
Sorry, gimme one second.
CARRY with a skeptical look, goes to the settings in the video conferencing app and clicks “Detect lies.” Dan’s face is quickly mapped in a set of green nodes that disappear. The “detect lies” feature is on.
Just want to get some fresh air. I’ve been cooped up in doors all day.
Aww, I’m sorry. You haven’t been able to explore the city much?
Not a bit. (The nodes mapped to his face quickly flash red) Just meetings and stuff.
Meetings. That doesn’t sound fun. You should go out and explore a bit. Immerse yourself in the culture.
Haha, we’ll see. To be honest, I don’t really like it here. (The nodes flash red.) It’s cold and lonely (The nodes flash red) I really wish you were here.
Oh. Well. You’ll be home soon enough.
Female voices and noise in the background on Dan’s end seem to be getting closer.
I can’t wait. (Flashes red.) Hey baby, I gotta go – but I love you so much. I’ll see you soon ok?
Bye. Love you too… try to have a little fun…
The two blow kisses good bye. CARRY drops her phone on the counter and sips her coffee. Sad… wondering what to do next.
In buying him, you hold the private keys to a time stamped contract that verifies you own “the official digital version” of Peatar. Which is an image hosted on IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System) that looks like this…
In owning “the official digital version” of Peatar, others can still see the image. You receive no rights to change his character. No royalties. You really don’t get any power at all… except…
What if The Non-Fungibles becomes a cult success? What if this new way of funding art takes off, all thanks to Peatar, The Fearless Leader of The Non-Fungibles?
Imagine if you were able to buy the verified first digital version of Bart Simpson back in the day… probably would be worth something today.
If Peatar becomes ‘famous’ more people would likely want to own the official digital version, and the owner of the digital collectible can sell Peatar on the free market when the price is right.
Digital collectibles enable a new relationship between creators and patrons:
Digital collectibles allow creators to focus on creating their primary creation – not creating rewards like t-shirts and thank you letters.
Patrons now receive something that makes them economically incentivized to support and spread the gospel of the creator. Their verifiable record that ‘they liked it before it was cool’ becomes more valuable with the success of that creation.
Imagine a world where musicians can sell a “digital original version” of their song in addition to the normal release as an added source of revenue for the artist. For the patron, if that song became #1… official collectors proof that they liked it before it was cool + future profit.
“Sure anyone can download Abbey Road for free – but I’d still drop 100gs on the original vinyl.” – Peatar
Blockchain digital collectibles are better than other digital collectibles:
You’ve maybe seen those $5 limited edition stickers on Facebook. Well, those only work because they are controlled and ‘limited’ by Facebook, within the Facebook ecosystem. They must remain within the walled garden of Facebook. Under Facebook’s rules. If Facebook disappears – so do your stickers.
Blockchain collectibles live on a publicly owned blockchain that can track ownership of digital items – and create digital scarcity. Just like you can’t copy and paste a bitcoin, you can’t copy and paste the smart contract that says you own Peatar.
SuperRare & Secondary Markets
To link Peatar to the blockchain I partnered with superrare.co – however, Peatar doesn’t only live within superrare, he can be traded anywhere peer to peer. Superrare is a service provider (linking him to the chain) and a marketplace (hosting a sale page). But again, the Peatar contract is free to float around the internet, not confined to the superrare platform.
I chose superrare.co for a number of reasons, but one thing I liked was that SuperRare codes their smart contract so that creators (in this case me) receive 10% of all secondary market sales. Meaning if Peatar is traded for 100 ETH in 5 years – I’ll automatically receive 10 ETH as the creator. The secondary buyers and sellers don’t have to know me or send it to me. I don’t have to trust them. It all just happens automatically thanks to smart contracts on the Ethereum Blockchain.
Meaning blockchain based digital collectibles can enable an additional and perpetual source of revenue for creators.
I found ConsenSys, when I was deep in a Wikipedia rabbit hole learning about Ethereum and blockchain technology. The company is completely remote and “flat” – meaning no one has a boss and you don’t have to go into an office. You’re basically just hired with a skill set and then you figure out what to do. Weird.
Weird is awesome though, and that’s why I sent them a weird video on my first day. Co-workers liked it a lot and I’ve been continuing to collaborate and be weird ever since joining.
I sang, but I never considered myself a singer. The reason I sang is because I’m a guitarist and songwriter – so who else was going to sing my songs? I was skeptical you could learn to sing in the same way you could learn to play the guitar. You were either born a good singer, or you weren’t. I was even further skeptical that you could learn to sing online, a process that does not involve a high paid vocal coach watching and adjusting your every note.
However, with my folk duo booking more and more shows, I figured it was time for me to step up and take this “singing thing” seriously. So I bought Aaron Anastasia’s online course The Superior Singing Method and made a vow to the universe that I would stick it through until the end, 6 days a week for 8 weeks straight. I was surprisingly thrilled by the results – here is how it went down:
A Quick Heady Intro
As a previous non-believer, I now admit that you absolutely can teach yourself to sing. The 8 week course felt a little like learning a physical instrument, say guitar, where your hand positions can be literally explained, but also a lot like Yoga, or meditation. Singing is consciously shaping and releasing your breath to form certain frequencies – so no matter how you learn to sing there’s going to be a great deal of abstract internal understanding that needs to and will happen along your journey.
The Superior Singing Method (SSM), is designed to slowly build up your voice and ingrain good singing habits. In the first week, you’ll only do one or two exercises a day. You may feel like nothing is happening, or be a bit confused – but push on. I begin feeling, hearing, and believing in results at the end of week 2 and had another significant breakthrough around week 7.
Learn To Sing
Pt. 1 Technique
Each day Aaron gives a video introduction of a new exercise along with a piano track to guide you. The short videos explain the new exercise’s purpose and how/where you will feel it in your body. While Aaron’s descriptions are fantastic, at times when an exercise was first introduced I was confused and convinced I was doing it wrong, perhaps even causing more harm than good, but as I continued to do it everyday my body and muscles began to intuitively perform correctly. From a listener’s perspective, I comically butchered most exercises the first day they were introduced, but now I could perform nearly all of them in my sleep.
So yes, my singing technique did improve and because of that alone, I believe an outsider would consider my current voice 2x better than the voice I had before the 8 week program – but the improvements go deeper than that.
Pt. 2 Confidence
Confidence is a HUGE part of singing – and I know that’s cliché, but it’s cliché because it’s true. If you don’t feel confident and comfortable – the audience feels that. Purchasing the SSM and deciding to stick to its relatively demanding schedule, made me feel confident. Here is why:
By dedicating time and effort into learning to sing I convinced myself that I was taking singing seriously. Now when doubt crept into my head “What makes you think you can sing?” I could at least answer it with, “Well, I’m taking steps every day, and following a system to get better— so back off alright!”
Simply having an answer to your doubting voice is more than half the battle.
So now that it’s all over, I would consider myself a 2.5X better singer than I was 8 weeks ago. That’s huge. Imagine going to an open mic and deeming one performer more than twice as good as the other. Honestly, that improvement made the money I spent on SSM one of the better investments of my life. Which brings me to price…
The price of The Superior Singing Method (48+ lessons) is less than or equal to the price of one private voice lesson. On top of that, Aaron is a voice coach to big name acts – something you likely won’t find in your hometown.
It’s true, you are buying a lesson pack – made for the masses – rather than something specifically tailored to where you are and what you need at the moment – but what you need most is to start. To jump in, figure some of it out on your own, prove to yourself that you are dedicated and then worry about finding the “perfect fit.” In fact, by taking this course before private lessons you’ll learn enough to evaluate different voice coaches and find the “even more perfect fit” when the time is right.
Doubts and Downsides
Most importantly – you have to do the exercises. I know that sounds silly, but buying the SSM isn’t going to improve your singing unless you do it. So whatever promises or pacts you have to make with friends, lovers, bandmates, or the universe to garner the self-discipline to complete these lessons – do it.
Me, I know if I give myself a little slack – I’ll break – so I promised never to miss a day (there is 1 day of built in rest each week). I did these exercises at guest houses, in hotel rooms in Mexico when I had a stomach bug, at odd hours etc. Which leads too…
Singing Lessons Are Weird
At times you’ll feel and appear crazy. Most of these exercises are loud, weird and annoying. Roommates and neighbors may look at you funny. You can explain it to them – and they’ll likely respect your desire to improve, or you can just not care what they think, because that’s another good lesson to learn as a performer.
Another thing, you may get a little over confident/excited about your new voice, and show up to a party, have a few drinks, and then get wayyyyy to into singing Justin Bieber songs… anyway….
So now that it’s all over, I would consider myself a 2.5X better singer than I was 8 weeks ago. That’s huge. Imagine going to an open mic and deeming one performer more than twice as good as the other. Honestly, that improvement made the money I spent on SSM one of the better investments of my life.
Thanks for reading!
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