Multi-Passionate Artists Podcast
2018 Canadian Country Music Award-nominated artist Rory Gardiner has appeared on multiple CMT (Country Music Television) nationally broadcasted reality shows and shared the stage with a number of great country acts including Keith Urban. You’ve heard his music on Television starring actors like Kevin Nealon, or pro athletes like Chris Bosh & Arnold Palmer, airing daily throughout North America.
Fusing his music background with stand-up comedy, he has made a number of television appearances for brands like Under Armor, or shows like The Handmaids Tale. His comedy sketches have received millions of views on TikTok and featured on Funny or Die, and Americans Funniest Videos. You can catch his hilarious 2019 TEDx Talk, on using humour as a coping mechanism. He is also the host of The Balanced Artist podcast.
Comedian & Country Singer Rory Gardiner
[00:00:30.950] – Diane Foy
Hello and welcome to Episode 76 of Multipassionate Artists. I hit a milestone this week. The podcast is now at 10,000 podcast downloads. It only took two years and nine months, 75 episodes, 76 plus guests, ten solo episodes, two websites and a name change.
It’s been a long journey from sing, dance act thrive to multipassionate artists. It’s been an amazing experience having conversations with thriving, multi passionate artists, musicians, actors, dancers, painters, photographers and other creative souls on their journey, process and entrepreneurship. If you’re one that’s been enjoying this podcast, I’d be ever so grateful if you were to share it with your artist friends or read and review it on Apple podcast. Or there’s a few other places that you could leave. Reviews like Pod Chaser and I will read it on air and give you a shout out.
[00:01:55.730] – Diane Foy
So today’s guest, you’ve heard his music on television, starring actors like Kevin Nealon and pro athletes like Chris Bosch and Arnold Palmer. Airing daily throughout North America. 2018 Canadian Country Music Award nominated artist Rory Gardner has appeared on multiple country music television, CMT nationally broadcasted reality shows and shared the stage with a number of great country acts, including My favorite Keith Urban Fusing. His music background with standup comedy. He has made a number of television appearances for brands like Under Armor and shows like The Handmaids Tale.
Millions of views on TikTok. His comedy sketches have been featured on Funny or Die America’s Funniest videos, and you can catch his hilarious 2019 TEDx talk on using humor as a coping mechanism. He also has a podcast called The Balanced Artist Podcast. We had a lovely conversation about how he discovered music licensing as a thing that you could actually make money at and the ups and downs of having a career in the arts and the various avenues that he’s chosen to express himself in. So I hope you enjoy it for links and a transcript, visit dianefoy.Com/076. Welcome to the show.
[00:03:46.310] – Rory Gardiner
Thanks for having me.
[00:03:48.110] – Diane Foy
So we connected originally on Clubhouse. I heard you on Breakfast of Champions. Do you participate in that room a lot?
[00:03:58.130] – Rory Gardiner
Breakfast with Champions. Breakfast with Champions? Yes. No. You know what? It’s an early show, and I can’t wake up better. I get up and then I’m already halfway through the conversation when I get there. So not frequently. But when I’m asked to speak on it, I’m always there and set my alarm accordingly.
[00:04:20.730] – Diane Foy
Right? So you kind of do a lot of things. Your comedy, your country music. How did you get into all this?
[00:04:34.510] – Rory Gardiner
It’s a good question. I grew up in a musical family. So maybe I thought if I want them to love me, maybe I should learn an instrument. So this was back in the 90s. I got a VHS tape from the library. I’m like, how do you play guitar? So I’m throwing this thing in the VCR, learning chords. And that was boring as all hell, I don’t know if you ever tried to hot Cross Buns and Twinkle. Nobody wants to learn that stuff, right? So then something came out that revolutionized learning instruments.
[00:05:07.550] – Rory Gardiner
It was called the Internet, and I started learning, downloading tabs and chords of songs that I wanted to learn. I learned, like, everything that Aerosmith and Garthbrooks ever released. And now it kept my interest. So anytime I try to teach someone or recommend somebody who wants to learn something new, it’s like, do something that you want to learn, as opposed to something you feel like you have to learn because you think it’s a fundamental.
[00:05:31.590] – Diane Foy
Yeah. Actually, that reminds me. I have a guitar that I don’t know how to play, but I totally got it because Keith Urban has a guitar lessons program, and he does that, too. He just says, okay, let’s forget the basics. Let’s just go. Let’s teach you how to play this song. And he teaches you how to play all of his songs, all of the classic rock songs and things like that. I still can’t play it, but it’s there.
[00:06:04.270] – Rory Gardiner
He’s amazing. He seems like a genuine fella. And you hear people talk about, like, I was a Royal Conservatory grade eight piano player. That sounds so brutal. So you had to learn scales and everything all the way. I guess it’s fundamentals. They’re probably much better than I am at any sort of musical aspect. But I don’t know, I don’t have the attention span. It could be ADHD. I have no idea. But here we are today.
[00:06:35.840] – Diane Foy
Yeah. So you come from a musical family where any of them in the business or hobbies.
[00:06:42.130] – Rory Gardiner
My dad had a bluegrass band for 25 years, and I guess you could say they were in the business, basically with bluegrass. If you want to make a decade of dollars, you have to start with $2. So business is one thing. But it was enough to maybe want to delve into it myself. And then somewhere in the 90s, I was like, you know what? I caught the Garth Brooks bug, and I never really recovered.
[00:07:13.190] – Diane Foy
Is that, like, your main musical influence?
[00:07:17.150] – Rory Gardiner
He was in the 90s and then eventually his country music evolved. I think, as you mentioned before, Keith Urban probably took over. That’s unbelievable. What would you guess?
[00:07:28.680] – Diane Foy
Yeah. It says in your bio, you shared the stage with him. Tell me about that because I’m in love with him. And so I just need to know a new story about Keith Urban.
[00:07:37.490] – Rory Gardiner
A neat story about Keith Urban. So, yeah, I got to open for him back in 2015. And in most like, independent artists career. It’s always up and down right? There’s never really a consistent level of awesomeness that happens. So we did the Keith Urban thing, and you’re just on this high, like you’re used to playing bars or private events or whatever the case may be. But when you get to a certain level like that, now, you have your own trailer, you have your catering service, you have all this or it was just a big stage full of someone else’s audience, which was fantastic.
[00:08:21.390] – Rory Gardiner
So you’re on this high. And then the next day, we played a wedding. So all the rock star you think you have goes right down the tubes. When you have some bride yelling at you, like, play fishing in the I don’t know. It’s good. It was a great experience. He said my name on stage, which was a highlight for me. Just hearing Rory Gardner out of Keith Urban’s mouth was like, I’m good.
[00:08:51.250] – Diane Foy
Yeah. Cool. So how did this start? You started playing guitar. You started playing around with music. When did you know it was going to be like, what you attempt to do for a living and not what you do for a living.
[00:09:15.730] – Rory Gardiner
Where do you make that decision? I don’t know. It could be like an ego thing. At some point, I told myself as a child, I’m going to do this for a living, and I just won’t let myself fail, because I don’t know. I’m afraid of what the younger me would tell myself if I gave it up, but it’s not necessary. And then there’s two sides of thought. So I told you earlier, I have this podcast called The Balanced Artist, and so what I’m trying to get out there is sort of what I went through.
[00:09:53.210] – Rory Gardiner
My parents forced me to go to College, which seemed like at the time, it was deterring from my ultimate path to rockstardom. But for one thing or another, it actually ended up helping my path to the middle, which is what I want to share with other people. It’s basically where you want to go. You have many different routes to get there. And the one that you think in your head is the one to follow may not necessarily be the right one.
[00:10:29.150] – Diane Foy
Yeah. And I think that now is like, who actually does what they went to school for or what they originally thought they’d want to do. We all evolve and change and other priorities come up. So I like the idea of the balance starter. You got to have more than just that one focus.
[00:10:51.950] – Rory Gardiner
Exactly. So I’ll back it up again. The College didn’t work out for me because I went into software, and I started this software consulting thing. So it just allowed me to leverage that left side brain thing. What kind of balancing with my right side brain? And it wasn’t fun or anything like that. But it kind of gave me a different perspective. I didn’t think of it as a grind as much as it is. Now. I have a sponsor for my music career. That’s what was funding it.
[00:11:28.840] – Rory Gardiner
And there was no record labels breaking down the door. Like, hey, we want to sign the software, guys. That’s exactly what we need for our brand. So I was like, all right, I got to do this myself. So I went down to Nashville. I recorded this album myself. I selflended. It used all the greatest guys. I had Shania Twain’s, fiddle player and Rent guitar player and Rascal Flatts keyboard. It was all good. And I had the perfect sounding album that I could possibly have created for that budget at that time.
[00:11:59.990] – Rory Gardiner
And so I brought it back to Canada, and I was like, let’s release this thing to radio, and we’re going to make a dreams come true. Well, that didn’t happen. Radio was like, really for us and never specify. You don’t know whether it’s your writing style or your voice or whatever the case may be, but I just chalked it up as, all right. But maybe I’m not good enough. All right. Let’s just leave it at that. And so I threw it up on YouTube. And a couple of years ago by I get this call from this ad agency in New York.
[00:12:32.040] – Rory Gardiner
Hey, we heard your song break free on YouTube, and we thought it’d be perfect for this ad campaign for this new pharmaceutical product we have cool. It sounds interesting. Go ahead. Use it. We want to license it from you and pay you X amount of dollars. I’m like. Now we’re talking. I didn’t realize that music licensing was a part of the music industry and that they ended up paying off the recording debt and ended up buying one of the co writers engagement ring for his now wife.
[00:13:00.950] – Rory Gardiner
And they put a down payment on a house they pay for my next three albums. And that’s when I realized the album wasn’t a failure. It just wasn’t necessarily meant for contemporary radio. It was more geared towards. Well, let’s say television, not every failure is necessarily a failure just may not be positioned properly. So the story continued from there, right?
[00:13:31.470] – Diane Foy
Yeah. It sucks that when you have reaction like that, your first thing is like, I guess I’m not good enough when really it just did not fit radio at that time. Who knows? Maybe they had all kinds of other artists they had to add. Or maybe it wasn’t just for radio. Who knows what it was. But it’s great that you got another opportunity from that. Now these days, too, you’re not making music from selling albums. You’re making music from merch licensing, any other skills you might have that you could put out there if they figure that out how to make money at this.
[00:14:18.250] – Diane Foy
So that’s great. So you’ve had music licensing for other things as well, right?
[00:14:25.670] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. So when it comes to making money with your art. I have a unique stance on it. There was a time when I would. I was all in. I just wanted to do music all day, every day, full time. That’s how I was going to create an income. And then once you do that at the independent level, you realize that’s not fun in the slightest. You start stifling your creativity, like my ideal situation would be just to have passive income coming in. And here I am, writing songs at my own leisure and just releasing experimental music, like things that I think are going to be.
[00:15:11.430] – Rory Gardiner
I don’t really want to. I don’t know if you heard country music lately, but everything’s pickup trucks and short shorts and stuff like that. I drive a Jeep. I can’t relate. I look terrible in short shorts. I have white pasty legs. It’s weird. And so I just wanted to write my own style of music. And you can’t really do that. When you’re reliant on your income, you have to kind of cater to what’s out there. And that’s what I was doing for several years and to make ends meet and also be in the bars six or seven days a week playing cover song until two in the morning.
[00:15:49.420] – Rory Gardiner
And the next morning after doing something like that, the last thing you want to do is pick up a guitar and write a new song. So I was like, there’s got to be a better way. This is when I decided. All right, well, why don’t I do office work during the day? So the software thing going on, why don’t I just focus on that? It’s way easier to make money, doing something other things other than music, so I can use it again, reframe it as that’s bankrolling financing.
[00:16:19.370] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah, exactly. And so I did just that. I balanced that. And I created this album that it was not anything you’d ever hear on radio. It fringe what you’d hear on radio. But it was like songs that I wanted to hear, not necessarily what radio programmers wanted to hear. It was called Bu completely authentic album to me. And we released that in 2018. And it was my first CCMA nominated award.
[00:16:46.010] – Diane Foy
What were you nominated for?
[00:16:48.770] – Rory Gardiner
That one was looking at right now. Album artwork of the year or something like that. I created this unique recording package, and each song had a story behind it. And I wrote this long, whatever description of each of each song and the story behind it. They created this booklet that had the whole thing. It had, like, a video component to it. It was really cool. I’m not an artist by any means, but like a visual artist, but it allowed me to kind of tickle that bone, and it seemed to work out cool.
[00:17:30.570] – Diane Foy
And you were part of some CMT reality shows. What was that about?
[00:17:37.590] – Rory Gardiner
It was in, like, 2007. I don’t know. I don’t remember anymore. So, yeah, back when Idol was huge.
[00:17:47.960] – Diane Foy
It’s a footnote.
[00:17:50.070] – Rory Gardiner
It’s so long ago. Now I think about it. I was about to say 17. It was like, five years ago, I was 207. So.
[00:17:58.950] – Diane Foy
I’m an old publicist. Whatever you put in your bio, people are going to ask you about it.
[00:18:04.460] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. That’s why I put the dates in there. Yeah. That’s what Idle was big on TV and stuff. The CMT decided we’re going to do our own version of that, right? They went to each city, did the auditions. I was on that and got to the end and again did not win. But through that, somebody saw me on the show. Hey, we’d like to. That’s how I got connected to Nashville. So someone saw me on that week. We’d love to produce your first album for you.
[00:18:35.250] – Diane Foy
Right. And where does comedy come in to this lovely career that you’re building?
[00:18:42.270] – Rory Gardiner
So at that time, I was doing well in music. We were doing theater shows, and I was doing banter in between the songs. The song would end, like, tell a few jokes that make people laugh, tell stories. And it got to a point where I was like, I like doing this better than singing the songs. I couldn’t wait for the song to end so I could talk again. Why don’t I just get rid of the songs and then just talk funny? So I was like, let’s try stand up comedy, like anyone who wants to try stand up comedy, the chicken out for a long time because it’s terrifying.
[00:19:20.750] – Rory Gardiner
I decided to sign up for this contest. This contest at one of the clubs I registered now have been held accountable to show up to this thing. I wrote my jokes, and I did the jokes on stage, and I lost the contest. But what do you expect your first time on stage?
[00:19:38.790] – Rory Gardiner
The important thing is, I didn’t die, so I’m like, okay, well, I can do it again without fear that anything is going to happen to me. So I did that. I’m like, cool. If I can keep this momentum up and kind of use the same work ethic I did with music. Maybe I can create the same sort of success with music. Well, that was the ultimate backfire, because it was not translatable at all. It’s a completely different skill set in art form than music. So it took a long time to really get my feet under my ground or whatever that expression is.
[00:20:14.270] – Diane Foy
Yeah. Did you study other comedians? Do you have any comedy influences?
[00:20:24.970] – Rory Gardiner
Comedy. The whole thing is finding your own voice. And so at the beginning of anyone’s comedy career, they’re sort of without knowing it, copying other people’s voices just like rhythms. I don’t know myself offhand, but maybe a combination of, like, Jerry Seinfeld and Larry the Cable Guy. You know what I mean? I don’t know. But it’s whoever I was, I grew up being influenced by, and then we’re like eight or nine years in now and now, I’ve finally developed my own voice, but that came as a result of things that happened along the way.
[00:21:06.430] – Rory Gardiner
I used my guitar a lot in the early days, and then I just decided to it was kind of a safety net, something comfortable that I used to use to hide from the scary audience. But he just got comfortable and started talking about real things. That kind of forced me to become a writer.
[00:21:25.810] – Diane Foy
Right. And now do you find that you mix the two or do you still feel like you have your comedy gigs, you have your music gigs, or is it all intertwined now it’s all intertwined.
[00:21:42.030] – Rory Gardiner
Which is actually a good thing for me, because again, we go back to the niche aspect of it. I can tell you that as far as stand up comedy goes, there’s so many more funny people than me. I’m not as good as the big guys out there doing their thing. I just know being self aware enough to know that they’re Naturals at doing that at a high level, like Dave Chappelle Bilber, they have this thing that I just don’t have and then go back to the music thing.
[00:22:20.370] – Rory Gardiner
I don’t have Keith Urban’s chops. And again, I will never have that. He has it anyway. Long story short, combining both of those. Now I’m in my own Lane. I have this unique, unique thing going on. And that is what has been working for me, because now when anyone needs something like that, I’m the go to guy. And that’s translated into now I’m kind of known as a variety act. So it’s gotten me tours on cruises all over the United States, different showcases and performing art centers, because now it’s like it’s more theatrical rather than just straight stand up or straight music.
[00:23:06.430] – Diane Foy
Right. And it does remind me of the benefits of being multi passionate, because there are some people that like Keith Irvin. I’m sure he started guitar really early on. He dedicated his life to guitar and music. That’s it. Whereas when you have other interests, like how you were even describing the comedy and the music that you don’t have what they have. But what you have is very unique and a combination of all of it, which is really fantastic, which finds your niche.
[00:23:43.710] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. It’s not an inadequacy thing. It’s not that I’m just like, I’ll never be as good as them, so I might just give up. It’s more like, I know I definitely don’t have whatever muscle they naturally have me trying to work out as much as I can to try to be bulkier than the rock. It’s just not going to happen despite whatever I try. So I just need to figure out what’s right for me. And that’s exactly what I did, right?
[00:24:13.720] – Diane Foy
And how did that all lead to doing a Ted talk?
[00:24:19.470] – Rory Gardiner
That was the transition from when I was putting the guitar down and did real stand up. So I was making audiences laugh. I was being funny. I was being goofy. I was doing my thing. But then in 2018, we got this tornado came through my hometown of Ottawa, and we didn’t expect it because Ottawa doesn’t get tornadoes. It just devastated the entire neighborhood and devastated the entire neighborhood. And I just wanted to put a light situation awareness on it. So once we figure out there’s no fatalities or anything like that, I created this funny, cribs parody video.
[00:25:12.630] – Rory Gardiner
I was just like walking people around my house and showing here’s my tree house and here’s a tree in the bedroom and the whole thing. And so that really resonated with people in the community. He’s putting a positive spin on a negative situation. It’s showing resilience, like all the stuff that I didn’t do on purpose. But apparently it was portrayed. And the people of TEDx saw this opportunity like, we’d love to hear your story. So I went to Colorado and told us I gave this Ted talk on exactly that just using humor as a coping mechanism.
[00:25:49.990] – Rory Gardiner
And that thing is shared at PTSD conferences. And therapists used to treat their trauma patients on something called Sublimation, which is again replacing a negative situation with a positive. And then once something like that happens, it kind of makes you think, well, maybe public speaking could be an angle. Like, I’ve been a professional comedy talker for a long time now. Instead of trying to be the best comedian out there, why don’t I just switch lanes and try to be the funniest speaker? Yeah. So I kind of bridge both of those.
[00:26:28.390] – Diane Foy
Cool. You spend a lot of time on doing videos on social media.
[00:26:35.590] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. Before the tornado happened, I was trying to do sketches. I just like to sit there, stare at the camera and just try to make whoever’s watching on the other side of that lens laugh. And I was conditioning myself a year prior to the tornado to doing that. So when the tornado happened, I was again conditioned. Just pick this thing up and just try to be funny in front of it. And that’s what led to that video that went viral again. If you’re seeing this, you want to go see the damage of my house in the video and whatever.
[00:27:07.820] – Rory Gardiner
Just go to where we gardener tornado, and you can find out all that stuff. And then eventually we got hit with another situation and I couldn’t perform anymore. Nobody can perform, as you know. And so TikTok became interesting to me. And I decided, let’s try this out. Did a video every day for an entire year. Like, I don’t know what I’m going to do, but I’m going to try something. And then it grew quickly. And now we’re doing brand deals on TikTok and stuff. You never know how things are going to happen, but they happen.
[00:27:50.490] – Diane Foy
Yeah. It seems like everything you’ve done. You’re just like, oh, I’m going to try it. What source it could happen. Might as well try it. See what happens.
[00:27:59.740] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. Not being afraid to look dumb is the model I live by, right?
[00:28:03.580] – Diane Foy
Yeah. Just got to try it and see cool. And so your podcast, The Balanced Artist. Do you have guess on that? What made you do that? The podcast.
[00:28:18.870] – Rory Gardiner
It was more like I felt like I would have conversations with people before this podcast. And something that came naturally to me was like, if I wanted to do something, I would just naturally do it. I would know what the first step would be in the second step, in the third step. And then everyone stumbles around the step two or three, but they know how to renavigate back into step four. And I just been through it so many times, and it just came natural to me and nobody get past step one.
[00:28:50.280] – Rory Gardiner
People would like, how do you do this? This thing? And I felt like maybe I have some sort of annoying skill set that I could share upon other people. And then inadequacy came in. I’m like, who the hell am I to tell people what to do? So I was like, I’ll start this podcast. I’ll talk to people that are more success than I do, and maybe they can tell us what they think. And maybe I can just throw a few of my own little quips in there.
[00:29:15.710] – Rory Gardiner
So season one of the Ballaster in the podcast was talking to Grammy winners and influencers and people that I can learn from. And it was great. And then season two was more like, okay, here’s my opportunity to just record musings, like things that I think about as an artist that maybe other people can resonate with. And then we just started season three, which is more I’m going to interview people that are struggling themselves. And maybe through conversation, we can kind of solve a problem they might be having that’s cool.
[00:29:51.690] – Diane Foy
Yeah. That’s kind of the journey I’ve been on with my podcast. It was a way of putting myself out there, but putting the focus on other people by interviewing them more like successful musicians, actors, all that stuff. But then more and more as I get comfortable and also get comfortable in my coaching. I coach a lot of artists and performers on, like, a little bit more of, like, personal branding because I have such a long PR and marketing background, but it’s also just embracing all your passions and figuring out how to make a living at this.
[00:30:33.550] – Diane Foy
That’s how I’m navigating the podcast.
[00:30:37.450] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. The way I explained it sounded like it was all on purpose. This is the plan. He’s one of three, but it was not at all. This is what I’m going to do on board of this. It’s just I want to change directions a little bit and do this, and then we’re still finding it but every season has been its own sort of success. So anytime anybody asks me what it’s about, I can refer them now to different facets of whatever it is they’re looking for.
[00:31:05.730] – Diane Foy
Right? That’s cool. So what’s next?
[00:31:12.010] – Rory Gardiner
It’s always evolving. So you said you were into branding and stuff like that, being a multidimensional artist or what did you call it? What expression do you use again? Multi, passionate artist is awesome because there’s never a dull moment. But as you know, from a PR standpoint and from a branding standpoint, you do kind of need to niche down a little bit. No one knows how to place you. So what I’m doing showcases at different places around showcases are basically when you’re showcasing your talent and talent buyers in the audience, they want to invite you to their venue or performing art center, whatever.
[00:31:58.340] – Rory Gardiner
No one knows where to place me because the musician is the comedian. Is it a one man show? I have no idea what I’m watching here. And so I’m trying to navigate that right now, and I’m trying to really again try to be a niche by the same time, not necessarily hide some of the stuff I’ve done in the past, but I’m trying to gear the Internet towards one particular thing.
[00:32:25.990] – Diane Foy
Yeah. That’s what I help artists do is to figure that out. And I think I’m just embracing let’s create your own niche. And I think that’s what I’m doing, too. Again, my coaches had that advice as well. Like, niche down, niche, down, niche down. And actually, multifaceted artist is a very unique niche. But I feel like I’m creating my own club instead of trying to jump into other people. So I think that’s cool. All that you’ve done, and you can definitely focus things to the story you want to tell and the talents and experiences you want to focus on.
[00:33:13.690] – Diane Foy
But it’s all about just embracing and branding you so that no matter what direction you go in, it’s still you.
[00:33:21.790] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. And I think sometimes the more unique it is, the more again, as long as you have that statement of like, who I am and what I do. But I think that you can use any sort of creative example, like Uber. They didn’t invent taxis or carpooling, but they combined both of them together to create this one thing that was more successful than both of those.
[00:33:53.480] – Diane Foy
[00:33:53.900] – Rory Gardiner
So it’s just a matter of, like using all your skill sets and trying to create one thing. But as long as you have the definition of what that thing is in the service you provide or what it is that you do. I think that’s the key element that a lot of people have a hard time writing, let’s say, in their bio, right?
[00:34:13.570] – Rory Gardiner
I just bumped up my LinkedIn profile. I’ve got all these other platforms, as everyone does. But LinkedIn I’ve been avoiding for years. So literally, a week ago, I was like, all right, let’s do this LinkedIn thing. So I’m writing my new bio for this LinkedIn, and I’m like, what am I trying to get out of this? Who am I targeting as far as networks and long story short again, I basically wrote it to speaking to the Avatar, the person that I’m trying to get to hire me, let’s say.
[00:34:47.170] – Rory Gardiner
And so it’s through that process, I’m learning more what it is that I want to do or get out of this. But at the same time trying to target that demographic.
[00:34:57.420] – Diane Foy
Yeah. I always refer to Simon Sinek how he says that people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it. So leading with your why? What is your why do you do everything that you do?
[00:35:16.310] – Rory Gardiner
That answer changes as we go along. Why in my 20s was because I’m hungry and I need to eat for sure. And then as you get older, you don’t necessarily need the money anymore as much as you need fulfillment. So now I just want to be happy. And I want to make a living doing something that I want to do without having it feel like a grind. So think about, like, Jon Bon Jovi. Does he want to sing Living On a Prayer Again tonight? Probably not. He wants to do other stuff.
[00:35:50.330] – Rory Gardiner
Astronauts, once you’ve been in space once, what else is there to see there’s another moon. It’s not a big. So it’s like, I don’t want to keep things interesting, but at the same time, I don’t want to confuse people. The why is again, I thought I knew what it was until you listen to Breakfast Champions. We did that event a few weeks ago in Lexington, Kentucky. And so when I’m on stage talking with other speakers that are influential in their own way. Like, I learned a whole bunch of new things after listening to what they have to say.
[00:36:31.690] – Rory Gardiner
And so what I took out of that weekend was I’ve always wanted to do something of value and feel like I have purpose and what I do matter. And that’s how I want to continue to pursue what it is that I do. And that answer kind of came true after the tornado situation. Like, I’m doing these silly videos and I’m making people laugh really as important as we think it is. And then after I learned that video got shared with PTSD, conferences and therapists use it.
[00:37:14.420] – Rory Gardiner
And like, clearly what I do matters. So I’m just going to continue that. So the art that I create from here on out is going to hopefully try to influence people.
[00:37:28.810] – Diane Foy
Yeah, that’s pretty much where my why comes from is that I love arts and entertainment so much and performers. And I believe that artists have the power to change lives with their talent. Because what got us through Covet in the early days, Netflix, music videos, movies. It’s like arts and entertainment. And so your videos, getting people through a tough time, giving them a laugh. Bon Jovi, he knows he has to sing those songs because everyone in that audience has their own story of where they were when they heard that song.
[00:38:13.070] – Diane Foy
Or what does that song mean to them? There’s so much more to it that he knows he has to sing that song. And he probably puts that behind enjoying performing it because it’s all about impacting with whatever it is that you’re putting out there. And so that’s why I like to help artists succeed.
[00:38:37.630] – Rory Gardiner
Don’t you find it difficult, though, depending on what the artist does from a PR perspective, it’s like, all right, this hardest has a new album out, and we want to get it in magazines and television and just the word out so people can go listen to it. It’s very hard to spin that into a Press release that just a local news station would even want to cover. You sort of have to wait for news to happen, and then you have to kind of diver your way into whatever is currently happening in the landscape.
[00:39:13.070] – Rory Gardiner
Would you agree?
[00:39:14.330] – Diane Foy
Well, I find that my biggest frustration when I was still doing PR was artists would come to me because they have that music they’re like, okay, I finished my music. I got to hire a publicist let’s go. But they didn’t take the time to explore their other areas of life who they really are. It’s personal branding, but it’s really deep work. What are your core values? What are your interests? What are your experiences, life experiences that you bring to the table? And until you do that, I believe you won’t have success with social media marketing, publicity, because after a while, it becomes here’s yet another singer songwriter musician with another album, who cares?
[00:40:06.710] – Diane Foy
And because more and more artists were doing that, it’s harder and harder to get pressed. There was less and less press outlets to even get coverage, and it became just even harder and harder. So you have to kind of think of other ways. And now I love coaching because I can help artists explore their stories because it’s all about connection. If you start sharing stories about who you really are and what you really believe in, people are going to get so invested in you. If they connect with you, then they’re going to support anything you do.
[00:40:47.760] – Diane Foy
They’re going to like your music and all that stuff, too. But if you think about your favorite artists, I’m sure you love them for more than just the music they create or comedy. They do some. You might just like it for that. But I think the ones that you’re kind of a super fan of, you love everything about them. You love the way they dress, the way they talk, their humor, their stories. Maybe they’re sharing parts of their lives that really connect with you. And that’s why you’re going to connect with them.
[00:41:18.600] – Diane Foy
So I encourage artists of any type to really take that time to explore and then share authentically and to be able to make connections with people. And then it all comes back. And then media is interested, because if you build the audience of fans, then the media and industry will come. So a lot of the media stuff, like the first thing, if I were to pitch an artist to an outlet to do a feature a lot of times, the first thing they’re going to do is check your social media and see what kind of following you have.
[00:41:59.910] – Diane Foy
Years ago. The first thing would be to listen to the music, watch the video, read the bio, that kind of thing. But now it’s like straight traffic to their channel.
[00:42:10.020] – Rory Gardiner
[00:42:13.350] – Diane Foy
What’S in it for them.
[00:42:17.490] – Rory Gardiner
I prefer the old wave, but you’re right. Having the social media there is basically our current way of showing social proof.
[00:42:27.530] – Diane Foy
[00:42:32.830] – Rory Gardiner
Sometimes it’s a grind, but I guess if you make it part of your lifestyle, then it’s not so bad.
[00:42:39.790] – Diane Foy
Yeah. And you have a lot of great ways of bringing people in through the comedy videos that you’re doing.
[00:42:49.270] – Rory Gardiner
I try to repurpose it through the pandemic. When I was doing all those TikToks. Tiktok grew really quickly because I was one of the early adopters, I suppose sometime was it six months ago when everyone else got on the platform? That’s when it got a little crowded. But a year and a half ago, it was still new to most people. So that’s when I grew on that and now other platforms are trying to keep up. So Facebook Reels and Instagram Reels are now trying to keep up with TikTok.
[00:43:24.220] – Rory Gardiner
A lot of attention is going towards those. And since I don’t have a lot of time to be creating new videos, I’m just repurposing my old TikTok videos on Facebook and they’re just blowing up like crazy.
[00:43:35.420] – Diane Foy
That was going to be my question. How do you manage all the technology and keeping up with, like, creating the content? Because now with Instagram, it’s like you got long form videos. You got reels, you got stories, you got feeds you got, and then you have to come up with all video content is what is driving the platform.
[00:44:00.250] – Rory Gardiner
I do a lot of batching and a lot of, like, scheduling on my phone. So it’s kind of like as far as if I have a concert or a comedy set or something, I’ll make sure I get pictures taken for that thing. And then I can post one of those over the next few weeks, every few days, and then the videos again, I can repurpose them. I do the TikTok thing and I can repurpose it on three or four different platform. And then I have a reminder in my phone, like a daily reminder.
[00:44:33.650] – Rory Gardiner
It’s like create video or think of ideas for videos. It’s more of, like a discipline of, like, I could easily just go all day just doing menial tasks without thinking about creating. But if I have that reminder of my phone and I can’t end the day without crossing it off my list, I can now have to do it.
[00:44:53.020] – Diane Foy
That’s a good idea. And I think even just for coming up with stories to share, like just having a little. Okay, what happened today? That was funny. What happened today? That is notable.
[00:45:06.250] – Rory Gardiner
Yes. In the comedy world, there are two ways of approaching it, and some people just don’t have the attention span to be able to sit there and write until they go to the stage to really try stuff out. They’ll have an idea, they’ll take it to the stage and they’ll talk it out. I don’t have that because again, it’s terrifying and brutal. Maybe I’m not naturally that funny. Then the opposite side of the spectrum is Jerry Seinfeld, for example. Who have you ever seen him in an interview?
[00:45:39.050] – Rory Gardiner
He’s not naturally funny. He has to be set up for his jokes. He has to write it. So anyway, he has a discipline, like every day he writes for an hour, whether he has any ideas or anything. He’s sit there with a piece of paper and he just writes until something funny happens. And that’s how he operates. And that’s how he can create the content that he does. So I adopt both of those. I’ll write something and then I’ll take it to the stage, test it out, rework it, rewrite it, take it back to the stage.
[00:46:10.850] – Rory Gardiner
That’s what works for me, right?
[00:46:12.980] – Diane Foy
Yeah. That’s some kind of a discipline. I find that, too. I have to schedule things in or I’ll forget to do them cool.
[00:46:26.290] – Rory Gardiner
What would be an ideal situation for you right now in what your career, your artistry or.
[00:46:36.470] – Diane Foy
Yes, I want to help more artists. And I think I’m excited with the change of direction because I’m speaking to people that are maybe a little bit more like me because when my focus was musicians and actors, I’m not a musician or an actor, but it’s my passion. I think that was it. I’ve changed careers a lot, but all of them were because I wanted to be around musicians and actors and performers. But then in some ways, I always didn’t totally get them because I’m not that.
[00:47:15.700] – Diane Foy
Whereas my favorite clients, even when I was focusing on musicians and actors, my favorite clients have been the singer songwriter, dancer, yoga instructor, also wants to get into sound healing or the singer songwriter, filmmaker, animator. I get so excited that they do all these things because I can relate to that, and they get relieved because I’m not going to tell them to niche down and give up some things. So I’m excited to help more people like that. And I think because I am one of those multipassionates, I can understand them a bit more.
[00:47:56.480] – Diane Foy
And I still want to kind of focus on musicians and actors, but those ones that also do other things that gets me so excited that I’m like. And then I will help you figure out how to present it in a way that other people get what you do and so that you’re not all over the place.
[00:48:16.410] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. You’re like an unbiased opinion. So when you come at it from your vantage points, like, well, if I was the talent buyer, I probably wouldn’t buy a yoga instructor who sings and also paint simultaneously.
[00:48:28.920] – Diane Foy
Right. And you have to adjust your messaging. I mean, some things are great, because maybe I think what I do, it’s like all the things I do could be the same audience, whereas other things are like you might be pitching corporate for your speaking engagements, so you would talk to them differently than a club Booker. So it’s just knowing that and figuring out what it is that you’re offering and then figuring out who’s most likely to appreciate what you have to offer, researching about them. It’s really getting to know who you’re talking to and which parts of yourself or whatever it is that you’re presenting you put forward.
[00:49:19.140] – Diane Foy
And it’s just navigating it all. I love helping artists and all that.
[00:49:24.350] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. I know exactly. I think we need more people like you or podcasts like this, just people that everyone is so lost. And it is a point where to a point where they’re paralyzed, they don’t start and then 20 years go by and they live with the regret, which is worse than trying. And then feeling. So. I feel like the more that message gets out there, the more bad artists will have, but at least they’re doing something and they’ll you can’t get worse. So try our best.
[00:50:04.890] – Diane Foy
And from there, I definitely came from a play. It’s safe, family and background. It took me a long time to take a risk and not have my secure full time job and then do my hobbies on the side. But once I did, then you get used to it. And now, like, we’ll try this, it doesn’t work out. Oh, well, try it. Let’s try something else. So you kind of get used to the risk and the fear that comes along with it. But if you never do it, if you never try, then you’re just going to live with regret.
[00:50:42.430] – Diane Foy
And we can’t have that.
[00:50:44.490] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah. The story we told earlier, one thing may not exactly lead to where you want it to, but it might lead to somewhere completely different. I was supposed to record my comedy album last year or 2020. Whatever your 2020 was when I was released by comedy album. There’s no audiences in the audience because they say there’s no audiences in the audience. We weren’t allowed in public, so without laughs, it just wouldn’t have worked. So I decided to isolate in a recording studio and record musical comedy album.
[00:51:24.670] – Rory Gardiner
Studio album. So having the background of doing, like, eight studio albums just kind of allowed me that comfort in that level. So I wouldn’t have done this. It’s a weird who does studio albums of comedy music? Not a whole lot of people, but I probably wouldn’t have done it hadn’t I been pushed to do that because I couldn’t perform in public. And now it just got released. My modern day problems. It dropped a week ago, and it’s much different than my normal songs that I released because it’s comedy as well as music.
[00:52:08.220] – Rory Gardiner
So when you release, let’s say a country song, the music video is just a guy standing in the field for some reason in the middle of winter. It’s strange, but at least when I create these music videos for the comedy songs, every scene is like a punchline, like another opportunity to do something funny. So every aspect of it is like another performing art, which is kind of cool to keep me busy for a while.
[00:52:37.050] – Diane Foy
Yeah, that’s cool. And then in 2022, you can probably finally perform in front of live audiences again.
[00:52:47.130] – Rory Gardiner
Yeah, it’s open back up again now. So it’s good. I spend most of my winters in the States doing trying to escape the Canadian winter, so we got a lot of smart opportunity to work some material out there, so that when I get back in the spring, we can record the album here in Canada.
[00:53:08.550] – Diane Foy
Cool. Wonderful. Well, thank you so much for taking the time and chatting with us. It was really interesting. All the things that you do. Any parting words of wisdom.
[00:53:22.230] – Rory Gardiner
I have no parting words of wisdom. I appreciate what you do. And I appreciate the message you’re sending out to your audience. If you’ve liked what we’ve had to say today, feel free to tune into my balanced artist podcast. You might find a nugget there that might resonate with you. And other than that, I’d love to connect you further. You can find me on Instagram. Facebook, Rory Gardner Music and that’s it.
[00:53:55.930] – Diane Foy
Lovely. So I’ll put links on the web page of the podcast. And, yes, fantastic people can go check out all that you do. Thank you so much.
[00:54:09.130] – Rory Gardiner