Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

How People Are Like Penguins

June 24, 2014

As a professional piano entertainer in Houston for  20+ years it struck me how much  sense of community one can build around a piano…….Up until recently many people gathered each week wherever I was performing and caught up on each others lives and activities. Friendships formed, relationships flourished.

Now that I’m working more as a motivational speaker and not playing in a piano bar,  no one sees anyone.That is, up until last week.

Thursday’s girls night out was a huge success on many levels…connecting with fab femmes that have supported my work for so many years was a special treat since I could actually sit and visit instead of having to play it again Sam.

Everyone was so delighted to see each other there were many hugs and stories exchanged…..kinda sorta like a family reunion (except everyone likes each other).

Just like penguins.
Penguins form large groups, stay socially interactive and look after each other for life. The more I mature (ahem!) the more I realize the importance of people to connect with – not just in times of sickness but to build a network of support and fun to enjoy them while we can.

Be sure to nurture your nest of birds of a feather….you never know when you’ll need a fish for dinner.

Change your Tune, Change your Life!

May 19, 2014
Speaking in Chicago last week made me grateful
for the four seasons in Texas: Nearly summer, summer, still summer, Christmas.
Lady Gaga with her foot on piano?
No, me.
The people up there have had six months of horrific winter that left them stir crazy and ready to laugh ‘n’ learn from my program on Change. 300 ladies attended the annual Women’s Initiative Forum hosted by Itasca Bank and they were a hoot!

We talked about discovering your passion to live life on purpose; to view change as opportunity and grab it fearlessly; to learn new things,

Theresa Behenna?
 No, Lady Gaga..

to persevere and connect with other people to help realize your goals/dreams.

I demonstrated how I’ve had to keep current to stay employed as an entertainer…..learning to play music by Lady Gaga copying her style with one foot up on the piano was a bituva stretch – in more ways than one (aaaargh!)

NSA logoUpon deciding to become a professional speaker back in 1998 it was a HUGE change that I knew I couldn’t do by myself so I joined the Houston chapter of the National Speakers Association where I met people that became my mentors, coaches and teachers.     

In order to make changes in your life, ignore the negative tune in your head that says “You’re not good enough” and replace it with an “I can do that!” attitude. Surround yourself with people that can help you take one small step at a time.

What’s the song in YOUR head? Is it “Crazy” (Patsy Cline) or the theme from “Rocky?”

How To Stay Forever Young

April 22, 2014

Easter bunny with little girl Variety is the spice of life and I’m   
convinced it helps slow the aging process … if only mentally. As both a motivational speaker & piano entertainer I get to wear different hats that keeps life interesting. I hope you gain inspiration from this blog to keep trying new things to live healthier & happier…..and look good too!

Easter Sunday saw me and a large rabbit entertain 500+ people at the Sugar Creek Country Club in Sugar Land, Texas where in between sets I lunched on lobster, oysters, smoked salmon & cheese cake (not at the same time). Think I’m born to live in luxury ‘coz it feels natural. Yeah Baby.

Sure. This is me in a bikini………………not !!!!Cartoon - frisbee throwing girl in bikini
However I did learn how to play frisbee golf last Saturday. Having never thrown a frisbee in my life this was a totally new experience and a whole new way to have fun and be frustrated. Who knew there was an actual art to tossing a flying saucer thingy?

Another first comes up this weekend when I attend a tennis boot camp at the ranch of famous Aussie champion John Newcombe in New Braunfels, Texas.We’re in for a heckuva time with tennis drills, cocktails, karaoke (no kidding!) and people from all over the USA participating. Goodness Gracious Great Balls of Fire!

Chicago city skyline

Chicago city skyline

Next month I’m off to speak in Chicago, Austin and Indiana so I’m busy customizing speeches for Itasca Bank, Texas Electric Cooperatives & yet another program for The American Heart Association in the mid west. Busy bee!

With the news of two friends  funerals in a week, the one year anniversary of the Boston marathon bombing and hearing of yet another acquaintance with cancer, I’m wondering how much time any of us have.

Get out your bucket list. What’s the next new thing you’re going to cross off? Tick tock.

Hmmmmm……where do I sign up for sky diving?

Trashy, Sleazy, Desperate: What Would You Do To Get Noticed?

September 6, 2013
miley
Robin Thicke & Miley Cyrus


It was the talk of Twitter,
the buzz of the moment,
a media frenzy….
Miley Cyrus’s performance at the Video Music Awards was nothing short of shocking. 

With her lewd gestures, tongue out, half naked, Miley showed the world she is no longer the Disney channel girl who was adored by millions of teens.

 Talk about a brand change.

 In my motivational speeches on Extraordinary Performance I talk about what it takes to reach the next level of success and how we need to keep learning and changing the way we work. In today’s competitive market we need to stand out from the crowd to get the job/client and keep the job/client.

Does this mean we have to strip off our clothes and act vulgar?     (OK, don’t answer that)

Successful people don’t need to shock anyone. They are self confident, open minded yet consistent with their brand/image.

Miley Cyrus looked like she wanted to win the sleaze award at VMA to outdo Lady Gaga and the all star line up.  

Or was she just desperate for attention?

Grab the attention of your boss/client by delivering excellence. Every time. Every interaction. Every day.  

 Now THAT’S Extraordinary Performance that won’t make the tabloids but WILL get you noticed………………..in a good way. 

Say Cheese, Get Hired?

August 8, 2013
WHAT YOUR CHOPPERS SAY ABOUT YOU

Poor people in the US often have bad teeth. Wealthier people do not. If you have crooked,yellow, missing or irregular teeth, ugly teeth bride it is often a sign to many people that you are either poor or you are low class.

Some people spend more money on making the teeth appear whiter than they do on learning the basics of their career.

And then there’s those people having veneers cemented over perfectly healthy teeth.

Whassup with all this obsession over perfect teeth?

If you have less than perfect teeth in the US, people will believe you are of a lower class status than you may be and they will treat you accordingly.

Would you hire the bride pictured?

Everyone wants healthy teeth, but “perfect” teeth has little to do with healthy teeth. 
The clark1920s and early 1930s saw the birth of Hollywood and Americans became obsessed with the people they saw on screen.  Black and white film exaggerates teeth coloring.  If the teeth aren’t very white, they appear gray.  The big studios like MGM immediately began to require that their stars get dentures.  American audiences saw those beautiful white choppers and wanted their own “perfect” teeth.
 
The somewhat neglected and feared dental industry realized that they had been given a marketing dream – they could offer Clark Gable or Myrna Loy‘s mouth to the average American.  And they could con and guilt the public into thinking it was about health.

Ovegiraffer the last few decades the practices have escalated so that teeth are veneered and bleached until they look like chiclets.   Take a look at Joe Biden‘s teeth – they don’t joe  resemble organic teeth at all. 

Take a look in the mirror.

Smile – you’re on candid camera.

Would YOU hire you?

And yes, all my front teeth are crowns.

As a motivational speaker and professional pianist I’m on stage  to pay the bills. The minute someone commented on a black gap in my smile I was off to the dentist faster than a speeding bullet.

Now I’m smiling all the way to the bank.  

New You for the New Year: Botox or Bacon?

January 21, 2013
gaga
Lady Gaga 

HOW FEARLESS ARE YOU?

Do you like trying new things? Meeting new people? Change?  

speaking ewiStepping outside our comfort zone to learn a new computer program, try a new hair style, give a presentation or going out solo, can be so scary it paralyzes any action.
 
 
 
 
 
No action =  No progress = Stuck.

As the after dinner speaker for Executive Women International last week, I told the story of when I was touring the world playing piano and how I had to constantly learn new music to stay employed…just like we all need to learn new ways of working to succeed in today’s economy.

The story ends with me playing Lady Gaga‘s song ‘Paparazzi’ – and yes, standing with foot up on the piano. Elegant? Not so much.
The pleg on piano
oint is we all need to emulate Lady Gaga’s FEARLESSNESS to be extraordinary to get the job/keep the job, get the client/keep the client in today’s competitive marketplace.

 
Mediocre = Unemployed.
 

Lady Gaga is constantly shocking people with outrageous costumes  (bacon dress pictured), edgy videos, new music, wild hair do’s and spectacular shows to stand out from the competition. She’s not afraid what people think.                                                                                                                     baby

What are YOU doing to rebrand, refresh & rejuvenate  this New Year?

It doesn’t need to involve botox or bacon (unless you want it to).
You don’t even ha
ve to see the whole picture (it could be overwhelming).
Just take that first baby step because after that,
I promise, it gets easier.

Bold. Courageous. FEARLESS. You were Born This Way.

Check out Theresa’s demo video!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=J9DSw_AHVyI

WHY FRANK SINATRA SHOULD BE PART OF YOUR HEALTH CARE PLAN

October 17, 2012


sinatra 

As a professional speaker that has played piano since the earth was cooling, I’m constantly amazed at the power of music and how it transforms people and events.

I was speaking to a group of healthcare professionals at their annual conference and told the story of when I was hired to perform a 60 minute musical program for Alzheimers patientsand their care givers. The audience age ranged from 40 to 75 years old.          

Hamburg Steinway D-274

Hamburg Steinway D-274 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some patients were in the advanced stages of the disease and couldn’t remember their own name. Caregivers were stressed out and close to compassionate fatigue. The energy in the room was heavy and somewhat sad. Within seconds of playing ‘New York, New York‘ it happened…

Blank stares became bright eyes. Droopy heads lifted up. Toes tapped and hands clapped in tempo. Patients with no memory sang along perfectly to the music. Worn out care givers became energized and animated. Suddenly the atmosphere was alive and vibrant.

And the best part? No pills needed.

As the kickoff speaker for that healthcare conference, and since I’m kinda funny and play piano during my presentations on workplace performance, the precedent was set for the whole event. Attendees left feeling happy.

Can you put a price on happy? Do you have a prescription for happy? If you’re a healthcare professional how do you define happy?

I’d be happy to hear your thoughts.

Doo-bee-doo-bee-doo…

The Unpopular Prescription for Good Health

September 6, 2012

As a frequent professional speaker and entertainer for healthcare events in Houston and around the country, I’m constantly amazed at how playing live music transforms people on the spot…

Today I delivered a 45 minute musical program for an Alzheimers group with ages ranging from 55 – 94 years old. Some shuffled in with walkers, others were wheeled in by care givers, while some walked slowly without assistance. They sat expectantly with blank stares looking straight ahead.

Within minutes of playing an empassioned version of  The Impossible Dream, I felt the energy in the room shift to a new level of alive.  After their enthusiastic applause, they sang along to Hello Dolly, shouted answers to musical trivia questions, clapped in tempo to Glen Miller’s In The Mood and ended up dancing to New York New York.  The mood contrast from beginning to end was like day and night!

The miracle is that some of these people can’t remember their own name, yet they knew every word to songs written 50 years ago. For 45 minutes this seniors group came alive with the vibrancy of their youth. Their eyes shone, their toes tapped and their smiles radiated complete well being.

No drugs. No worries.

What if doctors prescribed musical activities versus mind altering drugs for the vulnerable aging population ? What if the healthcare industry embraced alternative action to pharmeceuticals? Oh wait. That wouldn’t be FDA approved.  Silly me.

If you’re the Baby Boomer caregiver of an aging parent, consider an inexpensive way to put a smile on their face and a twinkle in their eye…

Music –  it’s what the doctor SHOULD have ordered.

View this video to see how you can help someone you love:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKDXuCE7LeQ&feature=share