The Flick Chicks

Patty Fantasia

At the 2010 Campus Moviefest with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood

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Patty Fantasia


At the 2010 Campus Moviefest with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood

One of the special events held during the 2010 Campus Moviefest at the Wynn from June 10th through the 13th was a conversation with Garth Brooks and Trisha Yearwood at the Encore Theater. The couple took their places on a couple of stools on stage and Brooks told the audience that they were happy to be a part of the Q&A discussions because, “You hold the future in your hands, we don’t.”

Most of the questions asked centered upon different aspects of the music business and how it has been changed over the years. Garth, who is the father of three girls, related that gender is no longer as critical a role as it used to be. Trisha added, “If you’re creative you’re in.”

The duo talked about how they had performed on tour and had been friends for years before finally becoming husband and wife. Trisha hails from a small town in Georgia with a population around 2,000 and Garth marvels at how she returns home and still knows everyone. She even does work with her high school and college. Yearwood always knew she wanted to sing. She admitted “At five I wanted to be Cher.” She also loved sparkles and knew that she wanted to be famous. However, also being logical and practical she left for Nashville and became a music business major at Belmont. While her education didn’t help her land a record deal, it did give her an overview of the business, especially since her teachers were all professionals working in the industry.

Garth followed a different path, although he admits that he too always thought about being famous. He thought it would be for his athletic abilities rather than for music though. At 18 he was one of 14 young people chosen to go to Opryland, but his folks talked him into enrolling in college instead. Since he couldn’t read or write music that meant studying advertising at Oklahoma State. Rather than speaking a lot about his alma mater, he referred to his education as the Raymond Brooks School of Hard Knocks. “You can’t educate yourself enough,” he told the audience, “Keep Learning.”

One trait the couple share is their loyalty to others and most of the people they work with have been with them for 20+ years. “Trust your gut on people,” Trisha advised. They recommend finding individuals who see the world the way that you do and keeping your personal and business lives as separate as possible. Declaring Yearwood to be his best friend as well as his wife, Brooks does admit that love is the one thing that can change anyone’s plans or perspectives. “It makes rivers run backwards. It just does. I think love happens when it’s supposed to,” he said thoughtfully.

Another suggestion Garth had for young people starting out is to take their time with the creative process. “The difference between good and great I’ve found is time,” he said. “Don’t let the pace determine the quality of your work.” Trisha added that the business has changed and artists have been forced to settle more, so that now sometimes the music doesn’t sound finished. She remembered that years ago “Songs were a work in progress for a long time.”

Being an artist is as natural as breathing to Brooks, who also writes screenplays. I love creating, it’s what I do,” he enthused, then remarked how if someone’s creative, “a blank piece of paper makes your mouth start to water.” Garth often envisions a pile of records with albums like Hotel California and Rumors floating above and describes them as “the ones that define time flying with wings.” He asserted that hanging on to success is harder than getting into the business and claims that “it becomes your air.” He also believes that only a few performers define what an artist is.

Yearwood recalled a time back in the business when a video was made for every single before technology changed the industry. She said that video isn’t as important as a marketing tool, so the budget for it isn’t there anymore. With an impish smile she admitted, “I want to do a western. I want to be a gun slinging chick in a video.”

Aside from their career pursuits and family obligations, the couple is also involved with a charity called Teammates for Kids. Starting with 60 professional athletes, they now have over 2,500 in the program, which is in all 50 states, and 52 countries including five provinces of Canada. “We don’t believe that a child knows a flag. I don’t think they should,” Brooks said. The foundation gives funds quarterly to many charities so long as they involve helping children.

As for his deal performing at the Encore Theater, Brooks expressed admiration for the businessman behind it. “Steve Wynn gives them something they can’t get anywhere else,” he concluded.





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