Cynthia Erivo & Leslie Odom Jr. Know the Difference in a Career Being Low-Key or Off-Key is in ‘Positive Tracking’


Is it the Christmas season already? All signs seem to suggest that rush is about to come. A visit to any major box-store these days will have you passing trees and decorations. There’re also the Christmas shows getting ramped up on cable. Even the Rockefeller tree has been picked to travel from upstate NY.

But a story that’s sure to catch some eyes before then is the movie release of Harriet, about famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman. Her network of ‘safe spaces’ made it possible for blacks to travel the ‘underground railroad’ from slavery to freedom. It was a low-key enterprise that changed the social game.

The movie features two reasonably known actors who some might say have had low-key careers. Cynthia Erivo and Leslie Odom Jr cut their chops on Broadway. Erivo starred in The Color Purple while Odom might be remembered from Hamilton. Now they’re set to raise their profiles even more primetime.

They’re busy on the PR tour for the movie. Erivo on a recent sitdown with Oprah talked about her showbiz journey as a British singer/actress. When asked whether the Harriet role found her or she found it, her response wasn’t off-key at all. She felt the role found her even though her dream brought her to this point.


She said, “To dream, to be specific about the things you want in life, and to see them clearly, actually helps to bring them into fruition.” That may be another way of saying the difference in a career, business or social campaign being low-key or off-key is in positive tracking. This has elements of a:

  1. Vessel

Erivo saw herself as a vessel in this Harriet role. In one sense a vessel holds some content. You can pour into it and pour out of it. When a vessel sits in place it appears low-key. Erivo knows that whether this role looks low-key or not, the trick to being at her best was in what she could pour into it and pour out of it.

  1. Vehicle

The ‘underground railroad’ was like a “hometown network.” It wasn’t an actual railroad even though it served as a way for folks to travel from the south to places north. For Odom and Erivo, the vehicle that got their careers to this point is the Broadway stage. That was a ‘network’ to expose their gifts and riffs.

  1. Voice

Their musical background and singing skills come through in their work. Both have used music to blow the roof off with their voice. Finding your voice isn’t simply about having a hip sound. So they’ve used ‘positive tracking’ to keep their voice, goals and dreams hitting the right notes in the key of life.

  1. Vision


Odom feels the Harriet story is one of vision. It’s where people saw something that seemed impossible and made it real. Erivo feels humbled by the chance to play this role. It’s one where the vision of the movie’s storytellers reflects the reality that the ‘underground railroad’ made possible.

These days Halloween’s getting competition from Christmas. You forget that Thanksgiving is somewhere in between. Whether their career is between being low-key or off-key isn’t something Erivo or Odom are worried about. They’re happy to be a part of a project of turning dreams into reality. Look at them now!

Tip: Dreams get turned into reality as you let it pour into you like a vessel and flow out of you like a vision.

Talkback: What’s going on: late Thanksgiving, early Christmas, Halloween in-Between?

Tracks: Selena Gomez – Look At Her Now –

Lizzo – Good as Hell –

Taylor Swift’s Music Career Had Something That the Tabloids Aren’t Talking About – #WUWECAST

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST

LOL Tube – Got Funny?


Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (Old-School Flava)

Not many artists can say they’ve seen platinum three times in a row! That’s the case for Taylor Swift as her last three albums sold over one million copies. Her most recent album ‘1989’ was the highest selling album by any artist in years. Plus, her music career had something that the tabloids aren’t talking about.

Rolling Stones Magazine’s Rob Sheffield says Swift is a fantastic performer. Her songs come from the heart which is why her fan-club ‘Swifties’ so connect. Swift’s road to pop icon started out in country music. Her story gives a glimpse of career milestones that come from being real, ready and resolved.

At the recent ACM Awards, Swift’s mom gave props to her daughter’s rise up the charts and in the industry. The moment was full of emotion considering it was revealed that her mother’s battling cancer. In receiving the milestone award, both mom and daughter took time to cherish the journey.

It’s one where Swift had the chance to choose between trailblazing and farm-raising. She spent a part of her early years involved with tree farming. Along the way she developed her interest in music and performed on weekends. At age 14 her family moved to Nashville which was the start of bigger things.

Swift made news recently for pulling the plug on her relationship with the streaming service Spotify. She’s joining forces with Jay-Z’s Tidal Wave instead. Whether in business, sports or politics, tomorrow’s icons, moguls and mavericks get real, get ready and get resolve as a glimpse to their future career milestones.

Groove-Track: Rihanna – ‘American Oxygen’ –

Theme:–The Year of ‘Uppertunity’ – Get Lifted!”
With Higher Hopes, Bolder Dreams and Greater Teams (New-School Flava)

Not many artists can say. They’ve earned music’s platinum pay. Taylor Swift did so and more. Millions of downloads from the iTunes store. Most recent with ‘1989’ album drop. And the hits just don’t stop. Highest selling album in years. Tabloids know something else but think who cares.

Rolling Stones Writer says Swift’s fantastic. As a songwriter she’s blog-tastic. Songs come straight from the heart. Is why fan-club ‘Swifties’ won’t part. Road to pop icon began in country. Now’s she’s selling albums in bounty. Her’s a glimpse in career milestone. Being real, ready and resolved down to the bone.

During recent ACM Awards shout-out. Swift’s mom gave props for her clout. Rising up the charts and into the record books. Industry leader in sales and image looks. Moment full of emotion as mom battles cancer. Swift in the audience the usual dancer. So mom gets to cherish success journey of her daughter.

Swift simply shows she’s a trailblazer. Choosing that over being a farm-raiser. Spent early days with growing trees. Now she lives large and smiles ‘cheese.’ Grew her music chops on the strings. From age 14 karaoke gigs to Nashville club flings. Now a bonafide celebrity doing big things.

Made news recently for pulling the plug. Spotify no longer gets a hug. Joining forces with Jay-Z’s Tidal Wave crew. That should give music lovers something to chew. Whether in biz, sports, politics or school. ‘Got next’ icons, moguls and mavericks know the rule. It’s real, ready, resolved so don’t be no fool.


Tip: When all else fails just be real, go for what you want and somehow the rest falls in place.
Talkback: Do artists have a legitimate ‘beef’ about getting paid their fair share in royalties?
Groove-Tracks: Selena Gomez – ‘Love You Like a Love Song’ –   

American Authors – ‘Best Day of My Life’ –

This production of “Wise-up Wednesdays” Blogcast by Douette ‘Doc’ Cunningham is a presentation in “social media entertainment from the groove-track of life!” #WUWECAST