My best friend in the whole wide world, Marlissa Hudson, calls me a passion pimp. I don’t like the title because it sounds like I sell intimate products for bachelorette parties or worse, but gratefully that’s not what she means. Whenever someone compliments her on her music and I’m around she says “It’s all Ty’s fault. She wouldn’t let me quit, even when I wanted to.” I didn’t force her on the streets to “go get her passion” like Iceberg Slim might have told his women to “get his money”. But I did make it difficult for her to come back empty handed.
I described in earlier posts why the pursuit of passion and purpose is so critical to values driven entrepreneurs. In Marlissa’s case, when she sings, you are overwhelmed with the knowledge that she was designed to do this. It’s not simply because her voice is gorgeous and her technique is flawless. When Marlissa sings, she connects to your soul. She opens up the unvoiced emotion that lies beneath the surface of our words and actions. I’ve sat listening to her with tears in my eyes, only to see them reflected in a stranger beside me. In that moment, she allowed us to meaningfully connect without words through our shared emotions and humanity. And the key to Marlissa’s magic is that she is completely raw when she sings, reliving those moments in her past or trumpeting aspirations for her future in ways that are impossible not to feel. So it wasn’t that I wouldn’t let her quit. I just realized early on what one of her many admirers told her after a particularly moving performance. She doesn’t have the right to deny the world her gifts.
Her most recent project, Lust, marries her purpose and passion so inextricably, it’s intoxicating.
At Marlissa's CD release party last weekend, I watched her sashay into the room and immediately captivate everyone around her. The first note soared into the rafters to a collective gasp and WTF- many reacted as if they didn’t know the voice could even do what she was demonstrating so effortlessly.
You see, Marlissa isn’t an R&B singer or even a jazz musician. Marlissa is an opera singer. And through her journey, she has found ways to make it so accessible that the room stopped breathing just to feel her next note. But even more profound, her concept of Lust describes the pursuit of passion and how that tumultuous path leads to our individual evolution. Through her example, she encourages us all to pursue Lust for Life.
In honor of her fearless journey, I’d like to connect you directly to the story in her words, featured in Greg Sandow’s most recent blog post.