how did you get back up?

"i've been knocked down, walked on, kicked around, lost found, brought down to my knees...but i get back up!" who hasn't felt these exact feelings, been in this exact place? we all have! after releasing my debut album, "i get back up!" i was amazed and humbled by the response i received from my fans regarding my single, "get back up!". just like i share my story through my song, fans have used "get back up!' to inspire and encourage them to share their story. more importantly, it gave them the reassurance that they are not alone and that they, too, have the power to inspire and uplift someone. i am launching a "get back up!' campaign and want to hear your story. how did you get back up, how were you were able to overcome adversity, how did you did the courage to keep going, and how giving up was not an option. check out the link below to submit and share your story, then check back and see if your "get back up!" story was selected and posted on my blog.

By clicking this link and submitting your "get back up!" story, you are authorizing katie rogers and her team to edit your story by changing names and other facts included in your submission in order to protect identities. You further agree to allow katie rogers and her team to share the edited version of your submission on katie's "i get back up!" blog without any additional approval.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

my "get back up" story!

Most of you know I have been singing and performing practically my entire life.  So pursuing a career as a country singer in the music industry was not a surprise.  I, however, was in for a huge surprise for what the music business entailed.  First of all, singers and songwriters are a dime a dozen in Nashville.  After graduating from Belmont with a commercial vocal performance degree I was ready for my career to just be there.  It wasn’t.  And don’t get me wrong, I have been and still am, willing to do the work. I just didn’t know where to start. 

So I just started writing with as many songwriters as I could.  I ended up meeting with a very well known songwriter (who has written many songs we know and love), who was also into producing.  I thought, “Great, this is just the jump start I need!”  Well, after a year of being in the studio, recording songs and endless days of working my other three jobs (forgot to mention, I was also a retail customer service manager, teacher at a children’s developmental learning center and a nanny) this “producer” fell off the face of the earth…right along with all of my recordings.   I had nothing to show for my entire year.  All the sacrifice of my time, work, sleep, you name it.  So I took a few months, gathered my pride and jumped back in to the business again. 

However, just as I was getting ready to take that jump, I completely lost my voice!  Doctors could not figure what the cause was even after two months of complete vocal rest.  Yes, I did not speak a word for two months straight…katie rogers was literally speechless!!!  So they decided to put me on steroids.  Four weeks and twenty-eight pounds heavier, we realized I was having an allergic reaction to them. Thus began a whole new strand of health issues.  After months of unexplained migraines, black-outs, slurred speech, difficulty walking and now extreme weight loss, I was at an absolute loss.

I was told I had a heart defect, a brain tumor, celiac disease, you name it and I was told I had.  I was even told it was just stress.  You’re dang right I was stressed!  I had no idea what was wrong with me!  For the first time in my life I did not see an answer. For the first time in my life I did not and could not have a positive attitude.  In fact, for the first time in my life, I didn’t think I would be able to sing again ever.  Not because I didn’t want to, no I never lost the passion or drive for what I dreamed of.  I simply was not able to physically.  After over a year of being deathly sick, thousands of doctor visits and test, I finally started putting together my own ideas of what happened.  And through the help of one doctor we figured out what it was. I had Systemic Candida.  In other words, I had yeast poisoning of the blood, and it was caused from the steroids I had taken earlier. I am sure most of you have never heard of this, but it can be fatal at its worst stage.  It was literally trying to shut my body down.  Through a holistic approach, a complete shift in everything I ate, and a year of dedication to getting better, I was able to physically ‘get back up!’ and grab a hold of my life again.  So back to my career I went. 

This time, however, I decided I was going to start writing my own five-song album/ep that I could play for all of the record labels.  This way, it would be my songs, vision, me!  So I asked a longtime friend and co-writer to be a part of the project.  We wrote lots of new songs that were very “Katie”, melodic with edginess and soul. 

Once I was ready to start recording, an investor caught wind of what was going on and decided he wanted to back the project.  A dream come true!  So I thought. I guess I should have known better.  By that I mean, the investor was the best friend of one of my co-writers.  But being the person I am, someone who thinks everyone will support me the way I support them, I still believed my best interest was at the forefront.  Once it got closer to contract signing time, however, I realized through a course of events, that the only person who had my best interest first, was me. 

After taking a few days to think things over and figure out where I would go from here, it was clear to me that I no longer trusted them because of the decisions they had made. It was clear what I needed to do, but it would be one of the most difficult decisions I would ever have to make.  I had to walk away from an investor who was going to financially give me everything I needed to get the career of my dreams going.  More sad than that, I lost a friend and co-writer.  I had put all of my trust and faith into this new team of people and I had been badly burned.  Again.  Being the optimist I am, I had turned a blind eye to what was going on because I wanted to see the good in the people I was working with.   I wanted so badly for it to work.  The reality in that moment was “it is what it is.”  I was devastated.

Now, don’t be confused by my devastation.  I never thought for one second during all that, that this career was not for me.  But I did think, “I am not willing to sacrifice my integrity and dreams for anyone.”  And I hoped so deeply that this industry had a place for someone like me.  My music is my world; but staying true to who I am means far more than even my music.  So, once again, I took a few more months off to figure out a new game plan and allow the dust to settle.

I knew I couldn’t do it alone.  So, I decided to take another chance and call my friend and co-writer, Jesse. On my first day back at writing, Jesse and I were sitting around talking about how life had been going.  He was talking about his own struggles in his life and I was sharing about the disappointments I had had and the realities of the music business. I told him that what had kept me going through it all was telling myself, “just get back up, Katie.”  We realized through talking that it didn’t matter what we were given in life, what mattered was that we had to always, “get back up!”  That day, our song “get back up!” was born. 

“Get back up” is now my daily motto and theme for my life.  I am so lucky that I now have my album in Walmart stores and online, I have unbelievable performing opportunities all over and have amazing relationships with people in the industry and more importantly the people on my team.  None of this would be what it is had I not been through all that I have been through.  I consider myself a very lucky girl to have been given what I now consider amazing opportunities to, “get back up!”
photo by: Lindsay Farrer