Little and Ashley Written by Annie Little
I’m Annie Little and I am a singer/songwriter, an actress and a model. I’d like to share a little bit about the musical part of my journey. I make up one half of the LA based duo Little and Ashley with my husband, Marcus Ashley. We are best known for our songs that were featured in a stop-motion Amazon Kindle TV campaign, in which I also starred. Little and Ashley has since released three EPs and we’re now working on a full-length album for 2012. It’s a dream come true to be pursuing music. But working this dream hasn’t always been easy for me. Far from it.
As much as I have always had a desire to express myself musically, I have also experienced an equal amount of fear about it—fear of not being good at it, of not being perfect. Sometimes the fear outweighed the desire and I’d even find myself giving up, feeling paralyzed. But deep down I knew I didn’t want to let it go. The desire was too strong. I had to find a way to stop judging and give myself permission to fail. I had to learn to stop expecting myself to be perfect.
A teacher once told me that I was much more interesting when I wasn’t trying to be perfect. It kind of blew my mind. I couldn’t quite fathom that my imperfections could be some of my most interesting parts.
I’ve been struggling with debilitating perfectionism in my art for most of my life—giving up at new things because I couldn’t be perfect at them – and I hadn’t even given myself the chance to learn them! I would expect myself to run before I could even stand. What a relief it was to let myself absorb this idea of interesting imperfections. Maybe if I allowed myself to be less than perfect and accepted it as part of the process, it would alleviate the frustration I experienced and allow me to truly grow as an artist.
Not only accepting, but embracing my imperfections is an ongoing journey. It’s a lot more fun to practice and learn when perfection isn’t the goal. It gives me the freedom to write a bad song, hit a wrong note, or try a new instrument. A few years ago I joined a women’s goal setting group called The New Hollywood where I met a network of fellow artists and realized I wasn’t alone in my fears or my desires. I’m looking forward to performing with Little and Ashley in The New Hollywood’s upcoming benefit for Free the Slaves, entitled Free to Express.
You can check out Little and Ashley’s music at www.LittleandAshley.com and become a fan at www.facebook.com/littleandashley.