Listen to your heart – It doesn’t matter what others may think or what they are saying to you. When I used to hear the bullying I would go to a journal and write about it…I would write down what it was that I wanted, and what thought I needed to do to get it, and what my plan was.
In this interview series, we are exploring the subject of resilience among successful business leaders. Resilience is one characteristic that many successful leaders share in common, and in many cases it is the most important trait necessary to survive and thrive in today’s complex market.
I had the pleasure of interviewing April Jo Doyle. Catapulting a career built on years of successes as an actress, model, Singer, songwriter, and performer, coupled with a unique vision and talent as a makeup artist/stylist, garnered April significant recognition in the beauty industry as well. An impressive background in so many aspects of the entertainment industry has enabled her to work with some of most influential names in the business! April’s music career took the forefront with one of Southern California’s most highly successful show bands, Haute Chile Productions (HCP). This ensemble quickly became one of the top requests with the high-end, corporate, celebrity, socialite, and notable charity events. HCP has performed for everyone from Hugh Hefner to the Presidential election, as well as numerous international performances. HCP boasts an unrivaled list of credits, client list, notable performances, and has truly carved out its own niche as one of the most successful entities in corporate entertainment, leading all the way up to April’s latest project, April and the Velvet Room. April’s current musical endeavor is the brainchild of April and her world-renowned producer, Kevin Flournoy. Kevin has produced, written, performed, and recorded with a myriad of well-known artists including Gladys Knight, Dionne Warwick, Donny Osmond, The Pointer Sisters, Hillary Duff, Jamie Foxx, The Jazz Crusaders, Boney James, Kirk Whalum, Mindi Abair, Harvey Mason, Ronnie Laws and Baby Face….just to name a few. The Velvet Room is an experience of smooth, sophisticated, jazz/r&b, neo soul, original music complimented by iconic/esoteric classics with an international touch…. definitely appealing to a wide audience, all delivered with an intimate concert level of performance. The best part of this epic “classic-neo-jazz-funk” experience is that the performers in the group run the gamut of legendary names to the hottest names of today. Audiences are definitely pleasantly surprised. by this ultimate “who’s who” vibe, and sought after experience.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to get to know you a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your backstory?
Mystart in music was being a part of, and helping to form one of the first hugely successful corporate bands in the US. I was not only performing but helped them and some other budding artists with development and promotion in the corporate entertainment industry ….my talents included styling the band, choreography, working on marketing, photos, social media etc. This helped put us on the map and we traveled extensively internationally. It was an awesome experience. I continued this with my own corporate business Haute Chile Productions…we are one of the industries finest.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career?
I think it would be the international travel dates we did…Performing in Greece, Thailand, Hong Kong, Bermuda etc. I think travel opens up your brain!
Can you tell us what lessons or ‘take aways’ you learned from that?
Being able to experience other cultures, even for a short amount of time is life changing. Also, our performances with headliner’s..
Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire..etc…EPIC!
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
I use only the most accomplished musicians. They are industry royalty and they LOVE to play together..it creates a beautiful spark onstage. Also, they are a stellar group of people ,..with true Integrity.
Our backgrounds have allowed us to perform in some of the most exclusive events. Hugh Hefner’s birthday was something we will never forget!
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?
Yes, with my original project…Kevin Flournoy brought in some of the most epic musicians in the field. This brought my project to a whole other level. My next release is a cover that Sting did…a French song called “La Belle dan sans Regrets”. Kevin got Brent Fischer to do the string arrangement…Look him up..I cannot tell you how many people he has graced with his talents or how many gold records he has! Our song is being submitted for Grammy consideration….!
Ok thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of this interview. We would like to explore and flesh out the trait of resilience.
Interesting question….I’m not sure it is a “trait”. I wish it was. The dictionary says…”able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.” Not everyone is able to do this. However, a lot are and I believe it is something we should all endeavor to do. Especially with all of the difficult issues we are all dealing with now.
How would you define resilience?
Being able to pick yourself up and go forward, no matter what.
What do you believe are the characteristics or traits of resilient people?
A true sense of strength. I also found this..I like this very much..” moving towards a goal beyond themselves, transcending pain and grief by perceiving bad times as a temporary state of affairs…”
When you think of resilience, which person comes to mind? Can you explain why you chose that person?
Well there have always been exceptional people in the world …. like Stephen Hawking.
I just was thinking about someone being so beyond physically challenged yet still finding a way to communicate to the entire world. And not just communicate, but actually help the world, the way he did.
Has there ever been a time that someone told you something was impossible, but you did it anyway? Can you share the story with us?
I had some family members asking me why I was doing music as there was “no future in it”.
I have spent many years absorbed by this business successfully but there are always people who just think you should have a more ordinary job or plan? I have continued to prove them wrong!
Did you have a time in your life where you had one of your greatest setbacks, but you bounced back from it stronger than ever?
I got a tumor in one of my salivary glands. It was a very serious operation and recovery. I wondered if I would be going back to music. Luckily I was able to get back on stage in about 6 months. I was definitely resilient!
Did you have any experiences growing up that have contributed to building your resiliency?
I experienced some bullying in grade school and high school. Somehow, probably from my powerful mother’s example, I never let it annihilate me….I ignored it and moved on.
Resilience is like a muscle that can be strengthened. In your opinion, what are 5 steps that someone can take to become more resilient?
1-Listen to your heart- It doesn’t matter what others may think or what they are saying to you. When I used to hear the bullying I would go to a journal and write about it…I would write down what it was that I wanted, and what thought I needed to do to get it, and what my plan was.
2- Read books from successful people…from the field you are interested in- I followed the example of people I looked up to….went to modeling school, make up tutorials, did a lot of photo shoots and actually worked with a photographer to help myself with presentation and promo.
3-Meditate- Praying is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God. Don’t listen to negative people. GET AWAY FROM THEM! Listen to your spirit, and with integrity and honor, do everything you can to move forward to get what you want.
4-Read books from spiritual or inspirational people you admire and can give you examples on how to strengthen yourself.. which will make you more resilient. I read books by E.Tolle, Deepak Chopra, etc. Whoever you admire and can help you strengthen your thoughts and make you more present as to where you are putting your energy. When I lose a pet, and I just did…I need all of the support and positive thoughts I can get …in an endeavor to be resilient. Its not easy…but its harder and hurts more if you don’t try.
5- Take care of yourself…Mentally and physically. When you are healthy your brain works better. This is common knowledge. When things get tough, and you aren’t healthy…an “I don’t care..” attitude can ensue and really make things worse. I can tell you one of the best ways I have gotten through things is with serious workouts. Sweating things out helps you in many ways.
You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I would like to impart to the world to ….Make a difference before you go! Pay it forward! Try to be a healed cell in our collective body. If we all thought this way the world would be a very different place.
We are blessed that some very prominent leaders read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them 🙂
Jane Goodall….a beautiful person who’s life endeavor has been for the sweet animals she loves so dearly. This is my love as well.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
www.AprilandtheVelvetRoom.com has all of my contacts, videos and available music. Thank you so much!
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!