Music With A Message
Country Music singer Eric Dodge has been in the business for years, so it might surprise some to know that he still gets nervous before taking the stage. However, it’s that fear that also motivates him to do more and be better. “My biggest fear was being on stage in front of people.” He says. “Speaking and being in front of crowds still terrifies me. It just turns out that it is what I should be doing.”
Eric discovered his talent for singing somewhat by accident and somewhat by luck. After winning a local radio stations free cruise giveaway, he and his brother Ashton departed for Ensenada, Mexico on September 10th 2001. The next morning, they awoke to the horror of the September 11th World Trade Center attacks. Reflecting together on the tragic events, Eric’s brother asked him if there was anything he had wanted to do in his life but hadn’t – Eric replied that he had always wanted to sing and perform solo, but had always been too scared. Later on that evening, with some encouragement from Ashton, Eric faced his fears and took the cruise ship karaoke stage to perform Garth Brooks “The Dance”. Eric describes the experience as “all a blur”, but the rush of adrenaline he felt as he performed was life changing.
This experience would later serve as a catalyst and be a huge inspiration for his book, “Why Not Today?” In his book, Eric speaks on his experiences dealing with fear, anxiety, depression, and hopelessness. Eric shares that he discovered that the things he was afraid of were the things he needed to be doing the most. He also shares of his experience being bullied. Eric’s family moved to Southern Utah around age 7. Transitioning to a new neighborhood and new friends is never easy, and unfortunately many of Eric’s peers did not treat him with kindness.
Eric was able to take his experiences and use them as a positive, combining them with his passion for singing. This is where Music with a Message was born – Be kind, treat others with kindness, not be afraid to stand out and be different. Eric spends much of his time traveling and speaking to youth and other groups about Anti-bullying. He stresses the importance of supporting children who are or have been bullied as early as possible. The physical and emotional effects of bullying can last up through adult hood. Over 40% of children in grades 4-12 have experienced frequent bullying, most often in the form of verbal or online cyber bullying. However, it’s important to not that Eric harbors no resentment towards those who mistreated him. He says that these experiences were necessary so that he could truly relate to others and to the challenges that so many of us face.
To contact Eric about speaking arrangements, or to purchase his book, “Why Not Today?”, visit his website www.ericdodge.com