Burbank was the first place I ever street performed with my first acoustic electric guitar: my Fauna Dolphin. Its beauty and sound attracted eyes and ears as I performed in the downtown shopping center. My name is Sarah Lightman and I’m going to tell you a story about how powerful working together can be and my journey to getting my music video featured on Universal CityWalk’s in LA!
One day during the Summer of 2017, I was street performing in downtown Burbank in Los Angeles, California in front of a restaurant being built. At the time I was working multiple jobs on top of street performing: dog walking, a café job, and a dog daycare. That day I met some friends who invited me to play at the NAMM Show 2018 – which goes to show you one day of street performing can change your career!
September 2017: Street Performing
My NAMM Show invite gave me some momentum so, I reapplied to audition for Universal CityWalk Street Performer Program. I applied a couple of months before, and I decided to try again. Right around this time I quit some of my many jobs to devote more time into music. I was so scared to take this step! The Sunday after I reapplied, I was street performing and a man with glasses walked over to listen. He had so much intention and excitement in his steps. My gut told me this guy must be important, or he’s a really big fan! His presence inspired me to sing my two best songs. After I sang, he came over and told me he was part of Universal Entertainment and that he read over my cover letter.
January 2018: The NAMM Show, Anaheim, CA
I walked into the Anaheim Convention Center with butterflies in my stomach and with great excitement. A few months before heading to the NAMM Show, I was accepted to be part of the Universal CityWalk Street Performer experience! At the time, I had raised roughly 30% of the funds needed for my music video that would be played at CityWalk, LA and there were only 2 weeks left until the day of the shoot. Walking into the show, it was my first time working with Audio Gear Group and M&K Sound – I knew what my mission was walking into NAMM; professionally represent my brand, build relationships, and speak to Luna Guitars.
Like practicing and honing your craft you have to put the work in; it took me a few times to walk into the Luna booth in hopes to collaborate. Sometimes that means submitting over and over while you keep improving the way you finesse as an artist. I walked in to booth 207AB and this year Luna brought a couple of their Artists with them. The first I met was Carly Jo Jackson – She was full of so much fire and much taller than myself. That’s where I first met Adam Gomes, Director of Marketing & Artist Relations at Luna and my team talked over what we wanted to do in collaboration with Luna. I told him why I wanted to represent the brand and the Luna Tribe at heart. When I left the Luna room to go back to the Audio Gear booth to play another set with Carly Jo and one of the acoustic guitars that Adam let us borrow; the Henna Oasis acoustic electric. When I tried it out it sounded so nice and it attracted so many eyes and ears just like my Fauna Dolphin! I thought to myself I HAVE to get myself one of these.
February 2018: Trouble Arises
A week after NAMM, it was just a few days before the shoot of the music video and one of the sponsors did not deliver the funds they guaranteed. Their donation was going to cover the exact remaining funds needed for the project. My management team (Brianna Fish and Daniela Simmen) did their best to support and brainstorming fundraising ideas. It was a truly trying and sad moment. I did not want to let Luna, supporters, or my cast and crew down. There were only two days left to make some extra money so I didn’t break my bank account. Right until the night before the shoot, I hit the streets performing as much as I could while running to the grocery store and planning all of the last-minute needs for the shoot with management. I was going non-stop and realized I still needed to shower, eat dinner, meet with the director, and check the mail. The mail sounded the most exciting so I went for that first. When I went inside the house, there were 5 or 6 giant boxes sent from Luna waiting for me in the living room. I opened them up and it felt like my birthday. Luna let me feature not only the Henna, but Adam from Luna also let the band use all Luna guitar instruments in the music video! In that moment, that’s when I knew that I would be more than just okay because I had the support from the Luna Tribe and the great folks at Luna Guitars.
April 2, 2018: Lights, Camera, Action on City Walk!
Finally, the day arrived, my music video hit YouTube and social media! I sent it to everyone: friends, family, gigs I booked, gig I never heard back from, open mics, Ken Callait. You name it and I sent it! One day I sent emails from 1PM-3:30AM to help it get the word out. Universal Entertainment notified me that the video was up and ready to be viewed at CityWalk 4 times a day, every day. I grabbed as many involved as I could and we headed out to see it on their big screen. To my surprise the video played after the following artists: Justin Timberlake and Christ Stapleton, Sean Mendes, and Diplo. Some of these artists are ones that I grew up watching and listening it is such an honor and so surreal to share the screen with my idols.
As of Saturday, April 21st, the video hit 7,600+ views. Last week it was only at 400! The folks at Luna Guitars and I were so excited about this whole journey that we worked together to share this story with you. Everyone is capable of achieving greatness, as long as we keep fighting for it, together.