Why I’m Raising Funds to Record “Restore”

Hi, I’m Rorie, but you may know me as Erin Rea (I recently started writing and performing as “Rorie” – a nickname I’ve had for years). Anyways, I just launched a Kickstarter Campaign to raise funds to record my song “Restore,” and am turning to my blog to write a little more about the inspiration behind this project, and why I’m using the wonderful Kickstarter.com (aka inviting you!) to help fund it!

So I write a lot of songs, and love doing so. Throughout the past two years, I’ve lived in three different states, and four different rooms. It has been a growing experience, an amazing experience, a challenging experience, a hard experience, and a blessed experience all wrapped in one. But isn’t that life?

When I moved to NYC in the summer of 2013, I was looking for jobs and came across an organization called “Nomi Network”. I had the opportunity to work there for a year, and this experience was completely different than anything I could have planned for myself when moving to New York. I learned so much working with them, not only professionally, but also about the issue they work so tirelessly to fight against: human trafficking. I knew that modern day slavery was real, but I began to meet people and hear stories that made me perpetually uneasy. Slavery is not ok. Human trafficking is NOT ok. And yet, it happens all around us.

One thing I learned while working at Nomi is that survivors of human trafficking are too often portrayed as being helpless, when in reality; they can be some of the strongest people. Each story and every individual is unique. We do, however, have large numbers and statistics to communicate the breadth and gravity of the issue in both our country and our world, and there are many organizations working hard to provide resources and support. One day, one of my bosses said that she doesn’t call the women and families that she works with “survivors,” but rather, “over-comers”.

That day, I went home and started writing about what she had said. That’s when the song “Restore” came about. I kind of wrote it and set it aside. Then, while falling asleep one night, I imagined a beautiful dancer who was trapped in a room that was too small for her to dance. I saw her begin to break free from her situation physically, psychologically, and spiritually. She was not only rescued, but also restored. I saw this dancer dancing in larger rooms and spaces with more light until she was finally outside, completely free with endless room to dance and dream. I also saw this image of a garden in the pouring rain, with all different kinds of people gathering around it. This was just the beginning of what would grow to be the project idea for “Restore.”

For the next seven months, people kept singling it out. I would play a show and then someone would comment on “Restore,” and some would even ask if I would consider recording it (this included show attendees and people who are a part of these organizations)…and that’s where I am right now! Recording music costs A LOT of money. It’s a career path that I am not always sure why I chose, but one that is always there, staring me in the face and challenging me to take on the next thing with trust. So after requests and encouragement from a lot of people, I realized that I needed to try and get this particular song done now. I couldn’t wait until I had enough funds or publicity to make a full album (hopefully that will happen one day!). I am currently living at my parents’ house and working a day job to save as much money as possible while I run this campaign.

So here we are! I am ready to make this song the best it can be, and to share it with the organizations that inspired the lyrics by their work. I won’t be giving the song away for free, but I will be giving the iTunes profits to the programs at Nomi Network and Restore NYC!! Each Kickstarter Backer, however, will get the song for free. I hope that this song will be used to honor the stories of those who are over-comers of human trafficking situations, raise awareness and funds for organizations that are working to fight this issue, and to inspire and connect with those who watch, listen, and share. There are a lot of great conversations going on about this issue, and there are still a lot more to be had, and a lot of work left to be done. It feels daunting, and sometimes I wonder what just a song can do, but then I think about the lyrics in the bridge of the song. I don’t remember exactly how I thought to write them, but I can see now that they were words telling the story of my life in 2014, and how I was changed during that time.

//Here we are, all the same

Watching seeds grow in the rain

Could a story shake us, could it change us?

 

Here we are, all the same

Watching seeds grow in the rain

Could a story break us, could it save us?//

I believe that the story of “Restore” is one that needs to be told. We’re all here, we’re all the same, just trying to figure things out. We are all part of this larger story of restoration, facing our own experiences and trials that bring us to where we are. And yet, we have choices to plant small seeds of kindness, hope, or love that will grow even when all we can see is the pouring rain.

So that’s why I’m here to record and film “Restore,” and I would love to invite you to be a part of it. Thank you so much to everyone who has supported already! I am forever grateful. More soon! ❤ Rorie

Click here to make a pledge on Kickstarter – every little bit counts!!: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/rorie/restore-song-video-by-rorie

somewhere in this big and small world

We met because we all graduated from high school or college and were suddenly left out in the “real world,” or whatever that means. We met because we moved to the same city, or took a vacation in the same country, or because we knew each other when we were little and decided to start writing letters again. It doesn’t matter that you live half way across the world. Let’s be friends now, while we’re both here in New York City. Let’s be friends while we are hiking through the mountains in Germany. Let’s be friends now, because right now, we are together.

You can meet them at any time in your life. I met a lot of them this year. Those travel friends. You bond because you’re all on an adventure. Racing the clock: three months here, two months there. One week, one year. You bond fast because everyone is out of their comfort zones. After all, it’s very important to have a friend to go to the grocery store with, or someone to meet for lunch in the park. I remember standing in subway stations saying goodbye to these travel friends. And staring at the skyline from Astoria Park, talking about how “you’ll go home to Sweden,” “She’ll go to Rwanda,” and “I’ll be somewhere, not sure yet.”

There are some friends that live nearby for a long time. They are wonderful, deep, irreplaceable friendships. But there are some friends that you get to spend time with for just a few short months, or maybe a year, or a few years, and they mean just as much as those you’ve known for your whole life. This post is kind of a nod to the many friendships of this nature that I made over the past few years. The world is so big and so small. I’m glad our paths crossed somewhere in this big and small world.

portraits in the snow

Inspired by the novel “An American Childhood” by Annie Dillard

It’s Valentines Day, and it has been snowing non-stop for the past week. I sit at the window and look out through the cold to see thousands of flakes fall and nestle themselves close to the others that are piled in our front yard. The sky is pink and silver while still somehow being dark. The streetlights look like stars hovering close to earth, just for now, so the few cars that ventured out can find their way home. They are unwavering, like miniature lighthouses in a suburban blizzard.

Sixth grade American history books and English papers are piled on my desk. Pre-algebra assignments are completed through the week. This is what happens when you have too many days off of school. You start making up stories in your head:

There was once a photographer who only took portraits in the snow. He tried taking photos of other things, but nothing turned out the way he wanted. It was only during a snowfall that he felt his life’s calling being fulfilled. So he captured many moments. Pictures of old steam trains chugging through blizzards, a snowy New York City in 1910, photos of children sledding and ice-skating, war scenes, ghost towns, and old churches. He would even walk into the forest at midnight and take photos of the full moon reflecting off rows of snow-covered trees.

Somewhere in this fantasy, my mom calls up the stairs and says that we are going to go for a walk in the snow. Even though the drifts are taller than my eight-year-old brother, my parents decide it will be fun to take a walk around the block. So I wear three layers of socks, a knit hat, and my dad’s oversized gloves because I can’t find mine and we need to go before it gets too late.

Once bundled up, we penguin walk down the driveway that has already been shoveled three times this week, and my brother and I skid and slide on the icy, snow covered streets. There are no cars except the occasional headlights making a turn ahead. We walk the entire neighborhood, and I sing Christmas carols because there aren’t really any Valentines Day Songs, except maybe love songs, but I’m just old enough for a crush and too young to know heartbreak. There are still strings of white lights and candles in some of the windows, but I can only see so much through the snow stinging my eyes. I look down at the ground and watch each footprint etch into the silhouette of my streetlight shadow.

At some point we come back to the house, and we have only reached the foot of the driveway when dad throws a snowball that hits mom in the arm. She squeals and tosses one back at him, sending my brother and I further up the driveway to collect our own ammunition. Soon we are all throwing snowballs fast as we can, laughing and targeting whoever caught us off guard.

Even though I’m still too young to know a lot of things, I seem to know that this is something I’m not going to forget. And, about twenty feet away, I can see another light flash, and I don’t really mind because I know who it is. There he is, standing with his camera on a tripod and looking kind of like a hologram with his coat and scarf. The photographer who only takes portraits in the snow. I’m sure I’m not going to forget. It was the Valentines Day snowball fight of 2003.

here and now.

So there was a thought catalog article called “Here Is What Happens When Each Myers-Briggs Personality Type Makes A New Year’s Resolution”. I read it because, I was curious, and like all personalities, was excited to find out what they had to say about my “type.” I read through the list, taking note of each cause and effect scenario. The INFJs were last but not least, and I read what the article had to say:

Resolution: “I resolve to be less of a perfectionist and share more of myself with others.”

Outcome: Refuses to disclose resolution to others, for fear that they will have to admit failure if they do not achieve it.

I frowned and switched the screen back to Facebook, or Google Calendar, or something. That couldn’t be me, so I thought: “thought catalog, you are wrong.” The problem is … I knew it was me. Personality tests and descriptions are not foolproof, but this particular tendency of the “INFJ” was spot on.

In order to get to the point, I’m going to narrow it down to the first thing that came to mind: performing. I love to write, and I love to play music. Performing is this other animal that I have been facing, trying to capture the same essence of writing while standing in front of other people. Because “writing” is those moments when I find myself home after a long day or a hard conversation and I’m crying and scribbling words that say something like “this is me responding to this craziness called life and maybe it will be a song or maybe it won’t but please just get these words out of my brain.”

Then comes the time to take the stage. To stand in front of friends and strangers and sing these songs as though they are a polished effort, and to try to say something cute, funny, or profound in-between. Sometimes it works out and I think, “Yes, this is what I love.” And sometimes it doesn’t and I think, “Oh geez I reallllly need to get better at this.”

It scares the crap out of me. And I’m working on it. I’ve always wanted to write a blog post about being nervous and shy, but never did because, well, then everyone (k, everyone who reads this blog) would know and then … it’s kind of like our “wisdom-with-a-negative-slant” from thought catalog: I’d have to talk about how I’m in the process of learning how to become brave and then, well “I’d fear that I’d have to admit failure if I did not achieve it.”

So, resolution time. In 2015, I resolve to share more of myself with others, and I hope that, in the process, I’ll get to know the hearts and minds of others in a way that I never got to before. Because we are not the perfect or imperfect words that we say, or the mistakes we make, or the things we do or don’t do. We are here for so much more. It’s not going to be a flawless effort, but that’s the point. I’ve been learning that we have to show one another exactly where we’re at, instead of pretending to be where we wish we were. And it’s through this honesty that we really do grow and become those things we wish to be. So hello 2015, it’s nice to meet you. 🙂