“You don't have to be the best right now. People blossom at different times!”
After college, Andy Norman found himself at alternative newsweeklies covering the stories mainstream newspapers were avoiding. This sometimes included indie and underground music scenes. “The daily newspapers in almost every single city do not really cover what happens at concert venues and clubs,” Norman says. “They’re focused on big arena concerts that never interested me.”
As a music lover and band member himself at the time, Norman covered Omaha, Nebraska’s music scene, went to graduate school, and through his master’s project, focused in on the lack of coverage for music he liked. In 2011, Norman and his wife Angie founded Hear Nebraska to help the state’s musicians be heard through through journalism, events and education. In 2018, Norman co-founded a new nonprofit called Rabble Mill, which aims to give youth the skills they need to play music, make content and improve their local communities through art and journalism.
Say “yes” to the things that scare you. Force yourself into situations where you find yourself at the end of the figurative diving board, where there’s really nothing to do but jump. You’ll survive, and it will keep getting easier each time as you become increasingly confident.
Be nice to everyone. Stick up for those who could use it. And realize that jerks and haters have their own personal stuff they’re dealing with. Try to reach out as a friend to see if you can bridge the divide, but if it doesn’t work, give them no more energy or thought.