What does empowerment mean to you? And how does taking risks play a part?
Rick Allen — Empowerment means being afraid to do something new and having the courage to realize that I can. Taking risks always comes with a fear of failure or rejection for me but when I trust my true potential I am able to push through my fear and follow my heart.
Can you describe a few life experiences where you took risks in your life?
Rick Allen — There are many times where I took risks in my life but there are two that come to mind to mention. First when I decided to play drums again after losing my arm. Before I sat behind the drum kit my head told me I was defeated and not even to try but my heart knew better. With the help of people around me saying I could, and by using my creativity in creating a way to play with my feet, I was able to take a chance to achieve what may have been impossible.
The most recent risk that I have taken has been debuting my art. It was hard for me to trust that my creativity would be received well outside of music. I loved the art but I wasn’t sure anyone else would even care about it. The decision for me to share my art was a major risk for me in that I put myself in a vulnerable place to be judged and criticized. What happened from that was an incredible lesson of empowerment for me. Not only was I able to get over my fear of doing something new but I was given the gift of others genuinely connecting to the story of my life on canvas.
How has the choices and risks you have taken effected your life now?
Rick Allen — Now I’m more trusting in my own ability to express myself in new ways, I trust my intuition more, and spend less time in my head and more time in my heart.
When was the last time you had to take a risk and make yourself vulnerable to fail?
Rick Allen — In Las Vegas during the Viva Hysteria residency at the Hard Rock. The last time I played some of the songs, I had two arms so coming up with the one armed versions for this show definitely put me in a vulnerable place. The experience of working through it has made me a better drummer and stronger person for that matter.
What are three things you would share with others to help them take risks to empower themselves?
Rick Allen — Trust your intuition. Spend less time in your head and more time in your heart. Be in the moment and feel the joy of what it is you are doing. There’s so much that we all miss.