This course was born because I feel strongly that work is something which can be more satisfying when it’s created, rather than received. I believe that we can make deeply satisfying and meaningful work for ourselves and others more easily than we think.
This class was created to test the hypothesis.
Here’s an abridged bio from my website:
Two hours after informing his voice teacher that he was leaving the world of classical music, Randall Williams graduated from the Royal Conservatory of Mons, Belgium at the head of his class.
He felt that classical music lacked the inclusiveness of folk music, and that the inevitable division between performer and audience was unbearable. And so Randall returned to the world of traveling with his guitar, writing songs in train stations and sleeping on couches, then singing and playing on street corners, cafés, and pubs. For a time he lived aboard a 20′ sailboat that he bought for $800, teaching himself how to sail by single-handing through the Baltic and North Seas with his guitar sleeping in the berth beside him at night. He wrote a book about the trip, which begins with the story of almost getting squashed by a tanker before dawn one morning in the North Sea.
He moved to North Africa, then set off across the Sahara by hitching with locals – bouncing through a minefield on the way that made his mother have bad dreams. He loved the adventure, but he missed the music.
In 2005, Randall returned stateside to scrounge up a career as a performing songwriter, hoping it wasn’t too late. So far, it hasn’t been. As the “Partial Capo Guy,” Randall has written two books for Hal Leonard, recorded a DVD for Kyser Musical Products, and given workshops at some of the biggest festivals in United States. As a performer, Randall has been a finalist in the Founder’s Title and Mid-Atlantic Song Contests, A regional finalist at Kerrville, a showcase artist at Northeast and Midwest Folk Alliance, and at the International Folk Alliance in Memphis, and an Audience Favorite at the Falcon Ridge Folk Festival. His 2007 live release, “One Night in Louisiana” made a respectable dent in the folk DJ charts (One single, “Lebanon,” was #8 in May,) and he’s generally a nice guy to have around, capos or not.
Randall is as much at home in a Bangkok slum or a Senegalese village, at the Kennedy Center in D.C. or the Fine Arts Palace in Brussels sandwiched between a twitchy orchestra and a full house, or shoeless on the floor of your living room. Randall has sung in a dozen languages in over 35 countries.
Lynne Andrews: “When Randall left the confines of classical music largely behind, they lost a great talent, but the world gained a good friend – a friend who will tell its stories with grace, compassion, humility and humor.”
My last updated resume is here, it’s a reasonably informative look at what I’ve been up to. There are a number of suit-and-tie jobs in there, but you’ll notice they’re all short-term. I come to business organically, which means that my ADHD brain particularly enjoys reverse-engineering traditional business issues, but that I’m really bad at the cubicle, and even the company car (used to have one, guess which job) wasn’t enough to keep me reporting to a CEO consistently.
objective: Better understand and facilitate communication between diverse cultures
Marketing Director Texas, Nov. 2005 – present
Designed the online, print advertising, and trade marketing of musical accessories for an international company with a 6M+ yearly turnover. I built and maintain the endorsed artist program. I represent the company at international trade fairs and conferences, co-ordinate the international and domestic marketing efforts – and assist with international sales.
Performing Songwriter International, Nov. 2005 – present
I perform 100-150 dates yearly with my guitar at venues internationally. I give workshops and teach master classes and individual lessons. In addition, I manage a merchandising campaign worth tens of thousands of dollars annually, including a number of CDs, DVDs, books that I’ve authored as well as wholesale and retail musical accessories.
Publicist Maine, Nov. 2008 – present
Manage the online, print, radio, TV and social media presence for the internationally touring singer-songwriter David Wilcox. I built the social media and national volunteer PR campaign for his organization, and I managed daily operations for several months as interim manager, including booking, road managing, PR scheduling, and management team co-ordination.
Communications Officer Belgium, Oct. 2002- Mar. 2003
Designed communications platform for an Internet business, wrote model correspondence. Evaluated outgoing communication, performed competitor analysis, created search engine optimization strategy.
Market Analyst/Account Manager Belgium, Oct. 2002- Mar. 2003
Brought new retail product to several European markets. Created market strategy, performed extensive research, maintained excellent customer relations. Established contact base in FMCG and magazine industries for premiums provider, initiated new business relationships with multinational corporations, negotiated sales contracts, provided liaison with executives in different countries.
Communications Director Belgium, Nov. 2001 – Mar. 2002
Created communications strategy for mid-sized international company, created and coordinated external and internal communication with affiliate companies, designed and led corporate meetings, organized diplomatic receptions, managed Public Relations department.
Market analyst Belgium, 1999
Built strong contact base for a Belgian firm with a project budget of 2.8 million Euro to enter the worldwide recycling industry. Performed extensive research in the worldwide rubber recycling industry. Sorted and prioritized offers from dozens of companies worldwide. Evaluated pro-forma and patent application data. Provided the main liaison for English, Japanese, and German firms to communicate with the French-speaking company contact.
Market Researcher Belgium, 1999
Performed extensive research for a Belgian company of marketable products from North America and Japan not yet on the European market. Submitted hundreds of marketable products to the Belgian client. Established list of international company contacts. Initiated negotiations. Represented the client at official events, provided simultaneous two-way French-English interpretation. Provided translation services from German and English into French. Ensured follow-up contact services for two products, one in the US, one in Japan.
Cultural Advisor/Translator Belgium, 1998-2000
Supplied business contacts to a free-lance legal consultant. Alerted client to differing cultural practices and communication styles. Translated business correspondence and other documents from Japanese, German, and French.
Public Relations Officer Japan, 1996-1998
Enlarged contact base for a Canadian/Japanese language and culture school. Created a contact base for a Japanese client aiming to establish a similar business between the US and Japan. Maintained excellent public relations for both.
instruction: Cultural Trainer Japan 1996-1998
Organized and gave workshops for Japanese teachers about working together with westerners, and about cultural differences in the classroom. Gave workshops for English-speaking teachers about working with Japanese teachers. Taught cultural survival skills to western teachers new to Japan. Published article on teaching in Japan in Saitama Prefectural publication of May 1998.
teaching experience: (1992) While still in a US high school, I spent a semester in Europe. While there, I was called upon to assist with English classes in a Belgian lycée where I was enrolled. Similar requests came from teachers in France and Germany during my time there. After returning, I taught individual lessons in an American elementary school about my experience, involving geography and world awareness.
(1992-1996) I taught during all four years at university. Privately, I taught guitar and applied music theory to students and adults. Twice, I served as a teacher’s aide for a geology class, where I conducted and taught small groups and administered tests. I designed and taught a physical education (fencing) course under faculty supervision. I was a teacher’s aide for a women’s studies class, facilitating and leading class discussions about gender roles and monitoring student journals. I also conducted French language seminars, involving role-playing, situational conversation, and individual tutoring. In addition to my degree, I studied German history, literature and language in Germany.
(1996-1998) After graduation, I moved to Japan, where I taught English as a foreign language in six Japanese middle schools. In addition to creating and implementing innovative lesson plans, I also gave teacher in-service training for Japanese and Western teachers of English. In one school I was called on to teach Japanese as a Second Language.
(1998-2003) While continuing my classical voice studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music at Mons, I taught guitar and music theory, as well as private English and French lessons to Japanese students, both business people and elementary school students. Following my graduation from the Conservatory, I taught English as a Second Language at a British primary school.
Principia College, Elsah, Illinois, USA 1992-1996: Bachelor of Arts (Music)
Conservatoire Royale de Musique, Mons, Belgium 1998-2001: Première Prix, (Chant Concert)
English: Mother tongue, training in business writing.
French: Fluent, simultaneous interpretation, business and technical translation experience.
German: Fluent, business and technical translation experience.
Japanese: Fluent, simultaneous interpretation, business and technical translation experience.
Swedish: Fluent, experience in reading literature and short essay writing.
Spanish: Conversational, limited business experience
computer skills: MS Office, Filemaker Pro, Indie Band Manager, Fireworks, Photoshop, Dreamweaver.
personal: I enjoy learning new languages, most recently Arabic. I am an Eagle Scout and enjoy hiking, camping and international travel. I have advanced certification in scuba diving, and completed my first marathon in 2001. I’m currently training for my first triathlon.