I've been doing some Career and Business coaching with Patti Russo to assist her with reinvention and renewal, now that she is pursing a solo career. Patti was Meatloaf's long term singing partner for 20 years, having worked with Cher, Queen, Bryan Ferry, Betty Harris and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, to name a few. She is also no stranger to the theatre stage, having appeared as Esmeralda in the London production of Notre-Dame de Paris and as Killer Queen in the Las Vegas production of Queen and Ben Elton’s smash hit musical We Will Rock You.
Coaching someone at this level is quite a challenge although it has worked out just fine. The clue to making anything like this work comes down to having a strong psychological contract for the work at the outset. Patti and I met casually outside a music venue one evening via a photographer friend of mine. The following day I got a call from Patti. I was initially suspicious, thinking that she may have mistaken The Academy of Rock for a booking agent (It happens!!) but she had done all her due diligence and was clear as to why she wanted me to be her coach. This more or less set the tone for making progress. Patti is a feisty Italian New Yorker and we had to make a deal on practical matters like "breathing" during the coaching sessions!! 🙂 All joking apart, she has been a pleasure to work with. It really gave me a great test of my skills to work with someone that operates at world class level, quite literally at the speed of sound …
Patti is also herself a capable self developer, having reached the dizzy heights of Hollywood without an agent. That makes the job of taking advice more difficult, as she is in effect a self made woman. We discovered we had much in common, as I too have been the master (and occasional obstacle) in my own personal and business development. This ensured that the "chemistry" worked well between us – essential if coaching is to turn into results.
Some of Patti's partners in music
Whilst Patti is best known for her singing and acting, now that she has started a solo career, she needs a portfolio approach and is seeking opportunities in other areas to build on her experience of working with some of the most demanding people on the the planet:
Inspirational speaking – Patti is a credible and passionate speaker. I gave her an initial platform at Henley Business School a few weeks back, which was incredibly well received and from which we have planned further events. As well as speaking, we performed hits from her career with Meatloaf, Queen, Cher and her solo work. I may have managed to secure her a booking on the Queen Mary II from my own network contacts. I am also looking for other speaker agents who can promote her work and our "hybrid offering" of speaking and music performances on a worldwide basis.
TV and Media appearances – We are currently pursuing a number of avenues to develop her career in these areas. Working with some of my network colleagues we aim to gain her slots in places such as the Graham Norton Show, Loose Women, Women's Hour and ultimately something more regular. If you can help, get in touch.
Writing – Patti's story is a true tale of "gypsies, tramps and thieves", to quote Cher, starting out with nothing and climbing to the top. Publishers, lend me your ears … and proposal forms ….
Do get in touch with me if you can help in any way. Here's Patti performing with Queen. Now that she is starting her solo career, quite literally:
and of course I Would Do Anything For Love
and an interview I did when Patti and I first met Patti at The Borderline