All posts tagged: Motivation

What’s Your System: How I Prepare To Sing

Who: Nora York, New York vocalist and composer. System: Before a show I try and do some yoga, I do my digital pranayama and I take a bath, if I can. I like a bath. And then I usually try and do some kind of meditation. I like to apply my makeup while listening to (the late) Irish tenor John McCormack. I listen to the stuff he recorded with just piano, not with orchestra. Why John McCormack? He has the most clear emotional delivery of singing and I find him incredibly inspiring. Songs like, “Off to Philadelphia in the morning…” LISTEN And then sometimes I’ll listen to Jimi Hendrix. That’s quite different. And now that I’m blind, well, older, I have to wear glasses. But I don’t like to wear them for the stage. So I apply my contact lenses, I have special ones for the stage which are bifocal. And it takes me a really long time to put them in. How long have you been wearing them? I convinced the Chinese optometrist to give them to …

Artistic Endeavors as Sung By Billy Ocean

I spoke to the fine people of the Big Traveling Potluck in April 2013 about how to invest in their creativity — with some tips from 80s pop/R&B sensation Billy Ocean. It was a long talk (near 40 minutes). I spoke before Ree Drummond. Yeah. Her. And after Matt Bites, someone I’ve obsessively followed online for at least 5 years. So, no small pressure to make the magic happen, HJ. Here’s a portion of my presentation: Get out of my dreams and into my car. And by car, I mean, into your best creative work. And here, by your best creative work, I mean, consistently creating images, moving pictures and words in combination to publish on the internet. It’s no small responsibility, to have the chance for the world to bear witness to your work. It’s no small disappointment when no one seems to take notice. It’s strange too, in all of human history; we didn’t have this kind of work. We worked in small groups satisfying our basic needs. And now we’re alone, bearing witness to our perceived …

System: Pin Your Inspiration

Above my desk is a messy cork board crammed with photos, doodles, postcards, reminders and general bon mots. Looking up at this smattering of inspiration every day warms me and grounds me. It reminds me where I’ve been and where I want to go. A rainbow drawn by my niece; the band of 14-year-old girls I coached; a postcard of author Eudora Welty; a scrawled love note from my husband; Stefan Sagmeister’s manifesto which includes “Complaining is silly. Either act or forget.” (The April date on the calendar proves that some of this stuff goes up and I never really look at it again.) I’ve had a wall of inspiration since I could apply scotch tape to ripped-out pages from Tiger Beat. Here’s the highschool version behind the 16-year-old me, almost exclusively music-related (and yes, that’s a cassette tape in my hand). That my parents let me affix radio bumperstickers to my wall…wow. And like everything good these days, there’s now an online version. In the last few months I’ve spent/ wasted/ enjoyed about two hours making lists and …