Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sing a Joyful Song

Hey Readers,

This is Bissy, reporting in to share a fantastic interview with you. I hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a singer-songwriter? Well, wonder no more! We had the privilege of finding out from the creative, savvy, down-to-earth Christine Kane, a (you guessed it) singer-songwriter. She's got a Telly Award to her credit for a DVD of one of her performances, Borders Books and Music chose her CD Rain & Mud & Wild & Green as a Best of 2003, and she's performed all over the country. But she's got a lot more going on, too, like a successful blog and workshops and women's retreats that she leads. And--get this--multiple dance theaters, one among them the North Carolina Dance Theatre, have choreographed ballets to her music. Two of her major messages are to listen to your heart and to be open to the possibilities that abound when you embrace the uncommon road. Read on for more on this and other aspects of her life!

New Moon: How did you come to song writing?

Christine Kane: I always loved writing. But I never believed in myself enough to think it was possible to do it for a living. I kept a journal religiously my whole life. I was passionate about writing. Finally, I started meeting people who showed me that writers have to give themselves permission to be writers. That NONE of them know if they're any good, but that you have to just jump in and try. So, I finally admitted to myself that I loved songs and songwriting - and I started doing it. And trying it. And writing bad songs. And getting better. This is all that anyone can do when they want to write!

What's a typical day in your life like? Is there a typical day?
There are no typical days. Sometimes I wish there were. When I'm on the road, I am always in motion and doing radio interviews or finding my way to new cities and towns. When I'm at home, I try to have lots of quiet time, lots of writing time. Typically though, I have to keep up with the business side of my art - and that requires lots of extra work. The hardest thing about not having "typical days" is that writers really thrive on some kind of routine. When I'm in a writing period - I tend to have day after day of quiet time where I sit with my guitar and play a lot. I allow whatever comes to come. Then I might get up and do the dishes or walk my dog. Then I return to the guitar and begin again. It's a lovely peaceful process most of the time!

You encourage openness about career paths, letting in the unexpected. For example, in 2006 and 2007, you toured with the North Carolina Dance Theatre, playing your tunes for the ballet they had choreographed around them. What was that experience like?
The very BEST thing about being an independent artist or writer or songwriter these days is that there are so many opportunities. You don't have to limit yourself to just playing in bars and such -- though at the beginning levels, you may have to do lots of that!

The ballet experience was amazing. It made me realize how much I miss collaborating with other people (when I tour by myself, I'm always on my own) - and how much life we humans can bring to each other's work. It was fun to be the "background" person too. I liked not being the "star" of the show. There's lots of pressure when you're the headliner. It was fun to be the back-up. And it's an enormous honor to have had my music become a dance. When I watched them rehearse the dance to my CD's - I cried. (I couldn't watch them during the performance. It made me too nervous!)

Your music's lyrics have become increasingly full of hope and the message to look toward the positive. Was there a prompt in your life that brought this change?


I think that when you grow up a little bit, and you step out of your own drama, then your writing changes. That's kind of what happened. And I started reaching for more spirit in my own life, more joy and more compassion. As I did that, my perspective as an artist changed. I was worried at first because I don't like to be "preachy" - but the theme of living with more awareness just started seeping in. I didn't plan it at all!

Do you have a favorite way of nurturing your creativity?
Just being alive and present to each moment. And observing everything - both inside and outside of me. And lots of quiet time.

Have you learned anything unexpected about the music industry?
So much. I don't think I could begin to write it all down here.

I've learned that you can't take anything personally. I've learned that everyone - even the most important people - is working hard, and that no one - even the most important people - has the answers.

I've learned that getting rescued is not a great business model - and that no one really "gets discovered." I've learned that everything is changing so fast, that I'm actually more successful than 90% of the people who are on record labels. I've learned all about the publishing end of music. I've learned that the people in the industry are not the enemy. I've learned to keep my mouth shut and listen to people, rather than think my projections are the truth. I've learned most importantly to question every assumption out there about the music business.

Do you have any advice for girls?
You have to take action, even if you don't believe in yourself. I never ever in my wildest dreams would've believed I'd become a working successful songwriter and musician. And what I've learned is that you start to build self-esteem when you take action steps towards your dreams. You get self-esteem when you keep going. You have to encourage yourself and find other people who encourage you. Life is WAY too short to be surrounded by cynicism and discouraging people. Do not settle for a life that doesn't feel alive! And don't let bad days scare you away from that. Everyone has bad days and everyone messes up!

Do you have anything to add?
You can refer readers to my blog for lots of further writing on these kinds of topics!

Thanks, Christine! What an inspiring interview.

Hope your days are filled with sunshine from the inside out and the outside in, Elizabeth (Bissy!)

1 comment:

David Miller said...

Wow, I originally thought this blog would be about the moon, but this is even more interesting! Like this and I will return.