When I was 4, I started making up skits for my sister and I to perform in front of our parents. When I was 5, I got my first big break starring in the school play as Goldilocks in “Goldilocks And The Three Bears” – I was typecast by my golden locks. I started writing poems when I was 7 and was voted “Mostly Likely To Be A Poet” by my entire 2nd grade class. When I was 8, I started doing ballet and playing classical piano. When I was 10, I won first prize in the school talent show playing “Fur Elise” on the piano (there were no Asians in my school). When I was 11, I got a solo in the school musical singing “You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman,” by Aretha Franklin, so naturally, I killed it. The next year I starred in the school production of “Aladdin” as none other than the beautiful Arab princess Jasmine; clearly this school had a diversity problem. In high school, I starred in just about every school musical, all while winning art contests, poetry contests, and getting to dance the coveted role of Clara in The Nutcracker Ballet. At 17 year’s old I got my first professional acting gig which means people paid me with actual money to act and sing! That’s when I peaked.
Artists can have greater access to reality; they can see patterns and details and connections that other people, distracted by the blur of life, might miss.
We have to rethink, re-inspire. Wash the brain, not brainwash.
When it came time to pick a college, I was very confused. I wanted to pursue every creative career imaginable, and I had no idea how to narrow it down. At this point, I had spent the last 10 years being a pianist, singer, actress, dancer, poet, visual artist, and I was still a virgin, which is not relevant but probably contributed to my confusion.
So I did what any practical and level-headed young adult would do, and I double majored in art and music, with a minor in performing arts and creative writing and French (to help with the virgin problem).
I burnt out after one year, dropped out of college, bought a beat-up VW and drove across the country alone with no plans and no maps (we didn’t have smart phones back in ‘em old days).
The next 10 years are too embarrassing to talk about. But let’s just say that 10% of the time I was brilliantly creative and made some great shit, and the other 90% of the time I was a starving artist, literally, like I stole food sometimes. Fortunately, I did have lots of sex.
This is getting long-winded, so let’s skip to the present. I am an artist. Sometimes I wish I wasn’t because then maybe my 20s wouldn’t have been such a train-wreck. But I am an artist, and there’s no compromising on that. I was born an artist and I will die an artist. If you are an artist, then you know what I’m talking about. If you think I’m being dramatic and should get a normal job already, then you are not an artist, lucky you.
I have never been an artist who is drawn to only one medium. Every sensible adult in my life has told me a hundred times to just pick one thing and focus on that. But for me, that is like picking one child, and throwing the others away, though if this weren’t a metaphor, I would absolutely only ever have one kid, but most likely zero. I do have a dog, which is like half a kid, and I regret that decision often.
I choose not to choose. I will create my art in different mediums because that is the kind of artist I need to be. If the result is that I am a jack of all trades and master of none, then so be it. I plan to keep creating until I die, so if I live long enough, there’s still hope that I could become really good at something.
Your life is your canvas, and you should make what you want out of it. Just do you, no compromises.
Sources of Inspiration
- Kanye & Kim
- Bey & Jay
- NYC, LA, SF, Paris
- The Transcendentalist poets
- The Impressionist artists
- The French Romantic composers
- Taking a walk along an empty beach.
- Taking a walk in the forest.
- My (literal) dreams.
- The shit that comes up when I meditate.