Life is not a linear path and we need to build up skills to stay afloat.
I was recently listening to the Mindful Strength podcast in which Kathryn Bruni Young was interviewing Joy Dorsey on health. She was expressing the idea that most people think of "health" as simply consisting of what you eat, how you exercise, and your body size. But it is so much more than that, it is about your relationships and your interactions with others, your work environment, your stress levels, your self-thoughts, and so on and on. I think as musicians we can tend to get tunnel vision and see being a "good musician" as simply excelling at your craft, but similar to the idea above, it is about so much more: collaboration with others, marketing skills, ability to self advocate, communication abilities, and of course, your mental skills.
Last week I talked about my experiences with the Master Performing workshop: mental skills for performers. To finish off that post and for anyone who may be interested in taking the Toronto workshop, I've put together a fun little Q&A with Lisa, the brains behind the program.
Lisa is a professional bassoonist (she recently won a bassoon position with the Canadian Opera Company), has formal training in psychology and counselling, and is an all around hilarious and awesome person. She has a strange love for playing the coconut shells and wearing Ms. Frizzle-esque dresses, can sew like it’s no ones business, and is one of the best listeners I have ever encountered.
Name your favourite character in fiction?
Pippi Longstocking! If you see me in the winter you'll know I wear a lot of striped socks and stockings.
What characteristic do you value most in your friends?
Your favourite occupation?
The people who frost cakes at bakeries.
What is your idea of a perfect day?
Well, you are kind of catching me in the midst of a pretty perfect day. First, I woke up surrounded by pillows with the rain pounding against my bedroom window, and then I had a breakfast consisting of Cafe au Lait and coconut cake (yum). Then I took out my 1950s Featherweight Singer and sewed a pillowcase with this amazingly cheerful fabric patterned with giant donuts! Later I am going to opera rehearsal and then meeting a friend, and then tonight I have an opera performance. Basically, the only thing missing from this day is a bike ride.
If you could have one super power, what would it be?
My serious super-power would be the ability to remove myself instantly from danger. And my fun super power would be flying. Or being able to levitate other people against their will (only if they were being annoying!)
Next post I am going to talk about my experiences teaching yoga on the Mental Health and Addictions floor at a local hospital, so stay tuned for that!