Photo Evening Mist Yosemite by George Lauterstein
Last Update Performed on 12 October 2005
I was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in February of 1976. This made me one of a million children known fondly by American's as "Bi-Centennial Babies," born during America's celebration of its 200th year of independence. This was of no consequence to me at birth, and so I have managed to ignore it most of my life. But it is a bit of trivia. It is possibly where I get my fierce need for independence, or maybe that is just the fact that at birth my sun was smack in the middle of Aquarius (Aquarius II, which means I strongly embody all of the signs traits, which includes stubbornness, independence, creativity, and a tendency to over analyze. Any of my friends would agree that I am the epitome of Aquarius) and I am a Dragon in the Chinese horoscope.
My parents were recent transplants from California (before it was cool, as now admitting this in Colorado is near to blasphemy, and also known as "Californication"). My parents were just starting out upon the road of their lives together. My father was the traditional "bread-winner" in the house, going to work everyday at one of those nameless, mundane jobs that left him unrecognized and unfulfilled at days end (yet he has kept it for over 25 years). My mother was a new bride, eager to see the world and make a life like those in stories with her new husband happily beside her. She had gone to cosmetology school in Southern California but was otherwise uneducated. She seemed perfectly happy to sit at home and play mom and homemaker for the rest of her life, or at least the rest of their life together. But she was very good at crafts, sewing and needlework, and kept a clean house and table for us.
I was the first of three siblings and the only girl. My two brothers were separated from each other in age by sixteen months time, and the older of the two from me by three years. I think having all the attention for three years before having to share it spoiled me a bit. I was a bit bitter of my brothers for a while, but I learned to love them in the end. Having them around turned me into a bit of a tom-boy, that and our ability to find adventure just about anywhere. We were mischievous children with lots of creative energy.
Growing up where I did, when I did, there was about 500 acres of undeveloped ranch land behind my parent's house, and there, most of my childhood memories were formed along with the strength of my creative imagination. I had the good fortune of living in a neighborhood full of kids my age and, subsequently, made many friends. And as the one time we moved it was to the house right next door, I have kept in touch with some of them. I went to elementary school, Jr. High, and High School in the same town, with the same kids, friends and enemies alike, until I graduated in 1994. During my primary schooling, I discovered the sparks for what would soon become a passion for the performing and fine arts. I was the girl in the front row of the choir swaying and dancing to the music, whatever music it was. I was the student who got queer looks for attempting things with paste and paper that didn't seem physically possible in the mind of most eight year olds. I auditioned for plays and often got the part of the voice of wisdom or some character with a shady past. In junior high I managed to get into some of the upper level choirs before my peers, obtain solos, and wow the parents of the other kids, which got me pretty much despised by fellow students. It became a fierce and competitive arena, much like sports I hear, which I never really had much luck in. But I received my fair share of kudos and awards, which seemed to spur me on. In high school, I became very active in theatre, music and the performing arts. All my friends were "arty," and what popularity or notoriety I had came from shoving myself into everyone's view. They knew who I was, and maybe even respected my talent, but otherwise I went unnoticed, which was fine for me.
My first college years were much the same, revolving around my major in Theater Arts and Musical Theater. But I had started to veer from that once tried and true course. I tired of singing other people's songs, recycling the lyrics and giving them a shiny new paint job. No matter how they appeared to an audience, the songs were truly not my own. I wanted to touch people. I knew I had been given the gift of voice to share it, but now it felt like I something was missing. That something was my own story, the vision of the world through my own eyes. I had more passion for my own experiences than for anyone else's. At the age of ten, I began cataloging my life in writing. I had reams of poems, stories, lyrics, so why not attempt to put them to music? Being a bit of a perfectionist, I didn't feel the words were adequate. I needed to hone my craft of wordsmything. So, in the middle of my degree, I made the decision to change my major to English Literature with a focus in Creative Writing. It was difficult to go from having grades based on physical performance to those that graded what was in your mind. I pushed myself to do better, and by the end of the first semester I had more poetry than I had accumulated in my then short writing life. And I felt it was relatively good. I had found my niche.
I recently finished my degree at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. I graduated magna cum laude from the English department with a BA in Medieval and Renaissance Literature. I was inducted into the International English Honor Society, Sigma Tau Delta, and obtained recognition for two essays I composed in my tenure there, being awarded the honor of Best Research Essay in 2002-2003 for "The Search for Pagan Roots in Sir Gawain and the Green Knight", and Best Critical Essay in 2004-2005 for "A Poet's Sacrifice: A Close Reading of Seamus Heaney's 'The Tollund Man' and 'Bog Queen.'" Another piece of my work, a set of critical abstracts on "Hamlet," is being used by a professor as an example of how the assignment should be done. I was delayed in this accomplishment due to a few relocations, mostly on whims. My intention is to move on to a Masters in Creative Writing or Medieval Studies and then a Ph.D. in literature. I'm currently resting my brain and thinking on ideas for a thesis.
I have been crafting music with some kindred souls as well as creating and performing my own by whatever means possible. I have had the fortune of performing some of my work for an audience, and I cannot tell you the absolute rush and resounding satisfaction this gives the musician. The energy a live audience creates is a living thing that harbors in the soul of an artist, fueling them to create bigger and better, encouraging them to share and make connections by relating the common experience, the music of life. I take on this challenge with the utmost seriousness; I hope I can fulfill this duty with some praise, though that isn't necessary. Actually, someone said it better, which is usually the case:
"And if a lowly singer dries one tear,
or soothes one humble human heart in pain,
be sure his homely verse to God is dear,
and not one stanza has been sung in vain." -Anonymous
Mote it be!
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