Blog Post

Karen Kohler’s blog posts and musings about life, art, love, nature, the universe and everything. You in the key of mastery.

Channel Magic

By |2020-04-30T16:29:28-04:00May 9th, 2014|Blog Post, Singing, Stagecraft|

You've got to find some way of saying it, without saying it. - Duke Ellington In cabaret, I've experienced enormous freedom. I've lived moment-to-moment for an hour at a time, using anything that comes up in myself and offering that to my musicians and my audience. The result of my dipping into my own emotional palette is that others dip into [...]

A Glorious School for the Heart

By |2020-04-30T16:29:41-04:00February 24th, 2014|Blog Post, Life Arts, Storytelling|

 "Nature is a glorious school for the heart! I shall be a scholar in this school and bring an eager heart to her instruction. Here I shall learn wisdom, the only wisdom that is free from disgust; here I shall learn to know God and find a foretaste of heaven in His knowledge. Among these occupations my earthly days [...]

Harmony is for the Birds

By |2020-04-30T16:29:50-04:00January 23rd, 2014|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

Let's face it: some music is really hard on the ears! I don't mean the noise that's out there, I mean the real and serious music. What makes music rough is this beautiful, unstable and highly useful thing called dissonance. In a dissonant chord, the notes aren't aligned harmonically and so the sound is tense and unpleasant. But dissonance [...]

The Seed Within

By |2020-04-30T16:29:59-04:00January 4th, 2014|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

Within us all there is a seed of resplendent life force. We artists feel it especially. This seed lies in its casing, a hard exterior shell.  We have to let the flowering take place. For an artist this is always a necessity...this having to bloom. We cannot help it. We can hinder it, prevent it, stifle it, go another way. It does not go [...]

On Being a Towering Figure

By |2020-04-30T16:30:13-04:00December 6th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

The towering figure called Nelson Mandela has died. This is the poem that got him through prison: Out of the night that covers me, Black as the pit from pole to pole, I thank whatever gods may be For my unconquerable soul. In the fell clutch of circumstance I have not winced nor cried aloud. Under the bludgeonings of [...]

Don’t show us, let us find it

By |2020-04-30T16:30:25-04:00November 24th, 2013|Acting, Blog Post, Public Speaking, Singing, Stagecraft|

I attended a screening of the new film, Nebraska, with my Canadian actor and pal Jean Brassard. What a truthful bit of film-making it is and what amazing casting! In the live chat with Bruce Dern that followed, he shared some of his wisdom: 1. Don't push. Don't perform. Don't show us anything. Let us find it. 2. Always [...]

On Waking Up and Walling Up

By |2020-04-30T16:43:51-04:00April 16th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

My life happens first and my art imitates it. That's the usual way. What I experience becomes my authority in what I bring across on stage, in a scene, a song, a mood, emotion, sentiment, argument. I admit I'm an adventurer, happier on the edge than in the center. Yet anchored in the center with at least one foot, [...]

A Mistake Midstream

By |2020-04-30T17:23:29-04:00March 16th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Stagecraft|

I witnessed something beautiful the other night in an intimate room here in Manhattan...an error so seamlessly handled as to go almost unnoticed. The singer was turned slightly away from her audience, looking off stage left and sharing a duet with her bassist at the opening of a tune. Their dialogue was sparse and sensual and then, nearly a [...]

Emptiness and Origin

By |2020-04-30T17:38:21-04:00February 8th, 2013|Blog Post, Life Arts, Self Mastery|

Emptiness is the void. Silence is the void. The place of origin from which all comes and to which all returns. Silence is key. Without it there is no music. Claude Debussy said, “Music is the silence between the notes." Think about that. Music is the silence between the notes. Silence is space, space is physical – the earth, [...]