Do you hear yourself saying…
“I would rather die than get on a stage in front of people.”
“I’ve never liked the sound of my own voice.”
“I have so many passions and I don’t know which one to choose.”
“I’m afraid to be judged, ridiculed and criticized for my ideas.”
“I was never encouraged to be an artist, yet I yearn to feel connected to that part of me that I sense has never gone away.”
What’s your heart aching to do?
“I want to take greater risks, learn to trust my voice and instincts.”
“I have a creative vision I want to share with the world and struggle with where to begin.”
“I long to master the stage with confidence and authority.”
“I want to learn to tell my story authentically and connect deeply with my material, my audience and myself.“
“I’m ready to fall in love with myself just a little bit.”
You’ve found your guide, creativity doula and story coach.
What happens when your vision and story meet my guidance? Let’s find out.
However you’re used to showing up and voicing your life, this work will take you to the next level.
The stage can be a performance space or it can be a stage of your life.
My guidance is the culmination of decades of showing up boldly and authentically in both art and partnership. As stage artist I’ve specialized in Kleinkunst (in German, the art of the small) which means big songs in intimate settings. As life artist, I’ve used relationship to get at the heart of things and of me: family, marriage, mates, friends, colleagues, my audience, my tribe.
And so I share with you what I’ve gleaned as life artist and stage artist. My Stagekraft and Lifekraft training is available as Private Guidance and as Workshops to help you build a solid foundation for a lifetime of service to art.
To inspire and support you on your journey, I offer you my “Artist Heart” Guided Meditations and RudeWoke Weekly quotes and aphorisms. I have only one request of you in return, that you seize this moment and take yourself centerstage in earnest. And I will meet you there!
When the student is ready the teacher will appear. When the student is truly ready the teacher will disappear. – Lao Tse
What’s unique about what I do?
My students are in the best position to know how my guidance is unique and their testimonials are sprinkled throughout these pages. Speaking for myself, here’s what’s in play:
I have time-tested tools to help you tune your voice to your truth.
I have a roadmap that can be unlocked only by your questions.
I’ll show you that there’s a path for you to follow and it’s uniquely yours.
I’m ready to guide you in discovering this path and getting on it, whether you’re new to your artistry, digging deeper into it or returning to it after a long absence.
Championing your art and cheering your self-expression is a role I’m born to serve.
I’m here to help you uncover and live your purpose through uncommon inquiry, discovery, and self-love.
With me here as nudger and witness, you’ll learn how to write yourself a new story you can live with and love.
All my life I’ve been studying people.
As a child in Germany, immigrant in the U.S, and artist at home and on the road, I’ve been watching people. Hearing into what they say and show and staying sensitive to what’s just beneath the surface of it has made me a careful observer and empathetic guide. I’ve regularly taken myself there too, turned myself inside out and outside in to live more authentically with every passing age and year. I know what to listen for, hold space for and nudge. I myself have been the living, breathing work of art and so have you!
Was I always the expressive extrovert? Hardly. When I arrived in New York at age 5 in the late 60s, the city and country were in a place of tremendous change. Like today, one felt the enormous constriction but also the impending blooming. Children are sensitive and I was shy. I was 24 when I married my college sweetheart, 25 when Berliners tore down their Wall. At 32, life presented me with two alluring choices: top leadership in a Fortune 500 company with a salary and benefits or the chancy life of a nightclub singer in NYC. I chose the latter. The small stage became my training ground for getting to the heart of me. Fluent in two languages, I picked up another half dozen to be able to sing better.
I’ve always been a seeker and therefore a risk-taker. You can read about it here. Y-E-S is at the heart of my life. I’ve been available for the many twists and turns of my own journey of trust and so my guidance is indeed innovative, personal, playful, intuitive, warm and radically honest. I can’t ask another person to go places I’ve not dared go myself.
We All Have One Main Muse Who Gets Us Going
My greatest artist-mentor was born 100 years before I was.
On May 17, 1998, I wrote these words in my journal: I sit in the Adirondack chair beside the house reading Yvette Guilbert in her words. What she knows about song delivery, the face, the pause, the soul, the woman. Finally, someone who gives me the words to describe what I do when I sing. I am crying…
On a 1998 trip to Germany to research the history of cabaret, I came upon a small hard-covered book in a store in Schwabing, the artists’ quarter of Munich. The title read: Die Kunst ein Chanson zu Singen (The Art of Singing a Song), by Yvette Guilbert. Originally written in 1928 in Paris (the birthplace of cabaret), it was translated into German in 1981 in Berlin. Short at 110 pages with another 60 pages of Guilbert’s lyrics and music, I snatched it up and didn’t crack it open until I was home in Texas.
With this discovery, I awakened to my medium in art and called myself a cabaretiste from that moment on. Though I’ve had many marvelous teachers in vocal technique, choral singing, theater, rhythm, breathwork and dance, Yvette is the one who has best described what I experience as a performer in blending music and theater intimately. I couldn’t be her living student for she’d already been dead for 54 years when I found her.
From the forward by Walter Roesler of the German edition (and I translate back into English): “The art of Guilbert was an art of nuance, born of the sensitive spirit of an end-time, a fin de siècle. The newness of her presentation: she used all the tools that she brought from the theater, employed both her speaking and singing voices, handled the song like ‘un drame condensé’, led by content and word with all the in-between tones and the rich palette of expression, that made her interpretations so fascinating.”
We all have one main muse who gets us going. Yvette was mine. Just knowing there was another singer who shared the same muse was so inspiring and freeing as I set about to forge my own path.
Perhaps it was by design that Yvette and would live in different times. I’m so grateful she wrote that little book that I could find one distant day. What keeps any of us from inscribing what we know? Who might we reach and touch? Whose world might be forever altered? I have a book in the works. In the meantime, I am a living mentor to those of you who feel the resonance with me as I felt it and feel it still with the chanteuse-diseuse, Yvette Guilbert.