CAROLINE WATERS, JAZZ ENTERTAINER, AUTHOR, VOCAL COACH
Caroline Waters Blog Posts
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Category Archives: Life and Career
I admit it. I am petrified. Frozen with fear. Emotionally locked inside a deep darkness. The big fat void of avoidance, of all things postponed, is now staring me down to the ground. I am, literally, chained to the floor of my internal torture chamber, as the poisonous venom of guilt, shame and feeling inadequate works its way through my veins.
These are powerful feelings and I allow them all. “Bring it on!” I say, as I close my eyes and prepare for death, still unable to move or even brace for the impact. And as I allow the waves of distain, of self loathing and blame, of hatred and shame to wash right through me, to the very core… As I allow this nuclear explosion, this unhinged train, this blow torch, this torrential rain, to have its way with me, I am strangely okay.
“How is it possible,” I ask, “to feel okay in the middle of my very own, personal, Armageddon?” At the moment of asking, I don’t know the answer. I don’t have to. It is what it is and I accept it as is. I’ve paid my dues. I no longer need to prove myself, not even to myself. And herein lies the answer to my quest. I no longer need to prove a thing, not even to myself. From this statement alone, another revelation is born: When we surrender the ego, all ego-related feelings, such as guilt and shame and feeling inadequate, automatically falls away.
In the ten minutes it took me to write this, I have moved from feeling completely paralyzed to feeling completely energized. This, to me, is the power of surrender, of being totally present in the moment, in the body, letting whatever emotions are there be fully felt and pass through unobstructed, without trying to deny it, fix it, explain it or change it.
Bring it on and enjoy your day!
The magical power of joyously focused intention
As some of you already know, one of my dreams has been to play Carnegie Hall. Another to play with Yo-Yo Ma. And, just three days ago, this thought entered my mind: “Wouldn’t it be fun if I got to attend a concert with Yo-Yo Ma at Carnegie Hall, so I could put my energy in that room, with him, on that stage?”
So, as I Googled that thought, I found that Yo-Yo Ma was, in fact, going to be performing at Carnegie Hall. One performance only. But it was sold out. And according to Carnegie Hall, it had been sold out for months.
My next thought was, “I could swing by, just for fun, and see if an opportunity presents itself. Perhaps there’ll be a ticket, just for me.” So, as I strolled in through the entrance doors of Carnegie Hall, my heart was joyously soaring and I was fully immersed in the fantasy of, not only being present at Yo-Yo Ma’s concert, but also being up close and personal with my hero.
Imagine my facial expression as the ticket person tells me, “We have one ticket available. That is, if you don’t mind being on stage with Yo-Yo Ma.” I won’t leave you wondering – here’s my facial expression:
Long story short, I had the extraordinary privilege of sitting on that stage, less than ten feet from Yo-Yo Ma, as he became one with his instrument and danced his passion, sensitivity and brilliance into each and every breath of Beethoven’s Cello Sonatas.
For three full hours, I got to savor every detail of Yo-Yo Ma and his performance, his amazing pianist, Emanuel Ax, the beauty and majesty of Carnegie Hall, filled to the brim, the awe and admiration on people’s faces, the standing ovations. I got to take it all in, as if I was the performer. It felt as if we, who were so lucky as to be seated on stage with him, were part of his orchestra that evening, energetically reflecting his genius in our listening and being.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that he smiled, small talked and flirted with me as he passed me to go off and on stage 😉 This whole experience, in itself, is a dream come true! And it goes to show that anything is possible when we put our heartfelt intention to work 🙂
What’s Happening Next?
Feel free to join us this coming Tuesday, April 19th, as we are celebrating my new album, Finding Venus, in concert at Caffe Vivaldi in Greenwich Village. Incredible Russian cellist Anastasia Golenishcheva is playing with me and singer/songwriter Katelyn Richards is singing backup vocals. There is no cover charge, but reservations are highly recommended! Click here for more info!
My Papa was an annoyingly positive and persistent person.
In the summer, he would wake us up in the wee hours of the morning, by singing and dancing and ushering us down to the ocean for a swim in annoyingly enthusiastic manners, no matter how cold or windy it was. For that, I am eternally grateful.
I realize now, four decades later, how his attitude of joy combined with great discipline, work ethics and creative expression, has given me an incredible foundation to live, work and create from. It wasn’t always fun back then, to be subject to someone so intensely dedicated to absolutely everything he focused his attention on.
As a matter of fact, it has taken me years in therapy and self development, to fully appreciate and utilize the amazing gifts I received. And I try to remember the feeling of the not so fun moments when I feel myself mimicking his less elegant methods in my own desire to empower myself and others to greater productivity and expression.
The key to sanity, productivity and joyous expression.
In order to keep myself from crashing, burning or acting out on others, I strive every single day to maintain balance, between work and play, productivity and relaxation, creativity and reception. This balancing act requires that I allow myself to be less enthusiastic and joyous at times. It requires space and time to listen to myself and others and to simply be, without trying to move, fix or change anything.
In order for a tree to grow big and strong and fruitful, it needs ample time to grow and stretch it’s root system to ensure a rich supply of water, minerals and vitamins. In today’s society, so filled with lights and sounds and demands, it is easy to forget that we need the darkness, the aloneness and the silence to deepen and expand our root system.
Embracing the darkness, going deep into the soil of our subconscious, allows us to also discover and extract the gold and the diamonds that exist there.
The process of Finding Venus.
I’ve spent the last four years producing an album for Finding Venus, the musical thriller. In addition to the small village of brilliant musicians, actors and sound engineers who has blessed this project, it has taken all that I have had to give of my enthusiasm, talent, time, heart, listening and going deep into the soil of my emotional being to see it through to the finish line. And I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
These past few months have passed me by like there’s no tomorrow. I’m in a daze from high speed living. It started with a decision to let go of the old and embrace the new and unknown. In the process that followed, I sold and gave away roughly eighty percent of my belongings. I also minimized my monthly expenses by moving in with a friend.
As a result, a tremendous amount of energy has been released to create a more vibrant bi-continental existence and I am receiving gifts beyond my wildest imagination. The Norwegian mini-tour of Finding Venus – The Musical, received rave reviews, I am in the process of expanding my musical territory in Sweden and a fall tour is brewing in California with amazing cellist, Elisa Herbig. (All shows will be posted at www.carolinewaters.com/shows.php)
Current broadcasts are starkly contrasting the lightness and ease of my being. Angry, wounded, unforgiving people seem to be dominating the scene with their post traumatic stress behaviors and thirst for vengeance. Personally, I don’t think it works to overcome darkness with more darkness. The”eye for an eye” method will only serve to make us all blind.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all could lay down our swords, forgive ourselves and each other, let go of our need to dominate, possess and control? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could meet those of us who suffer from post traumatic stress with patience, understanding, love and nurture, regardless of race, religion, sex, skin color or financial status?
Imagine a world where fellowship is more highly regarded than ownership, where respect for Mother Nature triumphs desire for money and where music and art is regarded as more important than the military. I am committed to making it happen. Who’s with me?
I am working hard every day now to get ready for and promote Jakten på Venus, which is the Norwegian version of the musical thriller, Finding Venus.
Finding Venus tells part of my life story, starting with highlights from my tomboy child star years, growing up in performance with my “Superstar Papa”, Per Asplin, and how the bicycle accident that sent me flying 28 feet through the air with a severed left leg served to bring my consciousness and being to a whole new level of existence.
I was 18. I landed on my nose. My lungs collapsed and filled up with water. Everything shut down. I went into the tunnel. I experienced the incredible beauty of the Light that is all knowing, all loving and connects us all in perfect harmony. Then two Light-Being-looking dudes stopped me and told me to return to the broken mess that used to be my body. They said I had a job to do. I refused, but to no avail.
It took four years to recover. Four roller coaster years of pain management, amnesia, post traumatic stress, pill addiction and a relentless search for identity, love and a sense of purpose. Throughout this time period, it was the music and desire to express myself that helped me win the battle agains feeling powerless and suicidal. That, and an angel named Esther.
Finding Venus also tells the humorous story of how I came out of the closet to an “ultra conservative family of supreme court lawyers and royal blood”. And it reveals how my desperate search for Stefanie Stroh, the only person I was able to remember after the accident, who vanished without a trace in the same area a notorious serial killer was operating, led to a surprising discovery.
If you happen to be in Oslo, Norway, on December 12-19, please join us at Elsker! If you happen to have peeps in Scandinavia who might enjoy and appreciate this musical adventure, please give them a heads up!
Jakten på Venus is starring:
Caroline Waters as Venus and on piano, guitar and percussion
Svein Fuglestad as Papa and Frank and Missionary Man
Odille Blerh as Mama and Esther &
Elisa Herbig on cello
Tickets and more at www.carolinewaters.com/shows.php