After what has been a fulfilling summer where I was able to find some moments to unwind, just like you (probably), I am returning from summer plugged into my device way more than I want to be — focusing on the news, my calendar, work, and preparing for the general whirlwind that is September. Thankfully, though, I got a wake-up call over the weekend that reminded me just how important it is to pay attention. And I don't mean to your phone. I'm talking about your surroundings.
Let’s face it, the summer months require us to let go of any expectation for maintaining our routine. I love my routine, but I have to admit I also love taking a break from it! As we enter August, perhaps you are returning from vacation or gearing up to travel some more before Labor Day. If you are like me, you are back and forth all summer long, splitting your time between work and travel, which can be wonderful and/or stressful, depending on your experience. However you see it, here are some tips to help you strike the balance this summer between making the most of your vacation time and being productive while at work.
Remember that old saying, "How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice." It's so true — one doesn't just decide to become a master musician and then waltz into Carnegie Hall. It takes years (and years...and years) of practicing one's craft to get to that place in the music world. And it's not just musicianship that requires that kind of dedicated practicing — it pretty much applies to any area of life that you want to excel at.
2016. What a year! I've heard so many people (personally and in the media) say that this is one of the worst years in recent memory. And, while 2016 has undoubtedly been a chaotic one (particularly from a social/political POV), I don't want to blanket-statement it with "worst year ever." Like many others, I'm happy to welcome in 2017, but I also have some fond memories from the past year, both personally (watching my daughter grow into this amazing little person) and professionally (I can't tell you how many times I've come out of a coaching session feeling energized and inspired by my clients).
Now that the holiday season is officially upon us, I wanted to take some time and "gift" you with three things that I've been really excited to share — a mix of inspiration, practical advice, and advocacy that I hope will bring a little something extra to you over the next month and beyond. So, without further ado...
INTERVIEW WITH FANTASTIC BEASTS' DAN FOGLER
Disclaimer: For those of you who don't know, Dan Fogler is my brother-in-law (he's married to my sister, Jodie). And while I've always been a huge fan and champion of his (both as a person and as an incredibly gifted artist), I'm just beyond thrilled that his latest role (as Jacob in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them) is one that will bring his one-of-a-kind talents to a worldwide audience.
The 2016 Summer Olympics just wrapped up on Sunday and this year's games brought us many things: Excitement, inspiration, irritation (there may have been more articles written about NBC's coverage than about the actual Olympians!), and even some controversy (ahem...swimmers...). One thing that remains a constant throughout every Olympiad is the sense of awe that overcomes you when watching the world's most gifted athletes — they seem almost superhuman in their feats. But, the truth is that, beyond their natural talents, the one thing that pushes Olympic athletes to the top is their drive. They want it more than anyone else and are willing to do what it takes to become the best in the world.
In this day and age, we have the ability to share our thoughts and creative endeavors with a vast number of people and receive their input almost instantly. It's one of the benefits of technology that links us together with whomever we choose, whenever we choose to do so. And while it's great to get a wide variety of responses to whatever you're putting out there within a short period of time, there often tends to be a lack of depth and serious thought behind this process. "Easy come, easy go," as they say.
While most people know Jesse Tyler Ferguson from his Emmy-nominated role on the hit ABC sitcom Modern Family, theater fans have been aware of his many talents and dynamic range long before his tv career took off. I worked with Jesse when he did the off Broadway musical Newyorkers at Manhattan Theatre Club, andour paths also criss-crossed a lot in the early days of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, before it went to Broadway and became the phenomenon that it was. So it was with great pleasure that I was able to connect with Jesse a few years back and interview him for our Artists In Action program (along with some other fantastic artists that you may recognize). Since Jesse is back on Broadway in Fully Committed — where he plays 40(!!) different characters over the course of the one-man-show’s 90 minutes — this seemed like the perfect time to share his interview with those who haven’t heard it.
Let’s get something clear, I spent the first 30 years of my life unable to tell you one simple fact about Women’s College Basketball, much less the UCONN Huskies. To be perfectly honest, I didn’t even know they existed. The most I knew about this particular world of sports was that it was on a random channel like ESPN2, 3 or 23, and if it was a rainy Saturday afternoon and I happened to be home, bored out of my mind and flipping channels because there was nothing else to watch, I might have noticed some girls on a court and thought, “That’s cool,” and then continued on until I stumbled upon the second half of a romantic comedy — like 50 First Dates or Sleepless in Seattle — that I would happily re-watch for the 68th time while intermittently dozing on the couch. You get my point. Although I’m sure it’s great for those who care about it, women’s basketball is just not my jam. Or, rather it WAS not my jam (grrrr...I hate that I’m even admitting it in writing).
Can art heal the world? It's a question that's been asked numerous times throughout modern history, particularly when society has faced large-scale tragedies and struggles. Whatever the answer, it's clear that art can act as a salve, a unifier, and a provocateur during tumultuous times. In an emotional sense, it's as powerful as any force on this planet, and one that is desperately needed in these modern times. With that in mind, two creative legends — Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock — recently responded to this question put to them by Nest HQ: Given the current state of the world, how can the next generation of artists respond? Their response, composed as an open letter, is insightful, gracious, and inspiring.