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IIRY Podcast: 35. 2020: “What would you tell your younger self?”
An end of year review, with advice to help you on your creative journey in 2021.

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Saying “2020 has been a weird year” is an understatement. Nevertheless, I’m really grateful when I look back at the inspiring guests who were generous enough to sit down and chat with me this year. So, I thought, wouldn’t it be great to revisit some of the most popular “Is it Recess Yet?” episodes of […]

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IIRY Podcast: 34. Miki-Sophia Cloud. “Why am I doing this?”
On the importance of great mentors and choosing to find joy and purpose in music.

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I’m excited to revisit the very first episode of the “Is it Recess Yet?” podcast, from 2018. My dear friend and colleague, the wonderful violinist and human, Miki-Sophia Cloud, graciously agreed to be my first interviewee. In our chat, we talk about her former life as a strolling ‘gypsy violinist’; playing by ear versus playing from sheet […]

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IIRY Podcast: 30. Karen Rile: “You can actually change your life very quickly.”
A chat with writer Karen Rile, about parenting, flexibility, and how deliberate practice yields huge results.

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 In my conversation with writer Karen Rile, we discuss her experience of parenting four artistic children and her interest in musicians; how flexibility and creative courage led to her founding Cleaver Magazine, a successful literary magazine; why creative writing and small amounts of deliberate practice create a vast foundation for a successful life; and […]

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IIRY Podcast: 26. Blair McMillen: “It’s okay to be vulnerable.”
A chat with pianist Blair McMillen, about performance anxiety, perfectionism, and why process is more important than product.

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 In this conversation with pianist Blair McMillen, we discuss how to manage stage fright and performance anxiety; why being a part-time musician can be a healthy option; why we should talk openly about what a musician’s life is really like; and why he wishes classical music could be more about process than product. Subscribe […]

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IIRY Podcast: 22. Dr. Nadine Kelly: “I am an eclectic, nerdy black woman who is a late bloomer.”
A chat with Dr. Nadine Kelly, retired pathologist and yoga instructor about leaving medicine to follow her happiness and why we need to be nicer to ourselves.

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In this conversation with retired pathologist and yoga instructor, Dr. Nadine Kelly, we discuss how she decided to pivot from her career as a physician to becoming a yoga instructor who specializes in helping mature women; why it’s important to learn to be comfortable with being uncomfortable; and why we need to be brave enough […]

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IIRY Podcast: 21. Shannon Wilkinson: “You are valuable because you exist.”
A chat with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, about when perfectionism becomes toxic; why "taking a breath" improves our ability to problem-solve; and why cultivating your creative courage may be the best thing you can do for your career right now.

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In this conversation with life coach, Shannon Wilkinson, we discuss how we turn to perfectionism to protect ourselves and “stay in the tribe”; how perfectionists may be struggling acutely with the uncertainty of the pandemic; why “taking a breath” and making things “ridiculously easy” is crucial to opening up our ability to problem-solve; and why […]

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IIRY Podcast: 18. “It’s a weird time to try to reinvent yourself.”
A chat with Nick Photinos, innovative cellist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird, about career transformation and the importance of preserving our mental health during this time of pandemic.

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 In my candid conversation with innovative cellist and founding member of Eighth Blackbird, Nick Photinos, we discuss career transformation during the pandemic; how we attach our sense of worthiness to the things we create; and how this time of pandemic and quarantine can be best used to ask ourselves “why am I making music?” […]

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IIRY Podcast: 12. “The belief that perfection equals worthiness is the biggest struggle of my life.”: PART TWO of A Chat with Dr. Sarah Carter, physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy.

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In Part Two of my conversation with physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy, Dr. Sarah Carter, we discuss the classical music culture’s resistance to talking about vulnerability, burnout, and mental health issues; the rigid definition of success within classical music and how it stifles creativity; the terror of improvisation and the importance of practicing […]

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IIRY Podcast: 11.”In the depths of major depression, I realized I’d lived my whole life in someone else’s dream.”: PART ONE of A Chat with Dr. Sarah Carter, physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy.

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In my conversation with physician, cellist, writer, and former child prodigy, Dr. Sarah Carter, we discuss the “classical music machine” and how it overwhelms young people and their families; how her feelings of worthiness were tied to her ability to be “perfect” on the cello; how a major depression at the peak of her musical […]