Blog

IIRY Podcast: 27. Augusta Read Thomas: “Music is so much bigger.”
A chat with composer Augusta Read Thomas, about the importance of "breaking down every wall" and composing for beatboxer, Nicole Paris.

Posted on

In my conversation with composer Augusta Read Thomas, she expresses her heartfelt support of Black Lives Matter; her empathy for the performer in her compositions; why the music profession should be “wildly diverse”; and the three things that one needs to be an excellent composer. Subscribe to the podcast here!  Augusta Read Thomas 2:40 – […]

Blog

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.

Posted on

 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 […]

Blog

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.

Posted on

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 […]

Blog

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.

Posted on

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 […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 19. Mai Der Vang: “I have to be twice as good to be given access, to be heard.”
A chat with award-winning writer, Mai Der Vang, about being the child of Hmong immigrants; the challenges of being a female, P.O.C. artist; and why we must trust our own creative impulses.

Posted on

In this conversation that took place shortly before the pandemic and shelter-in-place order, award-winning writer Mai Der Vang and I discuss why failure is always a way to build resilience; the burden of excellence that many immigrants experience plus the challenges of being a female, P.O.C. writer and academic in the American literary landscape; and […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 17. “Don’t beat yourself up.”
A chat with Alexandra DiPalma, audio producer, editor, consultant and teacher, about pushing past perfection and why we really shouldn't put pressure on ourselves right now.

Posted on

In my conversation with audio producer, editor, consultant and teacher, Alexandra DiPalma, we discuss how podcasting can help you push past perfectionism and get your voice heard; Alex’s hit podcast, Food 4 Thot, one of the first queer podcasts; and why not putting pressure on ourselves is so important in these times of quarantine and […]

Blog

IIRY Podcast: 14. “We didn’t think, ‘we’re gonna master virtual rehearsing and share it with the world.'”
A chat about virtual music-making and the Covid-19 pandemic with Laura Usiskin, cellist, educator, entrepreneur, and member of the Bayberry String Quartet.

Posted on

In my conversation with performer, educator, entrepreneur, and cellist of the Bayberry String Quartet, Laura Usiskin, we discuss how the Coronavirus pandemic has affected the performing arts; the Bayberry String Quartet’s journey towards Bandlab virtual rehearsing and their plans to share their process with the world; and why it’s important to be patient with ourselves […]

Blog

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.

Posted on

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 […]

Blog

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.

Posted on

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 […]