December 9th, 2007 02:13 EST
Chase von Interviews the Amazing Alice Marie
Chase Von's Interview on behalf of the Student Operated Press with...
Alice Marie: Lovely and Incredibly Gifted Singer/Pianist of "Equilibrium and Angels Near"
Chase von: Alice, thank you so much for doing this interview. You are a very busy Lady. So, on behalf of myself and the Student Operated Press, I want to thank you for finding the time. I almost don't know where to start with you because you have done so many amazing things. You're a Life Coach, a former English teacher, a musician, a very gifted singer; you write all your own lyrics, and you're also a full time mother with a loving family. But also, you are a survivor. I don't really want to start out with a tough one but, your earlier years are subjects you openly address in your music. You have written songs that are on your CD's that clearly and painfully cover some of the things you have had to face and overcome.
Many have also compared you and your music to Tori Amos and some of her earlier music. You deal with the subject of depression, as well as molestation in the song, "When I was Seven." How did that song help you with your survival and also with your ability to be the loving mother you are to your own child today?
Alice Marie: I don't think I'd be a mother if I hadn't written that song. It was a story I tried telling in prose form for years, but something about putting it to music rearranged my DNA and opened up a doorway to healing. I think many aspects of music are beyond analysis, and the way it freed me is beyond words, but if I had to analyze it, I'd say that confronting the vulnerability of molestation helped me feel I could handle the vulnerability of parenthood. Shortly after recording it, I decided to try and conceive a child and within a month, I was pregnant.
Chase von: And also, what would you say to someone that is in a similar situation, who doesn't think life will ever amount to anything better? Or doesn't believe it is possible for them to ever truly be happy again?
Alice Marie: I'd say that grace is available in every situation and that even the hardest trials can bring out compassion and gifts we might not otherwise have had. Our souls shine through every human experience; they're bigger than anything that happens to our bodies.
Chase von: Again, I hate to open the interview with such a depressing subject. But by the same token, I think that so many that have lived through, or are living in these situations, are ashamed. And it isn't by any means their fault! Your bravery in addressing it, being the successful woman you have become, I am sure is a life-saving beacon to so many people who need to hear that there is life after and that life can be the enjoyable experience it is truly meant to be. So I commend you for your honesty, and I thank you for being so open with a subject so many shy away from.
Alice Marie: Thank you for the generous words. That the song has helped others besides myself heal is grace in action.
Chase von: I remember the first song I heard by you. (smile) "Lip Stick Diaries." I am someone that doesn't limit myself in my musical taste. If asked, I do say primarily R and B. But having lived in so many places, my tastes in music are eclectic. To be frank, I don't care what the vein it is said to be is. Which means I might love a rock song. I might hear something in R and B that doesn't particularly move me. Or I might love something that is opera. It is rare though, that I will hear something and not even I know where it might be classified. And that is where I found myself when I heard "Lip Stick Diaries." (smile) I will say I was reminded of Sinead O'Connor and Alanis Morisette, but that you have your own unique style. And, yes, I loved it. As well as "La Loba." (smile) Who are some of the people in the music industry that you admire and since you sing so much from your heart, is there anyone in your life experience that helped with the creation of your own unique style of singing?
Alice Marie: Wow, so many. Female artists have always had my attention from the time I saw Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Then came Stevie Nicks, Kate Bush and Tori Amos. They broke barriers as women and artists in general, and I admire their maverick spirits. Sinead and Alanis are fantastic, too, as is Loreena McKennitt, who rearranges my DNA with her Celtic-Middle Eastern fusion. She’s a great business model, too. I can't leave the men out though. Sting, Peter Gabriel, R. Carlos Nakai, Eddie Vedder, Rob Thomas, Antonio Vivaldi and then, there’s that Beethoven guy. Authors have also had a significant impact on me and, by extension, the music. Sometimes a particular book helps create the palette for a song. I was reading the gothic mystery “The Lake of Dead Languages” while recording “ I Was Seven,” and it was a perfect complement to the haunting, cinematic soundscape Wade Tonken and I were creating in the studio. “La Loba” was inspired by Women Who Run with the Wolves. “La Loba” is the name of one of the stories. Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way has been the catalyst and companion to all my creativity for the past 12 years. Phenomenal book for unblocking. I recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Chase von: Although I have lived many places, I have also lived in New Jersey and know you have spent a fair amount of time there as well. I know you also have fans worldwide, but how supportive are the people in New Jersey of your dreams and aspirations?
Alice Marie: I lived there for three years and spent a lot of that time in mommy mode, so I didn't gig much there, but one of my favorite performances of all time took place in a beautiful church in Verona for the Wellness Networking Group last December. Sue Waldman, who hosts these regular gatherings, and the guests that evening held a beautiful space for me. It was just me, a baby grand piano, and stream-of-consciousness stories. And book recommendations. That night I met Kathy Miller, an incredibly supportive coach and founder of Wellness Possibilities, who has generously promoted my work as an artist and coach. And I have wonderful friends there whom I'm still in touch with and new ones who promote my music and podcast with such passion and generosity— it’s humbling and heart-warming. There was also a women’s moon circle I attended at The Yoga Room in Millburn (now Maplewood) that buoyed me when 'burb life was getting to me.
Chase von: I remember I got some particularly disturbing news one night, said to myself or really God. "I think I need something really positive to reflect on." I came in and sat at my computer, and someone had posted clips from Oprah of "The Secret" on my space, which is just what I felt like I needed to hear. I wrote down this quote. "I am available to more good, than I ever experienced, realized or imagined before." The next morning you sent me links to "The Secret" as well as shared the quote I had scribbled down the previous night. I thought that was weird but it got weirder as you will recall. (smile) Thinking what a coincidence. I shared what I had written down as well as what you had also typed out with friend, Willard Barth, Inspirational Singer, Song Writer and like yourself a Life Coach. So you have to remember how shocked I was when he wrote back. "Dr. Beckwith, a truly great man! I've shared the stage with him but I ended up speaking more to his wife, she is really great people as well. You should meet her." How strange was that, and for it all to take place in a matter of less than forty eight hours?
I'm bringing this up because I've also read that, when you were an English Teacher, you credited your students with not only becoming your spiritual teachers, but with moving from Florida to New York and inspiring you to go through child birth completely naturally. Can you share some of your thoughts on the principles of "The Secret," "The Law of Attraction," and how really nothing, at least how I now believe, is really a coincidence, and how we do affect our own very worlds with the thoughts we choose to entertain and give importance to?
Alice Marie: Many wonderful, valid points are made throughout the movie, particularly the suggestion that we focus on the “what,” not the “how” or “when.” Whenever I've been frustrated or blocked in my life it’s because I was holding on too tightly to a timeline and/or manner of delivery of my dream. God’s better at the details, and I happily (most days) delegate them to Him. Maybe it’s because my name is associated with “wonderland,” but I've always sensed magic in the air— even when things were tragic— so, I fully embrace the genie concept and the wonder of quantum leaps and synchronicity. I also honor that it’s God’s will I'm aligning with, not the other way around. I came across a poem/prayer from Robert Schuller (pastor of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, CA) recently that made me smile big time because it’s so true! “When the idea’s not right, God says no/When the time is not right, God says slow/When you are not right, God says grow/When everything is all right, God says go!” Schuller also says the point of prayer is not to get what we want but to be the people God wants us to be. Caroline Myss essentially says the same thing when she urges us to be vessels of service and grace. The beauty is that, in relinquishing our agendas, we do get what we want and then some.
Chase von: Oh and, just how did you meet your husband? (smile)
We ran into each other several times during a span of six years, working at the same places but at different times, circling each other’s airports, so to speak, but only coming in for a landing when the time was right. We reconnected at a journalism convention for my students (he was doing a photojournalism seminar there) and the following year I needed headshots and called him up. I was just looking for a photographer, not a husband. But there you go, more of life’s mysteries and proof that when you're detached about things, in this case, romance, they come to you. Chase von:
In addition to being a mother, a wife, a Life Coach, a musician, an incredibly gifted singer and performer, you also have your own radio show (podcast) which you co-host. Not even getting into how you manage to find the time, but how rewarding is that aspect of your life? Alice Marie:
The podcast was another one of those I-wasn't-looking-for-this surprises. That I'm able to philosophize and share silly anecdotes and coaching tips from the comfort of my home and that anyone wants to hear it (LOL) is a wonderful thing. I've been loose about the recording schedule to honor my family and offline coaching and music commitments, so time can be an issue, but when a show wants to be born, there’s no stopping it. Chase von:
How important is family to you, and what is your take on the state of our current world?Alice Marie:
Very important. Talk about spiritual teachers! And when I say family I include dear friends who are my kalyana mitras, soul friends on the noble path. I don't know where (or who) I'd be without them. My take on the current state of the world is peace begins with each and every one of us, and now, more than ever, we can use our energy, our thoughts to bring about healing in the world. We can use The Secret; we can focus on prosperity and peace for everyone and just being peace, activating that vibration within ourselves; it will be felt and will expand. I once heard a midwife named Jeanne Parvati Baker refer to birth as an “emergence” not an emergency. We can choose to see our planetary evolution that way, too.Chase von:
What would you say, if you were standing in front of a microphone that could be heard by every child on the planet and regardless of what language it was they spoke, they would understand you? What positive advice would you give the children, if that were possible?Alice Marie:
What a lovely scenario and question. And with the power of vibration, I can, in my own way, do that. (smile) I'd say, “You are love, and whenever you forget that, there’s someone near you who remembers.”Chase von:
How can our readers find your music, radio show, and sign up for your free informative news letters? So they, too, can have "Tea With Alice Marie." (smile) Can you also share your links and web pages? And are there any future projects you are working on you can share with our readers? Also, you've performed in various places live. Do you have any more live performances coming up any time soon in the near future?Alice Marie:
are the best ways to sample the music and podcast and sign up for the newsletter. Both my CDs and podcast are in the iTunes store and several other digital sites as well. I sell autographed copies of Angels Near through PayPal, both sites have the link.
Free sample coaching sessions are available by phone— 646.207.3529 is the number to call to schedule your 30-minute “teatime.” You can also e-mail me at Alice@AliceMarie.net
As for appearances, I'll be part of the Mamapalooza Lifestyles & Creativity Conference in May here in NYC. Last year, I gave mini coaching sessions at The Cutting Room, and it was so much fun. Such an honor to hold a space for talented, courageous mothers in the arts.
I've been doing session singing for a songwriter named Cheryl Edelman who plans to release a CD of cat songs within the next year, and I've got a collection called The Longing in the pipeline. God and I are still in discussion as to its release date. (smile)
Chase von: On behalf of The Student Operated Press and myself Alice, I truly thank you for creating the time to do this with all you have on your plate. I also want to wish your family well and the best of times in this holiday season. And also, are you going to be doing any music that pertains to the holidays? (smile)
Alice Marie: Okay, I'm having a Chase-Secret moment-- you're the third person in the last week or so to ask me about holiday songs. Guess I ought to brush up on my “Jingle Bells!” It was my pleasure to answer your thoughtful questions. May your cup run over with blessings during this time of miracles and magic.