Tag Archives: April Brucker

Motivational Soundtrack Part II

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After posting my motivational soundtrack yesterday, I decided to go to some of my hobby coaches and find out what songs motivate them. AND I took it one step further and asked each of them why they chose their songs. What you’ll read is sure to amaze you–and inspire you. Here are some of the answers I got:


Christopher Grady
(Guitar Lesson):
“I Turn My Camera On” – Spoon
“It’s nearly impossible to have that song come on and not move from a walk to a strut. It has all the swagger of Staying Alive but none of the cheesiness. Plus it makes every sidewalk feel like a catwalk.”

April Brucker (Ventriloquism):
1.” Causing a Commotion” – Madonna.
“This is because it reminds me the world is mine and the stars and sky is only the limit I make it.”

2. Glamorous Life-Fergie.
“It makes me know my dreams and the Hollywood life are within my reach.”

3. Stay-Madonna.
“It gets me going and it is a song I covered.”

4. Take Me Home-Lisa Lisa.
“Reminds me that I am worth only the best and to respect myself in business and in life.”

Jon Hanson (Downhill Mountain Biking):
“18 Candles” – The Sessions
“The song is from a mountain biking video called seasons with one of my favorite riders Matt Hunter. The video is like 5 years old, but any time I watch Matt’s part, I get stoked to ride.”

Nicholas D’Sent (Pilot LessoN):
1. “My Life” – Gwizz

2.  “I Believe I can Fly” – R. Kelly
“Because he said if I can see it then I can be it.”

Flynn Michael (Jedi Light Sabre Training & Stilt Walking):
“Heh, favorite inspirational song as a kid was High Hopes (Rubber Tree Plant) song, but as an adult, I’d say Rage Against the Machine – Killing in the Name Of.

Laura Fisher (Singing Lesson):
“Creator” – Santogold
This song has all of the wild, dark, inspiring energy I need to get me going any strange day I wake up and need some abstract coffee. The lyrics also give it that equally important layer of self-empowering wordwisdom that I need to toss me up on top of the world. a gleam of chorus:

“Me, I’m a Creator
Thrill is to make it up
The rules I break got me a place
Up on the radar
Me, I’m a Taker
Know what the stakes are
Can’t roll it back, it’s understood
Got to play our cards.”

Brandon Jacobs (Drumming Lesson):
“Rearview Mirror” – Assorted Animals
“I know that it is a little self indulgent to choose a song by my own band, but it is a song that does truly inspire me. Not only is it a testament to what I have accomplished with my band in New York City, being that it’s on our first self produced album recorded in NYC, the song itself has a great message.

“Isn’t funny how things always seem to seem/Oh the grass is much more green/as it disappears/through my rearview mirror.”

It’s a message of always looking forward, and even if you look back and it might seem better, it doesn’t matter because we always have to move forward towards something better.

That and it’s a kick ass song that’s catchy as hell. That doesn’t hurt either.”



Jason Schneider
 (Welding):
“Nightcall” – Kavinsky (featuring Love Foxxx)

(Excerpt from an amazing email Jason sent me when I asked him to name his motivational song and why–make sure to check out the doc he’s working on and more at JsWorks.Org)

“I first heard this song while watching the movie “Drive” with Ryan Gosling. I had just started my documentary, and in the beginning, it was going to be much more of an uplifting film. I hadn’t even thought about tackling any heavy issues / conflicts within myself, and wanted to show mostly the uplifting or “overcoming” aspects of my story / disability.

It sounds corny, but something clicked inside me when I heard this song sitting in that movie theater. The idea of the lonely driver, who’s essentially a good man, but has some dark demons he’s trying to hide from / escape, really resonated with me – because that’s how I felt about myself for most of my life (post accident).

I’ve always had a passion for music, and really identified with / attached personal meaning to various songs over the years, but the dissonant tone of the beat, coupled with the lyrics, just stirred something up inside me. It made me realize in that instance that I had to go places I hadn’t wanted to ever go before… push myself to explore all the negative feelings / thoughts I’ve ever had about who / what I was – and my “disability”- on camera.

There are things I have accomplished in my life that I should be really proud of – and some could look at it as the whole “overcoming” thing – but at the same time, I constantly feel like I haven’t accomplished enough, or pushed myself hard enough. I feel like these internal demons (thoughts / feelings) really weigh me down. But I realize now that many of those feelings come from the very thing I’ve been running away from (or chose not to face / explore until now). I don’t know if my internal conflicts have helped to drive me (no pun intended) all these years, or if they’re standing in my way of something bigger.

Throughout the process of my film I’ve played the song over and over as a source of inspiration. Every time I listen to it, it still gives me the same feeling / motivation to dive deep into uncharted territory within myself.

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Color Me Maybe: Running “The Happiest 5K on the Planet”

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Every once in a while, it’s really nice to go back to old hobbies–hobbies I’ve hoarded, for life, in the past. Like old friends, they tend to welcome us back in with open arms when we let them.

I’ve been running races for just over three years now. In the spring of 2009, I ran my first 5k in Rhode Island, and just two months later, I ran my first half-marathon–which for a long period of time, I considered the proudest moment of my life. Since then, I’ve ran a number of 5ks, several 5 milers, a 4 miler, and a second half-marathon. Post second half-marathon, my legs yearned for a break. I went a month without running–and then another month. In June, I took my first run again–and still my legs said, “What do you think we are? Machines.” And thus began my longest hiatus from running, since my field hockey team was cut in college.

At this point, I had already signed up for the much anticipated Color Run. Nervous, I began to run three weeks before today’s run–to try and get back into 5k shape. I woke up early during my work trip, I ran, I walked for an extra work out, and today, on race day I woke up with an excitement that I knew very well beating in my chest. I threw on my white shirt, my white shirts, and slid on my bright new yellow socks:

If you could see my face at the same time as I took this photo-you would know that I totally had my game face on. While my friends and I made our trek out to Floyd Bennett Field and the Aviator Complex, I continued to spontaneously yell about how we were heading to the “Happiest 5k On the Planet.” And the truth was–we did end up at the happiest 5k on the planet. (Even the post color run patterns on my shirt said so!—Check out THAT smile on the back of my T)

As my friends and I made our way through the thousands of color runners, we stopped for free samples–happiness mingling–and special photos (which I am sure we will have a great laugh about later). When we reached the race track, I already felt a huge smile forming across my face–it could have been because “Call Me Maybe” was playing, but I have a feeling it was because I was surrounded by tens of thousands of people who signed up to have BRIGHT COLORS thrown at them in a city that tends to stick to it’s blacks and grays. I spotted neon sunglasses, much like my own (I went with the blues today instead of the yellows–for color stain reasons), neon socks, neon wristlets, neon shorts, neon everything. New York was already looking happier!

As our wave approached the starting line, I watched smiles turn to grins. It felt much different than many of the road races I’d done before, where everyone paced at the start line, worrying if their clip on their shoe to record their time was attached right. This was much more relaxed–much more anticipated–much more happy. We weren’t racing for medals–we were racing for bright yellows, pinks, greens, oranges, and blues. We were racing for happiness–and it was clear that, even in the early moments–we had won. As I ran and rolled through (YES ROLLED THROUGH) color stations, I felt life begin to feel a bit brighter–a bit more beautiful–a bit more happier.  (Just call me a hippie already 😉 ) But really–it truly was–the happiest 5k on the planet.

In the words of the Muppets: “Life’s a happy song–when there’s someone by my side to sing along”–or in this case: Run along.

 


 

 

 

 

 

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On another “Happiness” note, my good friend, fellow comic, and ventriloquism teacher April Brucker will be releasing her book this week entitled:

 I came, I saw, I sang: Memoirs of a New York City Singing Telegram Girl

 Join her fanpage HERE – and PURCHASE the book next week. I know I will!

An Update, a Thank You, & a Challenge

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Ciao readers, followers, acquaintances, strangers, and stumble-uponers:

Thank you. Thank you for every pass-by, every read, every click, every motivating comment. Thank you for supporting me. I am happy to announce that on July 24th, I hit the halfway mark of my yearlong quest to become a professional amateur and completed my 26th NEW hobby (activity)—two weeks ahead of schedule. I guess you could say I’ve been on a Hobby High!

In New York City, it is extremely difficult to find a significant other who will stick around for much more than one or two dates—and with each of these significant others we learn something new about ourselves. On February 17, I began my one year love fest with activities—and what I’ve found now, one half of the way through the year, is that I am much more content “getting around” than I ever was standing still.

Since starting the Hobby Hoarder project, I have become more confident, more ambitious, and more versatile as a blogger, vlogger, writer, and speaker. In taking on so much, I have actually become even more focused than I ever was. I have become less judgmental of myself. I have stopped using the word can’t. I have developed new friendships with people who now join me on my adventures, want to document them, or really just want to hang out on the weekends. I have found that I am more open and willing to activities that I never imagined myself trying–like Jedi Light Saber training–or samurai sword fighting–or stunt jumping–or break-dancing—or pole dancing.  And for the first time since picking up a field hockey stick in 8th grade, I have felt passionate about something–and that’s what living life is all about–passion.  Most important, I’ve learned that my adventure is much bigger than ME just trying to do something new – it’s about inspiring others to do something new too.

And honestly, you’d be amazed at how much you can do when you try something new every week. You really become incapable–of being incapable.

This year has taught me, thus far, that time is short but full of opportunity. So often, in the past, I found myself whispering “I want to do “that” some day” about a whole lot of “thats” and then never doing any of them. Now I am.

Additionally, this year, so far, has been about human interaction–meeting new people each week–hearing stories–spreading their stories–and building new relationships. I have found many times that the hobbies I am trying–are made that much more enjoyable because of the people I am meeting and spending time with.

In the past I found myself following a routine of waking up, working out, going to work, eating, and going to bed. And then by the time the weekend would roll around–I didn’t want to do anything–but sit–and then complain about how I accomplished nothing all weekend. I don’t think I am the only one who’s done this–repeatedly. And who the heck decided that work days should be 9 to 5 anyway? Why is it that living has become such a rare hobby in itself?

Here’s where I call on you:

 If you have a hobby—have tried something new—or are dying to do a new activity, reach out to me—send me a video—a blog post—photos—whatever, and I’ll feature YOU on the site. I want to know what OTHERS are doing. THAT’S what this is all about—pushing ourselves to try new things, take risks, and jump without knowing where we will land.

I challenge you to start your own quest–and try something new: Remember- we can fly anytime we want, because life’s accidental blessings will be there to catch us. Nothing like a bit of sweet serendipity.

Ciao for now,

Libs

The Hobby Hoarder

The Hobby Hoarder Gets Beat Up by a Sock: Ventriloquism

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During my ziplining adventure on June 10, one of our adventure tour friends suggested that I try out a ventriloquist lesson for the hobby year. Just a few days later, I scheduled  a lesson with comic and ventriloquist April Brucker, who welcomed me into her apartment and took me under her wing. In an hour, I went from novice to street performing novice.

Pretty freaking incredible.

25 hobbies down–27 to go. Ahead of schedule. BAM

 

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April Brucker

This fall, April will be releasing her brand new book. Be sure to check it:

I Came, I Saw, I Sang: Memoirs of a New York City Singing Telegram Delivery Girl.

It will be available  through Infinity Publishing, ebook, Kindle and Amazon.

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