Introversion

Introversion

by Robert Gillies ’11

Robert Gillies

I recently had the realization that I’m a little nuts. Where many others choose security and stability in their lives and professions, I choose discomfort, and though discomfort comes in many forms, I live with a most subtle kind: that of being an introvert in a profession that is an extrovert’s dream. Whereas extroverts gain energy from spending time with people, introverts are often drained and exhausted by social experiences, and I somehow decided, in my infinite wisdom, that being a solo singer-songwriter and touring artist would be the best fit for me.

One of the hardest critiques I ever received early on in my career was from an audience member who, after the show, said that though the songs and the performance were top-notch, there was something missing in the delivery, in the emotion. In short, they didn’t get out of the show what you could argue is the most important thing – an emotional connection. My desire to turn inward and my inability to connect with that many people on the level that was needed ultimately lampooned what could have been an incredible show.

As we grow in years we often gain insights into who we are and how we operate, and I’ve always been intensely fascinated by social interactions and why I often don’t understand or fit into them. I discovered over time that I fit quite neatly into an uncomfortable category of people who, logically speaking, really shouldn’t pursue a life on stage: I’m an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs scale and intense social anxiety is my friend.

Songwriting is a very personal form of artistic expression and performing those songs on stage, engaging with an audience both on & off of that very public platform, and maintaining the social life that must needs accompany the profession is intensely exhausting. Many are the day I wish I could just stay at home, drinking my tea, reading my books, and let the world go on without me.

But I realized that not only could I overcome those limitations, I had to. I’m tempted to think that we’re all faced with existential challenges in our lives, challenges that call for us to look within ourselves and re-evaluate who we are, how we operate, and how we can move forward. Those challenges will continue to hound us until we find the courage to confront them head on, but once we do we will discover that life beyond is greater than we could have imagined.

As I faced my fears head-on, those harsh critiques and off-balance shows became learning experiences. I became braver on stage, I took more risks, I opened myself up to new experiences. I embraced my fear of improvisation and played slews of shows without set lists to test my ability to emotionally read an audience. It was, and still is, a very messy experience, but I’ve been very careful to maintain the performer’s veneer; I don’t want an audience to experience a bad show for the sake of my own personal growth.

In the end I’ve accepted that this will be a life-long battle, but I see no reason to believe that there is ever a ceiling on our personal development but the ones we impose on ourselves.


Robert Gillies graduated in 2011 and is now living and working in Oakland, CA, as a touring singer-songwriter and composer. He is reachable at robert@robertgillies.com and can be found on Twitter and Instagram under @robertgillies. Please visit www.robertgillies.com for more details.

 

Boston Kimono Weekend with Women of the World

yoshieYoshie Nakayama, from Tokyo, is a Contemporary Writing and Production major, finished her 5th semester in the Spring 2015. She studies arranging, recording/mixing with ProTools, playing trombone for concerts/recordings, and singing in vocal ensembles. She graduated Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo with Bachelor of Music from Music Education major, Music Education minor, with a license of teaching music in japanese Junior high/senior high schools.

こんにちは。いかがお過ごしですか。
この週末ボストンでは、以前ブログでご紹介し、今年日本ツアーを大盛況のうちに成功なさったWomen of the Worldにより、着物を来て日本と世界をつなぐイベント”Boston Kimono Weekend”が開催され、私も参加させていただきました。
Boston Kimono Weekend

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Berklee Summer In The City

Vinicius Sa
Vinícius Cavalieri de Sá Coutinho, born in São Paulo on March 8, 1992, is
a Brazilian guitarist and composer who is majoring in Film Scoring.

 

Vinicius works as the Online International Ambassador for Portuguese

language since January, 2014.


 

Hoje irei falar um pouco sobre um dos eventos de verão que a Berklee College Of Music patrocina, juntamente com a Natixis Global Asset Management. Berklee Summer in the City consiste de mais de 200 apresentações na área de Boston desde o mês de maio até o mês de setembro. Este é um evento anual, e todos estes shows são grátis. Continue reading

ブロードウェイ!

yoshieYoshie Nakayama, from Tokyo, is a Contemporary Writing and Production major, finished her 5th semester in the Spring 2015. She studies arranging, recording/mixing with ProTools, playing trombone for concerts/recordings, and singing in vocal ensembles. She graduated Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo with Bachelor of Music from Music Education major, Music Education minor, with a license of teaching music in japanese Junior high/senior high schools.

こんにちは。いかがお過ごしですか。バークリーでは先週で夏学期が終わり、一旦涼しくなっていた気候は、夏らしい暑さが戻って来ました。
私事ですが、この週末にNYに行って、現在お世話になっているオンラインのインターン先の方にお会いしたり、日本から公演に来ていた友達のショーを拝見した他、ブロードウェイのミュージカルを見て来ました。
アメリカは音楽や芸術に足を運ぶ方々がとても多く、グラミー賞をとっているミュージシャンのライブでも$30−50ほどで見ることができるのですが、ブロードウェイは留学生には厳しい価格設定になっています。でも、当日券として販売する座席の余りがある場合には一枚$40弱で購入できたり、立ち見で良ければ$30を下りますし、劇場によって違うのですが、毎公演限定枚数を抽選で$40弱で販売するところや学割のあるところも多いです。そういった安価なチケットでの座席は、たとえば3階バルコニー席だったり、大きな劇場の端の方だったり、或はステージの角が目の前にあるような、近すぎて全体が見えない席だったりします。それでも、お財布事情の厳しい方々には優しい価格で、私は今回シカゴ、アメリカン・イン・パリ、ファインディング・ネバーランドを見ました。 Continue reading

Remembering Henry Tate


Henry Tate
, a professor in the Liberal Arts Department, recently passed away. The following letter to the Berklee community was written by Jay Kennedy, vice president for academic affairs/provost. 

Dear Berklee community,

It is with much sadness that I write to tell you that Henry Tate, professor and long-time Berklee faculty member in the Liberal Arts Department, has passed away. We are not sure when he died, only that his neighbors found him yesterday.

Henry was a Berklee legend, a great teacher, and an inspiration to many students particularly around the subject of art. He began teaching at Berklee in 1985 and retired last year. Simone Pilon, chair of the Liberal Arts Department, writes, “He was an exceptional teacher, a compelling storyteller, and one of the kindest, gentlest people I have had the pleasure to know. He touched countless students and colleagues during his time at Berklee. He will be greatly missed.”
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