Alumni Profiles: Lauren Shera

posted on November 1, 2016 by
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Lauren Shera Thank you to YACalum and singer-songwriter Lauren Shera for her lovely interview! If you happen to be in Louisville, Nashville, or Atlanta this December don't miss the end of her tour with Shawn Colvin! Lauren's gorgeous California-inspired folk can be found at www.laurenshera.com, and you can listen directly on her soundcloud here. Plus follow her on facebook here! Year/years at YAC? I am terrible at keeping track of such things but I want to say 2005-2007? Did you go to college and if so where? Are you in a grad program now? I didn't go to college but when I was 19 I went to Chicago for a year to study at the Old Town School of Folk Music, honing in on my love of songwriting and musicianship. Did you learn elsewhere? Where and how? Even though I was already writing songs and playing shows, before going to Chicago I had been mostly self taught, so that was my first experience being fully immersed in music and music education. Tell us about what you’re doing now. Now I live in Nashville and focus much of my time on songwriting and touring. I've toured nationally and internationally, self released two records, and my third record was released with in independent label two years ago. When I'm not working on music I'm baking pies or working in the organic oatmeal shop that my mom and I have here in east Nashville called Haulin' Oats. My husband (not a YACster but a former photographer in the Monterey area) and I bought a home in the country a year ago where we can garden and star gaze and raise up our first baby who is coming in January. Lauren Shera What has inspired you along the way? Certainly the landscape of the central coast where I spent most of my childhood and teenage years, especially big sur. I write a lot about the meeting of the mountains and the sea and those California stars. My mom inspires me a lot, as do many of the amazing people I've had the privilege of knowing. What is your definition of success? Learning how to adapt and be flexible in creative situations that might make me uncomfortable or intimidate me at first. If I can rise to those occasions I feel I've succeeded. Being able to maintain a healthy life by making my art and living my passion. Best advice you ever got? Not to get comfortable. There's always room to experiment or improve. Never be done learning. lauren sheraWhat do you do to get yourself through dry spells, self esteem fluctuations, deep shyness, and general low periods/inertia? I don't know that I have a go-to solution because these are all things I face regularly. I guess I try to just be gentle with myself because I've proven in my own history that I can come through those situations if I don't go too negative and just embrace patience. Sometimes it helps to focus on other forms of expression that I like just for me, such as cooking or knitting or journaling. I think getting out of your head is important. Favorite YAC memories? Obviously the Art-a-thons I was present for; there's just nothing like that feeling of complete delirium from being so sleepy but also so happy. The other thing that comes to mind is spending a whole afternoon there sewing up handmade CD sleeves for the first "album" I ever made. I sat there and hand wrote every cover and track listing and had someone show me how to use the sewing machine. I can't remember for certain but I'm pretty sure I called that album "A Million Lightyears Long". Lauren SheraAnd a mention about the value of YAC? What I think of the most when I think of YAC is love. Meg and Marcia built a community built on their love of art and of helping kids embrace their love it, and that love became this all-encompassing undercurrent that effected all of us who have walked through those doors. There was always a smiling face, a shoulder to cry on, help when you were stuck, and some of the most deep and important friendships I've ever made. All of it while being encouraged by these amazing, funny, fierce mama bears that looked out for all of us like we were their own. It's such a safe and supportive environment, and every time I think back on it I smile. Lauren Shera

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