writer's block: bio edition

writers block.jpg

Easily the most difficult part of rebuilding my website has been rewriting my bio. I am really quite tired of reading formulaic lists of schools attended, prizes, teachers, fancy concerts, etc. that say nothing of substance about the artist you are about to hear, their priorities, what they feel is important in the world, what they want to contribute, etc. I've joked many times about making a "MadLibs" style bio ("_______ (name) studied with ________ (teacher) at _________ (school). (He/She) has appeared at _______ (venue) and ________ (festival); upcoming concerts include _________ (concerto) with __________ (orchestra) and recitals in _________ (state), _________ (state), and _________ (far-away exotic or prestigious sounding country)). Why can't we get real, people???

Out of frustration and writer's block, I devised the following opening sentences for my bio, but none of them made it past my editing team.  These are mostly tongue-in-cheek... Mostly. Enjoy!

Liana Berube was raised by wolves and her behavior reflects her upbringing.

Liana Berube never really learned to talk, or think clearly. She did learn to ignore her emotions for the comfort of others.

As a fledgling sometimes-Buddhist, Liana Berube finds this exercise of defining herself rather tedious and counterproductive.

A habitual self-flagellator, Liana Berube finds it hard to believe that anything she has done is really of interest. The things that she finds interesting she has a hard time believing are of importance. The vicious cycle continues.

Liana Berube is very good at telling you what she isn’t, but pinpointing exactly what she is is a whole other story. Fleeting, ephemeral… ninja.

A musician and thinker, Liana Berube hopes that all musicians are also thinkers.

Violinist Liana Berube has spent the first twenty-nine years with her instrument learning how to have a bad relationship. She is currently working on a project (her life) that will hopefully yield more positive results, but the jury is still out.

Liana Berube sometimes does interesting and strange things. Sometimes she does not, but only thinks about them. She usually regrets refraining from taking action in these instances, feeling that the world is made better by habitual nonconformity, and comes down on herself unnecessarily hard for these failures of courage.

The relationship between the self and one’s art is Liana Bérubé’s passion. Having infinite material from her own experience demonstrating how to live a complicated and difficult artistic existence, she often feels compelled to expound on her issues in the hopes that other people have the same problems. Misery loves company.

Liana Berube comes from a long line of pessimists and cynics. She has followed in the family business of self-defeat for many years but has recently been considering a career change.

Strongly worded diatribes are one of Liana Bérubé’s strongest points, as long as she doesn’t have to talk to anyone in person.

Passionate about art, truth, honesty, love, vitality, and life, Liana Berube frequently feels defeated by the priorities of mainstream Western culture.

Liana Berube has spent most of her performing career trying to be better than others in the hopes that she will then somehow feel like she has worth and value to the world. The sad punchline of the joke, however, is that we are all stuck being human, no matter how hard we try to escape or surmount ourselves.

Liana Berube has done some stuff, but feels like she missed the boat on the path she could have had by not practicing more when she was a child. She embraces this twisted standard in the classical music industry wholeheartedly and now can’t prepare for anything without feeling like she already failed in her pursuits over twenty years ago.

As a master procrastinator, Liana Berube has been known to clean her house, file her taxes, assemble IKEA furniture, and build websites while avoiding practicing (and writing bios).

Praised for her “searching mastery,” Liana Berube indeed spends her entire life searching for what she hopes is mastery. Unfortunately the concept of mastery in art is somewhat of a myth, and she would be better served by searching without an end goal.

As a middle child, Liana Berube learned to be a peacemaker at a young age. She often serves as referee in the spats between her two sassy cats. However, this compulsive need to smooth things over between others and also within herself often results in eruptions of her suppressed angry emotions. Don’t worry, she is in therapy.