March 7, 2013
Laurie Rubin is not only the author of Do You Dream in Color? Insights from a Girl Without Sight, but she is also a world-renowned mezzo-soprano, jewelry maker, and co-founder and associate artistic director of Ohana Arts. MISS, the online site for creative women by Gabriella Khorasane, interviewed Laurie as part of its “Women Making History” feature.
MISS: Your story is so inspiring – how have you gone about spreading your message and why is it important to you?
LR: I have gone about spreading my message mostly via my concerts and some motivational speaking engagements. In my concerts, I often tell stories from my life which pertain to the pieces I’m about to sing because I always go on stage thinking that there is someone in that audience who needs some lifting up, some encouragement, or else just a fun evening to let their hair down. When I bring my point home with the music, it really gives my message the emotional context it needs for each individual person with his or her own unique story.
It is so important for me to share my story because I know that we all feel like the underdog at times, but we all deserve to achieve the greatest success, and to claim the fulfilling life we deserve. I think that being blind has given me perspective on how it feels to be treated differently. I feel very strongly that difference should be treated as a positive thing, not a negative one, and yet people are so focused on the traits they don’t like about themselves. Often, these insecurities stand in the way of people’s goals, and I feel that people need to find the skill sets, the things they are best at to help them get where they need to be.
I also believe that many people do not see themselves as beautiful. It is so important to feel beautiful which I did not for so many years. It’s when I started to feel beautiful, happy with who I am that I started to have more success, and that is why my partner Jenny and I are in the midst of writing an album with the title track, “The Girl I Am,” about those times when we have been brought down, and how we need to rise above it and remember the people we are, and how wonderful that is. We’ve performed this song for a variety of audiences, most recently a high school girls choir in Rock Springs Wyoming. All the girls in the room were sobbing, and they told us that the music and our words gave them hope in a time when they feel so insecure about who they are. That is who we want to reach, the teens and young adults who need to know that life gets better as long as they remain truthful to who they are.
To read the entire interview, go to MISS online.