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Posts Tagged ‘ukulele’

Aloha, gang!

I’ve been open about my struggles with being “stuck” when it comes to writing.  And the more that I’ve look at other areas of my life, I see that I’m “stuck” in a lot of places.

So what do you do?

You find a way to deal with it, to break through the stuck-ness.

I took a HUGE step this year and signed up for an online art class, 2015: Year of the Spark!, lead by two creative art-geniuses, Carla Sonheim and Lynn Whipple.

I am a very timid (reluctant?) visual artist.  As a kid, I had a traumatic experience in an art class that lead me to put away the art supplies for nearly 30 years. (You can read about that by clicking HERE.)

Right before the new year began, I read about this awesome online art class and I had a crazy reaction, a mixture of feeling terrified and excited at the same time.  Kind of like when you look at a roller coaster.

And a little voice inside my head said, “THIS is something you need to do.  You can use a different medium to challenge yourself.  You need to learn to let go.  You need to learn to play.  That’s how you’re going to get UNstuck.”

I took the plunge and signed up.

And I’ve loved the online classes.  I’ve loved being a part of the supportive online community of artists all over the world.

The other night, Carla and Lynn (and Carla’s husband, Steve) came to NYC and hosted a “Spark Get-Together” for the NYC-based members of the class.

The other artists were brave and shared their sketchbooks.  I wasn’t quite ready to do that.

I did something else:  Before the get-together, I emailed both Carla and Lynn and asked them for the first 5 words that came to mind when they thought of the word ART.  Then using those words for inspiration, I wrote a song, We All Need The Spark (The Spark Song).  I was still writing the song up the last minute before the get-together.  In fact, I finished it on my trusty ‘ukulele while sitting in a karaoke room near Grand Central Station, where we all met up.

After pizza and art-sharing, we headed into Grand Central Station, right in the historic main terminal, for our Group Art Exercise. (Note: the thought of creating visual art–on-the-spot and in front of other people made me want to hide.)

But I was spared from the drawing.  Instead, they surprised me.  They asked me to sing my song.  And while I strummed and sang, the other artists used their “wrong hand” (their non-dominant hand) to draw 2 portraits of me, one of my head and torso and one of my full body.  (What?!)

Wow!  Talk about a surreal experience!  Singing a freshly-penned song in Grand Central Station while artists draw pictures of you!

Steve, who’s an amazing artist himself, captured the whole thing with his camera and put together one heck of a video.

I dare you to watch it and not smile.

When you see how much fun these incredible art adventurers are having, you’ll wanna join in.

And you can!  Spots are still open in the class.  You can find out more by clicking on the link HERE.

We all need the spark of inspiration to help us break through our stuck-ness.  We all need to play.  And we all need to remember to have a little fun.

Right on.

**How do YOU break through your own sense of stuck-ness?  Drop me a line.  I’d love to hear from you.

 

12 Comments

Aloha on the road

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, molokai, halawa valley, ukulele, aloha, kamaka ukulele, pilipo solatorio, anakala pilipo

I’m sitting at a gate at the Boise airport while I type this.  We’re doing some traveling this week–and not work-related, per se.  Well, I can’t say that; not really.  I mean, even though I didn’t set out on this journey for “official” Accidental Hawaiian Crooner business, I can’t ever really stop working when my job is sharing Aloha.  Right?  It’s something that you just do all the time.  Like breathing.

Traveling through an airport has become somewhat predictable.  When I reach the TSA security checkpoint, I put my ‘ukulele up on the belt to be x-rayed.  Without fail, someone always asks, “What’s that?  A violin?”  And I smile and say “‘ukulele,” pronouncing it Hawaiian-style: oo-koo-leh-leh, which normally leads to their eyebrows going up like question marks.   Then I say it, again, but this time I pronounce in a more-familiar-to-western ears way: yoo-koo-lay-lee, and they smile.  It gives me the opportunity to tell folks that I play traditional and contemporary Hawaiian music and they smile.  Maybe they’ll ask another question (“Like Don Ho?”) or maybe we just leave it at that.

I give ‘em a shaka as I pick up my ‘ukulele on the other side.

Yup, even an action as simple as that is a way of sharing Aloha.  A way to share a smile and just a little bit of love in what’s normally a stress-filled situation.

It’s an honor to continue the tradition of Hālawa Valley: carrying Aloha in my heart and planting seeds wherever I go.

Right on.

May we all find ways to plant seeds of Aloha today.

4 Comments

Strummin’ in the City (#86)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Molokai, Kamaka, ukulele, urban strummer, strummin in the city, Pilipo, Halawa Valley, Anakala Pilipo

Springtime strummin’. Right on. (Kamaka soprano ‘ukulele)

A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.

But you never know when you might feel like strumming! And as Pops is always quick to advise: Ho’omākaukau. Be prepared.

Ah… the life of an urban strummer!

(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out www.kamakahawaii.com for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)

off
Jason Poole, Accidental Hawaiian Crooner, Kamaka, Kamaka 'ukulele, ukulele, Super Bowl, Super Bowl Blvd., Times Square, NYC, Aloha, urban strummer

A shot of Super Bowl Madness–seen thru the eyes of an urban strummer. (Kamaka soprano/standard ‘ukulele)

A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.

But you never know when you might feel like strumming! And as Pops is always quick to advise: E ho’omākaukau. Be prepared.

Ah… the life of an urban strummer!

(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out www.kamakahawaii.com for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)

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Strummin’ in the City (#80)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

kamaka, jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, strummin' in the city, urban strummer

An autumn afternoon strum in NYC! (Kamaka soprano/standard ‘ukulele in Inwood, NYC 10.23.12)

A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.

But you never know when you might feel like strumming! And as Pops is always quick to advise: E ho’omākaukau. Be prepared.

Ah… the life of an urban strummer!

(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out www.kamakahawaii.com for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)

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Strummin’ in the City (#78)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

jason poole, accidental hawaiian crooner, kamaka, kamaka hawaii, ukulele, tenor ukulele, urban strummer, strummin' in the city

War and Peace: An antique cannon and my Kamaka 6-string Tenor 'ukulele. (Fort Tryon Park, NYC 10.8.12)

A lot of folks find it hard to believe that I carry my ‘ukulele with me all the time.

But you never know when you might feel like strumming! And as Pops is always quick to advise: E ho’omākaukau. Be prepared.

Ah… the life of an urban strummer!

(Do you like the ʻukulele in the photo? Check out www.kamakahawaii.com for some of the best ʻukuleles on the planet!)

2 Comments