Get to know CAM Ambassador Kara O’Brien with this Q & A!
What brought you to UC Denver, and specifically the College of Arts and Media?
I was a private student of Dr. Judith Coe for many years, and came to UCD and CAM in order to study voice with her.
What concentration do you find yourself leaning towards the most? Why? When did you get started?
I started at UCD in 2010 as a double major in Vocal Performance and Creative Writing. As I continued my studies, however, I became more and more interested in the industry side of music, so I switched to Vocal Performance and Music Business, with a minor in English.
What helps you get inspired?
Tea and books. Music and poetry and fencing.
Do you have any rituals to get yourself motivated when you work?
If possible I make tea, or go to a teashop. I prefer to work in the quiet with some nice music going, and some good books nearby.
Where is the best place to see art, in your opinion?
Oh man…wherever you can find it! I love visiting art museums and going to concerts, but it’s also wonderful when you just stumble across art during your day. There’s something extra wonderful about art that takes you by surprise and changes your day.
Do you think traveling while representing CAM has been a fulfilling experience? Why?
Many people have noted that travel broadens the mind and allows you to reassess your place in the world. Personally, I think that travel should be a part of every education. Representing CAM makes travel even more fun, because it gives you a chance to meet a wider variety of people. Being able to introduce yourself as an ambassador for CAM gives you an immediate conversation topic that you can be passionate about, and a way to connect with people.
What is your favorite part of being in the CAM program?
Wow…there are so many! I think our teachers are some of the best in the world, and I absolutely love being in their classes. I also love getting to meet all the wonderful students in our program and hearing about their plans and see where they go when they graduate.
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle
What is your favorite movie/film that you’ve ever seen?
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
Who is your favorite non-mainstream artist and why?
As a music major, I am most familiar with musicians, obviously, so I’ll stick to those for my favorites. I’m stuck between Punch Brothers and the Milk Carton Kids, both greats in the folk/americana genres at the moment. If you haven’t heard them, check them out!
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever done for your art? Do you regret it?
Hmm…Well, joining the UCD bluegrass ensemble as a mandolinist without even having played mandolin—or any fretted instrument—was pretty weird. One of the best decision of my life, though!
Who is your biggest inspiration?
I am inspired by many things. Great writers and thinkers, great musicians past and present, teachers and my fellow students, artists, and people all around me. I couldn’t list a specific person, because I tend to find inspiration in strange places at odd moments.
Do you think anything can be art? Explain
Yeah, that discussion would take up about fifty pages. I think everybody has to make up their own minds about what art means to them.
If you had to create a new crayon, what color and name would it be and why?
Earl Grey. Deep red-brown. Because nothing is a beautiful as a good cup of tea.
What is your favorite location to go to in Denver?
The closest bookstore.
Where is your hometown?
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Tatting, reading, fencing, history, literature, philosophy, blogging, writing, and whatever else takes my fancy.