We had the good fortune of connecting with STEPHANIE GUDEMAN and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi STEPHANIE, let’s start by talking about what inspires you?
I am a musician – singer-songwriter and find a great deal of inspiration from outside of myself. I use instruments, voice and words to replicate and build on something beautiful, joyful or true. I am especially inspired by the art and music in nature and the random acts of kindness. Gratitude. Music can be a powerful cathartic. It is tempting at times to write negative songs or to vent negative feelings. When that happens, I work backwards. Start with the end lesson, something I have learned, rather than to blurt out my anger with a circumstance. When I perform I am inspired by the joy that other people display as they listen to the music we play. The joy and gratitude in me created by watching the happiness of an audience inspires me to write more and play more. It is a beautiful never ending circle.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
It was incredibly easy to follow the dream of playing music. I was fortunate. I rolled into music by mistake, was found by a great teacher, and liked to practice and write. It is always challenging to balance business with music for me personally. I do not come by the business end as easily like many of the musicians I have met. The lesson there is if you play for free you sometimes get treated like you are worth nothing. The other business lesson is do not set a price you will not be happy with in 10 years. It is a lot harder to bid up the next season. Work hard, set a good price, stick to it. I developed my own rules for conduct to make things easy for my bands and clients so we are all successful together. They are simple. Be on time, Look good, play good and if you must speak, pretend like you are speaking to your mom or dad – or God. Be respectful and kind. I do not need the world to know about me or my brand. I want them to feel a postiive change in themselves when they are down. The motivation towards happiness. If I can help bring that about, when I help bring that about, I have done a good job. Lived up to my potential. Given back to the community.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Again, I am pretty fortunate here. Silver City is rich in culture, natural wonders, and history all some of my favorite themes. The people here are warm and welcoming. Maybe we would just go have tea at the Oasis or see a band at the Little Toad Creek Brewery and Distillery. I love taking our guests on a tour of the historic downtown! Also a nice hike to the Gila Cave Dwellings, the Catwalk or just walk our own property at the foothills of the Gila Mountains. Our home is one big room, tons of instruments, we would play with or for our guests letting them stay in the little casita we build from a storage room off of our garage.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Dr James Paul recognized that I had a bit of talent when I took a class many years ago. His infectious love of music across the genres and time lines, Medieval to Classical and beyond turned me from being lost into a musician. I did not have a place in life before I found my musician soul with his help. There are so many people to thank and be grateful for but I would be in big remiss if I were to forget Tom Axworthy and Southern California Entertainment. Tom has led an amazing career that I was honored to be part of. One more, just one more, William Aura of Heartspace, Third Force and Playing for Change really kept my feet on the tracks of positively oriented music. Again, what an honor to work with these amazing people.
Stephanie Gudeman and Bill Harris