Phoebe Bridgers, A Day In the Life – Stories From The Stream

Steve O'Bryan Artist Profiles, Performing Arts

 artzray trailer for stories from the stream

Artzray Host, Marisa Reisel had the opportunity to sit down and talk with independent singer songwriter, Phoebe Bridgers. This video is an episode of our “Stories From The Stream” video series. Marisa and Phoebe talk in a classic ’93 Airstream Sovereign about what a day in the life looks like for Phoebe as a young singer songwriter. Phoebe performs her new release “Killer” at the end and shares some favorite vinyl records with Marisa.

Phoebe is busy performing around the country and says of her music career that she “never had a Plan B.” Her latest release KILLER is out now on Paxam Records at

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18 Books Every Artist Should Read Before You’re 18

Jacqueline Abelson Books, Career Advice, Student Resources, Writing

stack of books - photo by Casey FleserPhoto by Casey Fleser

Everyone has their list of books that nurture and inspire them, but this list gets to the literary heart of every artist, not to mention that nine of them have been made into great films!

lifeodpi1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi is a book that everyone should read in their young age. Raising complex and religious questions, the novel is centered around a philosophical youth named Pi who finds himself adrift the middle of the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat . . . with a Bengal tiger (Yikes!). Yann Martel weaves a story full of delicate and beautiful sentences that it almost sounds like prose. The novel is a masterpiece because after the readers feel the emotions and endure the moments of heartache, that they suddenly realize that the book is not what they thought it was to begin with.

Best Quote from the Book: Life is so beautiful that death has fallen in love with it, a jealous, possessive love that grabs at what it can. But life leaps over oblivion lightly, losing only a thing or two of no importance, and gloom is but the passing shadow of a cloud…

BookThief2. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

Set in Nazi Germany, The Book Thief is narrated by Death who tells the story of Liesel Meminger and her family surviving the hardships of World War II. The book is tremendously powerful and Zusak captures his reader’s attention as he portrays what life was like for the German youths during the war. Characters suffer cruel fates but also are great examples of the power of personal sacrifice, heroism and courage. More so, what makes The Book Thief stand out is that even though the book is dubbed as “Young Adult” it has the literary pretensions written for adults as well. Indeed the novel does have those “good-triumphs-over-evil” type moralizing aspects within the pages, but Zusak pulls it off by removing the self-conscious “literary” aspect that is found in plenty of adult books.

Best Quote from the Book: I wanted to tell the book thief many things, about beauty and brutality. But what could I tell her about those things that she didn’t already know? I wanted to explain that I am constantly overestimating and underestimating the human race-that rarely do I ever simply estimate it. I wanted to ask her how the same thing could be so ugly and so glorious, and its words and stories so damning and brilliant.Read More

5 Tips To Ace Your Auditions

Samantha Jacobs Artist Profiles, Career Advice, Performing Arts


What causes your heart to pound, your palms to sweat and your whole self to be simultaneously terrified and excited? I’m not talking about a crush; I’m talking about the a-word. Auditions.

Auditions are the gateway to advancing your artistic career, whether that’s through theater, dance, voice, etc. This means that despite them being nerve-wracking and anxiety-inducing, auditions can ultimately make or break you.

Luckily, we have some advice on how to ace all of your auditions. Dancer/singer/actress extraordinaire Caribay Franke gave Artzray some sage wisdom on how to prepare for your upcoming auditions.

5 Tips To Ace Your Auditions from Caribay Franke

Caribay Franke

1. Do your research on what, and who you’re auditioning for

Whether you’ve seen the show a million times, or you’ve never even heard of it, do your homework. That means rereading or reading the plot/script. Learn about the historical context, the author’s background, etc. Then find out anything you can about the production, casting director or company you are auditioning for and know their work. Your thoroughness will pay off.

2. Know what the role is about

Don’t play the character – be the character. Whether you have a song, a monologue or a dance solo to portray this, get to know this character ahead of time. Your embodiment will shine through in your audition. Think about what you are wearing. Don’t dress “in character” but do keep it simple, hair out of your face and nothing too trendy or revealing that could distract from your audition.

Read More

Along The Way – Barbara A. Thomason

Steve O'Bryan Career Advice

Along The Way - Artzray

Along The Way Barbara A. Thomason

Along The Way - Barbara A. ThomasonBarbara Thomason shares her thoughts and gives advice about pursuing a career in the arts. Written for our  Along The Way series.

Barbara Thomason is an artist, educator, painter, printmaker, sculptor and public artist, Barbara’s teaching includes: UC Santa Cruz, University of Redlands, Otis College of Art and Design, Calif. Polytechnic University Pomona and Ryman Arts.

Barbara has a new book coming out in Sept. 2014 “100 Not So Famous Views of LA”  which is inspired by nineteenth-century Japanese artist Utagawa Hiroshige’s One Hundred Famous Views of Edo and pre-orders can be made on Amazon.

Along The Way Barbara A Thomason

  1. Trends & Fads – Don’t worry about trends and art fads.  These come and go.  Do the kind of artwork that feels right for you.  The most important thing is truth.  Be true to your instincts about what it is you do best.
  1. Take Chances – Take positive action and don’t be afraid of challenges.  If you take chances you will grow as an artist and as a person.  Try new things! If they don’t work out, so what? Risk failure.
  1. Your Job – Make you artwork your job.  Talent is nothing without discipline.  Remember no one is going to hand you anything unless you work for it. Give yourself deadlines and assignments and keep at it.
  1. Live Your Art – Don’t let other people tell you how you should live your life.  If you want to be an artist, be an artist.  If you love what you do it will take care of you as long as you take care of it.
  1. Keep Learning – Everyone thinks art is easy. It’s not. It takes training, perseverance, passion and hard work.  An artist keeps learning.  It never stops. Every new piece of art is a chance to learn more. Embrace the new.