The Magic of My Musical Journey to New Frontiers
Last night, like almost every night for the last 15 years, I was on stage.
For a long moment I forgot about the audience, forgot that I was performing, and I just dove into the music, the breeze, the lights…
I felt like the luckiest girl in the world, to be creating music with my best friends and bringing people these joyful moments of togetherness, all of us forgetting about time and cell phones.
There's no question, music is real magic on Planet Earth.
It's a time machine.
A ship to outer space.
Being an artist means knowing your center, being proud of your path and values, being capable of withstanding criticism and negative energy, and being able to graciously embrace tons of love and human attention.
Being an artist also means constantly needing to improve yourself, without becoming cynical to the purest things in everyday life.
You never, ever, stop moving forward.
My name is Marina Maximilian, and I am one of the most important musicians in Israel.
However, outside of Israel, people know nothing about me.
I have fulfilled almost all of my goals here in my home base, but I haven't even begun to scratch the surface when it comes to fulfilling my dreams outside my country.
To me, this gap evokes the essence of beauty in life:
No matter how big and experienced we are, we will always be like newborns when we venture into new territory.
It takes modesty to take a deep breath and start all over again with the same but different passion in our hearts.
This takes me back to the moments that made me realize I wanted to know everything about music.
When I was a girl, my older brother worked in theaters. The moments I loved the most were the ones when the camera was off and the show took an unexpected turn. What happened behind the scenes always seemed so fascinating to me.
Today I know that in real life, the actual performance is such a small part of an artist's career, and that if you don't love to make music, you can't survive in this tricky and terribly dynamic profession.
Growing up as an opera singer and classical pianist, I was deeply in love with Maria Callas.
Her dramatic and powerful performance, the way she sang her soul out and brought her roughness and fragility to every note—it mesmerized me!
Looking at it today, I can easily see how life was clueing me in to the intense and flammable character I was about to develop into as a grownup. ;)
Over the years I felt like I wanted to make a statement. To invent an emotion of my own. I realized that in classical music I would only be performing someone else's ideas, so naturally, I fell in love with jazz. Everything that was forbidden in classical music was now allowed!
That's why when I heard Sarah Vaughan I was enchanted.
Her thick voice with that big vibrato and her jazz intelligence and interpretation … !
She and Ella Fitzgerald's humor and freedom of expression.
The power of interpretation! It opened something in me…
A few years later I had the courage to say: I not only improvise, I create!
I was inspired by the likes of Björk, Dana International, Kate Bush, Liza Minnelli and many more and have since created my own body of work.
And why am I sharing all this with you?
Because I'm standing at an interesting juncture.
What's interesting about being a somebody in one country and a nobody in the rest of the world is the opportunity to reconnect to that ancient source of passion that gives us the power to go further and overcome failures on our way.
It takes modesty to trust that life has brought us to the right place and to remember that our luck has no limit or expiration date.
But why should I completely unsettle my reality for such a farfetched dream?
Because when I feel the breeze in my hair and the electricity in my body, connecting me with the people I'm singing to through the music flowing through my band and through me, I remember there's a magical flow.
And I want to know I did everything I could to make sure my life was custom-made for me.
I want to know that I followed my inner voice.
And that I had the courage to reach out and grab life, and I will never feel regret for not having given myself a chance.
Today I am 34 years old.
A happy wife and mother of two amazing girls.
A Ukrainian-Israeli immigrant.
A musician and an actress.
A successful newborn. :)
And my wish for us all is:
May we all dream as kids.
And fulfill ourselves as grownups.