Who: Caroline Fourmy
What: Singer and actress
Artist’s Chosen Location for Interview: In her breezy main room with a towering ceiling and a blanket covered couch.
Q: What’s an action—outside of basic habits or survival—that you do everyday?
A: I write everyday. Although, to me that’s kind of survival, because that’s my mental survival. It’s a lot of me talking to God and asking, ‘Okay, universe, what’s today about? I’m struggling with this idea, so what are we going to do?’ There are also lists of gratitude in there, as well as a whole bunch of questions that revolve around, ‘What the hell?’
I’ve figured some of those questions out. There was an interesting one lately. I was thinking about the issue of control since there’s so little we have control over. The illusion for me is that control gives me a sense of knowledge or understanding. I’ve been working with this illusion for a long time and believing that control makes me feel safe. Just ask my roommates, they’ll let you know that I’m a little bit of a control freak! Sorry, guys!
What I discovered is that control doesn’t make me feel safe at all. It makes me feel exhausted. It’s love that makes me feel safe.
Q: What do you look at when you sing?
A: It depends on the song. Sometimes I’ll treat the song like a monologue, and I’ll picture a specific person, and I’ll talk to them through the song.
Other times, I’m just enjoying the crowd and the art of bringing a song to them. It’s a sweet thing. I love it when there are kids in the crowd because they’re confused and amused, so I love looking at them and soaking in their goodness.
Q: Is there something you’ve refused to adapt to?
A: Yes. I’ve never truly adapted to the idea that you have to have a nine to five job as the sole source of your life. I struggle with this in some ways. Some days I think having a nine to five would be a great refuge—where I could just go in, do my thing, and be done, but I’ve done that, and it totally sucks.
I was working for a ballroom company in Chicago, and I was their studio coordinator before they got a manager. I hated it. I was sneaking my own side projects into work everyday. When I finally quit that job—and I’m going to be fully honest here—it came with a rough patch. Then I moved to New Orleans and eventually I started teaching at a charter school.
That was the hardest job I’ve ever done. It basically destroyed me. I was teaching dance and fitness, and I had taught kids before—here and there—but I was in no way prepared to be a full-time teacher. I was working with students that ranged from pre-k to 6th grade, there were seven classes a day, we were dancing on concrete all day, and many of the kids had intense needs that I was not equipped to deal with. It basically broke my heart everyday because I loved the kids—they were so amazing—and I felt so inadequate as their teacher.
So I started having these little in between jobs, and it fit so much better. It is so much more sane. I get to create on my own time, and I get to work part-time where the hours are flexible.
Of course, there’s a Catch 22 to all of these things, but the diversity works for me. I helped with the Birdfoot Festival. I’m an actor, and I was in the show, Always Patsy Cline at the WWII museum. I’ll get called for film roles, which is always great because they’re fun and pay well. I work in theater. There’s a brand new company in New Orleans called Drowning in Blue, and I’m doing a one-act festival with them. I sing at the Maison, and I got a call today to do a show in Rockport. I never know what the universe is going to give me each day.
Q: What’s the average length of your normal text?
A: I guess a few sentences. Occasionally there’s a little one-word something, but I usually write a full sentence.
Q: Think of one of your favorite songs and tell me what images play in your head when you hear it.
A: Okay. Alright, a little clichéd at this point, but one of my favorite songs is Jeff Buckley’s version of ‘Hallelujah’. When I hear that song, memories of growing up in Memphis go through my head. I have an older brother, much older—by thirteen years. He and his friends were all artists, some of them were musicians, and they were all just so cool. They were into Jeff Buckley, who was alive at the time.
My cousin’s band opened for Jeff Buckley in Memphis when I was in sixth grade, and it was amazing. I was this awkward sixth grader in a Beatles t-shirt, and that image plays in my head—me being at that concert—when I hear that song. Memphis in general also goes through my head when I hear that song. The ‘M’ Bridge. The Skyline. I think about that.
And I think about Jeff Buckley himself. It’s so hard to hear about these amazing artists who leave us too soon. Elvis is another one of those artists that goes along with that narrative of talented artists who have a hard time being in this world and dying early. That goes through my mind—that narrative or symbol—a lot and really bothers me. It doesn’t have to be like that. And damn it, I don’t want it to be like that. Life is great. It’s lovely, and it comes with crap.
Caroline Fourmy is a singer and actress. You can hear and purchase her music on her website, and find out about her upcoming gigs and current projects from Moonshine and Caroline. The one act play with Drowning in Blue is due to hit New Orleans this August.