Amy Steinberg

Written by Shane “Mr. Red” Elks

“Spiritual Living and Singing” Interview with Amy Steinberg
by: Shane Elks

Amy Steinberg"Intimate With the Infinite" is the latest full album released by singer/songwriter Amy Steinberg. If you first experience her by recording or live, you will fall deep for this lady. It is rare indeed to hear a soulful, bluesy voice sing about relationships and life's course... and leave uplifted and feeling damn good. But somehow this artist does just that to you.  Maybe it is her experience with The Spiritual Living Center. Maybe it is her newly adapted mantra "I don't care what people think about me". Or maybe it is that you have fallen in love at first sound.

First of all, I love the new hair. Work it out!
Thank you.  It’s such a big shift for me.

I admire that you take risks. What has been your most major risk that paid off?
Hmmm major risk?  Let me think a for a second.

Take your time.
I think performing my own music years ago at an open mic was the most terrifying thing.  Then there was the writing and performing of one person shows.  That was extremely exposing and very scary, but it was a huge payoff. I think any artist doing their own thang is risky.

Well if anything, you are definitely doing your own thing. The first time I heard you was at The Kitty Cabaret where we shared the stage. I was like “Holy sh*t this gal can blow”. Who would you say is your biggest idol?
Another good question. Today? Comedian Joan Rivers. She is hilarious and has had a long, successful career. Musically my idol is probably Bette Midler. She gives the best show.  She's brilliant and hilarious. In the New Thought music movement, my favorite is Karen Drucker.  She's taught me a lot about writing from the heart space. These are all Jews mind you.

Ha ha. Well when it comes to entertainment, I miss the old days of Mel Brooks putting together Madeline Kahn and Gene Wilder and the outstanding Jew Crew.
Yes.  That was pretty much what I was raised on.

You know Bette is God to me.
She is amazing.

I feel a bit of Janis in you, as well.
That's kind of an accident and I get that a lot. I think she's a great artist, but I've never been a huge fan. I think what people hear is Meatloaf and mistake it for Janis.

When you are writing do you try to stick to a certain genre or do you just allow all your different sides to express themselves how they will?
I don't have any rules at all.

Just to remain fabulous?
I kinda have my own rhythmic thing that I slip into naturally and I try to fight it, but we all have our song.

When did you become involved with the Spiritual Living Center?
I started working at the Boca Center for Spiritual Living in 2009, I believe.  I'm not great with dates. Then I moved here two years ago to work at the Spiritual Living Center of Charlotte.

So your move was strictly to work at the center?

What is your exact title?
I'm music director at SLC but I was lucky enough to get a job teaching theater and music at the Children's Theater of Charlotte, as well.

Teaching has become my new passion.  Has the experience at Children's Theater changed you completely?
Well, I've taught music and theater for years, but CTC is very cool. It's a wonderful place.  I'm always torn between whether to go full time teacher or full time performer or just keep doing it all. I love to teach as it fills my cup to overflowing but performing is in my bones

I know how you feel completely but I have learned to live in the now.  If more opportunities arise, then so be it.  At the moment I am focusing on teaching.  That doesn't mean that I can't always book a show or two and writing can only stop when I put down my pen.  Do you find yourself constantly writing, or do you only write when inspired by a desire that can not be ignored?
Sadly, I do not constantly write.  I write when I have something burning in me that I need to say.

Does Music Directing at The Spiritual Center qualify as performing, worshiping or celebrating?
ALL of it. It is certainly performing and very much celebrating.  I love it.  You should come!

What type of music would one expect when visiting The Spiritual Living Center?
They can expect uplifting, pop, and original music with some New Thought stuff, too.

Could anyone join your choir?
Yes.  All you have to do it show up at 9am on a Sunday and you are in.

Is it hard to keep The Center and your personal shows separate?
Sometimes but not really. The Center is so liberal but I do have to keep it clean which is sometimes challenging for me.  I have potty mouth.

How has the reaction to your latest masterpiece been?
Aw, that is so sweet to say.  I've gotten great feedback from fans and friends. I haven't put it out there for review, but I'd be interested to hear what 'critics' would say.  I'm sure they'd love it.  Ha ha.

Do you feel that putting it all out there draws people to you or pushes them away?  For me it is nothing but attraction.
I've come to an interesting place in my life where I really don't care what people think. There are always going to be people who don't feel the music or me, but I find that authenticity in general is what attracts the right people into your life.

There are few who embody their art.  You are a walking masterpiece of beauty and self expression. I wish more of today's artists could remain true to themselves in turn inspiring others to do so.  I believe if others could fully express their inner selves more then maybe they would not look to such drastic and dark places for attention.  How has art saved you?
Art, theater and music are my saviors for sure. They have made me find community, made me feel purposeful, and have given me a reason to open my heart and let it all out. I think if you don't have a means of creative expression FIND ONE!

Thank you for your art.  Thank you for your light.
Thank you for asking me about all this. It really means a lot to me. I adore you.


Shane Elks   Shane Elks

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