For this week’s post, we present Four Questions with Laura Colter. Some of her answers will be no surprise to fellow taiko players who’ve admired her sparkly shoes. Enjoy!
1. TELL US WHO YOU ARE – WHAT YOU DO OTHER THAN TAIKO, AND A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR TAIKO HISTORY.
Outside of taiko, I’m a mom, and a preschool teacher, and my side hustle is something called Color Street. Color Street is at-home nail polish, salon quality at a fraction of a cost. It’s sold like Avon. A friend gave me a sample of it last winter and you know how you get the funk in the winter sometimes? Applying that hint of sparkle to the tips of my fingers just made me happy. Everything has a sparkle about it.
One of the reasons I do it is it allows me to help others. I do a lot of fundraisers through it – I just finished raising funds for a little boy who just had a heart transplant. I pick things I’d love to give to and can’t because of financial reasons. Color Street lets me give back. And it’s such a frivolous first world thing, but it really makes people happy, in such an affordable way.
I came to taiko because I thought it was interesting and I wanted a form of exercise. What I like about taiko is that it keeps me active but also gives back to the community. I’m not just sitting in a cycle studio. I enjoy it, and in turn it gives someone else something to enjoy. That was one of the big draws.
2. HOW HAS LIFE PREPARED YOU FOR TAIKO?
I feel like coming to taiko is out of character for me. At my first intro workshop, I sat down on those benches outside the classroom and people asked, ‘so what are you doing here?’ I said this is my yearly out-of-my-comfort-zone outing. I think it’s important to try to stretch yourself and I don’t do that as often as I should.
3. HOW HAS TAIKO PREPARED YOU FOR LIFE?
I was held back in second grade, which was not a boost to the ego. As a second grader, you think, oh I’m not good enough for anything. You carry that for quite some time, or at least I did. As a child I had unspecified learning disabilities and I was never really taught the way I could learn- hello undiagnosed ADHD. So, I didn’t think I’d ever feel good enough. I think a lot of people feel that way. It’s also the biggest factor in why I became a teacher. I like to find the way a child learns and then teach them.
But in this community, you’re always good enough. I really appreciate Mark for his unique teaching ability – he finds the way we learn, whether we know it or not. I have no musical experience – I was in choir but I didn’t read music, I just sang along with whoever I was standing next to – but he has all the confidence in the world that we’re going to get it. And that has prepared me in other areas of my life to just try it, and it’s ok to goof up, but as long as you show up and give it your best, it’s good enough.
I value the community that I’ve found in taiko. It’s such a welcoming and diverse community and I just really appreciate the confidence Mark has in our abilities. I think there’s something special about being in that room, sharing that energy. It’s like church or sanctuary on a Sunday night. The energy we get from each other is such a nice way to end your weekend and begin your week.
4. TO END ON A LIGHTER NOTE: WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO… GIVE PEOPLE!
Glitter! A twinkle in their eye. The sparkle in their eye, whether because I made them a cupcake, or sat and listened to their concerns and showed up or donated to their cause. I just want to leave people better than when I found them.