things to do before i die – sharon van etten

Music and acting make up just a fraction of the items on Sharon Van Etten's bucket list, as we found out when we chatted to the talented muso for frankie issue 89. Below, Sharon shares a few of her long (and short-term) goals. 

sharon blog body

Get my degree in mental-health counselling. I’ve realised over the years that music is therapeutic for me and for fans – I’m able to say what they can’t communicate in their own emotions. It’s made me want to help people express themselves in a more positive way. I have a long way to go – I'm only a second-year student, but I’ve set the bar to get my degree by the age of 50.

Perform on Broadway, just once. Growing up, Mum would take me to New York for our birthdays every year (they’re just three days apart). We’d get a hotel, go to a fancy dinner and then go to Broadway. Before I learned to write my own songs, I thought I wanted to do musicals; my favourites were West Side Story, Les Misérables, and Phantom of the Opera. Maybe I should relive my high school speaking role as Anybodys in West Side Story.

Take a knife skills class. Chefs say all you need is one really good knife, but I think you also have to have knowledge. I’d love to know the secrets of julienning, chopping, and basic things like cutting onions or how to stop tomatoes from smudging all over your chopping board.

Play in someone else’s band for a while. I’d like to play drums or bass or whatever. It would be nice not worrying about singing all the time and instead learning how to shred in someone else’s band. Having one job: go play bass, then leave. I think playing with Courtney Barnett would be really fun, but I don’t know if I’m good enough.

Volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Habitat for Humanity is an organisation where you go and build a house for a low-income family. There are about 50 people in a team, and you construct something together for someone who really needs it. My uncle used to do it and I think it would be really rewarding.

Read the rest of Sharon's retirement plan in frankie issue 89, on sale now. Nab a copy here, or subscribe from $10.50.

To catch Sharon live in concert (highly recommended), head here. She'll be stopping by the following Australian cities:
Sydney – June 1st
Brisbane – June 7th
Hobart – June 9th
Melbourne – June 11th


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