Mary Carter - strength by experiment
Mary Carter, 23, will be performing a union between song and dance at this weeks For Locals By Locals event. In her own words, “I will have an ambient track playing from one of the films I just produced with a friend Dylan Schnitker, I’ll be dancing with-in the track as well as singing throughout it”. Without spilling the beans before the event, Mary is quite talented.
Mary started dancing as a ballerina in her hometown of Saint Louis when she was three, laying the foundation for her ambition to be a dancer. In 2008 after finishing high school she following her passion leading to the Alvin Ailey School for dance, a prominent dance school in Manhattan. For 2 year she trained in a highly competitive environment, continually challenging herself to offer a peek performance and eventually leading her to start creating dance pieces of her own. As a bright young girl she put her schooling into perspective, by applying what she felt necessary and taking away what was relatable and adapting it into her own routines.
“I moved to New York, because I wanted to immerse myself into all the worlds that I knew were inside of me, waiting to have a platform to stand on”. Primarily wanting to dance and keeping that as the foundation for her creative expression, it was also the beginning of her exploration to other genres of creativity. Following her classes at Ailey, Mary put herself through acting school for several years, getting extra motivation from suggestion of a close friend.
While in acting school, Mary discovered yet another talent that had not previously been an objective, the talent of singing. Following that epiphany, she went on the journey of lyrically and musically composing melodies and tunes of her own. Now two years later, she still won’t really consider herself a “musician”, a truly humble opinion of herself as we will all soon find out.
No easy feat, Mary follows the “wave” (the inconstant flow that is life) and takes everything in her life as a sign for growth, leading to new experiences and inspirations, both personally and professionally. An example of how Mary pulls her inspiration, whether they be lyrically, compositionally or through dance, is explained in her own words about one of her latest pieces.
“I've recently performed a piece called R.E.M sleep, which was about anxiety. My inspiration came one day while walking, I saw this vertical image hanging on the side of a building and in the image was a girl laying down in a bed of lush green grass with her eyes closed. That image intrigued me to start thinking about my own recent dreams, which were vivid with anxiety, where my teeth would fall out, or I wasn't able to put my clothes on correctly, or I would fall asleep in random places for whatever reason. Also during that time, there was a melody from an Animal Collective track I've been listening to on repeat, it has this characteristic of a soundscape that could be played endlessly over a dream, so I then incorporated the two. To finish the piece I added a lullaby my Mom used to sing which was very dear to me, finishing my first rendition of this piece which is continuously evolving’”.
I concluded the interview by asking Mary to share what it is she applies to her life, what drives her to stay focused, as well as something that she can pass on for others in her position. Here is what she had to say: “Do! Show up! Try and foresee bumps coming and just plow through them by staying active, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and the moment you let down that wall, anything can happen!”