We had the good fortune of connecting with Lisbeth Scott and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lisbeth, how do you think about risk?
How do I feel about risk taking? As an artist in any field, risk taking is a way of life. It is at once terrifying and blissfully rewarding, and it is an absolute necessity. Without taking risks, we as humans never, ever learn what we are truly capable of. To have the temerity to look at an art form and say to yourself “I could do that, and I could make a living doing it” is a unique form of insanity that only creative artists know!! But the interesting thing is, that risk taking is not only essential for artists. It is essential to being an awake and empowered human being. If you don’t risk playing that chord that you don’t normally play, how can you experience where it will take you next? And if you don’t risk saying a bumbling hello to that intriguing person you see in the park every day , how will you ever find out if they are a future love or friend? Risk is an essential part of daily life. And the rewards are infinite. I studied classical piano from the age of 6 to 25. Practicing was my happy place, my safe place.I have always been a shy person, so being able to express deep and dark emotions on a keyboard was like discovering the wheel for me. But one of my biggest secrets was that I always wanted to sing. I would hide in my closet using the clothing as a baffle, and sing my heart out, confident that no one could hear me! But here is the beauty of life….when something is meant to be, the universe conspires to make it happen!! You cannot avoid who you truly are. Whether you choose to embrace it or not is your choice. So one day I was playing piano for a modern dance class in the hills of Idyllwild (I had gotten a summer job as dance accompanist) and I was quietly singing along to the melodies I was improvising. The musician in the next studio heard me. He happened to have just started an internship with Hans Zimmer. He asked me if I would be interested in singing for Hans on a new film he was composing. Now here is a perfect example of risk taking. 1. I really didn’t know I could sing well or that anyone would want to listen. 2. I had no idea what would happen if I stepped in front of a microphone with Hans Zimmer in the room…maybe I would just squeak like a mouse? 3. I had never used my full voice in front of anyone before and the thought was skin crawlingly horrifying. But I said yes! And each day forward has been a process of looking risk in the face and saying, I can do this, and I will do this, ….and if I fail, well I’ll forgive myself because at least I tried!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a film composer, singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. I began my career by picking up and moving to Los Angeles from Boston after I graduated from college where I majored in piano performance. I had nothing but 2 suitcases and stayed in a dorm room when I arrived because I had nowhere else to go. I got a job playing music for dance classes. Though I came to find my voice relatively late, my voice soon became my career. I have been a featured vocalist on over 150 films and television shows, I have written songs for many of them. I have collaborated with Steven Spielberg, John Williams, James Horner, John Debney, Harry Gregson Williams, Mark Isham, Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard, Nathan Barr and appeared on many of Hollywood’s blockbusters including Shrek, Narnia, and Avatar. Once I realized I had this gift, I worked like mad, staying up all night to produce and record songs so I could pitch them to shows, creating vocal reels to share with vocal contractors, touring all over the US and Europe with my band and alone, filming videos and generally knocking down every door I could that might lead to an opportunity . The unique quality of my voice is what gave me these opportunities . I didn’t know that what I did was special until I started to get job after job singing on film after film. Then it slowly started to sink in. I began bringing my songs to film sessions to share with whomever I met. Mind you all of this was very difficult for me, as I am a pretty shy person. But I loved what I did so very much, that I was willing to take risk after risk to create more opportunities. I have always set clear intentions with my music. I’ve always wanted my voice and music to have a positive and healing effect on whoever hears it, regardless of the context. I began receiving letters and emails from people all over the world, telling me my voice was moving them, helping them through hard times, that my voice was lifting their spirits, calming their children and more. This strengthened my belief that I was doing exactly what I should be doing. But the music and film industry are notoriously cut throat places to make a living. So when the going got rough, I began writing affirmations for myself and putting them everywhere! My walls were covered with positive messages to keep me going! Having a strong personal foundation and a supportive community of friends is important. I slowly_ found a community of wonderful people and the work really flowed. During that time I also signed with the Hearts of Space label in New York and they continue to release my recordings. Several years ago, a director asked if I would score his film. I had been working with and observing the most sought after Hollywood composers so I conquered my fears and dove in. I have always been inspired by visuals so scoring films made absolute sense to me. That first film was a huge learning experience on every level. Each scoring project made more sense than the last as I moved forward. I began to develop, understand, and have faith in my own personal style and am honored and humbled that I am able to make a living doing what I love.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hm, that’s a tough one to answer during Covid. But I’ll answer looking forward to when our world can get back to normal….. I am a health food junkie, lover of classical music and nature enthusiast so….we’d start with a gorgeous 2 hour hike at Los Liones trail in Pacific Palisades. There is an expansive view of the ocean the entire time. When we’re done with the hike and have worked up a nice sweat, we’ll head over to Juicy Ladies on Sunset and PCH for a delicious Chocolate Almond Shake. From there we’ll hop in the car and drive up to Point Dume in Malibu, one of the most beautiful settings in Southern California. There’s a small trail that goes to a cliff overlooking the Pacific where you can see, and hear, the seals, dolphins, and if it’s the right time of year and you’re very lucky, whales! From there we’ll head back to Venice Beach to grab lunch at Cafe Gratitude on Rose Avenue, my favorite spot to eat. Plant based, gluten free , and delicious! We’ll take something to go as well because tonight we’re heading to The Hollywood Bowl where we’ll finish off this perfect day listening to a concert under the stars and sipping something bubbly. So that’s my LA hang! There are of course, so many other places to visit but those are my favorites!
Who would like to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to dedicate my shoutout to composer Nathan Barr for pushing me to discover my inner composer and the brilliance that lives inside me…….My wonderful agent Patty Macmillan for having more faith in me than I do in myself…..and of course my awesome line up of die hard friends who are always there to pick me up off the floor…you know who you are! Without you all, I wouldn’t be here!
Linkedin: LIsbeth Scott
Other: Spotify https://fanlink.to/lisbethscottloveyourself
Photo by Amanda Sayeg