Today we’d like to introduce you to Ben Caron.
Ben, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I grew up in a small, rural farm town in Iowa, where I was so passionate about singing that I used to do farm chores while singing Garth Brooks, Elton John, Mariah Carey and Reba McIntire songs full voice. I would host concerts in our barn for the farm animals, and on a third-grade questionnaire when I was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I answered, “Singer/veterinarian.” (There is still a part of me that hopes to someday open an animal shelter.)
In high school, I was drawn to the arts and was involved in every performing opportunity I could get access to: theater, band, show choir. I taught myself remedial guitar and started writing original music that I’d play at variety shows and for friends.
Toward the end of high school, I applied to two colleges: my dream school (Tisch at NYU) and my practical choice (Iowa State.) I submitted a video audition for Tisch that I can admit now must have been truly terrible. I was (rightly) rejected, and I accepted that my fate was to go to Iowa State, intending to eventually become a lawyer.
On the day that I was supposed to accept my admission to Iowa State, I went to my parents and told them that I just couldn’t do it. I had to follow my dreams and move to LA. I researched a 4-year public university that was luckily still accepting applications, and that Fall I flew out to live in the city for the first time in my life. I’m very grateful that my parents fully supported and continue to support my choices.
Moving to LA was the best decision I’ve ever made. I enrolled in the theater and music programs at CSULA where I had great mentors and teachers who connected me to career-furthering opportunities. I landed in a diverse, accepting group of friends who opened my mind about race, religion, politics, music and sexuality. I continued to write music, and eventually, after college, decided to make music my main focus.
I’m grateful to have lived a really phenomenal life with a very diverse career. I’ve worked in theater as a playwright, actor, stage manager, director and production manager. In music, I am hired as a recording artist, session vocalist, concert director and featured live performer. I’ve done voice over, radio hosting and ADR. I’ve had jobs in digital marketing and video production, produced numerous concerts, events, conferences and festivals. I’ve also released two fan-funded independent solo albums and four EPs, and in the past few years I’ve studied many different spiritual traditions to incorporate spirituality into my music and live performances. It’s been a really fun, wild ride. I’ve never been bored.
Now my passion is writing music and producing events for self-realization and personal transformation. I love exploring the intersections of live music, theater, ritual and spirituality. I believe that transformational events, videos and music are going to be some of the most powerful drivers in healing the planet and creating a more sustainable, peaceful, abundant and compassionate society for everyone. I’m glad to live in this time when we get to turn things around and save the planet together.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
In relationship to the level of struggle and oppression that people of color, women, trans-people, immigrants and people experiencing poverty face every day around the globe, I haven’t really struggled much in my life.
That being said, what struggles I have had have been related to de-programming behaviors I developed to protect myself from childhood trauma.
I’m gay but I was closeted until I was 22. As someone who grew up closeted, fearing that I’d be rejected for my sexuality, I developed a lot of protective behaviors that made sense in my childhood but limited my ability to truly connect with others or to be fully realized as an adult.
One of those behaviors was performing masculinity. When I was growing up, people felt threatened by men behaving effeminately. So, to keep from being bullied or outed, I masculinized how I walked, how I talked, and how I behaved in every way. I learned to perform the part of a masculine man (albeit not very successfully) for my own safety, which made me live my life inauthentically.
As an adult, I’ve had to work to figure out which parts of me were a performance and which parts were real. I’ve learned to reconnect with, accept and empower the feminine aspects of myself, understanding that only when I’m fully realized in both my masculine and feminine power will I be a whole, actualized being.
I’ve also had to learn to reconnect to the power of my emotions and the wisdom of my heart. As a child, I grew afraid of showing emotion or affection. So I became very cerebral and analytical, always trying to think two steps ahead of everyone to protect myself. I learned to suppress my emotions and guarded my affections.
As an adult, I continue to practice reconnecting with my heart. I am learning to listen to and honor my emotions to develop more empathy, self-awareness and compassion. I want to feel, rather than only think through all of my decisions. I want to have the courage to let myself be fully seen by the people I love. I want to experience the fullness of the human experience.
I think this work not only helps me as a person, but it also helps me as an artist, an entrepreneur and a citizen. My wish for every person is that they have the opportunity, time and resources to be able to do this self-work so they too can find more authenticity, self-realization and personal power.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
As a musician, I write and perform songs about self-realization, love (and self-love) and compassion in order to heal myself and heal the world. My hope is that by honestly sharing my personal experiences, struggles and triumphs, I can inspire the listener to persevere in their own journey toward a liberated, empowered, heart-based life.
That same intention exists in the transformational content (videos, blog posts) and events that I produce under my production company Ben Caron Creates. I love to create experiences where the participant/audience leaves in an elevated, activated state so that they can bring that new energy and perspective into their relationships and their interactions with the world around them.
My motto is: “inspire joy, invite hope, incite peace, invoke love.” Joy, hope, peace and love. That’s what I hope to generate in everything I do. I aim to be a blessing to everyone I meet.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I would say that the most powerful way that luck has played into my life is in my privilege as a middle-class, white, cis-gendered American male. I started with a lot of unearned advantages in this life that other people don’t have, just sheerly by being born into a specific body at a specific place and time, to specific people.
Additionally, I was very lucky to have been well-supported and loved by my parents, my family, my friends and my community my whole life. I’m lucky to have met my wonderful husband when I did and to have been given some rare, incredible opportunities in life to grow, evolve and succeed.
I say all this to shine a light on the fact that many people in our world have to expend a lot of psychological and emotional energy navigating the oppressive forces of our society in order to survive. In understanding that I hope to use my privilege to be an ally and to help deconstruct the inequities of our society in order to support those who don’t have my same privileges, so we all might reach our fullest potential, together.
- Website: www.bencaroncreates.com
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/bencaroncreates
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/bencaroncreates
- Other: www.youtube.com/bencaroncreates
Photography by Janis Yue (first photo uploaded, green shirt), James Byous (photo w/ class w/ hands on hearts), Will Smart (gold jacket & black t-shirt), Trent Lanz (white tank top), Jon Faifer (crowd shot & suit w/ microphone)
Sponsor Shoutout: Check out @dafreckledpoet on Instagram or some of her work below: