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Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland Paperback – September 22, 2013
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"Her book is full of funny narratives about a young woman who is not only passionate about her art but also about life...Indeed, this memoir is a must-read for all who are trying to find their place in the world. In the end, one cannot help but admire Spielberg's drive and determination, not only to reach the pinnacle of success but most especially to find the real measure of her triumphs."-Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite
From the Back Cover
"Who does she think she is, anyway? She's Robin Spielberg, that's who! You'll bask in the glow of Spielberg's spotlight as you follow her gutsy journey from precocious New Jersey school girl to international piano star.-Robin Meloy Goldsby, author of "Piano Girl" and "Waltz of the Asparagus People"
"A wonderfully detailed portrait of the artist...captivating descriptions and beautifully paced flashes of humor and pathos..."-Marion Winik, author of "Highs in the Low Fifties"
"Whimsical and charming, Naked on the Bench reveals that an open heart and sense of humor are essential companions for living life and making art. Robin Spielberg's words are as inspiring as her music!"
-Jenn Gordon, Steinway & Sons, Concert & Artists Dept.
"Irreverent, brave, funny and heart-breaking, "Naked on the Bench" has the appeal of a page turner, the depth of an autobiography, and the lessons from a true artist. It's a wonderful lesson wrapped in a treat." -Felicity Huffman, Oscar nominee/Emmy & Golden Globe-winning actress
Naked on the Bench chronicles Robin Spielberg's journey as accomplished pianist, composer, actor, entrepreneur, producer and touring musician. Her tales from childhood, years as an aspiring actress in New York City and travels as a musician alternate between poignant and hilariously absurd. Whether studying with David Mamet or performing for news anchor Peter Jennings, in her elusive quest for a measurement of success Robin stumbles upon the secret to her dreams in the most unlikely of places.
More About the Author
Her memoir, "Naked on the Bench: My Adventures in Pianoland"(2014 Readers' Favorite GOLD MEDAL WINNER) chronicles both hilarious and poignant stories of her life as piano student, aspiring actress and piano bar entertainer to her Carnegie Hall debut and life on the road as touring concert pianist.Always in search for a measurement of success, Spielberg reveals where she discovered it at last--in the most unlikely of places--away from the spotlight and off-stage.
Spielberg is a Celebrity Artist Spokesperson for The American Music Therapy Association. Her 2014 TedX on the transformative power of music can be found on youtube. Spielberg narrates the audiobook version of her book, available on iTunes and audible.com
Spielberg loves gardening, ping-pong, her cats and her family (not necessarily in that order)
Top Customer Reviews
Next, a brutally honest look about what it means to try to turn a passion for the arts into a career...in this case acting. This book should be given to every young aspiring actor to see what it REALLY means to try to make a career in it.
Finally, as Robin learns to make a career out of music, what it REALLY means to be a professional performing artist. It breaks open imagined story book tales of glamour, and shows the nuts and bolts of what it's about.
Throughout she shares her experiences and what she learns with lots of humor (I literally LOLed...a lot!), with compassion, and incredible intimacy. She really lays bare her soul. If you're familiar with her music or have been to her concerts you will know what I mean. And if you're not, you're in for a treat as you discover this beautiful person who magnanimously shares her window on life with us...after all, isn't that what being an artist is about?
The book begins with a recurring childhood dream where Robin discovers secret rooms inside her piano and is able to meet regularly with a grandfather she had never met and to hear him play. From those magical moments, we travel through the life of a budding artist from her hyperactive childhood thinking everyone must have an orchestra playing in their heads like she did to the poised and polished concert artist she is now. Quite a few chapters recount the years in New York City when Robin played in upscale piano rooms during much of the day and acted in theater productions by night. One of the founding members of the Atlantic Theater Company, she was able to juggle her pianist and acting selves for an impressive period of time, and many of those stories are enlightening, laugh-out-loud funny, and tear-jerking - some all at the same time! Robin also tells her very human stories of love lost, true love found, and the miracle of her daughter, Valerie.Read more ›
Without being too much of a spoiler, I can tell you there were many moments I laughted out loud, several times I cried (once really sobbing), and a few times I shook my head at the absurd situations Robin's been in, during this thoroughly engaging read.
As a fan of Robin Speilberg's music, and a pianist myself, I found a lot of enjoyment in getting to know her better as a person, and a lot to connect with as an artist. Lots of surprises too. Who would have thought her biggest influence as a pianist is.... (you MUST read it to find out - this chapter was one of the most fascinating for me, and I can't believe anyone could ever guess, unless you know Robin.)
I admire Robin very much, not only for the unbelievably gifted pianist and composer she is, but also for disrobing her life, and her heart to us, in taking us with her on her journey to how she finally arrived, baring (but never boring) all along the way. And reading about her arrival brought home for me, even more, how spiecial Robin's story is and why it was time for Robin to write it. Robin, we are all so blessed to have you in this world. Now I can hardly wait for a sequel.
More than an exciting journey, I found nuggets of wisdom which Robin relayed from her mentors and sometimes from her own experience. "Already there" has become my new mantra. And I need to have Robin's courage to allow my soul to be "naked on the bench".
Having been privileged to accompany Robin on her piano pilgrimage, I can now listen to and play her music with fresh insight.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An excellent and engaging memoir, written in a personable and believable style. As a pianist, I could relate to many of Robin's stories, yet one would not need a musical background... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Neil Patton
I highly recommend this book. Ms. Spielberg is a magnificent story teller. I get as if I was right there with her as she would play piano for large groups, or at one point, a... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Laura
I really enjoyed Robin's book - but I love everything about pianos!Published 9 months ago by Lisa K. Hilton
super book by a great pianist.....very funny.....just like being with her at one of her concerts!!!Published 13 months ago by Dotty Duval
I really enjoyed all of Robin's stories in this book especially the one about her getting kidnapped. Not sure I would have been so calm on the outside. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Melissa K.
Truly an enjoyable read! Robin Spielberg is a true master of storytelling!Published 14 months ago by Patty
It helps to be a fan of this lovely lady, and I am. Her music has given me and my late wife many hours of pleasure. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Paul D. Noble
I have to admit I'd never heard of Robin Spielberg before reading this book. It was recommended to me by another musical professional. I enjoyed the book very much. Read morePublished 22 months ago by S. Wilshe
This is a wonderful story behind the making of a professional pianist, a collection of vignettes that lets the reader feel the emotional roller coaster endured by this performing... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Ken B