A few years ago, while I was coordinating an art show to benefit a community gallery, my friend Kirk, who had mentioned his art exactly 0 times in our years of knowing each other as singers (he is also a busy singing actor), submited a couple of paintings. So unique and beautiful were they that I did one of those cartoonish doubletakes where your face feels more basset hound than human and you know you must have been unable to control your drool (in keeping with the breed). A short time later, he morphed into a dynamic sculptor. Visit him at kirkvaughn.com.
Kirk: I have an open concept warehouse live/work loft space…so my kitchen,studio, living room and dining room are all the same “room”. It has 14 foot ceilings and huge windows on two walls…plenty of sunshine or dark moody clouds to look at…it’s definitely my favorite “room”/space in my house.
Is there something that you know to be true that you wish others would embrace?
Kirk: 1. Heaven and Hell are the same place. The only difference is the path that you choose to take in getting there.* 2. Your fear is the only thing that will keep you from your Greatness or from accomplishing great things in your life.* 3. All paths lead to the same place. Don’t worry how your neighbor chooses to get there. Enjoy the journey of your own path. (* my 2 cents worth).
I had a teacher who quoted an old Tibetan proverb: ‘Man says time passes. Time says man passes.’ – It freaked me out for years! Talk about a phrase or saying that has stuck with you since you first heard it? Kirk: I have two. The first one I heard about 20 years ago or more. I was really struggling and coming to terms with who I was as a man and how I would live my life. “It is better to be hated for who you are, than to be loved for who you are not.” – unknown
The second I heard about 3 years ago as my spiritual paradigm was shifting. “From the first day that your name was spoken, Happiness has been running through the streets looking for you!”- Rumi (paraphrased)
Kirk: It’s interesting… for every significant relationship in my life, there is a song that I seem to associate with that person, that relationship. Some of them are traditional love songs, some more melancholy forms of a love song. But as I read this question today, a song that I haven’t thought of in years popped into my head. I went to YouTube and listened to it again. With misty eyes, I would say it’s And So It Goes, by Billy Joel.
What’s your favorite smell? Does it conjure up any specific memories for you?
Kirk: I would say that it is the smell of Gardenia. At our family home in Florida, we actually have a Gardenia tree that is about 20 feet tall. I would come home on Christmas break from college and it seemed that every year around that time, the tree would be covered with these glorious white blooms that were so fragrant… hundreds of them. I would always take a zip lock baggie full of blooms back with me to my college dorm room.
If you had the resources to be a ‘patron’ (financially support an artist or assist in their support in order that they could live
their dream) what would your criteria be for them to gain your support?
Kirk: I would sit back, watch and listen. I would not give a clue that I was considering such a venture on their behalf. How they conducted themselves would be just as important as how I reacted to their talent. There would be no strings attached to my gift to them, I would ask them not to tell anyone that I had given help or support. I would let them know that I had been watching and observing them, that I believed in their talent and/or vision and that I wanted to make a personal investment in them. It would not be meant to be paid back. I would encourage them, at the right time in their life, to pay it forward to someone else.
Do you eat breakfast? What’s a typical breakfast for you?
Kirk: I do eat breakfast, if I wake up early enough. My favorite is Greek yogurt with granola of some sort and fresh blue berries.
Kirk: “Do not forget who you are.”
Cat or dog? Why?
Kirk: I’m a dog person. I grew up with dogs and prefer their level of desire to interact with humans. They keep me entertained when they play and rough house together.
Water view or Mountain view? Why?
Growing up in Florida, I used to be such a water boy. When my work took me to Colorado for the first time, in my mid 30’s, I totally changed my tune. Growing up in flat Florida and flat Northern Indiana …. to see the mountains, to drive through the Rockies and interact with that grandeur … literally took my breath away. Sure, I had seen plenty of pictures and TV shows but to be in the midst of them, touch them, smell them….I was hooked.