Cara Cilento was born and raised in Southern California. She moved to the quiet coastal community of Oxnard, where she resides to this day. Cara grew up surrounded by ocean and enjoyed sailing, boating, surfing, and fishing. Today, she spends her days writing, teaching and volunteering in her community. This article will talk about Cara Cilento and how the “stress of home” and “the stress of working” shaped her life.
Cara Cilento was born in Southern California. As a child, she enjoyed the “waves” that came along with the Pacific Ocean. Cara Cilento was born with a chronic hearing impairment caused by trauma in her youth. As an adult, Cara Cilento experienced hearing loss, depression, anxiety, panic attacks and other personal success challenges.
Cara Cilento lived in a small suburban north jersey town named Calistoga. Her family had a large home on a hill overlooking the ocean. She enjoyed long walks with her dog, walking the beach, and spending time with her friends and loved ones.
In her teens, Cara Cilento lived in Encinitas, California with her best friend, Yomi Martina. They shared a large open living room and Cara enjoyed spending time with Yomi as they enjoyed one another’s company. Over the years, Cara Cilento became friends with many other women from their environment and those she met socially.
Cara Cilento says she felt “very Vietnamese” and found that being part of a close knit group made her feel “free.” She identified with other young women as they struggled with being an American in an unfamiliar world. “I wanted to belong to this group,” she said. Cara Cilento began to feel “fringe.”
In her professional storyteller’s life, Cara Cilento found herself struggling against what felt like a social pressure to conform to what others thought to be “correct.” In her mind, her authentic self was at stake. She repeatedly told me and others, “You know you are the only one who can decide what is right and wrong.” She continued to push back against what others said and she felt compelled to uphold her authentic self by maintaining her close-knit social network.
Throughout her career as a storyteller, Cara Cilento experienced many personal successes. She was nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Music, Original Score (John Corigliano and Tim Rice) for the soundtrack to “A History of Western Music.” She wrote and performed songs that conveyed personal messages about the Civil Rights movement and cultural awareness. Her music was noted for its themes of freedom and love. Cara Cilento continually told audiences about her own sense of freedom and love while maintaining her identity as a storyteller.
As she prepared for each performance, Cara Cilento took a few moments to reflect on how her life had developed. She recalled how she had worked hard to achieve each of her artistic goals but that at times it had been the support from family, friends and co-workers that had helped her reach her dreams. Each time she stepped into a room, she found an individual who would listen with patience and caring. She shared with them stories about how the hardships and struggles in her personal development and in the creation of her work were what had led her to find strength in her authentic self. These personal reflections allowed Cara Cilento to understand the true meaning of authenticity and to finally look beyond the stigmas that surrounded her.
In her first major composition “Beethoven & I,” Cara Cilento adopts the style of a classic opera singer. She tells a dramatic tale revolving around Beethoven’s love affair with his Countess Kaspar. Kaspar is a cultured woman who is the model of traditional sophistication and art. Her manners and refined taste draw Beethoven to her. The relationship blossoms and Beethoven launch into a dazzling, original series of operatic numbers that are both tragic and majestic.
Throughout her career Cara Cilento has written extensively about race, gender and class. Her stories tackle issues of prejudice, sexism and injustice with equal fervor and creativity. In one story she refers to Beethoven’s lack of desire to study classical music because he feels that he lacks “the proper emotional balance.” In another she wonders why anyone should listen to Beethoven’s music while she listens to rap music. In “The Queen of Comix,” Cara Cilento shows her original wit and humor as she takes the story of the queen of Comix from herself to the world of admirers.
This versatile writer has provided readers with memorable characters and a plot that are original, humorous and thought provoking. Cara Cilento has managed to create a cast of characters that will attract both adult and children readers. Her plots and dialogues draw the reader in and keep them engaged. Her use of language is refined, her characters are likeable and you yourself will want to finish the book!