Reposted from the original interview conducted on JewishMom.com)
A few weeks ago at least five people forwarded me the new video of singer Chana Felig (AKA Chanale) accompanied by urgent messages along the lines of “Chana Jenny, WATCH this! This is the ultimate JewishMOM.com video!” So (like over 20,000 other JewishMOMs) I watched the video (scroll down to watch). I loved the video and I posted it and I know that you loved it too. But I didn’t feel satisfied. Watching this gifted JewishMOM with such a glowing smile and such an infectious upbeat view of Jewish mommyhood, I really wanted to know more about this Chanale… So here’s that interview I wanted to read with Chana Felig. I especially loved her advice for creatively-oriented moms who are having difficulty making time for creative pursuits….
Where are you from? Miami Beach Florida
Where do you live? Brooklyn, New York
When and how did you first start singing publicly? My first experience on a professional stage was 10 years ago at “Women In Song,” a concert that took place at the Broward Center of Performing Arts. I was talked into singing that night but amazingly, of the 5 women who shared that stage, I am the only women still performing!
When do you find time for singing now? Constantly. Between recording, performing, practicing and singing with my kids, I am constantly in the middle of one song or the other!
How do you identify hashkafically? I was raised with the Chabad outlook and Kiruv is very much a part of my music. Overall, I consider myself a middle-of-the-road person, not too conservative but not too liberal either. My priorities are definitely in sync with the average Orthodox Jewish mom.
What was it like making your popular new video “Taking Over my Heart”? Making the “Taking Over My Heart” video was a totally new experience for me. As a performer, I understand the importance of captivating the audience and I was up many a-nights, my mind racing with ideas for the video.
During the 3 days we shot, I discovered that getting my children to do their every day shtick on camera wasn’t as easy as I had planned. But my girls were real troopers and followed directions like little professionals. When we shot the ice cream scene, I thought they would attack the ice cream and have a rowdy ol’ time with all the sprinkles and chocolate chips. Instead they just sat there timidly picking at their bowls while we were encouraging them with shouts of “make a mess! more sprinkles! stick your hands into it!” They were quite confused and at some point we just walked away and let them do their thing. And then they dug in. Kids cannot be forced to look happy!
Where do you perform your songs? I sing everywhere there is a female crowd! But seriously, mostly at fundraisers, mother-daughter teas, school functions, Bas Mitzvah parties, Chabad house functions, summer camps, birthday parties and concerts. I am very blessed to be busy all year round with my singing engagements and love each and every venue.
What advice do you have for other creatively-inclined Jewish mothers who are finding it hard to make time for creative pursuits? Start a blog, a journal or a even just a photo log. So many talented women tend to think their efforts go unnoticed because they are not published, or popular.
The secret is to be your own biggest fan and value your creativity.
If you take pictures, develop them, love them, enjoy them. If you write songs, keep writing, re-read them, and share them with people close to you who will appreciate them.
Right now my children are my biggest fans, and that’s all I need. I would keep recording album after album for them and them alone (and for my mother!)
Homemaking embraces so many artistic and creative aspects. Share your ideas when you can, but mostly know that your family appreciates them the most in the long run.