Carole Bayer Sager is one of America’s greatest contemporary songwriters, penning songs that stream through popular culture’s soundtrack such as “That’s What Friends Are For,” “Arthur’s Theme,” “The Prayer” and “A Groovy Kind of Love.” Recently, she reimagined how she expresses herself creatively, turning from notes and scales to brushes and canvas to become a well regarded painter. Life Reimagined asked Carole about the role of luck in her life as a successful songwriter-cum-artist.
What do you think luck is?
I think luck is being in the right place at the right time, leaving some room for some sort of divine intervention.
Did luck play a role in your success as a songwriter and then again as a painter?
MORE ON LIFE REIMAGINED: Life Lessons from the Queen of Reinvention
It's hard to say where luck begins and where talent and ambition and determination all cross paths, but each plays a part. However, without luck none of it would matter. I was "lucky" enough to be born in New York City with all of the great song publishers blocks away from where I lived. I was lucky to go to the High School of Music and Art, start to write songs with a girlfriend there, know a music business attorney and get signed by Screen Gems Publishing. Writing “A Groovy Kind of Love” with Toni Wine was lucky. The same can be said about painting. Here in Los Angeles, there is a great convergence of artists. It is lucky that my success in songwriting helped galleries know my name and be curious enough to see what I was doing as a painter.
In his song “Lucky Town,” Bruce Springsteen wrote "When it comes to luck you make your own." Do you think this is true or do you think luck is something that is bestowed on you?
MORE ON LIFE REIMAGINED: Richard Leider on How to Live a Meaningful Life
I think both are true. We do make our own luck to a point. Something’s that happened to us that we might consider “unlucky” when viewed years later in the greater context of lives, we can see [that] something intervened and did for us what we couldn’t do for ourselves at the time.
Do you carry objects you feel bring you luck?
Too many to mention! I carry a crystal I believe is lucky and I wear a red string that I believe protects from the Evil Eye.
Can you describe a situation where you have thanked your lucky stars?
MORE ON LIFE REIMAGINED: How A Famous Baseball Player Reimagined His Career
I was born with many fears that, thank God, have lessened though the years, maybe in some degree, just by getting older. When you have the kind of fears I had, then you thank your lucky stars more than most people because you see a lot more danger around you than actually exists. I have been very lucky in my life. Most of my fears never came to pass. If I could have known that as a much younger woman I could have saved myself so much worry time. God knows what I might have done with that time but believe me, I'm not complaining!