In 1992, Carla Ulbrich was working in a retail music store selling guitars and pianos, and teaching guitar on her day off. She really wanted to be teaching guitar full-time, but she could not get enough students to pull that off. Carla wasn’t a big fan of selling stuff, and she really doesn’t like wearing dress shoes.
In 1993, Carla fell very ill and nearly died, and she got fired from the sales job because of the illness. She realized at that moment the irony of being fired from a job she took only for the security. There was no real security, so she might as well do what she really want to do, instead of chasing security. Carla moved back to her hometown and decided to become a full-time guitar teacher. As she regained her health, her student roster filled up, and Carla started writing songs again. She went out and got some gigs. Carla wrote some funny songs about her experience of being ill and dealing with a frustrating health care system. “I discovered my persona: The Singing Patient, where I combine all my talents- humor, music, and teaching and empowering others”.
Carla perform for medical conventions, patient conventions, and corporate events. Over time, she released 5 independent CDs, won numerous songwriting awards, served as adjunct professor of guitar at 2 colleges and taught at 2 summer music camps, and had a music instruction book published.
Now, in the latest chapter of her career, she has a book of humorous essays entitled How Can You *Not* Laugh at a Time Like This? Reclaim Your Health with Humor, Creativity, and Grit. She still teaches guitar two days a week because it gives just a little structure to her week between gigs (although she can cancel lessons whenever she likes). “Besides, next to performing (my other job) it’s the coolest job in the world. And I can wear sneakers to work”.
Follow Carla Ulbrich at www.thesingingpatient.com