This issue, Public Editor Angelica Cadiente talks to Pamela Goldblum, a studio arts professor, about her ability to play the piano with her nose.
1. You've got a pretty unusual talent that you cooked up with your brother Jeff Goldblum [of "Jurassic Park" fame]. Can you tell me a little about it?
When I was a kid, [my brother and I] used to fool around on the piano, and we worked up a little duet. We used to ... do funny things, so I figured out this little ... melody, and I learned how to play it with my nose on the piano.
2. Is it true you performed this duet on "Late Night with David Letterman" a few years back? How did that happen?
I was probably in my late 20s. Old enough to know better, but still young. When [my brother] went on David Letterman to publicize [a movie], he kind of brought me along with him to do that routine. Now, you can [see the video of us playing, titled "Miss Goldblum's Nose"] on Vimeo.
3. When did you discover you had a talent for nose playing, and how did you discover you had a knack for it?
I was probably eight or nine or something [when I first started]. ... The truth was, I had kind of a large nose, and that was the whole story. Like, "Haha, I've got a big nose. I'm going to play the piano with my nose." Now, my parents were always kind of horrified. I had a big nose. [So they said,] "We're going to give you a nose job and make you assimilated to this beautiful country of ours, and we want you to look as good as possible." And so they sent me to the doctor to get me a nose job.
4. Were you still able to play piano with your nose after the nose job?
After that, I was like, "Well, it's too bad I got the nose job, but can I still play with my nose?" And yes, the answer is I could. So there's kind of a little bit of a dark understory to it, because I always feel like if it would have been up to me. ... I probably would have kept that good old nose. But seeing as how I can still play the piano with it, it still works.
5. Did it take much practice before you were used to it?
Just like anything you become obsessed with, it's just sort of natural to practice.
6. Do you play any other instruments? If so, can you play them with any body part other than the ones they're meant to be played?
I'm learning the guitar. I thought it would be great to play [guitar] with the kids. I understood after I started doing it that it was not just for the kids. It was for me. I find music, as well as any form of art, to be extremely therapeutic and healing.
7. How did you get into the profession of teaching?
As an artist, you're always kind of trying to figure out how to make a living. I did many things, and I was in Los Angeles [when] a friend of mine called me and said they're looking for somebody at LMU to teach printmaking, which is what my major was. ... And little by little, they kind of fit me in, and now, I do this. I love to do this, by the way. This is a fantastic job.
8. Is it true that you also had some experience working as a model for art students?
Yeah, you can only take your clothes off when you're very young. After you're 30, I'd say you should find another job.
9. Within the realm of art, what would do you enjoy most doing?
What I enjoy doing most is collaborating. ... I love it when I put [students] together and have [them] collaborate on things. ... Art making is sometimes a very solitary activity and profession, and what I like to do is collaborate.
10. As for your brother's collaborative nose playing piano act, do you still do this on occasion?
I'm a little stiffer in the neck now. I can still hit the notes. ... [We do this] I would say once every 15 years. However, I've started recently playing the guitar ... so when I went over on Thanksgiving, we were singing some songs and he said, "Let's do a little act together." So I have a feeling there is a future with playing and singing, and I bet you the nose will play a part. I must say that brings the house down. You can't get much better than that.
11. The holidays are coming up. Any exciting plans?
Jeff and I are going to work on the new act and put together some new songs. I'm sure [nose playing] will be the grand finale. The truth of it is, we're all kids, so we'll come up with a list of songs and put together a little act for the kids. But I wouldn't be surprised if it moves into the adult realm very soon.