Laurie Rubin is a young, Jewish opera singer who lives in Hawaii with her partner. She boasts her own jewelry line, the LR Look, and has both a postgraduate degree and a remarkable operatic portfolio. Oh, and she happens to be blind.
The author of Do You Dream in Color?, Rubin has penned a memoir that describes her life, her determination to succeed and the discovery of her operatic talent. This is a woman who has refused to allow her blindness to interfere with her goal. It’s also meant working that much harder than everyone else to transform those goals into reality. Her book is riveting and readers will find themselves cheering for her victories and feeling her pain when peers and instructors dismiss her or treat her as if she is invisible or ‘less-than’ her sighted contemporaries.
“My biggest goal for this book was to share with people how I do everything from navigating New York city independently, to making jewelry, to following a conductor on the great concert stages, as a way of showing that a great many things can be achieved without the use of sight,” she reflects. “I’ve sensed over the years that people really do want to understand what my life is like, but they are afraid to ask questions. The book is a way to open people’s minds to the vast array of abilities that people with disabilities do have, thus making people like me valuable, employable and significant contributors to society.”
Rubin’s achievements are nothing short of inspiring, but so are her talent and her sheer zest for life. She became a bat mitzvah, learning her Torah portion in Braille and she learned to cook. She has performed on stage with other operatic stars and honed and trained her exquisite voice, winning many awards along the way. Do You Dream in Color? reveals Rubin’s strong personality, an honesty that is refreshing and beautiful and her adamant refusal to slip into the shadows and be ignored.
“I’d love to be known for being an artist who works hard to create meaningful interpretations of pieces and as someone who can open the doors for other blind people where they might have been closed in society before,” she says. “I want to be known for the mark I’ve made on the world, not for any supposed courage I have for just facing the world.”