Posted by Jenifer Loon
Karen Jacobsen: Recalculating Your Life
Karen is a professional singer, songwriter, voice actor and inspirational speaker. She is perhaps best known—or most heard—as the voice of your GPS navigation system, Siri, and many other announcement systems (elevators, cruise ships, etc). A native of MacKay, Australia, Karen now lives in New York. Karen opened her presentation by singing a song—an original composition written while sheltering in place in Australia. She went on to tell us that MacKay is know for its turquoise blue water, crystal white sand, and 9 of the 10 most poisonous snakes in the world. Growing up, she saw Olivia Newton John on television and she wanted to follow in her footsteps—becoming a professional singer and moving to America.
Karen did move to America and got an audition for an entity looking for a native Australian speaker who lives in the Northeast part of the U.S. She got the job, which entailed 50 hours of voice recording (no more than four hours a day to prevent her voice from sounding tired). Her directions were to sound calm and consistent as she recorded words like “approximately” over 168 times! It was through this work and her subsequent journey that she made the connection between the navigation terms in your car to your life—“recalculating” means to course correct when things aren’t going as planned.
Karen believes that “pre-calculating” is the step we take before we are ready to recalculate and make the change. We are all in a state of crisis right now, and pre-calculating is what we need to do to get to a strong and healthy state—to reestablish our foundation—before recalculating the change for what comes next.
Karen recently had the honor to be the voice for an important campaign titled “I Touch Myself”, which is a public service announcement on the vital need for women to perform self breast exams and notify their doctors of any changes. Leading up to International Women’s Day, the campaign’s creators realized there were no instructions for women on how to check their breasts on AI devices, while ample information existed for men’s health conditions. The club was able to watch the video presentation that Karen narrated and learn the importance of this information. 
Cathy Haukedaul shared her experience of recently undergoing treatment for breast cancer, asking Karen questions about the campaign and commending her for drawing attention to a subject that needs amplification.
Karen graciously responded to some questions from club members. She was asked about current projects and she shared that just before the “quarantine” she had performed a new one woman show she created twice in California to very good reviews. The show is part musical, part inspirational story, and she hopes to resume those performances when social distancing is lifted. These days, Karen is writing one new song a week, and she is learning to edit music during the mandatory stay at home time. She is also helping her 12-year old son stay focused on his digital learning.
  • Next Tuesday’s meeting, April 28th , will feature Paul Perez, District Governor for 5960.
  • Jon Kaufman of H2Open Doors will be our speaker on May 12th to talk about international water projects.
  • “Zoom” Swallowship will be held on April 22nd from 4:30 to 6:00 pm, hosted by Aaron Orwick.
  • Today was a joint meeting with the Edina Morningside Club—welcome! A recent community project their club completed was planting a tree in Strachauer Park. The tree not only beautifies the park, but serves as a noise barrier as the park is near Hwy. 62 (Crosstown).
  • President John Crudele shared photos from food distribution via Feed My Starving Children in the Philippines. COVID 19 has made the need even greater for countries suffering from high rates of poverty.
  • Jenifer Loon gave an update on our collective PROP cash donations from EPAM Rotary Club members. To date, we have given $2810 to PROP, as well as food in the thousands of pounds, collectively. If you would like to donate to PROP as part of our collective effort, please contact Jenifer for more information. Thank you all for generously giving to your neighbors in need!
  • Tom Gump informed our club members of four district 5960 grants that were matched by TRF to provide
  • COVID 19 relief for Italy. A total of $1.3 million will be provided to assist in the fight against this deadly pandemic.
  • RYE students, Clementine and Ricky, have been trying new things, and staying active during the stay-at-home order. Clementine was sporting a lovely new hair color (love the pink!) and Ricky has been playing a lot of basketball in the driveway.