I wish I could remember the moment when I first realized I could sing. What I do remember is my mom would always incessantly ask my sisters and I to sing for her. Somewhere between the multiple performances of zippity do da with my sisters, church concerts, and school recitals, my love of music flourished and became an important part of my upbringing.
Some would expect, as many other musicians and performers, that I would come from a musical family; not true. Music to my family was Luciano Paveratti at Christmas time, and a video game that played hits from 50’s pop radio; I knew nothing. My favorite cassette tapes were Amy Grant, Newsboys, Michael W. Smith, and the African Children’s Choir. Part of this was my Christian home upbringing, but the other was my parent’s lack of interest in music; aka the cool kids from the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s …you know the drill. Music was a discovery all my own.
As a young girl, I pursued figure skating, but at the age of 9, I decided I wanted to audition for the play Annie. I fell in love with the red-headed character who captured so many hearts since her first production in the early 80′s. I loved the song “Maybe”and would practice it in my room with a cassette tape and a hairbrush as a microphone. I ended up in the chorus, rolling around to “Hard Knock Life” with
my other fourth-grade classmates caught up in the wonderment of musical theater. What I admired about “Annie”, real or imagined, is that she had something to sing about. I remember thinking about the lyrics, the emotions she felt when she sang them, and what it would be like to sing about something like that.
In the years following my “debut” in Annie, I played a variety of roles in local
theater programs, took voice lessons, and imagined myself eventually performing someday. Between all this, my parents were divorced, life fell a part, and the wanderlust of my childhood was quickly snuffed out by a harsh reality of the “real world”. I quickly learned the words of “Tomorrow,” and sang it quietly to myself at 15 when I felt the stress of life hang over my shoulders. The sun will come out tomorrow.
It was through the pain of my parent’s divorce, when I realized I could channel my
feelings in writing. What started off as short phrases of my “feelings” became page after page of the stories of my heart. Not only could I sing, I could write. The story stops there for awhile, but the dream of pursuing a career in singing never died.
Flash forward a few years, and I found myself in Los Angeles working in retail. My dreams of singing were a part of my history, and I pushed any thought aside in favor of being responsible. It wasn’t until the fall of 2010, that I realized I had something more to pursue; I needed to sing again. It took another couple
years for me to realize what that looked like.
In the summer of 2011, I wrote a song with my friend Shannon McArthur and performed at the Viper Room in Los Angeles, CA a few months later. I forgot the thrill of being in front of a crowd. 6 months of procrastination, I finally got back to writing again, and found myself hanging with Shannon another time at a baseball field in Hollywood, and that’s where “Kick it off with a Kiss” began. We fiddled around with a few notes and a couple lines, only to find ourselves a few days later roaming the streets of Beverlywood and finishing the song. We walked the streets and created a song that began a journey for me.
As we strolled through the neighborhood, a few elderly people were sitting out on a porch enjoying a summer night and heard us singing. They asked what we were doing, and then asked us to sing for hem. Needless to say, we sang the song, and they loved it. Seeing the smile upon their faces, and the enjoyment made me remember why I loved to perform, to entertain, to watch the reactions of others, and to create joy. I’ll never forget that night.
Flash forward to March 2013, and after a few phone calls, interest in the song, and support from friends and family I decided to pursue my dream, to get “Behind the Mic” and tell my story, to begin a journey that I have wanted to take since I first belted out Annie in my bedroom, sang The Little Mermaid, and rehearsed
Do Ri Mi at the local theater, I began the process of writing and creating music.
Tomorrow it begins the first day of hitting the studio and making all the hard work come to life. I am excited to share this journey with you, and my greatest hope is that it will present the opportunity and ammunition for you to pursue something that you have been waiting to pursue, it’s never too late. In the words of Frauline Maria, “And I’ll sing once more”.