The first time I was ever called an artist was by Mary Beth Kepper at drill team officer camp in high school. She has no idea how much that changed my life because I was taken aback, honored, humbled and then accepted and embraced that label. I had written and recorded a song for my dance solo that year. The week the officer line performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in NYC, I also auditioned for the All State Choir. I was learning about myself that I love the process of creating as much as the performance and the end result. And that I am capable of great multitasking when I am passionate and determined enough… An indie film asked to use that song that year and that was my first published work.
As a music composition major at UT, I fell head over heels in love with jazz. This ultimately led to singing at the Salt Lake City Jazz festival and studying with Bobby McFerrin (Don’t Worry Be Happy) at the University of Oregon. I also took on a gig in the summers and over two Christmases teaching yoga at a resort in Negril, Jamaica. I had the exquisite honor to play an entire gig with the Marley band at a gala one summer.
My senior year of college I worked at a musical comedy club in Austin called Esther’s Follies and got my first taste of feature films when “Miss Congeniality” was filmed here. I was a stand in and an extra and got the bug. This led to multiple commercials including one for Ford, Wainwright law firm, and ProSki Sports. I landed a few print jobs including the cover of Texas Coop Power, a Texas Fire Marshall PSA, and two Automart covers. I had a role as ‘buxom waitress’ in ‘Stop Loss’ starring Channing Tatum and Ryan Phillipe. I had never been a waitress before and spilled a tray of beer and tequila shots on both of them the first day of shooting. Luckily they were nice guys and laughed it off take after take.
I sang the national anthem on a short running tv series called “Swingtown.” I also sang the national anthem in Dallas for a sporting event that year and sat between Tony Romo and Emmit Smith, pretty sweet!
I had several tiny roles in a few cool television and film productions: a ‘smoking nun’ (no, I do not smoke in real life, just on tv) on BBC’s “Wired in the Blood.”and then I played a reporter in the Angelina Jolie film “A Mighty Heart.” And then a waitress again In a film Willie Nelson starred and produced called “Fighting With Anger.”
Along the way I met some incredible people. Such as Andrew Shapter who was making a new film, “Happiness is” after completing ‘Before the Music Dies.” I got to be in the trailer of that film and met some truly remarkably talented people that influenced me more than they know.
These led to some slightly bigger roles. I had the privilege of attending the Sundance Film festival for the premiere of “Baghead” by the Duplass brothers. I am in the opening 3 minutes of dialogue in the film in a piece by John Bryant called “We are Naked.” A film within the film.
And then I starred in a short called “TKL” that premiered at the Cannes film festival in France.
The past four years my starring role has been as a single mommy to two boys, a music teacher and yoga instructor. I am finding my creative wings again though. Todd Wolfson and Roy at Avant Salons gave me the opportunity to be a hair model for the salon ads showcasing my naturally red hair. And I’ve started playing some gigs this past year. Surviving multiple military deployments and moves with a baby matured me in ways I never imagined. My worldview has changed, my priorities, my lifestyle… this no doubt affects the art I create, both the lyrics and the sound. But I’m still me. More authentically and confidently ME than I’ve ever been and I am really excited about what the future holds.
Thanks for coming along for the ride with me.