I inherited acting from my father and music from my mother. My father was actually performing in a play at a community theatre in Northern California called The Red Bud Theatre the night before I was born.
My mother learned to play guitar in the 70’s. She made music a regular part of her curriculum when she was teaching 3rd Grade on the Hupa Indian Reservation. “Baby Beluga”, “Apples and Bananas”, anything by Red Grammer or Raffi, became an important influence in my early years.
As a child I would strum clumsily on my mother’s nylon acoustic and make up songs about Skeleton Families, Animals, Witches or other crazy things my 5-year-old imagination came up with. But it wasn’t until I was about 14 and started having crushes on boys in rock bands, that I finally asked my mom to sit down and teach me how to play.
What started as a way to impress boys became a life-long passion for music. I sang in the choir, I performed in musicals at my high school and in my spare time I played songs by all my favorite bands, which I’m embarrassed to say included Blink 182 and Avril Lavigne among other gems from the early 2000’s.
I didn’t start writing my own music until college when I met my BFF Andrew Steele. Andrew and I learned right away that our musical chemistry was something very special. Andrew was already writing his own songs. He inspired and encouraged me to do the same. A musical partnership was born.
So now here we are almost a decade later. Andrew and I have performed together in at least 3 different bands and countless theatre projects. We have developed a vast array of original music for our repertoire and we are bursting at the seams to marry our love of writing music with our love of live theatre. So when I asked Andrew to help me write the music for Circle Circle dot dot’s new play No Place Like Home, his answer was a resounding “Duh! Of Course I will!”
Unfortunately Andrew could not be by my side for our first staged reading of the piece; which occurred last weekend at Arizona State University’s Night of The Open Door Festival. This was a very stressful day for me. I had the help of a wonderful cast of ASU Students and Faculty. They sacrificed their entire Saturday to help bring No Place Like Home to life for the first time.
I was lucky enough to have two of my actors that will be in the San Diego Production(Katie and Patrick), here in AZ with me. But we only had 2 hours of rehearsal time so I had to perform nearly all of the music myself. This killed my nerves. I had palpitations all day. I worried about the songs written for Andrews vocal range or guitar skill level (which is a million times higher than mine). But I am proud to say that the reading was perfectly successful. It was a beautiful experience to hear the piece aloud. The audience response was very positive and I got some terrific feedback from my cast about ways to make the piece stronger. I am so excited to bring a new and improved No Place Like Home back to San Diego.
No Place Like Home is a Blues-Musical based on the lives of residents of PATH (People Assisting The Homeless). It follows the story of Daisy who suffers from Cerebral Palsy and is kicked out of her home at the tender age of 19. Follow her and the friends she makes along the way in their journey to find a place called Home. Opening at The Ocean Beach Play House on Friday May 23rd. Save the Date!