1. How did karaoke competitions change the game for your music career?
Well. Tequila induces karaoke. Sisters induce tequila. So, credit goes to my sister. She liquored me up and signed me up to sing one night. The owner approached me afterward and said, “Hey, we’re having a competition starting next week.” I told him I wasn’t serious about it, but THEN he told me that the top three winners got cash prizes, the first of which was $1K. So I was in like Flynn. I did a few of those for about a year, then retired and moved on to open mic nights in an attempt to take it a bit more seriously. I met some dudes from the local music scene, and now a couple of them are my bandmates.
2. Tell us about Zombie Man Richard and how you came to know him.
He might be the most interesting person I’ve ever met. Ever. He is a humble man that dons a ukulele and a 12-inch braided beard, and sings original music about…well, zombies. Video footage of his music performances are hard to come by, but it’s really something you must see live anyway—there is no substitute for yelling, “BRAINS!!!” during the call-and-response segment. He also has a song about dinosaurs, if that’s more your speed. You can find him at any (and I truly do mean ANY) open mic night in the tristate area, just as I did myself.
3. How did you incorporate music into your major during undergrad?
I had not yet come out of my shell about singing in front of people during college, but my passion for music was alive and well at that point. Because NYU tuition was a smidge over budget, I went to OU for marketing and learned that the school had a partnership with a new, teeny-tiny student-run record label. I somehow got an internship with them, which I helped invent and sanction. I went to shows for the label’s flagship band (themselves), conducted “market research” to help them define their target market, and in turn wrote a business plan with recommendations on everything from venues where they could play shows, merchandise they should (and shouldn’t) offer, competitive price points for admission and merch and even a method of payment processing. Because this counted for school credit through my internship, my professor gave my business plan to another professor that was launching an indie music show for national broadcast radio syndication. I interned for that start-up and landed my first job there after college. It was a pretty sweet gig that paid next to nothing.
4. What is a nerdy thing about you? (Do you know a stupid amount about a particular book, period of history, or hobby?)
#HP4lyfe!!! Seriously, though…I friggin’ love Harry Potter. I was Hermione Granger for Halloween one year, and I gotta tell ya…I pulled it off quite nicely. My sister and I went to every movie release on premiere night at midnight. She got me started on the books, and now we play “Harry Potter Scene It” all the time, but I don’t think she’s ever beaten me. Think you can take me? Bring it on. Only worthy challengers will be accepted.
5. How did your professional wanderings bring you to Curiosity?
A friend of mine, who happens to be the only unrelated “Swift” I’ve ever met in person, and who works at Cintrifuse told me about Curiosity. She said her crazy friend Deirdre worked here and loved it…I figured if they were takin’ crazies in off the street, then I might find a nice home here, too. My former supervisor from Northlich also knew Angie and Mitch, so it was all rather serendipitous!
6. Tell us a memorable story of yourself when you were a kid. It can be funny, surprising, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
Sometimes, I was an asshole to my younger sister growing up. We shared a room and one night I creeped her out by telling her I was an alien named “Zooglia” who had eaten her sister Stacey and assumed her physical identity. Not sure how that could have even been physically possible, but she bought it and totally flipped out.
7. Of all the cities you’ve been to, which did you connect with more than any other? Why?
This has to be a tie between Athens and Nashville. Athens just felt like home from the moment I set foot on that beautiful OU campus. The bricks and the trees—it just has an indescribable charm, and I miss it. Now, Nashville, on the other hand—man, how many times I have almost run away to that city. It’s where I escaped on my 30th birthday to have my first early-life crisis. I sang on 2 (or was it 3?) different stages there, which is a dream come true. If I ever go missing, start looking for me there.
8. All-time favorite movie line, go. Why?
“We got no food. No jobs. Our pets’ HEADS ARE FALLIN’ OFF…” Why? Because.