Let's start at the very beginning...
It was opening night of the musical “Annie” at my hometown community theater. My older sister had the lead role, and at 5 years of age I was the youngest little orphan. Just before leaving to go the theater, I stepped on a bumblebee outside. I remember it vividly; my little foot swelling up and me limping back to the house. But was I going to let that stop me from performing at opening night?
Oh, hell no!
My mother recalls me being in the dance line and kicking harder than anyone else; so hard that I fell on my butt backwards.
From that moment on, it’s been clear:
I came into this life with a deep love for singing and expressing with all my might.
So that's what I'm gonna do.
I was born and raised a farm girl in rural North Carolina and have always had an affinity for nature and SPACE. If I wasn't out climbing trees, I was hiking in the woods behind our house looking for deer or saying hi to the cows in the cow pasture. If I wasn't on the farm, I was at my Mother's gymnastics gym where I spent countless hours flipping and turning and learning what my body could do. When my family was gifted a piano when I was 9, everything expanded. No one played but me, and I couldn't get enough. I sat down with George Winston's "December" album in my Walkman and picked out "Variations on the Kanon" note for note. From there I started my own compositions, scribbling them down in some none-sensical typography I made up in a little notebook. Piano quickly became my best friend. If I was having a bad day, I came home and played about it. If I had a great day, I came home and played about it. It was how I interpreted the world.
Singing came in middle school when I joined my first choir and was immediately hooked. Throughout high school I was in every chorus and choir I could possibly be in (Chamber choir, Gospel choir, Women's chorus... you name it) as well as every play and musical. I spent my summers in choral and theater camps, sometimes singing for 8 hours a day for weeks on end! My childhood love for theater and performing was taking on a whole new life and I was completely in love with it. I desperately wanted to go to a conservatory to study Musical Theater, but I was incredibly nervous at auditions and was not accepted to my dream school. I wound up graduating from UNC Chapel Hill with a self-designed degree I entitled The Psychology of Performance, in which I deeply studied music, theater, psychology, and how they translate across cultures.
After a few intense post-college years of traveling, exploring, losing myself and finding myself again in my home state I wondered how I could combine all of my loves into one profession. A dear friend mentioned Expressive Arts Therapy, an interdisciplinary approach to therapy blending music, dance, creative writing, and visual art. Bingo! After an intensive summer study in this field in Peru I went on to pursue a Masters Degree in Expressive Arts Therapy at The European Graduate School in Switzerland. While I had the time of my life there, I also felt like something was off. I was the kid sneaking off to dance and compose piano during breaks. It didn't take too long to realize the traditional route was not for me. I firmly believed in the healing power of the arts and expression, but how could I facilitate on my terms?
So I got really honest with myself;
I had to make my own way.
This realization was accompanied with a Spiritual Awakening the same year. While it was exciting and amazing in so many ways, it was also incredibly overwhelming. My dreams, visions and energetic experiences became so intense I often wondered how I could handle it all. My saving grace was music, as it kept me grounded. Any chance I could be with a piano, I was there. I found incredible comfort and solace in singing and expressing all that was flowing through me. Somewhere along the line a channel had opened, and I was along for the ride.
This time of my life also brought multiple experiences bearing witness to numerous loved ones in times of severe depression and mania. Through being with them through rounds of panic attacks, manic episodes and suicidal thoughts I was amazed and humbled by how powerful Life Force Energy is. I also wondered, "Why does this keep happening? What am I to learn from this?" I became fascinated with learning about energetics, how memories where stored in the body, where traumas are stored and why, which organs correlated to which emotions, etc.
So I asked myself:
How can I bring all that I have learned and all that I love together?
In late 2014 after 10 years of nannying to pay the bills, the craving to do something different for a career was at an all-time high. During my birthday week, I had four different people ask me if I taught Voice lessons. At the time I had not even considered teaching Voice. I decided to give it a try. A dear friend of mine agreed to be my guinea pig and off we went. During that first session, something clicked. I felt a resonance being with someone as they discovered their sound as I followed my intuition navigating this fascinating terrain. The emotions that surfaced, the bodily sensations, the breakthroughs.....something big was unfolding. From there, the word started spreading. People started coming to my house in the woods and before I knew it my weeks were filling up with sessions, singing with people outside in the trees. Over the months it grew and grew. I felt more confident as I fell deeper and deeper love with the work.
It all started making sense:
Singing. Music. Energy. Life Force. Nature. Awareness. Emotions. Expression. Power. Love.
These are the tools I know, and these are the ones I work with.
There's a lot more I could say, but will leave it here for now. From that little 5 year old kicking with all her might stage to the woman I am today, I am grateful for every step of the way.
I will say this though; I can't wait to see what happens next!