It was Mama’s glorious gift of music that inspired me to express myself through singing, acting and dancing at a very early age. I was forever changed as a child from hearing her play the piano. I studied ballet throughout my childhood and I used to dance around the house, reaching and stretching and twirling and turning as Mama sat at the piano and filled the house with her moving renditions of Debussy’s “Claire de Lune,” Rachmaninoff’s “Piano Concerto No. 2,” Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” and Chopin’s “Fantaisie-Impromptu”. From the time I was a small child, Mama and I used to love to sing and harmonize together. Some of our favorites were “Tell Me Why”, “Kookaburra Sits on the Old Gum Tree” and “Home on the Range”.
At the age of 13, I started singing lessons. As much as I loved acting and dancing, singing was my greatest love. Like many people, I experienced childhood trauma in my family and I coped with the sadness at home by closing myself off in my room and practicing my singing for hours on end. Whenever I sang, I felt that I was in the company of angels. Though I prayed frequently, singing was my greatest form of prayer. Singing was the light I needed in the darkness. To this day, singing sustains my spirit.