When I was a little girl I used to look out of my window and see the Hollywood sign off in the distance letting everyone know that this was that magical place; Hollywood. I was in 7th grade when I heard that the sign had fallen into disrepair due to lack of funds, and they were going to tear it down. Something happened to me that has affected my life ever since. I knew that I had to do something, that maybe my efforts could make a difference. I staged a bike ride around Hollywood, having all the kids from my school get pledges, got the news media to cover it, got a few stars to show up, and raised some money to help save it. Although my little bike ride didn’t actually save the sign, it created enough interest and publicity that donations from companies came in, the sign was saved, and I learned a huge life lesson.
What that event did for me was to put me on a path that continues today. I want to be a person who makes a difference, whether it’s riding my bike from San Francisco to Los Angeles for AIDS research (The AIDs Bike Ride), walking from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles for breast cancer research (The Avon Breast Cancer Walk), swimming the English Channel (becoming the first American women relay team to make a successful crossing) or singing my songs of positive affirmations, healing and self empowerment.
When I look back on my life, I realize that everything has led me to this path. As a teenager, I was a competitive swimmer who had this secret burning desire to be up on stage. It wasn’t until fate stepped in and singer/songwriter Carole King moved onto my street and I became the baby-sitter for her two small children that my life began to change. She became my role model and I was thrilled when she let me borrow her piano when she remodeled her house. I taught myself to play piano and started writing songs and performing at every amateur night in Hollywood that would take me. I studied acting at Hollywood High School and eventually moved to San Francisco to start an act that combined music and comedy.
For years I made my living being a “singer for hire” performing at any kind of event from weddings (I have sung “Feelings” and “Evergreen” enough to last a lifetime!) corporate parties, doing singing telegrams, and specialty events (I have been a singing mermaid, singing computer, and a singing casket!). It wasn’t until I began singing at a New Thought Church and listening to the positive life-affirming messages that everything started to make sense. I eventually became a music director and started writing songs and chants about what the minister’s message was for the week. I never would have thought that my first CD of chants would wind up all around the world and be used by so many people on a daily basis.
Now after 15 CD’s, and a book; “Let Go of the Shore,” I travel around the country performing and speaking at conferences, retreats, churches, doing concerts, workshops, and organizing my own spiritual retreats. I have been blessed to work with such inspirational authors as Joan Borysekno, Alan Cohen, Mary Manin Morrissey, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, Debbie Ford, and have been honored to receive an Honorary Doctorate from the United Centers for Spiritual Living and a “Grace Note Award” from the Unity Church organization.
When I get letters from people telling me that my songs or chants have helped them deal with illness, loss, or just help them center for the day, it validates that I am doing my right work. Just like that little girl who wanted to save the Hollywood Sign, I want to help people and make a difference with my music. It was Mother Theresa who said, “We cannot do great things, only small things with love.” That is my main intention with my music. If I am making a difference in some small way then I am happy.
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