***So, how did you get started on Your Musical Path? Perhaps which Songs, Musicals, albums, etc..
Some of my earliest musical memories are at my grandparents' house -- my grandma had two VHS tapes of Calamity Jane and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (I was smitten with Howard Keel and his big, booming voice). My grandpa was always singing old honky tonk country songs, like The Wabash Cannonball. I was also obsessed with a cassette tape of "contemporary Christian music" soprano Sandi Patty.
***Do you have a vocal coach, if so ~ What age did you start lessons?
I began piano lessons at age five, joined a children's choir at ten, and had my first voice lesson at twelve. I studied with various teachers all the way through college, and have been singing with the same local choir (that I was fortunate enough to tour Europe with) since I was sixteen.
***What musical genre do you consider yourself besides Classical Crossover (aka: which way do you lean in the Classical Crossover genre)?
I love taking the songs of Laurel Canyon - women songwriters such as Joni Mitchell and Laura Nyro - which are naturally very melodic and emotive - and putting my classically trained spin on them. (This is something I'm working on; I haven't shared it publicly yet.) My own original music is a hybrid of my love for the symphony and classic Hollywood musicals alongside traditional folk music. I love darker art songs, such as Mahler's Kindertotenlieder, and I like to take the opposite approach and sing art songs as if they are folk songs - which in a way, as songs of the people, or based on traditional texts, they are.
***What are your all-time favorite theatrical musicals & why?
West Side Story - Leonard Bernstein is my favorite composer - and The Scarlet Pimpernel. Honorable mention to Hamilton because it was so innovative and successful; Lin-Manuel Miranda is a genius. Funny Girl will always have a special place in my heart since I was able to play Fanny Brice in 2012.
***If you could sing with one singer who would it be ~ (can be living or deceased)?
Douglas Sills - best known for the lead role in The Scarlet Pimpernel
***Any Special Musical Performance Plans for 2019?
No performance plans, but recording wise...
1) I am really trying to focus on writing original music. I like to write whimsical folk music with a dark twist, and I'm also learning Acid / Magix software to create electroswing tracks.
2) I have a set of art songs and American folk music that I hope to record in the near future - the songs are united with a theme of mysticism, death, the afterlife, and fairyland.
3) I really hope to record at least a few tracks with my bandmate Justin Trowbridge (we are known as Hotel Gypsies, but will be re-branding soon) of our original songs and murder ballads.
***What is Your Ultimate Career Goal?
I would like to be a prolific writer and collaborate with other musicians around the world. As a bucket list item, I'd love to sing at Carnegie Hall someday and/or appear on NPR's "Live From Here" (fka Prairie Home Companion).
***What do you consider to be your best recorded song?
I'm fond of my "The Summer Night" EP; I was fresh off Funny Girl when I recorded that and I had discovered a more natural, musical theatre side to my voice.
***Which songs would you consider the most fun to perform?
Since I am a very introverted person prone to stage fright, I like performing in groups best. Playing with my rock band Echopod was always nerve-wracking (I played a keyboard with multiple effects pedals as well as manipulating a voice effects kit) but so much fun to make loud rock n' roll noise with my friends! Soloing with a choir is something I really enjoy, as well - being somewhat in the spotlight but having that wall of sound behind you is thrilling.
***What would you consider your signature song?
"I'd Rather Burn" is probably what I'm best known for performing / having written.
***What is your favorite color dress and/or style to wear when you sing?
Liza Minnelli is a huge influence on my style; dramatic black, red, and sequins. If I'm performing folk or original music, I might wear something more flowing and gothic, like Stevie Nicks.
***So, what are your tricks to keep your voice in shape, do you eat/drink or not eat/drink before you sing, what are your tricks for warming up?
I break all the rules; I like to have a shot of bourbon before a show and I firmly believe in hot toddies for curing a cold / sore throat. I do try to avoid processed sugar before I sing, but dairy doesn't really bother me. I like to warm up with silly cartoon voices; it limbers up my voice and also helps shake out some of the nerves.
***How many singing competitions have you performed in and/or won?
I've notoriously lost every competition I entered; I eventually gave up in my late teens. There was one particular singer - who was a friend from choir and is the sweetest, most talented person you will ever meet - that I always seemed to lose to in my age group, as she sang more "country" flavored songs that were popular with the judges. Although, in college, my particular "opera scenes" castmates and I were chosen to perform at the National Opera Association's annual convention in Atlanta.
***Do you have any pets? What are their names? What are your favorite pets?
I have two cats, Aggie (after Agatha Heterodyne, Girl Genius) and Teddy (Theodore Nostradamus Trowbridge). I love garden animals: snails, hedgehogs, honeybees.
***Do you have any other hobbies outside of singing?
I write everything; not just songs. I love reading, and watching British murder mystery shows. I used to be fairly good at web programing / coding but I've fallen behind with the latest versions of coding languages. I don't have space for a garden, but I love flowers and gardening. Since I have a shaved head, I like to loom knit hats for the colder months.
***What country do you live in? What countries would you like to visit?
I have always lived in (or near) Manhattan "The Little Apple" in northeast Kansas. Iceland is at the top of my list to visit, and after that probably France. I'd love to revisit Prague.
Favorite Songs: Nicole Byblow "Without a Soul", Jennifer Knapp "Letting Go"
Favorite Movies: anything from the "Classic Hollywood" era, Crimson Peak, Inception
Favorite TV shows: almost anything BBC: murder mysteries, Sherlock, QI, Doctor Who, the "Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell" miniseries
Favorite Books: I'm going to play the "I can't choose!" card -- I'm a huge reader. My favorite author is probably A. A. Milne; I'm very into non-fiction as well.
Favorite Food: Sushi... Pasta... Steak...
Favorite Desserts: lemon cheesecake
Favorite Color: pink & champagne
Favorite Subject in School: Physics, English
Favorite Singer: The name that jumps to mind is Cecile McLorin Salvant; in the opera realm, I love Leontyne Price and Christine Schafer
Favorite Actor/Actress: Again, all of the classic Hollywood greats! Judy Garland, Ingrid Bergman, Cary Grant, Leslie Howard, Jerry Lewis, Louise Brooks...