Back in the day when Miss America, beauty pageants & beauty queens were actually a viable career choice for the modern woman, my cousins, Winnie & Emy, and I (ages 10, 4 & 7, respectively) used to have 'pageants', parading up, down and around in our floaty-est P.J.'s, across brown, pleather, stackable stools, singing and dancing our hearts out. No one ever won or lost. In fact, no one judged, or even watched, for that matter, but the three of us twirled and whirled our hearts out. To be able to sing and dance around in fun, spin-y, float-y dresses ... ahhh. God, were we beautiful and talented and smart! That was my first taste of the stage. My next foray in singing was as the "special" music at Sunday worship service. My Dad would play guitar and sing the bottom notes, my brother & Mom would sing melody and I would get whatever 3rd harmony note worked. It was very modest and very serious and some good clean fun until that one, serious, double head crack which occurred while my brother and I were bowing into each other in the midst of a laugh attack. Eventually, Sam & I had to be separated. You see, if we happened to glance at each other while singing, we would be demolished by giggles ruining the entire Sunday morning Lutheran broadcast. Those performances only lasted about two years and I still have no idea why we stopped (and I'm still secretly disappointed). It was serious fun. In high school, I was in every musical. Ooooh, the make-up! The cigarettes behind the Principals office! The kisses behind the curtains! Enough said. I moved to LA after college. I had given up performing and singing and shaving my legs. Might have been rebelling against the above mentioned pageants ... or maybe I was lazy? Actually, I know I wasn't lazy because in addition to working a 50 hr week, I was selling Amway. I know. It still shocks me. But, it introduced me to a great vocalist who asked me to join her "band". I joined ... mainly out of boredom, but also to save face. I was selling Amway, after all. This 'band' was called, Crazy Cat George. We were a 3-girl a cappella group (not much of a "band") that sang covers of spirituals (we are white women ... The things we do in our 20's). This was in the Boys To Men and En Vogue heyday. Two of us had severe stage fright, two of us had extraordinarily bad hair, and one of us had a penchant for apologizing for EVERYTHING while on stage. Still, we performed and performed and performed and got better than bad. We knew 3 cover songs. We thought we would be signed within the year. Six months later, we had written one moderate-to-middling song. We took it to Nashville and performed it in a televised competition, which we did not win. We consoled ourselves with the fact that Trisha Yearwood had not won the same competition a couple of years earlier and she is a really good singer. (BUT, Ohmygod! We write our own material!) We thought we would be signed any day. Two years later, we had written about 6 pretty good songs and about 18 not-really-very-listenable songs. We also learned some cover tunes so that we could play a 40-minute set without having to do a 10 minute interpretive dance routine in the middle of our a cappella version of Swing Low. We actually got really good. All kinds of people came to see us play the Roxy (truthfully, I think about 26 people came to our Roxy show.