Where it All Began
Growing up in a small country town, your dreams were just that; dreams. No one ever believed they would become something larger then who they were, at least I didn't.
In school, I was never the popular kid, and in the performing arts, I was most definitely never the best. For as long as I could remember until the age of 14, I was the swimmer of my age. I was the Vice Captain of the swimming club when I was 11, and for most of those years I was the one to beat. And for a long time, that was my passion...until I was introduced to the stage.
At the age of 13, I conquered something unexpected and sang a solo at my high school concert. And I was bullied. Badly. So bad that I never sang a solo on stage again until I graduated high school.
However, I still craved the sense of home that I felt on the stage, so I began dancing. I danced for about 5 years, took it very seriously and after the first year I chose it over swimming. As much as I loved being on that stage with my friends, dancing until our feet were numb and our bodies were crying, I missed singing. I missed that feeling of hitting a note and the crowd screaming.
And I was determined to get it back.
USA Dance Around the World Tour
In 2017 during my gap year, I was lucky enough to go on a Dance Around the World Tour with my dance studio at the time. This trip opened my eyes to whole new world and encouraged me to fight for my dreams.
It also allowed me to tick off some items on the bucket list, like taking a class at the ALDC Dance Studio in Los Angelos. This experience was incredible and completely hard to believe the entire time. The fact that I was actually in the famous ALDC room truly opened my eyes to the possibilities this world has to offer.
We were also able to flashmob Hollywood Boulevard with our studios name in lights behind us, which was amazing. It was so mind blowing to see the crowds of people stopping to watch just a few small town country girls doing what they loved.
If it hadn't been for this trip, I don't think I would be the person I am today. It really showed me that it's possible to achieve anything you set your mind to.
Moved to Wollongong NSW
Six months after returning home from America, I made the big move to Wollongong, six hours away from everything I had ever known. It was extremely scary, but it's something I will never regret.
This move has allowed me to step into the person I want to be, enabled me to begin my career as a musician and opened so many doors for my future.
My advice to anyone who is holding back from their dream because of fear, comfort or lack of self-belief, is to find your why. Why do you love your dream so much? Will it make you happier or a better version of yourself? Even if it doesn't, you will never know unless you try.
And trust me, life is way to short to not try. The scariest move you make may just be your best.
University of Wollongong
In 2018, I began my degree in a Bachelor of Creative Arts, Majoring in Music and Minoring in Marketing Communications and Advertising.
During my time at the University, I was a member of the Musical Theatre Society which allowed me to perform at the Wollongong Music Lounge in 2018. I was also a member of the stage crew, publicity and website team for both my second year and graduation concert which gave me a great first hand experience of the production side of the performing arts industry.
After the most challenging and rewarding three years of my life, I graduated in 2020. Alongside my new degree, I took with me incredible memories, friendships, connections and newly inherited lifelong musical skills.
Dynamics Performing Arts Studio
While I was a member of the UOW Musical Theatre Society, I took a master class with Megan Cracknell, director of Dynamics Performing Arts Studio in Albion Park. It was an instant bond and I soon afterwards enrolled as a vocal student at the studio where I still take lessons today.
During my time at this studio, I have felt my confidence as a performer improve dramatically. When I first enrolled, I had massive performance anxiety and I was terrified to sing in front of other people, let alone show someone my own compositions. Due to this, Megan signed me up for every Eisteddfod in the area for an entire year, making sure I got the chance to perform so many times that I beat my fear. Surely enough, at the beginning of 2020 I walked into my lesson and declared that I was done with Eisteddfods and was ready to work on and release my music under her guidance. Six months later, I had three songs streaming on all music platforms, two of which were my own. She also gave me my first taste of being a teacher, allowing me to come into several lessons, as well as sit in front of the stage and assist the younger students with their dance moves for the concert.
I owe so much to this woman for making me the musician I am today and will be forever grateful for my journey with her.
At the beginning of 2020, I had the honour of being hired by one of my dear friends Erin Hand as a piano and vocal tutor at her studio. During my role, I was able to teach several students, as well as run a mental health and performance anxiety workshop with Erin herself during the school holidays. I loved getting to know the students on a personal level and understanding their unique relationship with music.
I was also able to help run our end of year concert, getting a first hand experience on how to direct the students and represent the studio in a professional manner so the entire show ran smoothly both nights.
Although for only a short time, I loved the role I played at this studio and will be forever grateful that I was apart of it.
Debut of My Music
In July 2020, I completed a lifelong dream and recorded three of my own original songs at Animal Audio in Wollongong. It was completely surreal to be in the studio and hear the final product at the end of the long three days. The owner, Chris Peruch, was extremely helpful, encouraging, and professional, and I highly recommend him to anyone in the industry.
Two of my best friends Ricky Joseski (drummer) and Jack Andrews (guitarist) joined me throughout the three days, absolutely smashing every challenge thrown their way to ensure my vision for each song was brought to life. We worked from 9am until late in the afternoon, gaining skills beyond our University experiences on how music is recorded, mixed and mastered in the industry. My vocal teacher Megan Cracknell was also in attendance, guiding me every step of the way in my vocal recording.
Two of my songs were released in 2020, How Many Times to kickstart my career with Sorry following closely behind a few months later.
Whilst I was in the process of recording these songs, a fellow musician from my home town Downfall reached out to me for a collaboration on his EP. Together, we composed our song Living on the Edge. It was amazing to work with someone who had similar musical intentions to myself.
Carlos also mixed and mastered my EP 'Clarity' which I have recently released onto Spotify and Apple Music! This EP tells the journey of myself which you can learn more about in my EP Breakdown Series on my Videos page.
You can stream all my music through the link on my Qualifications page, as well as simply listen on My Music page.
University of New South Wales
While I have always wanted to be a musician, teaching was also another passion of mine. I grew up around a lot of younger children, and I always loved taking them places, teaching and showing them new things in the world. What I was stuck on however, was what area I wanted to teach.
For a long time I had the urge to teach English; I have always enjoyed writing essays and being a storyteller, so that much made sense to me. However, whilst I was completing my music degree at UOW it became clear to me that music was the teaching path I truly wanted. I could explore my storytelling through lyrics and I could be creative with the students by making music and seeing where their minds went with every beat.
The next question was primary or secondary teaching? I was always so set on teaching primary, but when I commenced my music degree I came to realise just how important HSC music was.
I was a dancer at the time of my HSC, so I had chosen dance over music. It was astounding how far behind in music theory I felt upon entering UOW due to the fact that I hadn't done HSC music. So, my decision was made right there and then; I would tutor younger children outside of school, but my main goal was to ensure no youth musician felt under prepared when stepping out into the music industry straight after high school.
Once I knew for sure what I wanted, I wasted no time in looking for a postgraduate degree in secondary teaching. Towards the end of my music degree, I quickly applied to several other University's, and was ecstatic to receive my letter of acceptance from UNSW.
I cannot wait to begin my studies and see where this journey takes me next.