Singer/Songwriter, Actress & Motivational Speaker
I am a fortunate girl, a daughter, sister, a wife, a friend, a bandmate, a volunteer. I have enjoyed working in the performing arts for thirty years, as a recording artist, writer, and actor. I feel utterly privileged to have lived this life where I am able to make records, art, painting and cartooning, write poetry, short stories, choreograph my concerts with dance, make music, and even write a memoir! As an adopted kid, having had a great upbringing by loving parents, and also knowing my loving birthmom, I have always felt especially lucky. Life has always provided immeasurable laughter and love to me, and keeps providing it. Pinch me!
You have performed with quite a roster of singers from Snoop Dog to Sheryl Crow, Sarah MacLaughlan and The Cult. You are able to perform with such diverse artists, what is your gift for being able to connect so well with everyone, particularly as a singer?
My recordings and albums have always been a tad eclectic and stylistically diverse, and this has been beneficial. I have had the opportunities to play with all types of artists and groups from many different musical genres. I love it!
You have acted, written poetry, shared the stage with music icons, written a book, you have done so much. What’s the next big thing you dream of doing?
I am currently writing a book about cancer and writing and recording a new album. I toured a new musical project, this fall, called, “Snake and The Chain”, and am also composing a book of poetry and observations, short stories, and cartoons. Having relocated to Toronto now, I am looking forward to more upcoming acting and speaking appearances.
I have seen you perform live and your show is like no other. Your songs tell stories, and then in between sets, you are part movitational speaker, part comedian. It’s really quite brilliant. How did you create this unique performance style like no other. What would you call it?
Thank you so much! You know, I LOVE talking. Haha! Not only in between the songs on the stage, but everywhere: in elevators, in the grocery store line-ups, and in my speeches and speaking keynotes. I just love to talk. I am a story teller and love to weave that into the cloth of the concerts.
In your book, “I Bificus” you share stories of some close calls in your youth like so many of us have had. What advice would you give to young women who look up to you as a woman owning her power? What would you tell young women who are going through the tough times youth can bring?
I would definitely let young women know that they don’t ever have to be as self-deprecating as I was. Also, to be strong in their path: to know that they were destined to succeed no matter what their dreams are. Plus, that the misadventures of youth will pass. If I can survive the close calls and danger, and still come through as an optimist and lover, then anyone can.
You survived breast cancer. What did that experience bring to your life?
Breast Cancer is a great teacher. Any crisis is. Breast cancer helped to show me my purpose in life, and confirmed much of what I already felt in my heart. Breast Cancer solidified my faith in God, in my family, and in myself. Cancer is The Big Reveal: it shows you who everyone is. It taught me that I loved being a hospital volunteer and that I was cut out for palliative care volunteering, and I love it.
Best thing about being a rock star?
Haha! I have never self-identified as a “rock star” haha! But as a tattooed girl I would say the best part of my job is not being arrested for all these tattoos.
Worst thing about being a rock star?
There is no bad thing, ever, as my health and happiness overflow. Life rules.
You received an Honorary Degree from the University of the Fraser Valley. What an honour. What was that like? How did you find out they had chosen you?
I originally left university to go on tour with a punk rock band, and had always meant to return to my studies (but never did). I simply never stopped touring, and played almost three hundred shows a year for over two decades. So, when UFV contacted me regarding the degree I was so moved by this honour that I cried. My parents were overjoyed, and that was the very best part.
Favourite city in the world?
I always say Paris, but right now it’s Toronto because we have just moved here.
Teetotaler or something stronger?
Alcohol is not my friend, and I always used to say I either woke up married, in jail, or in Italy as a result of drinking it. I drink a diet cola if I am in a bar. My husband, however, is a vin rouge fanatic. Haha! He has me for a built in designated driver.
Most recent indulgence?
Most recent indulgence was car insurance in Ontario. Haha! Despite my safe drivers’ discount in BC, my insurance and safety inspections on my ten-year-old Volvo hatchback cost more than my mortgage payment. Driving a car is my luxury.
Walk, bike or drive?
When we stay in Paris we walk everywhere, and I mean almost twenty kilometers a day! But here, in Toronto, I commute between downtown and Oakville (where my manager lives), so I like driving.
Who is the one person in the world you would like to sit beside on a long flight and what would you ask her or him? (Or maybe you already did and have a happy story….)
I love air travel and usually found it was the only time I ever took a nap! One time, from Heathrow to Vancouver, I slept THE ENTIRE WAY! Another flight from India to Frankfurt I flew First Class and was so sick the flight attendants had to feed me charcoal pills. I talk to everyone on the plane but always prefer to chat with the crew, as I believe they deserve my gratitude and admiration.
What would advice would you give people interested in pursueing a life in the music industry?
The best advice I could give would be to NEVER QUIT no matter how isolating or futile it feels. It’s always the little milestones that will keep us going.
“God loves Stupid, too” is my favourite quote because it always makes me laugh. Plus, it’s very true. To me it means, never judge, to be compassionate, and to remember that even the “bad” people are deserving of love and forgiveness.
Last book you read.
A book called “Buddha In The Waiting Room” by Paul Brenner. It’s a book Paul wrote about listening to the “profound wisdom of the terminally ill” Dr. Brenner is a hero of mine, and has inspired and motivated me for many years.
Favourite cause, group or activist?
I will always be an animal wellness advocate, but have found my purpose advocating for women particularly patient advocacy and identifying and minimizing barriers for women in cancer care and palliative care.
You are a vegan for your health. What advice would you have for others who are trying to make the change to a better lifestyle?
Any change or evolution a person makes to improve their life, their health, or the planet, is amazing. I fully support and encourage anyone to take healthy steps (even if they are baby steps) toward a compassionate and happier life for all.
Feel free to add your favourite vegan fragrance by The 7 Virtues if you like. Gush.
Naturally, my FAVOURITE fragrances are The 7 Virtures!!!!! Heehee most especially the Noble Rose of Afghanistan mixed with some Orange Blossom. I am intoxicated and enraptured in fragrance and how it transports me.