We are sharing interview with Multi-talented Barbi. She is radio show host, entrepreneur, fashion designer, artist, author, and Sarah McLaughlin-type animal rescuer. She has us all a little curious about this online Oprah-like personality with a renaissance-like creative mind…
How did you get started?
As a singer, I was singing since I was 9 months old. My mom tells the story of her and my dad fighting in the front seat and me softly singing “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” From there, my mom knew I had some kind of gift for it. It is not too normal for a person to sing at such a young age. At age five, I knew it was something I was meant to do. There was no question about it. Many people ask children, “What would you like to do when you grow up?” I would answer, that I already knew I was going to be a singer. Over time, the dream waned just a little. I started strong, I auditioned and got into a competitive children’s choir in Los Angeles (probably one of the most competitive areas to get into a state/area choir.) However, soon after that, we moved from California. I remember being in 4th grade and looking up at a show from the school’s fifth grade choir. Butterflies and shivers took over me, I had to try out the following year! I got in and quickly became the center of attention. Unfortunately, in middle school I was targeted for being a good singer and bullied. As a way to keep myself out of school choir, I took to songwriting. My first songs are admittedly terrible. I eventually lost sight of myself and my dream in college. I did try out for a music scholarship in college and got the scholarship through a good audition even when I was not a music student. The chair of the music department selected me and also let me know that I couldn’t use it if I wasn’t a music major. I then re-enrolled to the university I was attending and attempted a 24 hour schedule. The hours were too hard to maintain. I had to eventually come to terms with it. I felt at that point I officially “gave up the dream” of being an opera singer (because that is what I was training for in music school.)
What inspired you to keep following your dream?
Oddly enough, I felt horrible without my dream. I let myself check into a cubicle work environment to see if I could resign to a more practical existence, but it was not easy for me. I lived with my dream inside my head my entire life. I felt disillusioned adopting an average existence. Like I never just did what I was told like other people, so now it was like I was learning to be super-normal. That was hard on me. I had to take art classes at night with tuition assistance from the company to break from the monotony of the desk job I had. It was after a year I got a letter from the dean saying that I was close to graduation requirements for an art degree and also a letter from a renowned art school letting me know the 4.0 I held at the time spurred a letter about graduate studies. I felt it was the universe saying I was on the right path with my creative-side. At that point I didn’t take up music again though; It took a very awkward run-in with a person I had a crush on and a car accident with-in roughly the same time frame to make me feel messed-up enough to gather all my old songs and start again. I wanted to redeem myself through my work. It’s kind of the awkward person way of handling a bad exchange. Like, “well, that went as bad as that could possibly go…I will either go live off-the-grid or create a musical about it.”
How did you start on the rest of your creative work? The non-music work like fashion design?
A company found me online and let me know they wanted me to be part of their voices campaign and at around the same time I was working to put together a fashion show with an organization that funds research for PTSD and other mental disorders of this nature. It seems like everywhere I was going someone was finding out about me and asking me to participate in an art gallery event, fashion show, music show, and I was up for it! For example, randomly, out-of-the-blue a promoter from RAW Natural Talent Showcases sent me a message and I was in another show! I was selected to make this great bog show in Austin, Texas. This is the live-music capital of the world. I was floored! During all of this I was set on writing a book. I ended up with one completed book and a couple written-out drafts that need revision. Now, I only focus on my creative work. Rather, it is the other way around, my creative work finds me! That’s is how I have a radio show!
What is your radio show about?
I called it B.R.A.V.E. radio. It is an acronym that stands for “bringing real and authentic voices to everyone.” I recently met with a dermatologist for my first show. I want to provide an “awkward questions” segment where people find out the answers to questions they are scared to ask. I just recall being young and having a break out, freaking out, going to the library to dig into all the books to find the cure for acne! I was so shy then. I felt like I needed to cure acne in some monk-like quest to save all teenagers. Now, I want to help the younger version of myself with a show that will provide some guidance for people in a real caring way.
Where can we hear this show?
I have a Facebook page made for it. I will be out of California, but people everywhere will be able to get it online and on YouTube. It is so new right now the first show is still in production! I will provide a link to the page so that people on your blog can follow along.