Backstage at the Norton Center with… Sherrié Austin
2. WHEN I’M NOT ON TOUR I… am writing songs everyday for myself and other recording artists, usually with my 7 pound Yorkie ‘Bitsy’ at my feet…
3. WHAT I LOVE MOST ABOUT MY ART IS… that everyday I write a song it’s like opening a new present…I never know what I’m gonna find inside…
4. A LIFE LESSON I WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH CENTRE COLLEGE STUDENTS IS: That kindness is the most highly underrated of all human qualities and probably THE most important of all of them…that includes being kind to yourself.
5. I DEFINE ART AS: Freedom to express yourself in any way you choose…
6. MY MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT IN SHOW BUSINESS THUS FAR WAS: Haha, the most memorable stuff I’m sure I don’t remember! But a few highlights are: meeting Dolly Parton, Barry Gibb and doing a show on Broadway…
7. THE PERSON WHO MOST INFLUENCED ME IS: my mother.
8. IF I COULD BE ON STAGE WITH ANYONE, PAST OR PRESENT, ALIVE OR DECEASED, FICTIONAL OR REAL, IT WOULD BE: Tom Petty…
9. WHILE TOURING, ONE OF MY GUILTY PLEASURES IS: curling up in my bunk bed on the bus with a brand new book.
10. IF I COULD ENSURE THAT THE AUDIENCE TAKES HOME ONE THING AFTER MY PERFORMANCE, IT WOULD BE: a smile :–)
More about the artist:
For some kids, the circus — that colorful, nomadic, thrill-filled world – is a place to watch, in awe, the death defying acts, eat the cotton candy and peanuts, and laugh at the clowns. For Australian singer/songwriter Sherrié Austin, it was pretty much a way of life. The petite brunette has spent most of her life from the time she was 14 on the road in this circus we call show business, fearlessly chasing her dreams with her family in tow, crossing continents and even genres in search of her place in the artistic world. And whether it was the crazy carnival atmosphere of L.A.‘s pop music and TV world, the gypsy-like feel of passing from writers night to writers night during those early years in Nashville, or the thrill of soaring without a net during her days on Broadway in the Big Apple circus, Sherrié embraced it all. She’s distilled all of those experiences into her new project, “Circus Girl.”
The title track, written by Austin, really is the theme of her life. It is her song, her story…and an important one to tell at this particular juncture in her creative journey.
“When I wrote “Circus Girl” I didn’t set out to write something autobiographical, it was just something inside of me that wanted to come out. Then, when I sang it one day, it occurred to me that my family and I had traveled around Australia going from one festival to another, sometimes living in a caravan or a tent when I was performing. We’d pack up dad’s truck and we’d be off to the next festival. It was like a big ole circus. Then I ran away to Los Angeles and did film and TV there. Next I ran off to Nashville to write and sing and make records, and that was another kind of circus. And then I got it into my head I wanted to do Broadway and theater again, so I ran off to New York and joined that crazy world,” says Austin.
“Then I came back to Tennessee and thought, ‘well, I think I’ll just hang up my trapeze and go into early retirement.’ Then one day I looked up and there was this circus in cyberspace, the internet and it changed everything, and there I was dusting myself off and at it again. ‘Circus Girl’ just seemed the most fitting title for this record because of the life that I’ve had. Ever since I was a little girl I’ve been in the entertainment business in one form or another. So the songs on this album are just a collection of my life experiences.”
From an early age Sherrié had a love of country music but also enjoyed musical theater, appearing in school plays and starring in lots of productions. When the TV auditions for the sitcom “The Facts Of Life” were held in Sydney, she tried out on a whim and impressed the casting directors so much they flew her to L.A. and ultimately gave her a part in the show. That break led to dozens more in TV shows and films over the next few years while she continued to pursue her singing career. Signing with Jimmy Iovine’s Interscope Records, she recorded a pop project and began touring but quickly realized her heart just wasn’t in it. So, she up and joined another circus.
The Sherrié Austin Trio will perform in Club Weisiger at the Norton Center on Monday, May 6. All tickets are $30, seating is limited. For more information visit NortonCenter.com.