This week I had the pleasure of interviewing @travjames !
- Tell me about yourself:
” I’m a cabaret, concert and recording artist living in NYC. I grew up in a small town called Slippery Rock, which is on the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio. I’m an only child, which explains my desperate need for attention at any cost. I wasn’t your typical kid from a small town.
For example, after seeing Carol Channing in her last tour of Hello, Dolly!, I brought in the souvenir program from the show and made a presentation about Carol Channing and her career for show and tell. I’ve always been obsessed and addicted to theater, performers and everything showbiz.
Every child loved the Disney Channel growing up, but I loved it because they used to show The Judy Garland Show at night!
2. What made you interested in singing?
“I started taking voice lessons when I was about 15 years old and then I majored in Musical Theater at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA, so I’ve been singing for a long time!
I’ve always loved music and became an obsessive Barbra Streisand fan in first grade when my Mom showed me the film version of Funny Girl! I was fascinated with the things Streisand could do with her voice and I wanted to learn more! I also idolized my first voice teacher, Judy Hughes. She had been a professional opera singer and was a true eccentric; so different from everyone else in the town I grew up in and I was obsessed! “
3. What has been your most memorable performance?
” There are SO many, but there are two that come to mind. Another one of my biggest inspirations is Elaine Stritch. When she passed, I was asked to perform in one of the tribute concerts celebrating her. I sang “Fifty Percent,” which I later recorded.
The cast included superstar Annaleigh Ashford, Tony Danza (of all people), Marilyn Maye (considered one of the best singers who has ever lived) and camp icon Pia Zadora, if you can believe it…lol! It was a magical night and I was thrilled to be able to honor the memory of an idol of mine. The other performance that pops to mind is from this past June when my solo show, Just One Look: The Songs of Linda Ronstadt, was one of the first shows to open The Green Room 42 back up here in NYC after the shutdown. To hit that stage with musical director Drew Wutke, my special guests Jack Bartholet, Lillian Andrea De Leon and Elijah Caldwell and a full band after such a long time was a thrilling out of body experience! The shutdown was the longest I’ve ever gone without performing in front of an audience and it felt so good to be back!”
4. What was your first Broadway show you remember seeing?
“The first professional show I saw was Annie starring Jo Anne Worley at the Pittsburgh CLO. I was in kindergarten or first grade and you would have thought I was seeing Beyoncé or Adele. I had seen Jo Anne Worley in reruns of Laugh-In (again on the Disney Channel) and it was my first-time seeing a celebrity live. I was hooked after that. The first Broadway shows I saw were The Last Night of Ballyhoo (which won the Tony for Best Play that year), the musical The Life starring Lillias White and the revival of Chicago with the original cast. The whole experience was so thrilling and surreal. I basically saved every flyer and Playbill I could get my hands on. On our way home, I told my parents I was going to live there one day and here I am!”
5. If you had to make a 2022 winter playlist that best describe your current mood. What five songs would you put on the list and why?
“Well, first of all, I want everyone to add my BroadwayWorld Award Winning album So Many People: The Sondheim Sessions and all of my other albums and singles to their Spotify and/or Apple Music playlists! Every single one…lol! However, taking all of that out of the equation, here is my 2022 winter playlist:
- Sweet Talker” by Years and Years: While it’s freezing and we’re hiding from Omi, we have to stay sharp for the bars this summer! This is such great song and I love Olly Alexander!
- The entire Brandi Carlile album, “In These Silent Days,” but specifically “This Time Tomorrow,” because if we’ve learned anything, it’s that we have to live NOW, hunni!
- “Easy” by Troye Sivan, featuring Mark Ronson and Kacey Musgraves: This didn’t get it’s due when it came out and it’s the perfect song for those happy/sad days that are heading for us in February!
- “When I Was a Girl in Colorado” by Judy Collins: This folk/pop LEGEND doesn’t get her due! She’s currently on a worldwide tour and has a new album coming out in February at the age of 82!!!!!! I just saw her at Town Hall here in NYC and she looked and sounded incredible!
- “The Ladies Who Lunch” sung by Patti LuPone on the London cast recording of Company: I just saw the Broadway version of this production here in NYC and LOVED. It’s the perfect song to have in your head while you’re judging everyone at brunch.
If you like to learn more about @travjames Here is the following contact information:
Thank you so much for the interview Travis!