Talented Friends – Erin Parker

This is the first of what could prove to be a series of special posts featuring my talented friends – I have so many of them!

Erin and I have been friends since waiting tables together the summer of 1998.  We worked at a small Mediterranean restaurant and would often be the only two servers working a given shift. When it was slow, we’d exchange life stories over feta-stuffed pita and diet coke. We would fold cloth napkins for what seemed like hours and wonder how it was that we hadn’t met before.

Our friendship blossomed the following summer after we’d graduated and Erin was away doing summer stock theater in Michigan. Through letters, we shared boy drama and fears about heading out into “the real world.” Yeah, hand-written letter writing. The real deal.

At the end of that summer, we decided to pack up my little Ford Tempo and move together from Southern Indiana and Michigan to Portland, Oregon. Erin’s brother lived there, so although we were as naive as any 22-year-olds could be, we had a destination and a place to live once we got there. Together, we started an amazing, and often times ridiculous, adventure.

Erin is one of the main “characters” in my MFA memoir thesis project (we have some good stories from those months together), but over the last 13 years, Erin and my friendship has changed as we have grown. Although I don’t see her or talk to her nearly enough, she was the officiant at my wedding and is still one of my very best friends.

This spring, Erin started a project called MAS Nashville.  It started out as a Mutual Admiration Society, but the name also signifies Mas, meaning more. More talent. More variety. More opportunity. More community.  Erin is an actress and singer, and she got tired of waiting around for other people to invite her to get involved in cool, inspiring projects.  So, she decided to create her own opportunity with a group of women that she admired vocally.  Together, the five women created a one-time-only cabaret performance. It sold out, so they committed to an encore performance.

Today, appropriate for the holiday, Erin sent me a link to their arrangement of Katy Perry’s “Firework.” Watching the video moved me to tears.  Granted, I’m an 8-month-pregnant lady, but still… it just made me even more sad that I live so far away and wasn’t able to see the show in its entirety.

Happy 4th of July! (Erin is the second one from the left.)

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  1. Erin’s avatar

    Thank you Bethie!



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