A few years ago I started a “Talented Friends” series and featured my friend Erin Parker. She is a friend from college, a roommate during those early angst-filled months post-college, and many years of friendship later, the officiant at our wedding. Now, she is in the final week of a Kickstarter campaign to launch her debut album with MAS Nashville. I’m so proud of my talented friend that I wanted to share her inspiring story of how getting off your butt and making things happen (instead of waiting for opportunity to come to you) can result in the unexpected.
See Erin’s guest post below and please consider supporting this amazing group of women artists for their campaign, MORE MAS – Our Debut Album…And MORE!
Erin is second from the left. Image by: Anthony Matula
What the heck is MAS?!? Chances are, if you don’t live in Nashville or aren’t a Facebook friend of any of the MAS members, you haven’t heard of us, so let me give you some basic “about us” info. MAS is a Mutual Admiration Society of five female performers who bring music, comedy, cleavage and class to live productions in a “cabaret-meets-concert”style. What we do is irreverent, funny and sincere. You might laugh and cry at our shows. Heartstrings are pulled. F-bombs are dropped. Standards (and heels) are high. Necklines are low. We aim for beautiful AND bawdy all at once. I think the best description for what we do is “Celtic Women meets Sex in the City.” If you visit the “who we are” section of masnashville.com you’ll find the official scoop, but here’s my personal back-story:
About three-and-a-half years ago (while I happened to be visiting Beth in Philly, coincidentally) four of my girlfriends in Nashville and I were dreaming up a little show via email communication. I had been talking (yet not doing anything) about putting together a cabaret-of-sorts for years, but a desire to do everything “right” (or fear of doing something “wrong”) held me back. That need/fear has paralyzed me into inaction more than I care to admit in my life, but around that time, something in me finally clicked. I just didn’t care about doing something “right” anymore. I felt that the only way I could fail was by not trying. I don’t know if it was a shitty breakup that I had gone through the year before, the confidence (and cash) I had gotten from recently being awarded a grant as a theatre artist, or the fact that I was going to be leaving town for a long-term job in the near future (or a combination of all of those things), but I was ready to stop talking and start DOING. So I reached out to some awesomely talented girlfriends whom I thought might share my enthusiasm, and we hatched a plan.
We called ourselves “MAS”–an acronym for “Mutual Admiration Society”…which also happened to sound like “más,” the Spanish translation of “more”–and we loved that. More! There’s always room for more, so why not throw something out there! It was to be a cabaret-type-thingy that we hoped we could rope 10-20 of our friends into watching–maybe on a Wednesday night at a coffee shop. Perhaps we could get some feedback from our pals. We could do some fun group numbers, solos and string it together with witty banter. We would have fun building a show together, and then we would high-five each other and take that knowledge into whatever ventures we tried out next.
But that’s not exactly how it played out. Something kind of magical happened. The stars aligned. Or maybe it was shot glasses that aligned–not stars. I don’t remember. Anyway – instead of 10 people showing up, there were over 100. This group of five over-achieving women put on a show that sold out, got rave reviews and turned into something we still do on a regular basis (as our crazy-busy schedules allow) over three years later. Which leads us to this Kickstarter.
MAS is aiming to make an album of our “greatest hits,” as well as get ourselves “official” by creating a company. We also want to get a leg up on our upcoming holiday show, so we decided to ask for help and see if there were people out there who would be interested in backing us. Every time we do a show, people ask, “Do you have a CD?!?,” so we thought we’d give them a chance to get in on the ground floor and get that music as a reward.
Asking for help has never been my forte, but we’re all flabbergasted at the generosity and support we have received so far. We still have a ways to go though, so THANK YOU BETH, for helping us spread the word! We have a YouTube channel if you’d like to check out some videos. Just keep in mind that at least a few hundred of the Firework views are Beth listening to it on repeat… 😉
It can be hard to follow your dreams, and it can be hard to ask for help, but we hope you’ll consider supporting five gals who are doing their best to raise the standard, demand more of themselves and each other, and create more cool stuff. MAS is all about working hard, laughing harder and inspiring others to follow their own hearts, so please join us and help us do MAS!
Thanks for reading!
MAS is comprised of these five essential pieces: Melodie Madden Adams, Megan Murphy Chambers, Cori Anne Laemmel, Laura Matula, and Erin Parker. Links to everything MAS-related can be found at masnashville.com.