How did you become the Shirtless Violinist?
Well I’ve been playing the violin since the age of 3 and performing for as long as I remember. Growing up, my siblings (who also play violin) and I formed a string trio called “Two Hits and a Miss” I don’t think my sister was fond of the name! But years passed and all three of us went our own way. I got into teaching violin and discovered a passion for that. But when I noticed classical musicians like The Piano Guys covering popular music on YouTube I thought it looked like a lot of fun! When I met my fiancé, Paul, I told him about my idea and he loved it.
He had always wanted to be a filmmaker, so it was right up his alley. While on a road trip to California, we decided to film the music video at different, beautiful spots along the way. But right before Paul said “action” at the first location, he suggested I take off my shirt! Why? “Because the video will get more views!!” We never actually imagined we would still be making videos 3 years later - but here we are! I guess the idea caught on!!
Tell us about your new music video I Dream a dream?
We love to collaborate with other artists, especially musicians and dancers! This music video is one of the latter. I met Joshua and Vincent (the dancers) through mutual dance friends in the Seattle area. They are both incredibly talented! Vincent choreographed the dance and had total creative freedom. Paul, who directed, simply told him to depict the a relationship in all its ups and downs…ultimately ending in loss (tragic, I know) The result is certainly one of the most emotional and stunning videos we have released so far.
What is your favourite country in the world and why?
Italy!! “Two Hits and a Miss” (the string trio formed by my siblings and I) actually got to travel to Italy when we were younger! The three of us absolutely fell in love with the language, culture, music and - of course - the food! Especially the gelato which we practically lived on for 5 weeks! We have all been back (separately) since, and I can’t wait for my next return!!
Where would you still like to visit?
There is so much travelling I would love to do! For the purposes of keeping this from being several pages long, I’ll just say Australia! My younger sister (the “Miss”) married an Aussie and moved there 4 years ago. Sadly, I have not been able to visit her yet! She has three little ones (all with Italian names!) and I am very-much looking forward to visiting soon.
You get your kit off a lot are you comfortable with your body?
Growing up in a very conservative mid western home, I was NOT comfortable with my body at all. In fact, we were told to cover up as much as possible, always wore baggy clothing, and even wore t-shirts in the public swimming pool because it was deemed “immodest” to show skin! So the journey to being “shirtless” and comfortable with my body has been a long one. Having said that, I can happily say that the answer is now YES. I am very comfortable in my skin, and I devote a lot of energy into my health and fitness. But anyone knows that the journey to feeling good about yourself is separate from the way you actually look in the mirror! I’m proud to say I feel confident inside and out.
Who would you most like to work with on a song or project?
Tough question! There are so many wonderful musicians that I would be honored to collaborate with. I have actually performed onstage with Andrea Bocelli, but that was in a symphony environment. I would LOVE to collaborate with him as a soloist. That would be a dream come true!
Plans for the next 12 months?
My first studio album, Disney Strings, was successfully funded on Kickstarter earlier this Spring, so I will be in the studio recording, mixing, and mastering that entire album with my audio engineer here in Washington state. I’ll be kicking off the album release with a concert and potentially a few live events. In addition, I have a new music video coming out on my YouTube channel every month and I am always working on those. I will also be performing a live concert in Pennsylvania this August! It will be the largest audience I’ve performed for as The Shirtless Violinist (500+). This time next year I plan to be working on my second studio album - but I’m not ready to reveal the theme of that one, so you’ll have to stay tuned for those details!