Out Of My Comfort Zone


A good friend, Dave Olson, inspired me to "make Facebook better". Or, in other words, make online sharing better. Stop sharing useless, unstimulating crap, like which celebrity's sex tape leaked, and start sharing things that change the world, no matter how minute. 

He spoke about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, and sharing things that scare or define you as a person. Things that you're too self conscious to give to the world because it's not perfect enough, or it needs just a little more work. Those are my exact two reasons why I shy away from sharing original content, and this blog post is about me, conjuring up the strength and confidence to share something that would've just rotted away in the back of my hard drive for the rest of eternity. 

Thank you Dave, for all of your encouraging words, your extremely fascinating stories, and most of all, thank you for inspiring me to be a better human - a person that knows she can change the world. 

Today, I'm sharing my very first professional recording, circa 2003. "I'm Ready", Produced by Francis Garcia. Enjoy!




Love,
Marie

Me, Myself, and Mark



This Friday's performance will be monumental for me. For the first time in my life, I'll be singing on stage with only one other person - my good friend and fellow band mate, Mark. My inaugural duo gig, compared to countless performances on stage with 6 other people to share it with.

I have to admit...I'm nervous and scared. Then I tell myself that if I can sing in front of 20,000+ people by myself, then I can do this. I'll keep telling myself that! Like everything else in life, exude confidence, and you'll be gold.

It'll be a night of raw soulful vocals and harmonious keys. Come and join me as I rip the cherry off this ish!

Hard Rock Casino Vancouver - Unlisted Stage
Friday March 28, 2014
9pm-11:50pm
No cover


Love,
Marie

What's Life Without Music?


Music surrounds my life in multiple magnitudes. Either writing original music with one band, or perfecting my craft on stage with another, travelling overseas to lend my talent to international markets, humbly seeing hundreds of thousands of views on youtube videos or standing in front of a crowd of tens of thousands of people in my hometown, music surrounds my life and I've fully and happily succumb to it. There's always a song in my head, and whether it's the most catchy song on the radio at the moment, or one that I'm trying to learn for a gig, or one that I've chosen to put on repeat for days straight, it's ever-present, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

What's life without music? No life at all.



By the way, have you seen the latest promo for my party band, Groove&Tonic? Check it out and let me know what you think! 



Love,
Marie

First Match Jitters?

Last Saturday was the first Whitecaps match of the 2014 season, which meant it was the first time for me singing the anthems in about 5 months, for a sold out crowd of 21,000 people.

This is my fourth season as the Vancouver Whitecaps' official anthem singer, so I shouldn't be nervous, right? By the end of the Canadian anthem, my body was shaking and my heartbeat was racing .

Let's chalk it up to an unusually large amount of adrenalin in my veins and extreme excitement that we've got a brand new season ahead of us!



GO CAPS!


"End Of The Road" for Luongo in Vancouver

I'm glad I got to sing the anthems for Luongo at least once!
As soon as word hit Twitter that Roberto Luongo was traded, I received a call from my good friend Clayton Imoo. The first sentence out of his mouth  - "you know why I'm calling, right?". Of course I knew, Clay!

Less than 3 hours of rehearsing, prepping and primping, we had a final take of the song. No cutting and pasting...just raw footage with captions. 

It's our tribute to the reign of Roberto Luongo - one of the best goalies Vancouver ever had. He brought us to the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2011 and secured the gold medal for Canada in the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics. 

Quite a few people messaged me on Facebook, tweeted us on Twitter, or commented on the websites that posted our video, saying they cried while watching it or that our lyrics and emotion in the performance on the song were their exact same sentiments. Luongo personally reached out to both of us individually and thanked us as well. He said he was holding back tears the entire time he was watching this video. These messages, and especially the DM from the person we were making the video for, has made this entire experience that much more special. 

If you haven't seen it yet, here it is.

)


Love,
Marie

My Hometown Newspaper

Today presented another first for me. My hometown community newspaper, The Richmond Review featured us on the front cover. Unreal!! I used to read this paper religiously. To see myself on the front cover is simply astonishing. If you haven't seen the reason why we were in the news, click here.

Hope my parents save me a copy!



Love,
Marie

I'm a Seahawks Fan in Vancouver



The NFC Championship game was unreal. Anxiousness, complete alertness, eyes glued to the tv screens at the Lamplighter, sweaty palms pounding on the tables after every play. The entire venue's occupants shouting words of encouragement, "Sea-HAWKS" cheers and the occasional brave 49'ers fan clapping within a sea of blue and green.

The game was exciting to the very last second. Richard Sherman's tip in the end zone was the Seahawk's last payment towards a trip to the Superbowl!

I marvelled at their athleticism...the physical ability of these mighty men had me reeling. Being a football player myself, I know the importance of defence. "Defence wins game" everybody says, and it's true. The Seahawk's Legion of Boom contributed greatly towards that win, and I still find myself in awe while thinking about that game. I quarterback for my women's flag football team and I completely admire Russell Wilson. I want to play just like him. Anyways, that's another few hours of conversation that can wait until next time.

The same evening we won the NFC Championship (and I say "we" because the Seahawks is my adopted home team, and I'm obviously rooting for them), my good friend Clay texted me asking if I wanted to do a Seahawks song for the week leading to the Superbowl. No question about it - I said yes! 

One week later, after the 15 mins it took Clay to write the song, 1.5 hours to catch up with each other, learn the song, set up camera and mic, change into jerseys, and 30 mins to record, we had our most viral video we've ever done (if you didn't know, we've done a bunch of videos in the past (including this one), focusing on the Vancouver Canucks.)


We've been on CTV, interviewed on camera by Global BC, featured on Richmond Review's website and all over social media, garnering us 74,132 views at the time I'm writing this blog.


This is first for me. 70,000+ views where I'm featured, doing what I love doing - singing. Thank you to everyone that watched the video, liked it, commented on it, shared it. Thanks to Clay for orchestrating the entire thing, writing the lyrics and playing the piano, Clay's son Sean for assisting with recording and Arielle for singing the song with me. I'm positive it will help the Seahawks win SB48. February 2nd will be a good day.




Thank You for 2013




Photo: Reppin' the @seahawks 12th man at the @NFL #ProBowl! #tailgate #hawaii
What a spectacular year 2013 was and I'm sad to see it over. From an NFL Pro Bowl vacation in Hawaii, to an exciting Whitecaps season, countless efforts to perfect my craft on stage (including one that involved a 60+ member horn section) and learning from superstars from the crowd. 2013 also included a trip to the states to play basketball with an all-female, all-Chinese team, 4 Canucks parody videos (one of which went semi-viral, garnering 46,000+ views on YouTube), witnessing my best friend marry the love of her life, winning another football championship, venturing down a brand new career path, and numerous National Anthem appearances, including one for the highest profile sports team in Vancouver.

I feel so incredibly blessed and lucky to be supported and loved by the people in my life. These experiences would not have been possible if it weren't for you. Thank you to everyone that has touched me in some way - family, friends, co-workers, team mates, band members and supporters. Even the littlest of tweets has affected me! No one has been left unnoticed.








This new year will be a milestone - both in age and in my path to conquering fears and fulfilling my dreams.

Cheers to a new year full of adventure and success, love and laughter.


Love,
Marie






Marie's Vancouver Canucks Debut


The Vancouver Canucks Game Day Experience 
Singing the anthems for the Canucks wasn't just another gig. It was something I've been wanting and waiting for.

Thanks to the organization for giving me the opportunity to showcase my talent to the team, the club and to the fans. I hope I get to come back soon. See below for a video of the performance that my good friend Clay created, and a compilation of pictures from various people that were there.


Enjoy!


Love,
Marie




The Long Awaited Invitation & New Canucks Video




This week started out with a very special email - one that I have been waiting and hoping to receive. The largest and arguably the most high profile professional sports team in Vancouver - The Vancouver Canucks has asked me to sing the anthems for them this Thursday for a game against the San Jose Sharks.

                    "I know fan voting missed you in the top 10 group for Rock the Rog but we have heard 
                     you at White Caps games and liked your anthem submission for Rock the Rog and 
                     would love to have you sing the anthem at Canucks game this season."


Needless to say, my heart rate increased to a point of no return, and I proceeded to pump my fist in the air and gave out a cheer to the only person in the room - myself. I then went to facebook and proclaimed it to the online world, and up to this point in my facebook profile career, I have not had more "likes" than any other status update - 385!!! Thank you, facebook friends, for making me feel so special and sharing this excitement with me. 


To add to the thrill of such great news, my good friend and local Canucks Hockey Blogger, Clayton Imoo invited an equally talented local actor and performer, Arielle Tuliao, and I to record another Canucks video, just in time for the return of rival ex-Canuck goalie, Cory Schneider to Roger's Arena. With hopes that this video would turn viral like our last video, Under John Tortorella, Clay released the video yesterday, named Against All Odds (Luongo's Lament), to the tune of Phil Collins' hit song.



For those going to the game on Thursday, see you there. I hope I don't slip and fall on the ice. The Canucks knew that this was my biggest fear, and tweeted:



For those that aren't going to the game, I hope they televise it. I know I'll have my PVR recording it!


Love,
Marie


The Semi-Viral Video

It's been exactly one week since Clay (@CanuckClay) and I released our newest Vancouver Canucks parody video. In one week's time, it's garnered 32,579 views (as of 4:00pm, Friday July 5th). If you haven't seen it, check it out:



 As soon as the video hit twitter, my phone would not stop buzzing. I had to keep my iPhone on it's charger all day long. Throughout the week, we received so much love, including snippets and articles on The Beat 94.5, Team 1040 Radio, CKNW News 1130, VancityBuzz, Global News BC and CTV News.

It's been one heck of a ride and I want to thank each and every one of you for supporting the video.

32,579 views in one week makes the video semi-viral, right? The Canucks thought so!


The Domino Effect

If you had asked me three years ago if I believed I would be singing anthems for 20,000 people on a regular basis, my answer would range from, "are you crazy?" to "yeah right, why would you joke around like that?". Then this happened:


Then the "Domino Effect" comes into play. With some social media magic and natural relationship building with everyone I meet, whether in person or online, I've been so lucky to encounter more than just anthem singing for the Whitecaps.

Last month, I had the unbelievable privilege to sing the anthem for thousands upon thousands of runners at the BMO Vancouver Marathon. The organizers put me up on a scissor lift and lifted me a few meters from the ground. My view of the unending sea of runners was indescribable. I felt like I was on top of the world!





More recently, I was approached by a planner for the annual Vancouver event, The Global Relay Gastown Grand Prix. They had seen and heard me sing for the Whitecaps and the BMO Marathon and asked if I wanted to take part in this year's Grand Prix. A second didn't go by before I said YES! I'm so damn excited to be a part of this exciting local event. Gastown is one of my very favorite neighborhoods in Vancouver and it will be exhilarating to see it transformed for the Grand Prix.





Singing the anthems might be a small part of the pie to some, but for me, the opportunities that rose and continue to rise from one simple audition means the world.


Love,
Marie








3 Seasons Strong

As the start of the third season in the MLS approaches, I wanted to once again show and share my appreciation to the Whitecaps FC Organization, the staff that have taken good care of me and most of all, the fans and players that have become my friends.

It's been 3 years since that picture was taken and put on the front cover of the Metro Vancouver News. 3 Seasons Strong.

Love,
Marie

I'm One of Them!


How can I summarize the 2012 Whitecaps FC MLS Season? Easy. The best season ever. Not only did the Whitecaps make it to the playoffs in their second season in the MLS (Toronto hasn't even made it 5 years in the MLS), I got to sing the anthem in front of David Beckham, in addition to singing the anthems in the thick of the Southside (video below).

But above all else, it has been the relationships that were conceived this season. Connections with the Vancouver Southsiders, players and the WC staff who make it look so effortless to create and execute the amazing game experience for all us, the fans. I appreciate each and every one of you. You've touched my heart in more ways than one.

To the Southsiders, thank you for welcoming me into the Organization with open arms.

Below is a video of me singing the anthems from the Southsiders stands.


Love,
Marie




Singing on a Pier on a Cold Autumn Evening


Imagine this...a chilly October evening at Rocky Point Park in Port Moody. Couples taking their after-dinner walks with their dogs along the water, a few groups of teenagers roaming down the pier and first dates just coming out from the Boathouse, taking a romantic stroll to the end of the pier and back.

We approach the water and as we're getting ready setting up lighting, I'm freezing, shaking with anticipation, adrenalin and despite the cold weather, I'm stoked. I obviously didn't dress for the cold weather in a tight black dress, high heels and a light leather jacket. Trying to visualize the hot sandy beaches of Hawaii, I zone in on the task at hand - get in stage character for the filming of a new video for a cover song I've just recorded, Whitney Houston's You Give Good Love.

Thank you to Stars United for doing such a great job with the track and the video. I hope you enjoy my very first Glee-style video.



Love, Marie