Hey! :) My name is Sarah Avalia, I'm a pop singer/songwriter from Perth Western Australia. Here's my story on how I came to be an independent artist and why.
So it all started many years ago when I was about 5 years old dancing around in my grandparents living room to Michael Flatley’s "Lord of the Dance" pretending that I was an irish dancer just like in the video and although I was terrible and played the video way too many times, my grandparents were always so encouraging of me which led to dance classes.
My Parents enrolled me into dance classes at various local schools but nothing really seemed to stick until I was about 8 years old when I was enrolled into the Johnny Young Talent School (JYTS). I had just discovered my passion for singing and this talent school offered both singing and dancing classes which seemed to be perfect for me, however after attending my first very class I wanted to quit! My mum was not exactly the happiest after just paying for a 10 week term so we agreed that I'd return to class next week and see how I felt after that. It turns out that not only did I continue to attended classes at JYTS, I stayed there for 10 years! I Became a member of the performance troupe and even became a singing teacher.
None of this would have happened if I had quit after day 1!
Growing up with singing and dancing I was lucky enough to experience many performance opportunities performing at local events, concerts etc, so I guess that’s really where my passion started for performing however it was Beyonce and Pink that really inspired me to become a singer.
I remember watching their concert dvd's and just thinking "That's what I want to do when I grow up!” So all through high school I knew what I wanted to do and that was to be a pop singer, until I saw my very first musical “Wicked” in year 11. I remember watching it and just feeling so inspired by the entire show that I decided to pursue a career in musical theatre instead of pop, which to me seemed a lot more realistic and achievable than being a pop star. So after graduating high school and taking classes in numerous dance styles I auditioned for the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts musical theatre program, with only 9 spots available I had high hopes to have one of them however I was unsuccessful. But I did not let that stop me from achieving my dreams, so I found another performing arts academy, attended the audition for musical theatre and was accepted! I was over the moon, all my hard work had paid off and I was going to be studying something I loved for the year.
After attending the academy for just 1 term I realised that it really wasn't what I wanted to be doing, after all my real dream was to be a pop singer.
I was feeling really down and stressed, the course was extremely full on with 14 different subjects all with exams at the end of each semester. I was physically and emotionally exhausted from singing and dancing nearly all day every day while also working a part time job and when you don't love what you're doing, you loose motivation and thats what I found happened to me.
Having said all this I look back at it now and I would have had done it all over. I believe everything happens for a reason and from this experience it made me stronger, it made me work harder than ever, I met amazing people and it really pushed me to become a better performer.
So I completed the course but went on to pursue my dream of being a pop singer.
It’s now the year 2013, 2 years out from school and the year I decided to work part time and focus on my dream.
My first step was to audition for the X Factor, honestly this was the only step I had ever thought of at this point and was banking so much on the audition. After practising for weeks with my vocal coach, it was now time to stand up in front of the judge and audition, I had NEVER been so nervous in my life! I sang a verse and a chorus of two songs but unfortunately didn't even make it through the first round. I was absolutely gutted! It felt like my dream had just been taken from me, I had no idea what I was going do not just with singing but with my life, all I had was a part time job and up until then was always at school so I was just like "what now?" but everything happens for a reason and while travelling home from my audition I received a phone call from the JYTS Principal offering me a job as a singing teacher. I went from 0 to 100 just like that and knew that this was the path I was meant to be on. I ended up teaching there for 3 years while also taking singing lessons and working towards my dreams.
Thanks for reading part 1 of my story, part 2 posted below :)
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Sarah Avalia x