How to Succeed in Showbiz Without Really Trying – Part One

It was never anything I sought. I just think my creative interests accidentally paved the way for me to be in commercials.

All through grammar school, my parents made me take piano lessons. I really didn't want to, but  they insisted and I  eventually grew to love  classical music. To be honest, I didn't know there was any other kind of music to study, because popular music seemed too silly to spend time learning.

I hated practicing. I'd play scales and exercises over and over just to bug my parents for making me practice, instead of playing the beautiful music I was learning. I studied Chopin, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Liszt, Grieg, concertos, rhapsodies and sonatas. If I had to do it all over again, I'd be a much better player because I'd recognize the love I have for this music and I'd practice, not rebel.

My piano teacher had her students give recitals. One year, I sat down to play my selection and absolutely froze. I could not remember what I was supposed to play. I just sat there with my hands poised over the keyboard, not able to move. Fortunately, my teacher would not let me fail. She walked me down the street to a friend's house where I  read and played the music I was supposed to perform. I immediately returned to her house and to the recital.  Although still in abject terror, I sat down, played perfectly and got the most applause of the day. But, boy, was I scared!

I think the most fun I had was playing piano with four other students (and eight hands). This was a ball. I had to work up to this level because  the music was much more complicated. I remember being so excited playing these large, magnificent concertos. I knew I was really good when I was invited to play with the group. It was complex but a lot of fun when we all played together. Every year it was the highlight that ended the recital. The audience and the players always looked forward to it.

When I became a busy teenager, I stopped playing the piano. I was such a "good girl" that not playing the piano, something that I was very good at, was my feeble way of rebelling. Listen, I could have done worse...

But, I stayed involved with music by joining the a cappella choir in high school. I became president and performed in all the school musicals.

My friend, Andy and I performed and created all sorts of musical numbers together. We called each other "Yanyu Goodluck One" and "Yanyu Goodluck Two". Who knows where that came from?

I was also elected Head Song Leader at my high school. So, performing, was a big part of my high school days.

"Ala beevo! Ala bivo! Ala beevo, bivo, bum!" And I still have the sweater!

At the same time, I joined the debate society. I specialized in dramatic interpretation, won top awards across the state and earned many huge trophies. My winning readings were "The Snow Goose" and "Lili" both written by Paul Gallico. Funny, I never connected my involvement in the debate society as a precursor to acting. But, I guess every little bit helped.

OK, but how did you get into commercials? How did you get into “show business?”

Tune in tomorrow and read "the rest of the story."

Read Part Two of How to Succeed in Showbiz Without Really Trying Here.