January is “The Month of Music” on our blog and we’ve been taking the opportunity to interview about.me users from all facets of the music industry including DJs Lissa Monet and E. Delfin and music blogger Jacklyn Krol.
Today, we’re excited to be featuring singer, Tara Mackey, who also happens to be a biologist, model, writer and actress. We interviewed her about how she manages to be all these things at once (and still maintain sanity!) and about her new book, Cured By Nature.
When did you get into music and did you always know you wanted to be a professional musician?
I started music and singing when I was 7 and joined my first musical, The Sound of Music. I barely got a part in that play, but over the summer I started voice lessons and worked my bum off. The next year I had a lead part and by the time I was 12, I was getting leads over my friend’s parents. It came naturally to me but I also practiced like crazy. I still do scales at home and practice singing all the time. I also took music classes at Bennington College and learned how to record, brushed up on songwriting, learned more piano, and wrote a lot of songs with my classmates while I was studying the “hard academics”.
You have a couple of music videos both on your page and on YouTube. Did you have an idea in mind when you set out to create them?
I’ve done the story board and directed all my videos so far. I have a pretty clear vision of what I want it to look like, but it’s always magical to see how it turns out.
When you were working in biology, what projects were you working on?
I was studying Genetics, but I was doing environmental work in the field. I worked in fertility, urology and orthodontics, but the last job I had was analyzing asbestos samples. I fell in love with hard science after wanting more “concrete” answers to things I never found the answers to while studying Psychology. I had never dreamed of being a scientist. But I did really enjoy it.
How do you find time to model in addition to your other work and who are you currently modeling for?
I find the time because doing all of those things is so very important to me, but I’ve also split them up in my life. I wasn’t modeling when I was working at the lab – I started up again after. I began modeling at eighteen and quickly got a few big campaigns, but I was still going to school and the kind of modeling I was doing was a huge commitment. The kind where you have to drop out of school or your job has to understand that you need to leave for classes all the time. I didn’t have this leisure, so I chose education. Then, when I moved to California, I started modeling again. Most recently I became the face of La Bella Figura’s new More Than Makeup line and have modeled for various brands that I’ve shared on my blog.
You have a blog and a newly released book, what are they all about and what inspires you to write them?
Wellness and love inspires me a lot. My [blog] posts are all centered on positivity, even if they touch on heavy subjects. It’s not a “positive thinking” gimmick: it’s my life’s philosophy. I actually didn’t intend on writing a book, the publishing company found my blog and came to me over the summer. They asked if I had ever thought about writing one. Writing a book had actually been a dream of mine since before I could remember, so of course I said yes! Even though my Dad had just passed from cancer a few months before, I knew I couldn’t hold myself back from fulfilling my goals and going after my dreams.
Cured By Nature: How To Mentally and Naturally Heal From the Inside Out, Find Happiness and Discover Your True Self (phew!) is part memoir, part guide to healthy living, You’ll read about everything from my time as a child watching my mother cope with addictions, to my Grandparents adopting me, to my life as a teenager on crazy amounts of prescribed drugs myself, to my epoch as a young professional coming off pharmaceutical meds, to my move to California to pursue a drastically new lifestyle of sobriety, sunshine, raw super foods, yoga, music and acting. It’s a great read for how I got through all my withdrawals, as well as as guide for your own journey to achieve your desires and goals.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Spare time? What’s that? Hah! Just kidding. It’s actually super important for me to be balanced and centered, and I do try to do things that make me super happy a few hours a day. I live a few blocks from the beach in San Diego, so I like to take my dog down there for a few hours a day and throw the ball around. I do outdoor yoga every day, surf, swim, paint, take photographs and I also read a lot and take a lot of relaxing baths.
How did you hear of about.me and what made you sign up for it?
A friend referred me, and I absolutely loved it right off the bat! I signed up pretty early on I think, and I really adored the interface and how easy it was to use and set up. I felt like it was personal and almost like having a free website or gorgeous resume platform to show to potential jobs and partners.
What’s your favorite feature on the platform?
I love how easy it is to connect with people! Talk about a website that really engages you socially! Everyone is so inspiring on about.me and it’s so easy to catch up, get inspired or stay connected to people.
How are you using the platform on other digital mediums?
I’ve really been trying to get my young professional friends involved in about.me because it can serve as such a wonderfully personal resume for companies or creative projects.
Have you used about.me to connect with others on the platform?
It’s been a great way to connect with others for eco-conscious, educational or health campaigns for The Organic Life, as well as finding like minded musicians to collaborate and share music with. I find it super helpful both professionally and personally.
Don’t forget to check out Tara’s page to hear more of her music and link to her writings!
Eliana Arredondo is the Community Manager for about.me. She is a graduate of Stanford University.